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Home   Membership   Technical Resources   Events   Technical Groups   Online Store September 30, 2015

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What is the True State of Manufacturing in the United States?
By Alan Kelsky
Experts in manufacturing hold differing opinions about how well the sector is doing since the Great Recession. In fact, the same sources tend to be schizophrenic about the manufacturing sector's progress. For example, CNBC ran a recent story entitled, "Is there a renaissance in US manufacturing? Numbers don't add up." Two weeks later, CNBC reported a different story — "The manufacturing renaissance in America's heartland." So, are you as confused as I am?
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New Impact-Modified Polycarbonate/Polyester Blends
SPE Plastics Research Online
Polycarbonate (PC) materials are a group of thermoplastic polymers that contain carbonate groups. PC materials generally have good impact strengths, as well as high levels of optical transparency and heat resistance. PC substances, however, do have several deficiencies. For example, PC has a relatively limited range of chemical resistance, and the high melt viscosities of PC make it difficult to mold. Furthermore, PC formulations that contain visual-effect additives (e.g., metallic pigments or mineral flakes) are often — even at room temperature — very brittle.
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Date Event More Information
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" Registration
Oct. 25-28 FlexPackCon 2015 Registration
Oct. 28-30 GPS2015: The Global Plastics Summit Information
Nov. 4 Injection Molding Series Information
Nov. 4-5 Single-Screw Analysis & Trouble Shooting Registration
Nov. 11 SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Competition & Gala Registration
Nov. 18 Injection Molding Series Information
Nov. 20 2015 SPE-Asean Annual Seminar Registration



Failure Analysis of a Glass-Filled Phenolic Resin Power-Steering Pump Pulley
Plastics Engineering
The authors investigated the fracture of a power-steering pump pulley associated with a fatal accident involving an automobile. The pulley, is made of a mineral- and glass fiber-filled phenolic thermoset resin (Bakelite). The pulley is mounted onto a triangular steel plate with a center boss that is then mounted onto the shaft of the power-steering pump.
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Innovations and Trends in Plastic Food Packaging
Area Development
Applications for food and beverage packaging are one of the largest uses of plastics globally and are expected to grow. In fact, demand for rigid plastic food containers is forecast to advance 5 percent annually to $5.4 billion in 2017, representing 118 billion units. According to the Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry market research firm, growth in rigid plastic container demand will outpace the overall food container average based on its advantages over glass, metal, and paperboard alternatives.
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After Surviving Price Drops, Resin Distributors See Large Volumes
Plastics News
Sales of some commodity resins to distribution channels outpaced overall market growth in the first seven months of 2014 — and distribution executives see that trend continuing through the rest of the year and on into 2016. “We’re still very bullish, regardless of what’s gone on recently in the stock market and with China,” said Ed Holland, president and CEO of commodity and engineering resins distributor M. Holland Co. “We’re going gangbusters and aggressively going after high growth. Our growth has been very broad-based.”
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New DuPont MCM inks expand polymer options for printed electronics
Plastics Today
DuPont Microcircuit Materials has developed new electronic inks that are designed to overcome the limitations of traditional printing of electronics on polymer substrates. The inks cure quickly at low temperatures, expanding the possibility of printing electronics onto an entirely new group of plastic films. The technology is expected to enable electronic components, such as sensors, heaters and antennas, to be printed on more-versatile and less-expensive substrates. The inks are now being tested and commercialized by manufacturers for new applications.
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Caught in the Tube
Physics APS
Molten forms of entangled polymer chains are used in many industrial processes, such as the coating of protective films or the molding of plastics. The ability to predict how these “polymer melts” will stretch and pour — their rheology — is thus a technologically relevant problem. For decades, physicists have modeled polymers using reputation theory. This treats each polymer chain like a snake moving in a narrow tube whose diameter characterizes the confining effects of surrounding molecules. A team led by Dieter Richter at the Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany, has now succeeded in measuring the diameter of the tube directly.
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3-D Printing Fabric with Thermoplastic Polyurethane
Israeli architect David Mussaffi is more than just a 3-D print enthusiast, he’s a dedicated 3-D print designer with an expert eye for fashion. His latest 3-D print creation springs from a material exploration using thermoplastic polyurethane, a filament that prints at an extrusion temperature of 392-428° Fahrenheit. Mussaffi wanted to use this filament to create prints thin enough to be considered a type of fabric.
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Tfees Reusable Drinking Straws Provide Sustainable Solution for Tooth Protection
Plastics Today
Sensitive teeth aren't any fun when it comes to drinking hot or cold beverages. Tammi Fee was concerned not only about her tooth sensitivity but about tooth staining when drinking coffee and tea, so she came up with a solution: The Tfees reusable straw. Unlike other straws that are made from plastic or paper, the Tfees straws are made from Eastman's Tritan copolyester and can withstand high temperatures while staying cool to the touch. The straws are durable and free of bisphenols A (BPA) and B (BPS) and estrogenic activity (EA).
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PE Drops 4 Cents, PP Down 1
Plastics News
Continued weakness in feedstocks has sent North American prices for polyethylene and polypropylene resins down since Sept. 1. Regional prices for all grades of high density, low density and linear low density PE are down 4 cents per pound, while prices for PP in the region are down 1 cent, according to buyers contacted by Plastics News. The PE drop is the second consecutive monthly decline, following a 5-cent downtick in August. Regional PE makers had taken the rare step of pre-announcing the 4-cent move to customers earlier in September.
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Kraton Performance to Buy Arizona Chemical for $1.37 Billion
The Wall Street Journal
Kraton Performance Polymers Inc., recently said that it has agreed to buy closely held Arizona Chemical Holdings Corp. for $1.37 billion in cash. Arizona Chemical makes chemicals found in things like breakfast cereal packaging and car tires from renewable materials. Kraton, which makes polymers used in products such as baby diaper elastic and roofing materials, said it expects the acquisition to diversify its markets.
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