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Industrial production: The state of the union
By Stephanie McKenzie
In the United States, industrial production in the manufacturing industry rose by 0.6 percent in May. This is a bounce back from a 0.1 percent decline in April, as reported by the Federal Reserve Board. Overall, industrial production has gone up 2.8 percent since January and has had an overall 3.6 percent growth in the past year. With increased consumer confidence, the demand for industrial production has been seeing steady gains and looks set to continue to do so for quite some time.
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SPE HIGHLIGHTS


Modified resin for high-performance composites
SPE Plastics Research
Benzoxazine resins are highly attractive for applications that include composite parts in aircraft1 and electronic packaging. These resins are a novel class of thermosetting polymers that combine the thermal properties and flame retardance of phenolic resins with the excellent mechanical performance and molecular design flexibility of epoxy resins.
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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


New technology molds plastic with consumable liquid
Plastics News
A new blow molding and filling technology called LiquiForm has been announced that uses pressurized consumable liquid instead of compressed air to form plastic containers. By combining the bottle forming and filling processes into one step, this technology eliminates numerous manufacturing steps, significantly reducing cost and waste, says the LiquiForm Group.
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Nanoscale features used to color plastics
Photonics.com
A team from the Technical University of Denmark has found a more environmentally friendly way to produce such plastics, using the shapes of materials rather than conventional dyes and pigments. Use of these unnatural materials makes it difficult for that type of plastic to be recycled. The researchers found that aluminum can be made to appear in different colors "purely by designing their surface structures at the nanoscopic level." The researchers chose aluminum because of its interband absorption properties.
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  New Thermoforming Case Study Illustrates Savings
[Registration required]

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.
 



'Robust' growth for biodegradable plastics in Europe
Food Processing & Packaging
Biodegradable plastics for food and beverages are seeing "robust growth" in Europe, driven by rising consumer awareness and regulations in favor of the packaging, according to TechSci Research. But the sector still faces the expense of developing packaging specifically for food use, and the reduced performance of biodegradable plastics when exposed to high temperatures or variations in pH.
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Industrial production: The state of the union
By Stephanie McKenzie
In the United States, industrial production in the manufacturing industry rose by 0.6 percent in May. This is a bounce back from a 0.1 percent decline in April, as reported by the Federal Reserve Board. Overall, industrial production has gone up 2.8 percent since January and has had an overall 3.6 percent growth in the past year

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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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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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US manufacturing expanding again in July
The Associated Press via ABC News
U.S. manufacturing expanded for the 14th straight month in July in a good sign for the overall economy. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, reported Friday that its manufacturing index rose to 57.1, highest level since April 2011 and up from 55.3 in June. Anything above 50 signals that manufacturing is growing.
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The car of the future
University of Dayton
Plastic cars are coming out of the toy box and heading for your nearest dealership showroom floor. The University of Dayton Research Institute and the American Chemistry Council have launched an effort to help ensure they will be safe. Facing growing pressure for more fuel-efficient vehicles, the auto industry is increasingly looking to polymers to make vehicles lighter.
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New polymer changes color in seconds
European Plastics News
Researchers have created an unusual polymer that can change color and return to its original color in less than a second by changing its temperature. Such polymers could promise applications in biological sensors and smart windows that adjust sunlight or heat exchange, according to an article in Chemical World's 22 July issue and reproduced in a July 25 posting of Scientific American.
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Heat-responsive polymers that do not breakdown in water may lead to new antifouling coatings and enhanced oil recovery
Phys.org
Thanks to the positively and negatively charged units in their monomers, zwitterionic polymers have a high affinity for water — a property known as hydrophilicity. This property helps prevent fouling, namely the build-up of contaminants. Current zwitterionic polymers are not effective in water as they use monomers such as commercially available acrylamide and methacrylates that tend to decompose and lose their electrostatic characteristics when wet.
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iQ Series Servo Ultrasonic Press System

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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.



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Finding the true value of mentoring
Plastics News
There's a common thread within thought leaders in the plastics industry. Most of them attribute a big part of their success to having a great mentor. Mentoring is more than simply answering occasional questions or providing ad hoc help to mentees. Mentoring is about an ongoing personal relationship of learning and having a dialogue with a more experienced or more knowledgeable person who helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person.
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Poll: Confused consumers toss out plastic packaging instead of recycling
Packaging Digest
When it comes to plastic packaging, the majority of consumers have no idea what to recycle. In a recent online poll by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries and Earth911, 65 percent of respondents say they don't understand what plastics are acceptable in curbside collection, leading ISRI president Robin Wiener to conclude, "As long as confusion reigns, consumers are apt to throw plastics away that should be recycled. This Earth911/ISRI Opinion Poll demonstrates a strong need for additional education, particularly by municipalities, on what can be recycled and how to do it."
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Company unlocks secret to making plastic out of air
CBS News
The plastics industry creates 1.8 trillion pounds of carbon emissions every year, but now one company has figured out a way to take the pollution and turn it into plastic you can hold in your hand. Located in Costa Mesa, California, Newlight Technologies is forming plastic out of thin air. Literally. Here's how it works: Carbon emissions are captured from farms, landfills, and energy facilities and are fed into a 50-foot-tall reactor at Newlight's plant. A bundle of enzymes strips out the carbon and oxygen and rearranges them into a substance they call air carbon.
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Hanser Publications
Premier Plastics Technology Books

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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



PepsiCo and The Nature Conservancy partner to increase recycling and protect drinking water
PRNewswire via Yahoo
PepsiCo and The Nature Conservancy — the world's largest conservation organization — are joining forces to help alleviate plastic bottle recycling problems while encouraging consumers to recycle more often to help protect drinking water sources throughout the U.S. As part of a new five-year partnership called "Recycle for Nature," PepsiCo will expand the availability of recycling bins in the U.S., beginning where they are needed most — at gas stations and convenience stores.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
 
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Review committee says 2011 liquid styrene study stands
Plastics News
A 3 year old federal agency ruling that liquid styrene may be a carcinogen still stands, according to the latest review of the decision. Though many consumer groups were quick to confuse clear liquid styrene with polystyrene foam it is used to make, the Styrene Information and Research Center and the American Chemistry Council calmly pointed out that the new report essentially means nothing has changed since 2011.
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Say cheese? New whey-based thermoformable barrier coating under development
Plastics Today
As far as growth is concerned, the packaging industry has nothing to worry about. Sustainability, however, is another story. And while the need for greener packaging represents a significant market opportunity, solutions that deliver the requisite performance at a competitive price are still thin on the ground. A dominant technology in the packaging market is thermoforming, yet although, for example, bio-based trays have been around for a number of years, in general, they fail to meet the barrier properties required for sensitive food products.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Voids in composites with continuous fiber reinforcement (SPE Plastics Research)
Slippery coating inside plastic packaging enables viscous liquids to slide easily (Plastics Today)
Plastics change color – and back – in less than 1 second (Royal Society of Chemistry via Scientific American)
Study finds less plastic waste in the world's oceans than expected (Canadian Plastics)
New line of injection molded thermoplastic components to compete with metals (Plastics Today)

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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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