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Plastic Materials and Processing Advancing Wind Energy
By Don Rosato
The vast majority of the total tonnage used in wind turbine blade manufacturing are glass fiber and thermoset (primarily epoxy and vinyl ester) resins. Let's take a look at new wind energy resin/fiber material, processing and testing advances. The increasing size of wind turbine blades poses a big challenge to designers and engineers to design lightweight structures that meet the requirements in terms of stiffness and, predominantly, fatigue.
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Properties of Polyamide-6/Cellulose Composites Enhanced by Lignin-Containing Fibers
SPE Plastics Research Online
The mechanical properties and stability of cellulose-fiber-reinforced polyamide-6 can be improved by carefully controlling processing properties, employing a lubricant, and using high-lignin-content fibers. Despite interest in natural-fiber-reinforced composites from both academia and industry, polyamide-6 (PA-6) composites that employ vegetable fibers as reinforcement are scarcely reported in the literature. However, previous work has highlighted the challenge in reconciling the PA-6 processing temperature with the fiber-degradation temperature.
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Date Event More Information
Aug. 31-Sept. 2 SPE Thermoforming Conference® 2015 Information
Sept. 8-11 Foams 2015 and Tutorial Registration
Sept. 9-11 SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition Registration
Sept. 15-17 Plastics Caps & Closures: The Innovation End Game Registration
Oct. 4-6 CAD RETEC 2015 Information
Oct. 4-7 Automotive TPO Conference 2015 Information
Oct. 12-14 Blow Molding Conference 2015 Information
Oct. 13-15 Vinyltec 2015 "Enabling Technologies for the Future in the PVC Industry" Information
Oct. 25-28 FlexPackCon 2015 Registration
Oct. 28-30 GPS2015: The Global Plastics Summit Information



Dow Chemical Tops Profit Forecasts as Plastics Set Record
Dow Chemical Co., the largest U.S. chemical maker by revenue, reported second-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates as the plastics business posted record profit on lower costs for oil and natural gas. Net income rose to 97 cents a share from 73 cents a year earlier, Midland, Michigan-based Dow said Thursday in a statement.
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Hybrid Nano-Photocatalyst Breaks Down BPA Using Visible Light
A research team has developed a new hybrid photocatalyst that utilizes visible light to break down BPAs. This catalyst could be used for safe disposal of BPAs and other similar materials, and for treating water supplies. In the 1950s, scientists discovered that polycarbonate plastic could be made using BPA. This material is hard, transparent and durable, and has been used in a wide range of applications, including medical devices and water bottles.
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Perfect Source for Plastics Additives

Palmer Holland is proud to partner with many of the world’s most respected manufacturers in the plastics industry including 3M, Arkema, Baerlocher, BYK, Clariant, Focus Chemical, Ineos, Kolon, Kronos, Lanxess, Orion, Qualice, Rhein Chemie, Sudarshan, Tor Minerals, Toyal, Vertellus and Zochem.

P&G to Make 230 Million Bottles a Year From Recycled Plastic
Packaging News
Procter & Gamble Fabric Care has launched a new environmental initiative which will see 230 million bottles made out of "Post Consumer Recyclate" recycled packaging. The FMCG giant said the 230 million bottles are equivalent to the distance from the North Pole to the South Pole if all of the bottles were laid end-to-end. The first P&G Fabric Care bottles impacted by this announcement are expected to be on sale in retailers in the first half of 2016.
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New French Law Helps Bioplastics Market
Plastics News
European Bioplastics, a trade group that represents the bioplastics industry, has welcomed new French laws created to support bio-based, compostable plastics to some packaging, such as fruit and vegetable bags. The French parliament recently adopted the law on energy transition and green growth proposed by Ségolène Royal, minister of ecology, sustainable development and energy.
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Creating New Polymers Using Green Chemistry Principles
Circulate News
Researchers from North Dakota State University have developed a new kind of plastic made from plant sugars that can be broken down with light and can be reused over and over again. The scientists are working with the new renewable biomass feedstock to create a polymer that might be a future replacement for current non-renewable sourced plastic polymers.
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A Group of Harvard Scientists Have Built a 3-D Printer That's Actually Useful
Despite all the fanfare, 3-D printing has yet to hit its stride. Up until now, its best uses have been in designing, prototyping, and making creepy copies of yourself. This tends to stem from the fact that you can generally only print with one material at a time, and in most cases, it’s faster to use traditional manufacturing methods than 3-D printing. But Voxel8 wants to change that: Its printer can print circuits right into other objects.
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Solar Car Gets Carbon Fiber Treatment
Plastics Today
Teijin Group companies Toho Tenax and GH Craft Ltd. are supporting Japanese institution Kogakuin University in developing an advanced solar-powered car fabricated using carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. The vehicle will be entered in Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, the world's biggest solar car race, which will take place in Australia from Oct. 18 to 25.
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Synthetic Substrate May Lead to Rise of Stem Cell Factories
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
Scientists at the University of Nottingham say they have discovered the first fully synthetic substrate with potential to grow billions of stem cells. Their study (“Discovery of a Novel Polymer for Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Expansion and Multilineage Differentiation”), published in Advanced Materials, could forge the way for the creation of stem cell factories, i.e., the mass production of human embryonic (pluripotent) stem cells. The material could provide an off-the-shelf product for clinical use in the treatment of the heart, liver, and brain, according to the scientists.
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3-D Printed Smart Cap Can Detect Spoiled Food Via Embedded Sensors
3-D printing has come a long way in the last few years, but most of the items produced by 3-D printers are all plastic. Printing electrical components would allow these machines to be much more useful, and a team at UC Berkeley might have a solution. To test this circuit printing system, the team created a smart cap that can detect food spoilage with the aid of 3-D printed embedded sensors.
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Plastic Packaging Market To Reach $370 Billion by 2020
Plastics Today
According to a recent report from Transparency Market Research, the global plastic packaging market was valued at nearly $260 billion in 2013 and is expected to reach a little more than $370 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 5.2 percent over the forecast period between 2014 and 2020. In terms of volume, the plastic packaging market was worth 78,400.2 kilo tons in 2013.
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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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