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Automotive lightweighting trend here to stay
By Don Rosato
According to the authoritative BCC report "Lightweight Materials in Transportation," the global market value for lightweight materials used in the transportation industry will reach nearly $153 billion in 2017, up from an estimated $106 billion in 2011, for a five-year compound annual growth rate of 7.5 percent. Transportation manufacturers and suppliers want to achieve vehicle lightweighting goals without loss of performance or aesthetics. The drive for lightweighting results in materials technology increasingly being considered as part of the initial design. This is the first of a four-part series to include automotive lightweighting material advances, process technologies and applications.
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High-shear-rate capillary rheology of polystyrene melt
SPE Plastics Research Online
Capillary rheometers have been widely used to characterize the shear viscosity of polymers as a function of shear rate. However, under high shear rates, the increasing influences of the end pressure loss, pressure dependence of the melt viscosity, dissipative heating and melt compressibility on the capillary flow may affect the reliability of the rheological measurements.
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Polypyrrole-platinum composite, a potential gas electrode material
SPE Plastics Research Online
Platinum is used as the inert electrode in electrochemical systems, especially in gas electrodes. Hydrogen electrodes require platinum as the solid support for the electrical contacts, and platinum is essential in electrochemical systems such as fuel cells, which involve the oxidation of hydrogen and reduction/reaction of hydrogen ions. The high cost and the large effective areas of platinum needed for efficient reactions have inspired the use of dispersed nanosized platinum particles on an inert support.
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Date Event More Information
March 3-6 Plastics News Executive Forum Register
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March 20-23 SPE GPEC Conference Register
April 22-24 SPE ANTEC 2013 Register
May 13-15 Plastics in Medical Devices 2013 Register
July 4-5 SPE Eurotec 2013
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Oct. 8-10 SPE FlexPackCon 2013 Information

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Is China the next rust belt?
According to a growing number of media and analyst reports, China's days as the world's largest manufacturing nation are already numbered — only two years after ending the United States' 110-year reign. Labor costs are on the rise, the demographic dividend is dissipating, and rising oil prices are making long-distance transportation costs to China's major export markets in the U.S. and Europe unsustainable. At the same time, U.S. firms are developing a new respect for the art of manufacturing.

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Plastic bulb development promises better quality light
BBC News
US researchers say they have developed a new type of lighting that could replace fluorescent bulbs. The new source is made from layers of plastic and is said to be more efficient while producing a better quality of flicker-free light. The new light source is called field-induced polymer electroluminescent technology. It is made from three layers of light-emitting polymers, each containing a small volume of nanomaterials that glow when electric current is passed through them.

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Why Pakistan's plastics ban may not benefit the environment
The Ecologist
Manufacturers of oxo-biodegradable plastics — the kind that Pakistan is now introducing for all disposable plastic products — claim the material initially breaks down into small pieces which eventually disappear when exposed to sunlight and oxygen over several months. But, when we look closer into how oxo-biodegradable plastics break down, it seems another story emerges.

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In an effort to enhance the overall content of the SPE Industry Update, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of SPE, your knowledge of the industry lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit and our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics and payment.
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Don’t just purge to purge, PURGE TO CLEAN using the original CLEAN PLAST™ purging compound. See the difference a CLEAN PLAST™ PURGE will make.
Non-Stock Screw Tips Shipped Fast!

EMI maintains a large, in-stock inventory of valves. But when you need a valve that isn’t in-stock—and need it fast—we offer Rush Service. MORE


Plastic bag restrictions proposed in Ukraine
Kyiv Post
A member of a Ukrainian Parliament faction has proposed that the Ukrainian parliament restrict the use of plastic bags and packages that have a long period of decay, beginning July 1. According to the proposal, the production, import, use and distribution of plastic bags at least 35 liters in volume and 0.025 millimeters thick would be banned.
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TV series to focus on sustainable packaging. Is there a catch?
Plastics Today
While some of Hollywood's best and brightest were out hobnobbing with other industry folks at the 2013 Academy Awards, it appears that actor Martin Sheen was focused on packaging. Sheen will feature sustainable packaging in an upcoming series to air on PBS that will look at various ways that companies save money and help the environment by reducing the amount of packaging on the goods and items they produce and sell.
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  • Study: Manufacturing jobs growing faster in Chicago than US
    Crain's Chicago Business
    The number of manufacturing jobs in the Chicago area grew faster during the past three years than in the nation overall, according to a new study by the University of Illinois at Chicago's Center for Urban Economic Development. From 2010 through the third quarter of 2012, manufacturing employment grew 5 percent in the metropolitan area compared with 4 percent nationally. During the previous decade, the country had lost manufacturing jobs.
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    Novomer develops PPC material from CO2
    The Energy Collective
    Novomer has developed polypropylene carbonate material made from carbon dioxide and propylene oxide, as well as polyethylene carbonate made from CO2 and ethylene oxide. The PPC polyol was produced at Albemarle's manufacturing facility in Orangeburg, S.C., using existing equipment that was modified for PPC polyol production. Novomer did not disclose the exact annual capacity of the manufacturing facility but according to the company, production from the Albemarle facility is already considered commercial scale for smaller volume polyol applications.
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    Potential sequester will have big effect on manufacturing, private sector
    Carroll County Times
    An October study estimates manufacturing will be hit the hardest in the private sector if Congress does not pass a sequester deal. The study found manufacturing will experience the largest job losses, due to the large number of manufacturing companies that supply goods such as defense equipment and aerospace vehicles to the Department of Defense. For contractors, it will lead to more diversified portfolios and less dependence on the federal government.
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    Graphene is highly efficient in converting light to electricity
    The Institute of Photonic Sciences via PhysOrg
    A new discovery demonstrates that graphene is able to convert a single photon that it absorbs into multiple electrons that could drive electric current — excited electrons — a very promising discovery that makes graphene an important alternative material for light detection and harvesting technologies, now based on conventional semiconductors like silicon.
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    New Syntactic Foam Machining Tools

    Reduced machining time and improved plug surface finish/performance may be obtained simply by using cutting tools designed to machine syntactic foam. CMT Materials, Inc. guidelines list and describe these tools, plus provide specific feed/speed rates for optimized machining in any machining center.
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    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
    Zeus Inc.

