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Home   Membership   Technical Resources   Events   Technical Groups   Online Store Oct. 12, 2011

Scientists and engineers create the 'perfect plastic'
Science Daily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Researchers at the University of Leeds and Durham University have solved a long-standing problem that could revolutionize the way new plastics are developed. The breakthrough will allow experts to create the 'perfect plastic' with specific uses and properties by using a high-tech 'recipe book.' It will also increase our ability to recycle plastics. The research paper was published in the journal Science. More


Plastics Engineering editorial
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SPE EUROTEC is finally here! This conference has been three years in the making, and it represents SPE's first foray into holding ANTEC-style conferencing outside North America. EUROTEC is being held in Barcelona, Spain, in conjunction with Equiplast on Nov. 14-15. We have enjoyed wonderful support from SPE's European member groups, and are especially grateful to those companies sponsoring the event: SABIC, Ticona, A. Schulman, and PolyOne.

This article appears in the October 2011 issue of Plastics Engineering magazine.

SPE Akron Section hosts Oct. 17 MiniTec
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The SPE Akron Section will host a MiniTec on "Nanotechnology Development and Commercial Activities in Ohio" on Monday, Oct. 17, at the Martin University Center, 105 Fir Hill Street, from noon to 6:30 p.m. The lead speaker will be Art Fritts of NanoSperse, who will be followed by six more speakers. A panel discussion, tabletop/literature displays, and a networking social hour will follow. Cost is $80 for member and/or guest, $25 for student. Tabletop display is $100. Make your reservations by noon on Friday, Oct. 14: contact Mark Holtman at or +1 330-972-6008. More

Improving the mechanical properties of poly(vinyl chloride)-lignin blends
SPE Plastics Research Online    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Lignin is one of the most abundant natural polymers on earth. It is largely produced by pulp and paper industry, and has been blended with poly(vinyl chloride) in recent years. However, most PVC-lignin blends have lesser mechanical properties due to poor compatibility compared to PVC alone. Polyacrylate, by contrast, is compatible with PVC and can improve the blend's toughness. If lignin is treated with polyacrylate, it should bind well with PVC to improve the mixes' mechanical properties. More

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SPE announces recipients of 2011 GPEC Environmental Stewardship Awards
AzoCleantech    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
SPE has named the recipients of the Global Plastics Environmental Conference 2011 awards. The award recognizes institutions and companies that have shown environmental excellence and leadership. The awards reflect the GPEC conference's theme – "Plastics Recycling and Sustainability on my Mind." The awards are to be presented during GPEC 2011 to be held from Oct. 17-19, in Atlanta. More

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Travelers enters plastics industry market
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Travelers has launched an insurance product at the plastics industry as part of its strategy to broaden its offering. They will write specialist risks as requested. Standard cover will include property damage, business interruption, employers' liability, public and products liability and professional indemnity. It aims to insure a range of businesses within the plastics and rubber industry, from injection to slush molding and thermoforming firms. More

China tops Europe in plastics production
EU Observer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
China last year overtook Europe as the world's largest producer of plastics, with the eurozone slump continuing to deepen the divide, a recent study shows. According to the report carried out on behalf of the industry's trade association, Plastics Europe, a 2 percent cut in European plastics jobs and continued company closures meant that the old continent lost its pole position to China. More

Mooney expects decent thermoforming growth
Plastics News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Economist Peter Mooney thinks both thermoforming segments — industrial and packaging — will show about 6 percent annual growth through 2014, but he warned that storm clouds could derail what he called an "anemic recovery" from the Great Recession. Mooney delivered an Economics 101 keynote speech Sept. 19 at the Society of Plastics Engineers 2011 Thermoforming Conference in Schaumburg. More

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Ammo maker takes aim at weight savings with plastic cartridge casings
Plastics Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Plastics have long played a role in fire arms, seeing use in everything from stocks to handgun frames but now they're looking to get inside the barrel with polymer-based cartridge casings. Earlier this year PCP Ammunition launched a line of lightweight polymer-cased ammunition, creating rounds that reportedly offer comparable performance to brass cartridges with weight savings of more than 50 percent for the case and 25-30 percent of loaded brass ammunition. More

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Ford goes cuckoo for coconuts
Torque News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ford and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company are working together to explore the potential of coconut fiber reinforced molded plastic parts to reduce petroleum use while making parts lighter and more natural-looking. Coconut husks, are a waste product from Scotts' soil and grass seed production lines. The team is examining their use as a renewable material for Ford's vehicles. More

Italian company makes plastic from sugar beet waste
Deutsche Welle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An enormous factory for Co.Pro.B, Italy's largest sugar producer, sits on the outskirts of the small northern town Minerbio. But it's not the sugar that Bio-on, a small company with its offices near the factory, is interested in - it's the sugar beet molasses that leaves the plant as trash. Scientists at Bio-on have spent the last five years developing a way of turning the molasses into plastics. More

Berry Plastics uses consumers' input to improve products
Evansville Courier & Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Munching on doughnuts and sipping bottled water, a group of people is having a very animated conversation about food packaging. There's some joking, some brainstorming, and lots of opinions flying around the room. "I ain't going to go through all these steps to eat my food," one man says as he explains why he thinks a package would be too hard to open. This conversation, generated by a focus group at Berry Plastics may some day influence products that touch millions of consumers. More

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Untangling polymer flow
Chemical & Engineering News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new model that predicts how complex, branched polymers flow will enable companies to develop new plastics more efficiently and to process materials more easily than ever before. Until now, polymer scientists have been able to simulate only how simplistic, molten polymers move. The new computational technique, developed by a team of researchers in Europe, closely accounts for the flow of real, tangled polymers, such as low-density polyethylene. More

Oxo-biodegradable plastic should increase worldwide market share
Packaging Europe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"Oxo-biodegradable plastic will not only survive competition from other plastics, including bio-based plastics, but looks set to increase its worldwide market share dramatically," according to Michael Stephen, Deputy Chairman of the Symphony Environmental Technologies Group, giving a special presentation at the national plastics exhibition "Interplas" at the NEC in England. More

Western automakers steal edge in engineering plastics adoption
Plastics Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Helped by advanced simulation tools, European and U.S. automakers have been aggressive in adopting engineering plastics in their vehicles according to one of the proponents of such software. BASF says that its Ultrasim simulation and optimization software is playing a key role in vehicle lightweighting through its ability to assist in designing structural load bearing, and crash-relevant parts. More

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Updated guidelines, including specific tool recommendations and best practice settings for feed, speed, depth of cut, roughing and finishing when turning syntactic foam plug assist materials are now available from CMT Materials, Inc. Following the guidelines provides excellent results and often eliminates the need for any plug polishing. Call 508-226-3901 or visit
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