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Practical applications for 3-D printing
By Nick Merrill
Recently, NASA announced a plan to install a 3-D printer on the International Space Station. This will be a huge boon for astronauts, who would no longer have to wait for a resupply shuttle to bring critical replacement parts. While this is certainly a high-profile use for 3-D printing in remote areas, there are many remote locations on Earth where having an on-site printer could prove invaluable.
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SPE HIGHLIGHTS

Controlling diameter of fibers for antibacterial dressings
SPE Plastics Research Online
Recently, great progress has been made not only in the preparation and characterization of nanomaterials, but also in their applications as functional materials. Among nanomaterials, nanofibers have a large surface to volume ratio and are of particular interest. As nonwoven mats, nanofibers display high porosity, large absorption capacity, excellent gas transport, and good mechanical flexibility. These properties render such mats particularly suitable for certain biomedical applications, such as wound dressings.
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    CALENDAR OF EVENTS

    Date Event More Information
    Dec. 11 SPE China Plastics Conference — Injection Molding 2013 Register
    Dec. 12 SPE China Plastics Conference — Medical Devices & Packaging 2013 Register
    Jan. 21-22 ANTEC® Dubai 2014 Register
    Feb. 23-26 2014 SPE International Polyolefins Conference Register
    Feb. 24-26 SPE Thermoset Conference 2014 Register
    April 3-4 9th European Thermoforming Conference Information
    April 28-30 ANTEC® 2014 Register
    May 31 Plastics & Polymers Innovation Awards Information
    June 1-4 Rotational Molding Conference 2014 Information


    PLASTICS INDUSTRY NEWS

    Growth slows sharply for China's plastics processors
    Plastics News
    Rising costs and economic challenges caused China's plastics processing industry to see its growth slow to about 5 percent in the first nine months of the year, prompting the head of the country's largest plastics association to make a forceful call for companies to innovate and adopt new technology.
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      New Metric Machining Guidelines for Syntactic Foam
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    Healthy yet busy lifestyles influence produce packaging trends
    Plastics Engineering
    U.S. demand for produce packaging is forecast to increase 3.3 percent per year to $5.7 billion in 2017. Growth will outpace expected expansion in fresh produce production, reflecting the import
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    Practical applications for 3-D printing
    By Nick Merrill
    Recently, NASA announced a plan to install a 3-D printer on the International Space Station. This will be a huge boon for astronauts, who would no longer have to wait for a resupply shuttle to bring critical replacement parts.

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    Plastic tanks catch on in wine industry
    The Press Democrat
    Like many winemakers, Mitch Black scrambled to find a place to store his wine last year when the largest grape crop in California history unleashed a flood of wine.

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    Engineering plastics get tough, lightweight
    Design News
    Engineering plastics continue to be designed into more and more parts and components for a broad variety of applications. Their versatility, durability, light weight and easy customization make them appealing to engineers for solving design problems in a number of industries,...

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    Are 3-D printed molds ready for prime time?
    Plastics Today
    With the additive manufacturing or 3-D printing process, there's almost nothing that can't be printed from human ears to end-use aircraft components thanks to an ever increasing range of materials, both polymers and metals. So what's been holding back the 3-D printing of molds cores and cavities?
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    Shale gas expected to bring gains to plastics market
    Plastics News
    Shale resources are allowing Rextac to add almost 600 million pounds of polypropylene capacity in Odessa, Texas, by re-opening a new line and building a new one. Auto market growth is prompting Advanced Composites to add almost 75 million pounds of PP compounding capacity at sites in Ohio and Mexico.
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    Food waste raises issues for packaging sector
    European Plastics News
    Food waste is a huge problem in Europe and the rest of the world. The issue is an important one for the plastics industry, providing both challenges and opportunities. Plastics packaging can make an important contribution to reducing food waste with its ability to protect goods in transit and extend their usable life in a consumer's home.
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    US plastic bottle recycling up 6.2 percent in 2012
    Plastics News
    Plastic bottle recycling increased by more than 6 percent last year even as the amount of resin used to make those bottles remained essentially steady compared to the previous year. With a jump of 161 million pounds, plastic bottle recycling hit 2.8 billion pounds in 2012 compared with 2011, an increase of 6.2 percent. That translates into an additional one-half pound of plastic bottle recycling for each of the 317 million people in the country.
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  • Downed goose given costly plastic bill
    Plastics & Rubber Weekly
    Tilly the goose, who lost part of his beak on barbed wire, has been fitted with a plastic prosthetic by a local dentist in his home town of Ilkley. The unfortunate bird was given a general anaesthetic before a silicone impression was made of his damaged bill by dentist Chris Siddons. He then cast an acrylic implant that was fitted into place with orthopaedic screws.
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    Bayer to Lanxess plastic creations fail to rescue industry
    Bloomberg Businessweek
    Plastics makers such as Bayer AG and Lanxess AG have created everything from a plastic saxophone that can be played in live concerts to Harley Davidson engine parts made entirely of the synthetic material.
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      FEATURED COMPANIES
    MECO® Seals produce more profit
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    Report: Tooling capacity inadequate to support projected auto launch demand
    Canadian Plastics
    There will be a vendor tooling capacity constraint within the North American automotive industry by 2018, according to a new report by research firm Harbour Results Inc. In approximately five years, the required capacity of the vendor tooling industry will reach $15.2 billion, with available current supply of only $9.25 billion, according to the study, which gathered information from 10 OEMs, nearly 50 major Tier 1 suppliers, and more than 50 global tooling suppliers.
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    PRODUCT SHOWCASE
     
    Omya North America

    Omya is a global producer of calcium carbonate mineral additives for the plastics industry, as well as a distributor of specialty chemicals and additives such as pigments, flame retardants, process aids, plasticizers, slip agents, glass fiber and catalysts. Omya is able to offer complete raw material solutions as well as technical service to the thermoplastics, thermosets and rubber industries. Contact us at omya.ram.sales@omya.com
     



    Polymers disrupt bacterial communication
    Phys.Org
    Artificial materials based on simple synthetic polymers can disrupt the way in which bacteria communicate with each other, a study led by scientists at The University of Nottingham has shown.
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    Insomniac algae more productive for bioplastics, beyond
    The Conversation
    Algae can produce up to 700 percent more compounds when tricked to stay awake, according to new research conducted by Vanderbilt University. The compounds can be used to produce anti-cancer drugs and cosmetics, to bioplastics, biofuels, and neutraceuticals, and the increase in bioclock technology over the last ten years could reap significant economic benefits.
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    TRENDING ARTICLES
    Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        Plastic bag charge or ban 'could cut use in Europe by 80 percent' (The Guardian)
    FTC cracks down on biodegradability claims (Plastics News)
    Our future with 3-D printers: 7 disrupted industries (Forbes)
    Rheology and crystallization of polyethylene/organoclay nanocomposite films (SPE Plastics Research Online)
    Fabricated green building products rapidly advancing (By Don Rosato)

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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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