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Legislation and performance requirements define electronic device trends
By Don Rosato
Manufacturers in the various electrical/electronic sectors can choose from an enormous and versatile range of plastics to meet every requirement. Depending on the electronic component or device, designers choose plastics for their rigidity or flexibility, toughness/durability, resistance to voltage and their electrical insulation or conductive qualities. Depending on their targeted application or operating environment, the plastic material's mechanical properties, temperature/chemical resistance and flame-retardant properties must also be considered. As a result, the E/E sector is a significant consumer of engineering and high-performance specialty polymers.
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SPE HIGHLIGHTS


Bioplasticized poly(vinyl chloride)
SPE Plastics Research Online
Poly(vinyl chloride) is a widely used polymer with applications ranging from pipes and bank cards to inflatables and imitation leather. For flexible applications, PVC must be plasticized, which is usually accomplished with petroleum-derived plasticizers. However, environmental and health concerns linked to phthalate plasticizers have led to a growing trend of greater use of sustainable and phthalate-free plasticizers derived from renewable resources.
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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 13-15 Polymer Nanocomposites 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


Industry salaries see a big boost
Plastics Engineering
The across-the-board strength in the plastics industry has pushed average pay for workers to record highs. Average base salaries in the plastics industry surpassed $100,000 for the first time in 2013. Average total cash compensation jumped 11 percent to more than $122,000, and compensation is expected to increase again this year, according to the 2014 Plastics Salary and Trends survey of more than 1,200 plastics professionals, conducted by the Society of Plastics Engineers and Gros Executive Recruiters.
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Report predicts growth for flexible packaging
Plastics News
Flexible packaging in the United States grew in 2013 and is expected to continue to grow in 2014, according to a new report by the Flexible Packaging Association. The industry grew by 2.8 percent in 2013 to become a $27.2 billion industry, and 2014's forecasted growth is expected to be 3.8 percent, the Linthicum, Maryland-based trade group said. That would bring revenue to $28.2 billion for 2014.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  New! Tips for Modifying Plug Assists
[Registration required]

Temperature, substrate, surface finish, motion, dust and many other factors affect the plug/sheet interface. HYTAC® materials should be polished to a smooth surface finish condition for optimal performance. CMT Materials has produced a new guide that answers the what, when and how of modifying plug assists for thermoforming. Click to download.
 



Plastic from rice waste? A biodegradable option
Nature World News
Researchers at the Italian Institute of Technology claim to have developed an inexpensive and eco-friendly bio-plastic that degrades at a more acceptable rate, compared to traditional plastics. The plastic, they say, is made from vegetable waste and the byproducts of rice and cocoa production, meaning that it will place no new demand on the Earth as well.
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Plastics in the driver's seat
Plastics Engineering
Seating and related components (such as headrests, armrests and consoles) are at the center of a surge in design and engineering that's yielding sophisticated construction concepts and advances in materials and formulations. Designers, for example, increasingly use multiple foam densities in seat construction to achieve various properties, from improvements in comfort and support to vibration damping, smaller seat mass, and, in some cases, lower weight.
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Legislation and performance requirements define electronic device trends
By Don Rosato
Manufacturers in the various electrical/electronic sectors can choose from an enormous and versatile range of plastics to meet every requirement. Depending on the electronic component or device, designers choose plastics for their rigidity or flexibility, toughness/durability, resistance to voltage and their electrical insulation or conductive qualities.

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Andrew Peller expands skinnygrape wine brand to 330ml PET bottles for new spritzers
Amcor Rigid Plastics
Andrew Peller Limited has introduced skinnygrape spritzers, a popular low-calorie spritzer in a sleek-looking premium 330ml barrier polyethylene terephthalate bottle from Amcor Rigid Plastics, the world's leading producer of PET packaging. The ready-to-drink premium PET container is light weight and shatter-resistant, enabling the spritzer brand to be enjoyed at backyard barbecues, picnics and other outdoor licensed venues.

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3-D printing and additive manufacturing glossary
By Renee Eaton
3-D printing is currently a hot topic. It's a rapidly growing field and is expected to dramatically affect the way things are made in the near future. Some experts think it will help reinvigorate American manufacturing, while others believe it will democratize productions of goods and that every house will have its own 3-D printer. Whatever the future holds, here is a brief glossary of terms that will help you navigate the world of additive manufacturing.