    Zeus Inc. provides Double Containment tubing in long continuous lengths, a wide array of standard and custom sizes, and options for material combination. Our Double Containment tubing exceeds the stringent requirements of the SEMI F57 specification and is a material of choice in semiconductor, critical fluid, and other industries.

    Nampak creates world's lightest 4-pint plastic milk bottle
    Packaging Europe
    Weighing in at just 32 grams, the bottle — which is currently undergoing trials with a number of Nampak's customers — represents a 20 percent material saving on the standard 4-pint version found in most supermarkets today. The breakthrough is the latest incarnation of Nampak's multi-award-winning Infini bottle, which claimed a coveted World Star prize earlier this year and the Best Dairy Packaging Innovation at the Global Dairy Congress in 2012.
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    Indorama, Alphapet plan to raise PET resin price 2 cents per pound
    Indorama Ventures USA and Alphapet intend to raise polyethylene terephthalate resin prices for March by 2 cents per pound, according to a pair of letters. Higher raw materials costs were cited as the reason for the increases. DAK Americas and Nan Ya Plastics also said higher feedstock prices were behind the March increases.
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    Goal is to boost manufacturing in Appalachian region of Ohio
    The Times-Reporter
    Manufacturing and assembly companies of all sizes in the Appalachian region are eligible for help in handling problems preventing them from reaching the next level of achievement. The Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth is partnering with Ohio Development Services Agency to provide Manufacturing Extension Partnership services in an effort to spark economic growth in the nearly 30 counties in the Appalachian region of Ohio.
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    Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        Why Pakistan's biodegradable plastics ban may not benefit the environment (The Ecologist)
    The role of carbon nanotubes in polymers: Now and the future (WNYC-FM)
    Pakistan to require all plastics be oxo-biodegradable (SPE Plastics Research Online)
    Sorry Mr. President, manufacturing will not save the US (The Atlantic Cities)
    In-tool polymerization realizes continuous fiber-reinforced composites (Plastics Today)

    Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

    Arburg develops injection molding machines tailored for packaging
    Plastics Today
    German injection molding machine manufacturer Arburg is targeting the packaging industry with new electric and hybrid Allrounder, Alldrive and Hidrive machines. Arburg says the two high-performance machine series offer high-productivity optimization for increased performance and reduced energy consumption. A spokesperson said its main focus within packaging is thin-wall containers, lids and closures.
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    Hemp legalization bills introduced to California legislature
    Raw Story
    Two California lawmakers introduced two bills, S.B. 566 and A.B. 1137, that would allow non-psychoactive variants of the marijuana plant to be cultivated for industrial purposes in state. The legislation notes that California already imports "tens of thousands of acres' worth of hemp seed, oil and fiber products that could be produced by California farmers at a more competitive price." The plant can be used to make a number of products, including foods, fabrics, textiles, papers, bioplastics and biofuels.
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    Engineered Thermoplastic Composites

    Complēt® is a "complete" product portfolio of thermoplastic composite materials, where the customers' requirements define the pellet composition. For thermoplastic polymers and continuous reinforcing fibers, Complēt offers the total LFT portfolio.
    MECO® Seals, produce more profit.

    MECO shaft seals are used worldwide in material processing applications. MECO can reduce wasted energy, materials, and environmental impact. Available fully split. Hands-on support available. MORE

    Crystalline polymer-based material play key role in engineering applications
    Chemistry World
    Chemists in Japan and Italy have created a polymer-based material that has a crystalline structure. The material, which achieves its crystallinity with crosslinks between its polymer chains, is expected to have a high mechanical strength that will lend itself well to engineering applications.
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    Nordson executives say Xaloy, EDI hit soft patch
    Plastics News
    A slower global economy has impacted the Xaloy and EDI screw and barrel and flat die businesses, according to Nordson executives, but they expect sales to improve. Gregory Thaxton, chief financial officer, reported softness in plastics processing and consumer durable goods endmarkets. Citing a seasonal impact, he said the first quarter tends to be the weakest at Xaloy and EDI, as well as Nordson's existing, legacy businesses.
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    3-D printing for the masses with 3Doodler pen
    With a 3mm nozzle, the 3Doodler can use off-the-shelf filament; and variable temperature settings will allow you to use both PLA and ABS plastic. It's not a child's toy, since the nozzle can reach temperatures of 270 degrees Celsius. But because it requires only a power outlet and has no need for a computer, or even an SD card with design files on it, the 3Doodler should introduce a new level of accessibility and ease of use for those interested in experimenting with 3-D printing.
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    Pillar Technologies

    Pillar Technologies leads the industry in new product development for the packaging, converting and plastic film-printing marketplace. As a division of ITW, our company has access to literally hundreds of products manufactured by over 600 business units within the family. MORE
    Organic Peroxides

    With a passion for free radical chemistry.
    AkzoNobel is the world's number one in organic peroxides. We are home to the best known brands in the world. MORE

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