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Home   Membership   Technical Resources   Events   Technical Groups   Online Store July 14, 2010

US manufacturing grows for 11th consecutive month
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The U.S. manufacturing industry expanded for the 11th straight month in June, although most key indicators for the sector are experiencing a slowdown in the rate of growth following a recent surge. The United States economy continued to rebound from the downturn in June, posting overall gains despite a still-struggling employment market. Growth in the manufacturing sector reflected these wider economic trends, also expanding in June, though the rate of growth in most key indicators was slower than in recent months. More

Conjugated Polymer Photovoltaic Solar Cells: Manufacturing and Increased Performance
Plastics Engineering Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ever since the silicon cell was developed in the 1940s, it has been the standard. In the following decade, impurities were placed in the silicon, creating positivehole-donor and electron-acceptor regions, and the modern solar cell was made. Yet despite 50 years of development, silicon solar cells cannot match the cost of non-renewable energy sources (such as coal and oil). In the late 1970s, the U.S. government gave subsidies for renewable energy, yet even today, solar energy cannot compete with on-renewables without these subsidies. More

SPE's ANTEC® Call for Papers
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ANTEC® 2011 will be held in Boston (site of ANTEC 1995 and 2005) on May 1-5, 2011. Read the Call for Papers.

An early abstract is not required; the deadline for both abstract and paper is November 19.

SPE's e-Live® Webinars
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Do you have an idea for an e-Live Webinar for SPE's e-Learning Center? If you would like to present a webinar, please contact Elizabeth Reagan at or +1 203-253-1368.

Visit for more information.

Eight days that could change the course of BPA regulation in the US
Plastics Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Over an eight-day stretch in late June and early July, bisphenol A (BPA) was dealt two potentially devastating legislative blows by California and New York, as opponents of the chemical who have grown impatient with federal regulators took matters into their own hands. The first strike against BPA came on June 23, when the Senate and Assembly houses of the New York State Legislature voted unanimously to pass a bill ending the sale of pacifiers, baby bottles, cups/sippy cups, and straws containing BPA, effective Dec. 1. More

European bodies speak out over materials price threat to converters
Packaging News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Two more European packaging associations have gone public over fears that raw materials pricing is damaging the converting sector, with one saying that buyers were "losing patience" with the situation. The European Tube Manufacturers Association (Etma) and German plastic packaging federation IK have both warned that the current high raw materials prices are threatening the businesses of converters despite an otherwise buoyant business climate. More

SIGMASOFT the comprehensive easy-to-use polymer system simulation software

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Global medical plastics market to exceed 10 billion pounds by 2015
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Plastics currently form one of the most important components of the medical industry. Medical device designers and engineers increasingly prefer plastics to conventional packaging materials such as metals owing to superior flexibility offered by plastics in fabrication process. Advancements in sterilization techniques, shift towards disposable devices, development of enhanced plastic materials, and technological innovations are factors driving the overall market growth and expansion. The development of novel materials such as biocompatible polymers for use in medical implants will furthermore provide the required impetus for the global medical plastics market. More

Robustness of switchover methods for injection molding
SPE Plastics Research Online    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Injection-molding processes typically use a velocity-controlled filling stage followed by a pressure-controlled packing stage, with a switchover between the two stages determined by different sensed process conditions. The quality and consistency of the molded products is largely related to the capability of the molding machine to completely fill the mold cavity with polymer resin, and subsequently pressurize the cavity to compensate for volumetric shrinkage of the polymer as it cools. If too low a volume is injected prior to switchover, the cavity may experience a decrease in melt pressure as the material decompresses. More

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Plastic doesn't grow on trees, but it grows in grass now
TechNewsDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the help of genetically engineered microbes, scientists have created plants that can churn out "green" plastic that might someday replace the petroleum-based kinds used in everything from ballpoint pens to disposable food containers. Metabolix, a Massachusetts-based biotech company, is using this process to make polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) – a biodegradable polymer similar to polypropylene (found in yogurt containers) – inside the stems and leaves of switchgrass, oilseed and sugarcane crops. More

PLA injection molding breakthrough
Plastics Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The problems with injection molding conventional PLA are well known, not least of which are its low heat resistance and limited injection-molding capability because of PLA's increased cycle time. Teijin and Panasonic Electric Works announced their joint development of heat-resistant polylactide (PLA) molding compound made from 80 percent plant-based renewable feedstock and providing significantly reduced molding cycle time of around half that of conventional PLA compounds. More

Chemical M&A rebound dogged by high valuations, UniCredit says
Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A rebound in mergers and acquisitions in the chemical industry is being slowed by the high price tags placed on assets by sellers, according to UniCredit analyst Andreas Heine. BASF SE's purchase of Cognis Holding GmbH for $3.9 billion and Bain Capital LLC's $1.63 billion takeover of Dow Chemical Co.'s styrene unit mark a pick-up in activity this year, yet pricing remains a constrain on deal-making, Heine said. More


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