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Green plastic barrier packaging material and process advances
By Don Rosato
Modern innovations have made it possible to keep food fresh for a much longer time without changing the taste or aroma. While proven barrier materials extend product shelf life by impeding oxygen ingress into a package, oxygen scavengers "capture" oxygen within a sealed package to ensure that oxygen does not react with the food product. Nanotechnology is increasingly used to enhance packaging barrier properties. But let's start off by taking a closer look at recyclable plastic barrier material.
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SPE HIGHLIGHTS


Voids in composites with continuous fiber reinforcement
SPE Plastics Research
Voids are one of the most common defects in composite components and are known to degrade mechanical performance. As a result, void content measurement is often used both to assess the quality of a composite part and to determine its acceptability. Currently, parts that require the highest quality are fabricated by the autoclave curing technique at high processing pressures.
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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 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
November 6 Medical Plastics MiniTec Information



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PLASTICS INDUSTRY NEWS


Plant plastics reach for the stars
Royal Society of Chemistry
Researchers in Finland have transformed rice starch into a temporally stable, optically transparent, biodegradable plastic with a high degree of mechanical strength and good thermal resistance. This important step towards bioplastics made from simple and sustainable resources has potential applications in food packaging and biomedical materials.
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Plastics packaging market in Germany on course for growth
Packaging Europe
While turnover rather stagnated in the first half of the year, a marked improvement occurred in the second half. And yet, development presented itself in different ways. Due to strong domestic consumer demand, consumer packaging registered consistent stable growth. For industrial packaging, following a calm period during the first three quarters, substantial increase was only achieved towards the end of the year.
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Technology translation engine launches 'Organs-on-Chips' company
Medical Xpress
The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University announced that its human "Organs-on-Chips" technology will be commercialized by a newly formed private company to accelerate development of pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetic and personalized medicine products. The announcement follows a worldwide license agreement between Harvard's Office of Technology Development and the start-up Emulate Inc., relating to the use of the Institute's automated human "Organs-on-Chips" platform.
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Green plastic barrier packaging material and process advances
By Don Rosato
Modern innovations have made it possible to keep food fresh for a much longer time without changing the taste or aroma. While proven barrier materials extend product shelf life by impeding oxygen ingress into a package, oxygen scavengers "capture" oxygen within a sealed package to ensure that oxygen does not react with the food product.

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Innovative bonding with Plastics Interface Technology
Plastics Engineering
Plastics Interface Technology is a patented technology for the bonding of various decorative materials with a polymer substrate. Developed by the polypropylene compounding group of LyondellBasell, this new technology enables the cost-effective manufacturing of structures with excellent surface qualities for a range of applications in appliances, electronics and automotive.

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CAE assistance to overcome challenges in MCM product development
By CT Huang
In modern plastic product fabrication, multicomponent molding, or MCM, has been widely applied to diversify product design and simplify the assembly process. Ideally, MCM is a process in which two or more materials, or the same material with different colors, or recycled and raw materials, are injected into the mold to produce the product.

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New medical use for bubble wrap packaging
European Plastics News
A new cheap way to run tests on medical and environmental samples has been developed using the plastic packaging staple — bubble wrap. George Whitesides at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and his team conceived the idea when visiting labs in developing countries where they could not afford even basic equipment.
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Plastics change color – and back – in less than 1 second
Royal Society of Chemistry via Scientific American
Scientists in China, the U.K. and the Netherlands have engineered a polydiacetylene polymer that reversibly changes color within 1 second of being heated or cooled. Thermochromic polymers have a wide range of potential uses, from biological sensors to smart windows. However, the irregular structure and weak molecular interactions in established thermochromic polymers results in long response times, slow reversibility and a narrow working temperature range.
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Slippery coating inside plastic packaging enables viscous liquids to slide easily
Plastics Today
A new technology seeks to change the way liquids move within packaging. LiquiGlide makes slippery coatings for plastic surfaces that enable viscous liquids to easily slide. The technology is targeting plastic containers for sticky consumer packaged goods such as ketchup and mayo to lotion and even glue. The innovative technology was originally developed by the Varanasi Research Group laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Something new for US manufacturing: Stability
The Wall Street Journal
Has the number of American factories finally stopped its long, painful decline? One economist thinks so. Daniel Meckstroth, chief economist at the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, a research group in Arlington, Virginia, regularly does his own calculation of the number of plants based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that tracks factory openings and closings. Even in the darkest days of manufacturing's long slide, there were factories being built — but their number was far outweighed by the rush to shutter operations.
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  PRODUCT SHOWCASES
iQ Series Servo Ultrasonic Press System

