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Due to a technical issue, this week's edition of the SPE Industry Update did not arrive in the inboxes of some of our members. Because the information presented in each edition is timely and important to SPE members, we have opted to resend the issue to the entire subscriber base. We apologize for any inconvenience.


Building with plastic
SPE    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If the three little pigs of the children's fairy tale were constructing their houses today, the third would probably be building with plastic rather than bricks. For various reasons, plastics are becoming an increasingly popular material for construction, and the demand for plastic resin for construction applications has grown substantially over the past 10 years.

This article also appears in the July-August 2011 issue of Plastics Engineering magazine.
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SPE HIGHLIGHTS


Impact of fiber reinforcement on polymer blend properties
SPE Plastics Research Online    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The initial aim of polymer blend research was to develop new materials with optimal properties, such as soft catheters comprised of thermoplastic rubbers. Plastic waste treatment follows this polymer research goal, given that polymers must often be used together. Determining how common incompatible polymers interact on a morphological and mechanical level, especially in relation to particulate additives, is critical to advance the research and development of polymer blends. More

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Copolymer crystallization from cyclic butylene terephthalate and polycaprolactone
SPE Plastics Research Online    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Low-viscosity cyclic butylene terephthalate oligomer is a very promising material for next-generation thermoplastic and composite applications. CBT has important advantages for thermoplastic composite processing: water-like low viscosity; rapid polymerization into poly(butylene terephthalate), pCBT; no low molecular weight byproduct formation; and amenability to thermoset resin processing such as resin transfer molding. More



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PLASTICS INDUSTRY NEWS


Europe's PVC industry looks to the future
European Plastics News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Last month, the European PVC industry unveiled a new set of objectives for sustainable development to 2020 following the success of Vinyl 2010 - an initiative which led to the industry collecting and recycling over 250,000 tons of PVC every year. Last year, 260,284 tons of unregulated post-consumer PVC waste were recycled by the network of PVC recyclers across Europe, more than the initial goal of 200,000 tons for 2010. More



Injection molding empowers plastic lab-on-a-chip
Plastics Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An injection molded credit-card-sized plastic device has been successfully used to produce blood-based diagnostic results in minutes, realizing the promise of "lab-on-a-chip" technology with a far cheaper production method than many existing fabrication techniques, while opening up an array of medical testing to patients in nearly any setting. More

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New energy generates electricity on plastic
Solar Glazing    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Researchers at New Energy Technologies Inc., Columbia, Md., have successfully generated electricity on flexible plastic using the company's 'spray-on' coating methods. "Today's breakthrough supports a brand new commercial application for our core SolarWindow technology [that generates electricity on see-through glass] and is the direct result of numerous patent-pending methods, materials, and processes we have worked hard to invent and develop," said John A. Conklin, president and CEO, New Energy Technologies. More



Resin producers forge ahead on bioplastics
Design News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Specification of bioplastics by design engineers continues to advance at a glacial pace, because of concerns about their cost and performance profiles. But behind the scenes, major engineering plastics producers continue to invest in new technology based on renewable resources, not hydrocarbons like oil or natural gas. More
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The wizards of plastic
Omaha World-Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For now, it's just syrupy goo in a five-gallon bucket, sitting on the floor in a southwest Iowa factory. But pour it in a specially designed mold, bake it in a giant oven at 600 degrees while it rotates, and it becomes something else: a pair of big, shiny black shoes, ready to be worn by Mickey Mouse on a stroll through Disney World. The costume pieces — worn by characters at Disney theme parks around the world — might be the most recognizable products to come out of the Plastic Professionals' 220,000-square-foot facility. But they're far from the only thing made by the fast-growing rotational molding business. More

The Best Thermoset Molder in the World

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Yale undergrads discover plastic-eating fungi
Sustainable Business    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Yale undergraduates have discovered fungi growing in the Amazon Rainforest that can degrade polyurethane, a finding that could lead to innovative ways of reducing waste in the world's landfills. The research, detailed in the July issue of the journal, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, is the work of undergraduates who participated in Yale's Rainforest Expedition and Laboratory course, funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. More

Opportunities abound in medical market
Plastics News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With sales growth in the double digits and a strong pipeline of projects in reserve, medical companies have their eyes on acquisitions, opening new plants, adding services and developing resins to keep their businesses running at full throttle. More

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Plastics industry M&A active as buyers and sellers find reasons to support their moves
Plastics Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's not exactly a war zone out there, but it sure is no cakewalk. That is the assessment that Bill Ridenour, president of Polymer TransAction Advisors Inc. makes in his latest report covering the first six months of 2011 in the plastics industry. "With oil prices increasing (and likely to decrease) daily due to the instability of the Middle East, placing price pressures on converters and end customers, the plastic and chemical sector is a volatile place to be," commented Ridenour. More

NEW SYNTACTIC FOAM MACHINING TOOLS
CMT Materials, Inc. now offers a wide selection of competitively priced, solid carbide tools optimized for the machining of syntactic foam plug assist materials. Guidelines are provided for machining feeds and speeds to provide excellent results and often eliminate the need for any plug polishing. Call 508-226-3901 or visit www.cmtmaterials.com. more


Survey: Majority of Canadian manufacturing companies to increase machinery spending in 2011
Canadian Plastics    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nearly 60 percent of Canadian manufacturing companies are planning to spend more money on manufacturing equipment this year compared to 2010, according to a national survey conducted by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Approximately 30 percent, meanwhile, are prepared to spend the same year over year. More

Foreign oil firms slash activity in Iran's energy sector
Platts    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Foreign oil company activity in Iran has plunged in the past year, according to a U.S. congressional report this week which says that half of the 41 companies identified in a previous report in early 2010 had withdrawn or were in the process of withdrawing from commercial activity in Iran. More



PepsiCo looks at molded cellulose fiber for sustainable packaging
Packaging Digest    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
PepsiCo, the world's second largest food and beverage company, is working with Pakit Inc. to develop new sustainable packaging. Over the past 10 years, Pakit has developed commercial capabilities of its technology that can turn cellulose fiber into recyclable and biodegradable molded board to replace the plastic and foam packaging currently used in packaging. Molded board is also thinner and offers a smooth exterior surface, significantly improving logo and advertising print quality compared to other sustainable competitors, according to Pakit. More


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