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Wind energy applications — the promising road forward
By Don Rosato
Wind energy continues to provide major growth opportunities for plastic composites — the industry will reach $4 billion by the end of 2014. The adoption of larger-scale turbines and the expansion of offshore installations that call for stiffer and lighter blades are important to the use of lightweight, strength-to-weight plastic composites. Look at some emerging wind energy application developments, the biggest trend in the future appears to be vertical.
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SPE HIGHLIGHTS


Typical interactions of composite additives with polyethylene and nanoclay
SPE Plastics Research
Maleated polyolefins (MAPE) have been used industrially for decades in wood plastic composite (WPC) production because they are inexpensive and effective crosslinking agents. Dicumyl peroxide (DCP) is another chemical used widely as an initiator and crosslinking agent for natural fibers in thermoplastics, particularly polyethylene (PE).
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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Date Event More Information
September 8-11 SPE Foams® 2014 Information
September 9-11 14th Annual Automotive Composites Conference Information
September 10-12 Plastics Caps & Closures 2014 Conference Information
September 14-16 23rd CAD RETEC 2014 Information
September 15-19 23rd Annual Thermoforming Conference Information
September 16-18 11th Thermoplastic Elastomers Top Con Information
September 17 11th Plastics & Polymers Innovation Awards Information
September 30-October 2 SPE Bioplastic Materials 2014 Information
October 1-2 NANOTEC Information
October 5-7 Blow Molding Conference Information
October 5-8 Automotive TPO Conference Information
October 19-22 Flexible Packaging Conference Information
October 20-22 VINYLTEC Information
December 6 Medical Plastics MiniTec Information



PLASTICS INDUSTRY NEWS


Thermoplastic sandwich panel promises weight savings for aircraft interiors
Reinforced Plastics
French company SMTC is introducing Dynatech, a thermoplastic sandwich panel reported to offer significant weight and cost savings in aircraft and train interior applications. The Dynatech sandwich panel can be used to manufacture complex shaped parts, including seats, overhead bins, sidewalls, trolleys, galleys, tables and doors.
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Purple is the new green: 'Energy Bag' program to convert plastics-to-energy
Plastics Today
Energy recovery is positioned as a complement to current efforts to divert waste from landfills. However, bringing the technology to the mainstream in the U.S. has been somewhat slow moving. But a new initiative hopes a purple bag might be the catalyst for change. Co-sponsored by The City of Citrus Heights, Republic Services and Dow Chemical, the Energy Bag program hopes to prove that resource recovery of non-recycled plastics is a viable municipal process that can achieve many positive long-term environmental and economic results, including fewer tons of landfill trash, more local energy resources and less energy dependence.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  What Costs Lurk Beneath the Surface?
Faster start-up times, lower energy use and thinner starting gauges result in better parts and significant cost savings for thermoformers. By using syntactic foam instead of cheap materials, processors can profit while customers enjoy better performance. Read the case study to learn why a total cost of ownership approach improves the bottom line.
 



A plastic/composite car in every driveway?
SPE Plastics Engineering
In May 2014, BMW introduced in the USA the i3, an electric car that sold out immediately and now has a long waiting list. The i3 is the first mass-produced vehicle with a major component — the passenger compartment — made from carbon fiber-reinforced plastics. So … is this a big deal? Yes. It's a big deal. Of course, plastics are nothing new in autos. Today’s autos are approximately 10 percent plastics by weight – but half the volume of each vehicle, on average, is actually made from plastics.
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Wind energy applications — the promising road forward
By Don Rosato
Wind energy continues to provide major growth opportunities for plastic composites — the industry will reach $4 billion by the end of 2014. The adoption of larger-scale turbines and the expansion of offshore installations that call for stiffer and lighter blades are important to the use of lightweight, strength-to-weight plastic composites.

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PVC recycling on the rise in Europe
Plastics News
PVC recycling in Europe climbed more than 20 percent in 2013 according to new figures from Recovinyl, the PVC industry's recycling organization. A total of 435,083 metric tons of waste PVC was recycled through Recovinyl across the group's 16 member countries. That is up from 354,173 metric tons in 2012.

