SPE Industry Update
Apr. 1, 2015

Looking to Get Published This Year?
In an effort to enhance the overall content of 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 experience with your peers through well-written commentary. Make 2015 the year you get published as an expert in your field! Our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.More

Get More Than Cavity IDs From Your Cavity IDs
Plastics Engineering
Cavity identification markings (cavity IDs) are used to distinguish one cavity from another. This is important to help provide traceability for such things as part quality, mold maintenance issues, and short-shot imbalance data. The markings used and their respective locations are typically put into a mold without much thought. The first important point concerns the location of the ID markings within the cavity itself. Our recommendation would be to place the cavity IDs as close to the gate as possible. The reason for this suggestion is simple: It will give you the best chance of actually seeing the cavity IDs on the parts when performing a short-shot analysis.More

Heart Patch Fashioned From Stem Cells and Polymers Holds Promise
Technology developed at The University of Akron for re-growing the cardiac muscle tissue that dies as the result of a heart attack is ready for testing in laboratory rodents. Ge "Christie" Zhang, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical engineering, has received a $459,992 grant from the National Institutes of Health to further her research into perfecting a "patch" to heal damaged areas of the heart. The patch is made up of millions of heart repair cells, the descendants of stem cells collected from bone marrow and cultured in laboratory dishes. The multiplying cells form thin sheets that attach themselves to the dishes.More

PVDF Incorporated with Carbon Nanotubes and Buckyballs Could Improve its Electricity Generating Properties
Walter Voit, Ph.D., of the University of Texas at Dallas along with co-researchers has successfully incorporated carbon nanotubes and "buckyball" clusters in PVDF material to improve its electricity-generating properties. There is a strange characteristic of a plastic used in tubing and filters. Electricity can be generated during elongation or compression. Until now, this ability has been used only in a minor way, however, researchers are twisting plastic fibers to generate more electricity for a broad application range spanning from artificial muscles to green energy.More

Milliken Showcases Ultra Clear PP Thermoforming Solutions
Packaging Europe
Leading polyolefins additives supplier, Milliken, revealed the secret to high-performance, attention-grabbing thermoformed packaging that is both resourceful and cost-efficient, with a showcase of Ultra Clear PP-based commercial applications. Millad NX 8000 gives PP a clarity boost that overcomes the traditional undesirable milky appearance of PP in thermoforming, thereby creating highly-attractive transparency similar to PET for sheet and thermoformed applications such as meat trays, clamshell containers and lids.More

PP Compound Deliver Weight Savings
Plastics Today
Advanced polypropylene (PP) compounds continue to enable automakers to save weight in their latest vehicles. PP supplier LyondellBasell recently outlined some of the latest commercial examples where the resin's role was crucial. One such application is the Rear Quarter Panel in the new 5-door Mini that was manufactured using a soft-touch Softell-PP compound that reinforced with 25 percent glass fiber. Compared with the PC/ABS mix that has been used previously, Softell TKG 300N reportedly demonstrates improved haptics and lower weight and allows for a matte surface finish that meet the interior design criteria of the customer. More

Producers Win Polymer Price Hikes in March
European Plastics News
After falling since the middle of 2014, European standard thermoplastic prices rebounded sharply in March. Producers pushed through margin-extending price increases following a large upswing in petrochemical feedstock costs, better demand and tightening supply. Crude oil prices rose from just less than $50/barrel to around $65/barrel during February. As a result, March petrochemical feedstock contract prices were settled at a substantially higher level. More

Biodegradable Plastic Made From Mushrooms
Geen Building Elements
Ecovative is a company based near New York City that has developed a biodegradable plastic called Mushroom Materials. It is made from agricultural byproducts and mushroom mycelium, which is the vegetative part of a mushroom fungus and a natural glue. The material binds with crop waste like seed husks and corn stalks to form a "bioplastic" called Mushroom Material. The new "bioplastic" is fully biodegradable, which means is doesn’t take 1000 years to breakdown if it winds up in a landfill the way normal plastics do.More

New Lightweight and Solar Powered Electric Scooter a Boost to Sustainable Urban Mobility
Plastics Today
BASF and German company Floatility have partnered for the development of an ultra-lightweight, solar-powered electric scooter. Weighing less than 12 kg and consisting of more than 80 percent composite and plastic materials from BASF, the scooter will apparently give commuters the sensation of floating and has been aptly named "e-floater." "This is a perfect example of how we cooperate with our partners to fully unfold the strengths of our innovative materials. The e-floater combines stability, durability and safety with an exciting, functional design," said Andy Postlethwaite, Senior Vice President, Performance Materials Asia Pacific, BASF.More