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Polyurethane: Promising for spinal devices? — 4 observations
Becker's Healthcare
An article published in The Spine Journal examines polyurethane materials use in spine surgery. The study authors conducted a systematic review of information from all sources concerning polyurethane use in spine devices, including literature and information from the Food and Drug Administration website.
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BMW closes the carbon fiber loop
Plastics News
BMW's extensive use of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic in its i-series vehicles has prompted the development of ways to recycle unused material. BMW's all-electric i3 and the hybrid i8 represent the first mass-production vehicles with carbon fiber-intensive construction. As the market for carbon fiber grows, so does a need to cut costs, including reclaiming and reusing leftover portions of the valuable material.
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Peking University implants 1st 3-D printed vertebra
Forbes
Doctors at Peking University have successfully implanted the first 3-D printed vertebrae in a young patient. The patient, a 12-year-old boy, had a malignant tumor in his spinal cord. After hours of specialized spinal cord surgery, doctors replaced a section of cancerous vertebra in his neck with the 3-D printed piece.
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PEEK Performance, Insulation for Wires
PEEK Insulated Wire excels in the most challenging, high temperature environments as a magnet or winding wire. What’s your material solution? Discover it at Zeus. MORE
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Driven by demand for PLA, the future for lactic acid looks great
Plastics Today
According to the recent study,"Lactic Acid Market by Application and Polylactic Acid Market by Application and Geography - Global Trends and Forecasts to 2019," the market for lactic acid is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 18.8 percent from 2014 to reach $3,577.5 million by 2019. Lactic acid is increasingly finding use in various industrial applications such as in biodegradable polymers, food and beverages, personal care products and the pharmaceutical industry. In 2013, biodegradable polymers formed the largest application for lactic acid, followed by food and beverages.
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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


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Automakers look under the hood for the next lightweighting opportunities
Plastics News
The automotive industry's current favorite target for lightweighting efforts is the powertrain, according to a recent survey. The survey of 880 automotive insiders, from DuPont Co. and WardsAuto, was released during the Center for Automotive Research's Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Michigan. Twenty-four percent of respondents said the engine and transmission are their primary targets for lightweighting, followed by chassis at 12 percent and body-in-white at 11 percent. Body panels tied with electrical and accessories at 9 percent.
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Researchers create custom medical implant beads using consumer-grade 3-D printers
AZoM.com
Advancements in medical implants have often looked to material science for more robust solutions. Now a team from Louisiana Tech University has developed a novel technique for creating custom medical implants using 3-D printers. These implants can be loaded with medicinal compounds or antibiotics to enable targeted drug delivery.
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Researchers make case for using more plastic in acupuncture
Plastics Today
Researchers in Australia have published a paper recommending that the ancient practice of acupuncture could also benefit from a more widespread use of plastics. Specifically, they make the case that replacing the copper coil handles in disposable acupuncture needles with plastic ones would prevent needles from buckling and be more environmentally friendly.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
 
Seeking Project Engineers with Competitive Spirit

The project engineer at Tech Molded Plastics, Inc. in Meadville, Pennsylvania will manage operational efficiency, successful production launches, quality improvements, and more with a team of certified Master Molders. Plastics engineering degree preferred. Negotiable salary depending on experience. Find more information online at www.ttmp.com/employment, or apply directly to:BeTheBest@ttmp.com.
 



Stefano Farris: Food packaging chemistry
Royal Society of Chemistry
Stefano Farris is an assistant professor in the department of food, environmental and nutritional sciences at the University of Milan, Italy. His research group designs and develops high-performance materials. Currently, they are researching how to develop new materials for food packaging applications, particularly in the form of coatings to improve and enhance plastic substrates.
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The fluorescent fingerprint of plastics
Phys.org
Researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München have developed a new process which will greatly simplify the process of sorting plastics in recycling plants. The method enables automated identification of polymers, facilitating rapid separation of plastics for re-use. A team of researchers led by Professor Heinz Langhals of LMU's Department of Chemistry has taken a significant step which promises to markedly expedite the recycling of plastic waste.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Researchers discover a way to cause surface coating properties to change in less than a second (Phys.org)
Synthesis and properties of polystyrene/silicon dioxide nanocomposites (SPE Plastics Research Online)
New regulations favor plastic manufacturers (Plastics News)
J Group Robotics plans to 3-D print ingestible medical pills (3DPrint.com)
This sponge-like polymer could fix facial deformities (WIRED)

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    SPE Industry Update
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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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