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Energy efficiency opportunities in the manufacturing sector
By Alan Kelsky
One third of the energy consumed in the United States is by the manufacturing sector. Ninety percent of the manufacturing sector are small- and medium-sized businesses, or SMM, that use about half of the energy consumed in manufacturing. Electrical demand, also known as on-site energy consumption is a rich target for SMM businesses as they tend to pay more per kWh than their larger competitors.

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Infiltrator Systems installs world's largest low-pressure injection molding machine
Plastics Today
The world's largest low-pressure injection molding machine, designed and constructed by Infiltrator Systems at the company's Winchester, Kentucky, manufacturing facility, took five months to engineer and nine months to build. However, today the machine is producing the Infiltrator IM 1530 Septic Tank product line being molded in a mold designed and built by Franchino Mold and Engineering of Lansing, Michigan. The mold installed in the press weighs 420,000 lbs. and molds a 15-foot long, 245-lb. polypropylene tank half, which the company claims is the world's largest molded part.
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Bringing Will.i.am and back braces into 3-D printing
Bloomberg Businessweek
3D Systems chief creative officer Will.i.am and 3D Systems presents the Ekocycle Cube 3D printer. It’s a small, consumer 3-D printer that makes things out of waste plastic. The main difference is that you feed the Ekocycle cartridges made out of 25 percent recycled plastic. Earlier this month 3D Systems also expanded its push into the medical-device market, announcing the completion of a pilot program around Bespoke Braces, a type of custom-made brace for children and young adults with scoliosis.
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  FEATURED COMPANIES
Precision Protection for Critical Components
Zeus Heat Shrink offers a superior “shrink to fit” layer of protection to insulate wiring, fiber optics and other components from the world’s harshest environments. MORE
EMI - New Conveyor & Automation Systems Catalog
We specialize in custom conveying applications. Our 2014 catalog includes new conveyor models and molded parts handling systems. View our online catalog today! MORE



Creating, designing and rotomolding a toy that will last
Plastics News
Tom Fish loves the rotational molding process, and the Little Tikes Co. creative director explained how the Hudson, Ohio, company uses CAD models and rapid prototyping to create new toys, in a presentation at TopCon 2014, the Society of Plastics Engineers' rotomolding conference.
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Made in South Africa: Plastic heart parts
IOL
Cheap new plastic heart valves produced by UCT could save millions of Africans who die every year from childhood rheumatic heart disease. Recently launched, the UCT-based innovative company Strait Access Technologies is breaking new ground in medical technology through its production of plastic valves instead of traditional tissue-based valves. And experts concur that the initiative will make insertion of life-saving heart valves possible even in the poorest hospitals on the continent.
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  PRODUCT SHOWCASES
iQ Series Servo Ultrasonic Press System

Dukane's patented iQ Advanced Servo Welder is the next step in the evolution of ultrasonic welding technology. Combining the efficiency and reliability of a 100% digitally controlled Multi-Core iQ Series power supply with the precision of an advanced servo press, the Dukane Advanced iQ Servo Welder delivers unprecedented repeatability, accuracy and reliability to your ultrasonic bonding process. MORE


Clean Plast® is a ready-to-use purging compound in pellet form that will minimize your purging problems! Clean Plast® has been put through vigorous tests and has been reformulated time and time again, to continuously improve and perfect product performance. We believe we have the best cleaning solution for the plastics industry and that this product is more effective than any other product out in the market. Clean Plast® will help to eliminate future problems with streaking, black specs and hard to clean resin. Contact us today for a FREE PURGE TRIAL at your plant and see the difference a Clean Plast® Purge makes.
Ultrasonic Welding Machine

The ultrasonic welding machine Easy 3000 Series is suitable for welding operations of thermoplastic parts from medium to large size. MORE