Automotive Industry's 1st Composite Suspension Coil
Reinforced Plastics
Hexion Inc., has developed a coil spring made of plastic composite in cooperation with Sogefi for Audi. The spring, reportedly an industry first, is manufactured using an Epikote epoxy resin / Epikure curing agent composition. The suspension spring patented by Sogefi, has been in commercial production for the new Audi A6 Avant 2.0 TDI ultra (140kW) since late 2014. Compared with traditional technology, this novel composite spring trims 4.4 kilograms from the A6 Avant 2.0, affording lower fuel consumption.More

Understanding the Importance of Stress-Relaxation in Plastics
PR Newswire
Pierre Moulinie, global technology lead for polycarbonates consumer and medical sector, Bayer, presented stress-relaxation of polycarbonate resins at ANTEC 2015. During the presentation, Moulinie described the results of stress-relaxation experiments they conducted with several materials. "There is surprisingly little data on stress-relaxation of polymers in the literature, yet it was critical to recent collaborative work we've been doing with customers and we decided to take a closer look," said Moulinie.More

Now 3-D-Printed Guns Can Fire Even Bigger Bullets
3-D printing hobbyists have managed to print up a functioning Colt CM901 assault rifle, what’s said to be the heaviest caliber rifle to ever roll off the presses of a 3-D printer. The CM901 fires 7.62 mm rounds, a heavier caliber bullet than that of the AR-15. The gun also recoils with greater force, requiring gunsmiths to print up sturdier plastic parts that can withstand the stresses of multiple rounds. After a period of trial and error, the team claims the CM901 can fire off several rounds "with little to no issues."More

Sustainable Material Used in Ford's 2015 F-150
Plastics Today
Ford is committed to delivering vehicles with leading fuel efficiency while targeting at least 25 percent clean technology in interior materials across the entire lineup. To that end, the carmaker has worked over the past three years with Unifi Manufacturing to bring Repreve, an environmentally responsible, high-performance fiber, to various Ford vehicles. Repreve debuted in the electric Ford Focus in 2012. Now Ford has announced that Repreve is also available in the new Ford F-150, part of the Ford F-Series, America's best-selling truck.More

Recipe For Antibacterial Plastic: Plastic Plus Egg Whites
University of Georgia
Bioplastics made from protein sources such as albumin and whey have shown significant antibacterial properties, findings that could eventually lead to their use in plastics used in medical applications such as wound healing dressings, sutures, catheter tubes and drug delivery, according to a recent study by the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences.More

Survey: Many in Plastics Industry Call For Improved Resins
A substantial portion of the plastics sector believes current resins are insufficient to meet industry needs, according to a recent poll. The survey, conducted by DuPont and Plastics News, found that about one-third of respondents indicated the market's resin portfolio should be improved, while 3 percent said they would need an entirely new portfolio to meet future demand. Resins with enhanced thermal resistance properties were in highest demand, according to survey participants, followed by demand for increased structural capabilities and improved durability.More

A Chinese Company 3-D Printed a Car Using 'Tyrant Gold' Filament
It may be the ugliest car to ever roll along the Earth, but it sure is handy. This is China's attempt at a low-cost, 3-D-printed moving machine. The car, created by Chinese company Sanya Sihai, took five days to print the body and one and a half months to build. It weighs a light 1102 pounds, 11.9-feet long, and 5.5-feet wide, is totally electric and costs $1770 dollars to build, according to 3D Print.More

Nanoparticle Therapy Promotes Wound Healing
Drug Discovery & Development
An experimental therapy developed by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University cut in half the time it takes to heal wounds compared to no treatment at all. "We envision that our nanoparticle therapy could be used to speed the healing of all sorts of wounds, including everyday cuts and burns, surgical incisions, and chronic skin ulcers, which are a particular problem in the elderly and people with diabetes," said study co-leader David J. Sharp, Ph.D., professor of physiology & biophysics at Einstein.More

1st Ever 3-D Printed Thyroid Gland Announced by Russia's 3D Bioprinting Solutions
3D Print
With 3-D printed human organs promising to one day eliminate the lengthy organ transplant waiting lists, perhaps saving hundreds of thousands of lives each year, these advances cannot come soon enough. On March 12 the first ever thyroid gland for an animal — a mouse — was printed using the Russian-based company 3D Bioprinting Solutions’ patented bioprinting process. The goal here was to print a thyroid gland which could then be transplanted into a living mouse in order to further evaluate its capabilities.More