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Mechanisms in post-condensation polymerization in the solid state
By Dr. Girish Bhatt
Condensation polymers with high molecular weight, such as polyesters and polyamides, are usually produced by a combination of melt polymerization and solid-state polymerization processes. Polyester prepolymers with relatively low molecular weight — evidenced by a relatively low intrinsic viscosity, or IV — are produced in a melt polymerization process as first described by Whinfield and Dickson in 1949.
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SPE to honor achievements of 4 industry leaders at ANTEC® 2013
Four distinguished individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the plastics industry will be honored by the Society of Plastics Engineers at ANTEC® 2013. The honors will be presented to the four individuals as part of the Society's Annual Awards Program at the SPE Celebrates Banquet on April 21.
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Improving the performance of maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene composites
SPE Plastics Research Online
Nowadays, roughly 50 percent of all manufactured polymer products contain fillers to achieve desired properties. Adding fillers to plastics is an inexpensive way of modifying the properties of the base materials. However, due to its nonpolar chemical structure, PP combines poorly with typical polar fillers such as CaCO3. Consequently, a variety of surface modifiers, such as maleic anhydride-grafted PP and titanate coupling agents are frequently added to PP/CaCO3 composites.
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Date Event More Information
April 22-24 SPE ANTEC 2013 Register
April 30 SPE AutoEPCON Register
May 13-15 Plastics in Medical Devices 2013 Register
June 4-5 Workforce Solutions West 2013 Register
July 4-5 SPE Eurotec 2013
Sept. 9-12 SPE Thermoforming 2013 Conference Information
Sept. 11-13 SPE ACCE Register
Sept. 17-18 Plastics Caps & Closures 2013 Register
Oct. 6-9 SPE Auto TPO Register
Oct. 8-10 SPE FlexPackCon 2013 Register
Oct. 21 SPE Vinyltec® 2013 Conference Register
Nov. 6 SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Gala Information
Nov. 12-14 Plastics In Building Innovation Information

French designer unveils a stingray-thin plastic sofa
Fast Co.Design
Philippe Starck is going back to his injection molded roots this spring, unveiling a new Kartell line that pushes the technology to new limits. The sculptural Aunts and Uncles collection is made from an incredibly thin and strong plastic polycarbonate.

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How the US oil, gas boom could shake up global order
NBC News
A dramatic shift is occurring in how energy is being produced and consumed around the world — one that could lead to far-reaching changes in the geopolitical order. But many experts say the U.S. would be the big winner, in position to reshape its foreign policy and boost its global influence.

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India prepares to introduce plastic banknotes
Deutsche Welle
India has decided to trial the use of plastic notes across five of the country's cities. It is part of a move, experts say, aimed at reducing costs, increasing the life of notes and combating counterfeit currency.

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Looking to share your plastics expertise?
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.
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Foodservice packaging industry forecasts growth
Plastics Today
Even though one of the hot button issues for food service single-use packaging is the proposed polystyrene ban in New York City, suppliers of foodservice packaging are optimistic about the year ahead. The Foodservice Packaging Institute found that, generally speaking, a strengthening economy and less volatile input pricing could result in a positive year for the food service packaging industries in North America and Europe.
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Is there a manufacturing renaissance or not?
The growth in manufacturing has prompted some to proclaim a manufacturing renaissance in the United States. President Barack Obama then fanned hopes in his 2012 State of the Union speech when he called manufacturing the foundation of an economy built to last. Is the renaissance actually underway? On March 22, Jan Hatzius, an economist with Goldman Sachs, said the evidence for a manufacturing renaissance was "scant so far."
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword MANUFACTURING.