Reusable packaging service for sustainable online shopping
Dezeen
After watching his wife throw out perfectly useable packaging from her online shopping purchases, Yu-Chang Chou was inspired to develop a sustainable alternative, using a similar model to the bottle-return system used in many European countries.The Repack bags are made of two parts - an outer bag and an inner cushioning. The external layer is constructed with durable polyester fabric made from recycled PET bottles, which is screen-printed and sewn together. The cushioning is microcellular polyurethane, often used in protective sportswear.
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Russian polymer-composite gas cylinder pioneer goes automotive
European Plastics News
Rugasco, Russia's first polymer-composite gas cylinder producer, launched in Nizhny Novgorod a little over a year ago, has already forged key export deals with customers in Belarus and Kazakhstan. The firm's safer, lightweight, transparent gas carriers have also attracted serious interest from potential customers in other foreign markets in countries ranging from Iraq, Libya and Oman to Azerbaijan.
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World Cup players get duffel bags showcasing Nike's 3-D printing of parts
Plastics Today
In early 2013, Nike launched its Vapor Laser Talon soccer cleat with a 3-D printed plate. While 3-D printing had been used throughout the industry for rapid prototyping for years, the Vapor Laser Talon was the first athletic shoe using a production 3-D-printed component. Nike wasn't especially forthcoming about the details of the plate, saying only that a proprietary material was printed with Selective Laser Sintering.
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Lightweight cellular composites constructed using new resin inks and 3-D printing
aZoM
Like other manufactured products that use sandwich panel construction to achieve a combination of light weight and strength, turbine blades contain carefully arrayed strips of balsa wood from Ecuador, which provides 95 percent of the world's supply. For centuries, the fast-growing balsa tree has been prized for its light weight and stiffness relative to density.
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  FEATURED COMPANIES
Hanser Publications
Premier Plastics Technology Books

Visit us online at
hanserpublications.com.
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A seal for limited space
MECO’s AH Type-2 split seal space requirements are 2.5” (65mm) around the shaft and 4” (100mm) along the shaft. Much smaller values are possible. www.mecoseal.com MORE



Finding ways to attract young talent
Plastics News
How to attract young people into manufacturing? That is the biggest, long-term issue facing the U.S. plastics industry, mold making and every single factory in the country. It’s safe to say that recruiting young people, teaching them the skills ... heck, just getting them interested in manufacturing, is way more important than new technology and resin prices. Two companies have figured it out by finding good young workers interested in learning more about plastics and metalworking.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
 
Top Honor in Plastics Industry

PlasticsNews presented Tech Molded Plastics with the Processor of the Year Award February 25, 2014. The skilled teams of designers, toolmakers, and master molders at Tech have created a planning process that takes each complex project through systematic detail of design through production. Contact Tech for award winning injection molding services!
Visit us at:
 



Leading the way in plastics
Packaging Europe
Symphony is a British public company dedicated to finding technical solutions to environmental and public health problems which serve any industry manufacturing or using plastic packaging or other plastics products. Symphony has also developed a better way to recycle scrap tires. CEO Michael Laurier shared more about its innovative solutions.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Exploring the mixing performance of triple-screw extruders (SPE Plastics Research)
Toughening epoxy with liquid and preformed powdered rubber (SPE Plastics Research)
Revolutionary new 3-D printing filaments? Liquid plastics, graphene, and graphite conductive filament, coming soon (3DPrint.com)
From barrels to biology: Scientists develop cost-competitive bioderived polymers for a post-petroleum future (Phys.org)
Padres' Alex Torres debuts oversized protective cap in MLB game (NBC 7 San Diego)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


This London bus stop is made of 100,000 LEGO bricks
Technabob
Londoners are currently enjoying a bus stop made out of LEGO bricks. Yes, an entire bus stop. It was built to celebrate 200 years of London buses and you can find it at the Conduit Street stop on Regent Street. As a special bonus, it even has a LEGO-made ad for Hamley's Toy Store, which resides nearby, and sells lots of LEGO kits. The bus stop is completely made out of LEGO bricks. The benches, the sign – it even has clear bricks to replace the glass in the side panels.
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Pharrell Williams launches new fashion line made from recycled ocean plastic
Blue & Green Tomorrow
The musician Pharrell Williams has created a new environmentally-friendly clothing line, in collaboration with G-Star RAW and the Vortex Project. The line will adopt a revolutionary approach by using plastic waste, which is a real problem in our oceans and on the world's beaches. Other companies pioneering in the reusing of plastic include Levi’s, Ecover and the Healthy Seas Initiative.
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    Disclaimer: The SPE Industry Update is a digest of the most important news selected for the Society of Plastics Engineers from thousands of sources by the editors of MultiBriefs. Neither MultiBriefs nor the Society of Plastics Engineers is responsible for opinions or statements of facts expressed in the articles referenced in SPE Industry Update. Advertising appearing in SPE Industry Update is not to be taken as an endorsement, expressed or implied, of the respective company's processes, products or services represented in the ad.

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