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A brief history of plastic's conquest of the world
Scientific American    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Plastics freed us from the confines of the natural world, from the material constraints and limited supplies that had long bounded human activity. That new elasticity unfixed social boundaries as well. The arrival of these malleable and versatile materials gave producers the ability to create a treasure trove of new products while expanding opportunities for people of modest means to become consumers. More



SPE HIGHLIGHTS


Real-time tracking of polypropylene deformation
SPE Plastics Research Online    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Strong, light polymers are widely used in the automotive and aerospace industries to reduce weight in structures. As a result, there is much basic and applied research interest in optimizing their end-use properties, particularly their resistance to mechanical deformation. In order to develop high-performance polymers, it is of fundamental importance to identify deformation mechanisms taking place at the microscopic scale. More


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PLASTICS INDUSTRY NEWS


Method makes plastic from bacteria
Laboratory Equipment    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Plastic may compete with paper in the grocery line, but it doesn't have to compete with the world's food supply, according to University of Florida researchers. They've developed a way to produce plastic that doesn't use valuable natural resources, such as food or fuel, for raw materials. The new method uses a strain of bacteria to create bioplastic from discarded plant material, such as yard waste. More



Exxon's chemicals business thrives
Industry Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Exxon Mobil Corp. is more than an oil company. That may come as a surprise to the general public who typically associate the Irving, Texas-based giant's earnings with gas prices. While fuel prices undoubtedly play a major role in Exxon's profits, the company's chemicals business is playing an increasing part in its growth strategy and financial performance. Exxon is building off of increasing global demand for plastics as a product substitute and for use in high-performance packaging films. More

Despite challenges, China to remain top resin market
European Plastics News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Although the Chinese plastics market is facing some growth-related challenges, they're not expected to change the country's status as the world’s largest petrochemicals consumer. China's share of world petrochemical demand — including polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC — increased from 24 percent in 2006 to 32 percent in 2010, according to Paul Pang, a market analyst with Chemical Market Associates. More

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Devilish packaging, tamed
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Pyranna, the Jokari Deluxe, the Insta Slit, the ZipIt and the OpenIt apply blades and batteries to what should be a simple task: opening a retail package. But the maddening — and nearly impenetrable — plastic packaging known as clamshells could become a welcome casualty of the difficult economy. High oil prices have manufacturers and big retailers reconsidering the use of so much plastic, and some are aggressively looking for cheaper substitutes. More

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'Electric glue' helps stick polymers to electrodes
Nanotechweb.org    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"Electric glue" can be used to reversibly stick polymers to the surface of an electrode to create nanoscale devices that can be switched on and off using a current. Researchers recently showed that DNA (a biopolymer) can be reversibly bonded to a gold electrode by varying the electric potential of the electrode surface. Now, a team at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Germany has gone a step further by looking at non-covalent interactions between the polymer and the electrode – a study that could be important for applications such as biosensors. More

Unique Value From Innovative Resins

UPES® is a family of innovative, interpolymer resins (polyethylene and polystyrene) that simplify compounding, enhance compatibility with polymers systems and broaden the processing window of most polyolefins. MORE


Biodegradable products in landfills may be harmful
Plastics News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Biodegradable products, such as disposable cups and utensils, may be doing more harm than good in landfills, according to researchers from North Carolina State University. The study, which was published online in Environmental Science & Technology, found that so-called eco-friendly products release a powerful greenhouse gas as they break down. More

US manufacturing economy heading in the wrong direction
Plastics Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While the numbers look okay, the trend is definitely showing that manufacturing is slowing down, giving rise to fears of the dreaded "double-dip" recession. While the latest report from the Institute for Supply Management shows May's numbers remained on the "growing" side of the benchmark, manufacturing definitely slid towards contraction, with May's figures marking the worst slide since 1984. More



New method simplifies complex fluids for the first time
R&D Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An international research team has successfully developed a widely applicable method for discovering the physical foundations of complex fluids for the first time. Researchers at the University of Vienna and University of Rome have developed a microscopic theory that describes the interactions between the various components of a complex polymer mixture. This approach has now been experimentally proven by physicists who conducted neutron scattering experiments in France. More

Plastic bottles in the crosshairs of two packaging giants
Plastics Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Are plastic bottles' days numbered? Hardly, not anytime soon anyway, but blowmolders are wise to be aware of the competition, which in two recent cases is coming from well-known packaging firms. One, from tube machine manufacturer Aisapack, is essentially a thin-walled tube able to be hot filled. The other is a bottle/carton crossbreed developed by Tetra Pak. More



Composite method allows fine-tuning of material properties
The Engineer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A team of researchers at MIT has found a way to make complex composite materials that can be fine-tuned to give various combinations of different properties such as stiffness, strength, resistance to impacts and energy dissipation. More

Used Equipment Provides Great Opportunities

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Polyflow, Youngstown State University turn trash into treasure
Youngstown Business Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A company based in Ohio will use systems, research and equipment at Youngstown State University to recycle trash — that is, plastic throwaways such as empty milk containers and water bottles — into treasure. Polyflow LLC, a startup company that operates a small pilot processor in Akron, is looking to use its patented process to convert household plastic and polymer items into transportation fuel and new types of plastics on a large scale. More


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