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Study finds less plastic waste in the world's oceans than expected
Canadian Plastics
How much plastic debris is floating in the world's oceans? Maybe a lot less than was anticipated. A new study has found that plastic pollution in the open ocean is widespread but less than predicted due to an "unknown sink for small plastic particles." Published in the U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study – coauthored by scientists at the University of Western Australia's Oceans Institute and universities in Saudi Arabia and Spain – found that plastic waste debris in the ocean is widespread, but that an "unknown mechanism" is removing small plastic fragments at a higher rate than larger fragments.
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The goosebump sensor that knows how you feel
Newsweek
Reading the emotions of someone else can be a tricky business, even when it’s someone we know well. But a rapidly growing field of research is exploring whether technology can be used to read our inner reactions and feelings. The idea is that if we can detect people’s emotions in an objective way, we can use this information to mold and edit music and films so they deliver more of an emotional impact. Now there’s a piece of technology aimed at doing just that – the goosebump sensor.
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3-D printing a giant for Comic-Con
Plastics News
Minneapolis-based 3-D printing specialist Stratasys Ltd. has collaborated with the Stan Winston School of Character Arts, Legacy Effects, Condé Nast Entertainment and Wired magazine to create a 14-foot tall giant creature, which will be showcased at the Comic-Con International 2014 conference. "Everything about the giant creature project was ambitious, including size, weight, delivery schedule and performance requirements," said Matt Winston, co-founder of the Stan Winston School.
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The weird, underappreciated world of plastic packaging
NPR
Like it or not, plastic packaging has become an ingrained part of the food system. While it's clearly wasteful to buy salad, sandwiches and chips encased in plastic and then promptly throw that plastic away, we take for granted how it keeps so much of what we eat fresh and portable. And behind many of those packages that allow us to eat on the go or savor perishable cookies or fish imported from the other side of the globe is a whole lot of science and innovation.
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Hanser Publications
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Propeller-shaped molecules give 2-D polymers lift-off
Royal Society of Chemistry
Crystal engineers have finally succeeded in achieving a goal that has eluded chemists for decades by unambiguously synthesising two-dimensional polymer crystals, confirmed by single-crystal x-ray diffraction. Two teams, from Switzerland and the U.S., have independently shown that anthracene-based monomers can be slotted together into monolayers that can then be fused into polymeric sheets, a single molecule thick, by the action of UV light. The stacked sheets can then be separated by exfoliation.
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New line of injection molded thermoplastic components to compete with metals
Plastics Today
A new line from Piper Plastics is said to bridge the performance gap between components produced via standard injection molding compounds and pre-preg lay-up composite materials. The new material, called Kyron Max, allow parts to be injection molded at high volumes with strengths that approach lay-up composite and metals. The company claims that the Kyron Max series will "significantly changes the way design engineers think of plastic materials."
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An easier way to turn plant scraps to plastics
New Scientist
Save those food scraps – they could be your next grocery bag. A new way of turning vegetable waste directly into bioplastics could make such materials even more environmentally friendly. Current bioplastics are created by processing plant material to create short molecules called monomers, which link up to create long polymer molecules that make up plastics.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Innovative bonding with Plastics Interface Technology (Plastics Engineering)
Effect of chemical treatment on newspaper fibers (SPE Plastics Research)
This is one bump that looks good on a car (Plastics News)
3-D printing method used to create human cartilage (Design News)
Shapeshifting plastics could revolutionize microrobotics and minimally invasive surgery (Phys.org)

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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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