Microsoft working with suppliers on designs for touch-enabled watch
The Wall Street Journal
Earlier this year, Microsoft asked suppliers in Asia to ship components for a potential watch-style device, the executives said. One executive said he met with Microsoft's research and development team at the software company's Redmond, Wash., headquarters. But it's unclear whether Microsoft will opt to move ahead with the watch, they said.
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  • How 'Made in the USA' is making a comeback
    The U.S. economy continues to struggle, and the weak March jobs report — just 88,000 positions were added — briefly spooked the market. But step back and you'll see a bright spot, perhaps the best economic news the U.S. has witnessed since the rise of Silicon Valley: Made in the USA is making a comeback. Climbing out of the recession, the U.S. has seen its manufacturing growth outpace that of other advanced nations, with some 500,000 jobs created in the past three years.
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    Cheap, abundant waste sulfur made into new polymer for plastics, batteries
    Daily Tech
    University of Arizona biochemistry/chemistry professor Jeffrey Pyun and his doctoral student Jared Griebel have published an intriguing study, offering up a new sulfur-based polymer which transforms cheap, abundant waste sulfur — the kind that's filtered out of burnt fossil fuel exhaust to prevent acid rain pollution — into a polymer.
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    California proposal would make all fast food packaging recyclable
    Oregon Public Broadcasting
    A bill in the California Legislature would require fast food chains to use all compostable or recyclable packaging — and to make sure a good portion of that packaging is actually diverted from landfills and storm drains. It's called the Fast Food Packaging and Marine Pollution Reduction Act. The bill would require fast food chains with 20 locations or more to use packaging materials that can be recycled or composted in each store's local jurisdiction.
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    New Balance testing 3-D printing to create custom-fit footwear
    The Boston Globe
    VideoBriefHaving trouble finding a running shoe that fits just right? That may not be a problem for much longer. If experiments underway at New Balance are borne out, within a few years customers may be able to go a store to have key portions of a shoe custom-made to provide optimal fit and support based on their individual biomechanics, such as how their foot strikes the ground.
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    Risk-averse suppliers become bottlenecks, pinch automakers
    Plastics News
    As automakers in North America crank up production, suppliers that chopped capacity during the recession have become a critical bottleneck. Automakers and suppliers are suffering glitches in many different areas, and the recession is to blame. Scores of suppliers landed in bankruptcy court, closed plants or cut capacity to stay afloat. Now, as production orders rebound, many suppliers are reluctant to splurge on plant expansions.
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    Sabic copolymers could help airplanes meet weight regulations
    Plastics Today
    Sabic Innovative Plastics unveiled two new grades of Lexan CFR polycarbonate copolymers that will help aircraft OEMs, designers and manufacturers realize new weight-out strategies while meeting the industry's strict regulatory demands. The PC copolymers give customers the ability to mold or extrude parts with very thin walls — down to 1.5 mm — while complying with leading flame, smoke and toxicity standards with halogen-free flame retardant technology to support sustainability.
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    Highland Plastics to use Cardia's biohybrid resins
    Environmental Leader
    Highland Plastics, manufacturer of injection molded food-grade plastic packaging, will offer packaging products that use Cardia Biohybrid resin technology that can increase packaging's renewable content by up to 50 percent, Cardia says. The company's resins are adaptable to a broad range of packaging applications, including flexible film, injection molding, blow molding, foam, extrusion and coatings.
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    Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        Automotive lightweighting applications: The road ahead (MultiBriefs)
    Myths of post-industrial America (The Washington Post)
    Seattle Mariners' innovative packaging hitting home runs (Plastics Today)
    How Ford uses 3-D printing (Plastics News)
    Tritan finds new application in IPG medical technology (Plastics News)

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

    Extracting valuable resources from waste to make new bioplastics
    CORDIS via PhysOrg
    Municipal solid waste, agricultural residues and sewage sludge from water treatment plants contain a lot of reusable carbon. Recovering this carbon not only helps to preserve the environment but also extracts a valuable product which can be used for making commercially viable materials such as bio-based plastics and polymers.
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    Zotefoams launches packaging grade foam
    Plastics & Rubber Weekly
    Zotefoams has developed PackaZote, a foam grade which the company says has "excellent properties to make it an economical choice for the packaging market." Zotefoams' venture into the economic packaging foam market has prompted industry interest as, according to the company, it "fills a gap in the market with a product that can fulfill its application need while offering converter properties including isotropic behavior, purity, lighter density and fewer laminations."
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