SPE Industry Update
Apr. 16, 2014

3-D printing and its impact on the medical implant industry
By Hannah Whiteoak
As 3-D printing develops, it is finding an ever-greater range of applications in a variety of fields. One area where 3-D printing could truly change lives is in the manufacturing of medical implants. From artificial bone and joint replacements to prosthetic body parts and life-saving pacemakers, medical implants restore quality of life to people who have been affected by injury or illness. Researchers all over the world are working on developing new implants that are produced using 3-D printing. This highly-flexible manufacturing technique could massively improve the range and quality of implants that are available.More

Modified magnesium hydroxide for polyethylene nanocomposites
SPE Plastics Research
Due to their good all-around properties, polyolefins (PEs) such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE) are used in many different fields. These materials do, however, suffer serious limitations in applications for which flame resistance is of great importance. To overcome this, flame-retardant additives are generally added to the PE composition. Metallic hydroxides, such as magnesium and aluminum hydroxide, are efficient halogen-free flame retardantsMore

It's almost time for ANTEC® 2014

Plastics Knowledge: Current – Relevant – Global
SPE
In a little over one week, SPE will present the biggest plastics event of the year in the U.S. — ANTEC® 2014. With more than 100 exhibitors, 600+ technical and business presentations, SPI’s Business of Plastics, SPE’s premier global parts competition “Plastics for Life”, a plastics race, student functions, posters, speed interview, and lots of networking opportunities—this is an event you won’t want to miss. Take time right now to go online and look through the Final Program and see our brand new ANTEC® 2014 video.

There’s still time to register so don’t delay. Visit SPE on the Web for more information!More

New PE capacity to drive prices lower, while PP becomes more competitive
Plastics News
New North American polyethylene capacity eventually will mean lower selling prices for that material. While in polypropylene, new supplies of propylene monomer will lead to some new resin capacity as well, making the material more competitive vs. high density polyethylene. Those were among the primary messages from market analysts Nick Vafiadis and Joel Morales at the 2014 IHS World Petrochemical Conference in Houston.More

3-D printing and its impact on the medical implant industry
By Hannah Whiteoak
As 3-D printing develops, it is finding an ever-greater range of applications in a variety of fields. One area where 3-D printing could truly change lives is in the manufacturing of medical implants. From artificial bone and joint replacements to prosthetic body parts and life-saving pacemakers, medical implants restore quality of life to people who have been affected by injury or illness. Researchers all over the world are working on developing new implants that are produced using 3-D printing.More

Scientists create polymer that cools hot electric devices at 200 degrees Celsius
Counsel & Heal
Scientists, through an aligned array of polymer nano-fibers, have developed a thermal interface material that is able to conduct heat 20 times better than the original polymer. The newly discovered material can easily operate at temperatures of up to 200 degrees Celsius. The new thermal interface material is expected to find its use in a number of applications, including drawing heat away from electronic devices in servers, automobiles, high-brightness LEDs and mobile devices.More

Automotive lightweighting — Flash-forward material highlights
By Don Rosato
Automotive lightweighting with alternative plastic materials will remain an important technology trend into the foreseeable 2020-2025 time period. The lightweighting potential of every vehicle component is currently under investigation, and advanced plastics and plastic composites offer significant lightweighting potential. Fiber-reinforced plastic composites are typically 25-35 percent lighter than steel parts of equal strength. Low and ultra-low density sheet molding compound advances are also facilitating weight reductions.More

2020 plastic additives market worth $57.8 billion
Environmental Leader
An increase in environmental awareness will help the global plastics additives market grow to $57.8 billion by 2020, up from $41.4 billion in 2013, according to a report by Allied Market Research. That represents a compound annual growth rate of 4.9 percent over that time period, according to Plastic Additives Market.More

Self-healing plastics that will repair your car
Zee News
Researchers have developed a plastic that "heals" on its own by restoring the initial molecular structure after any damage. The novel polymer network self-heals within a few minutes at relatively low temperatures, the researchers have contended. "Our method does not need any catalyst, no additive is required," said professor Christopher Barner-Kowollik of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in the U.S.More

Clariant rolls out new liquid fragrance additives for polyolefins
SPE Plastics Engineering
Clariant announced the development of fragrance additives in liquid masterbatch form for use in polyolefin polymers. "Getting liquid masterbatches to work effectively in polyolefins has been a challenge," explains Peter Prusak, Head of Marketing for Clariant Masterbatches North America, "but the liquid vehicle technology (LVT) used in HiFormer has a high degree of compatibility with the polymer so problems with screw slippage and development of end-product physical properties have been effectively eliminated."More

Flexible plastics turn vibrations into electrical energy
The Daily Fusion
Kui Yao and co-workers from the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering in Singapore have discovered a way to give lightweight polymer vibration harvesters a hundredfold boost in energy output — a finding that may help to eliminate manual battery recharging in microsensors and mobile devices. Many vibration harvesters contain piezoelectric substances that create an electric voltage when mechanically bent. More

Survey: Manufacturers overwhelmingly choose US and Mexico over China as low-cost location
Plastics Today
When asked to evaluate low-cost manufacturing locations for the production of goods bound for North America, executives of small and mid-size manufacturing companies taking part in a survey chose the United States and Mexico over China by a 4-to-1 margin. That is one of the surprising findings of a survey conducted by Entrada Group, a Texas-based firm that assists companies in transferring production operations to Mexico. The survey was completed in early 2014, and more than half of the respondents identified themselves as being at the VP level or higher.More

3-D printing high-strength carbon composites using PEEK, PAEK
Design News
Silicon Valley's Arevo Labs has come out of stealth mode to unveil technology for making high-strength 3-D-printed carbon composite end products using matrix materials. 3-D printing with PEEK and other advanced reinforced polymers has been technically challenging. The MarkOne, for example, uses carbon fiber with a nylon matrix, a more low-end polymer than PEEK-grade resins. The technology is not compatible with current filament fusion systems and requires its own custom printer.More

Spray gun creates self-assembling nanoparticle films
Laboratory Equipment
The promise of nanoparticles stems from their potential to modify the physical and mechanical properties of polymers for diverse applications, such as photovoltaic cells, sensors and separation membranes. Methods currently used to create desired nanostructure, however, rely on complex and energy-intensive techniques, such as layer-by-layer or patterning approaches, which are limited in scale and often have poor stability.More

Scaffolding for the heart
Times Live
The scaffolding is similar to a stent, a metal tube inserted to open clogged arteries, but has the big advantage of being biodegradable. Indian cardiologist Ashok Seth, who helped develop the new technology, recently used the tubes in surgery with local cardiologist Joe McKibbin, at the Sunninghill Hospital, Johannesburg. Seth said: "If you break your leg, it needs a cast on it for only six weeks. Heart doctors wondered why a "cast" to fix the artery had to stay inside for life." The scaffolding is made of polymers that will dissolve in place within two years.More

Plastic components featured in new solar-powered plane project
Plastics News
Bayer MaterialScience AG and Solvay Group are supplying plastic materials for the new Solar Impulse ultralight plane in preparation for the first fuel-free around-the-world flight. Solvay Group announced that the plane has about 6,000 parts that contain its materials, which include nylon 6 and 6/6, PEEK and PVDF.More

Plastics and polymer composites technology roadmap for automotive markets
Automotive Plastics
For decades, advanced plastics and polymer composites have helped improve the appearance, functionality, and safety of automobiles while also reducing vehicle weight and delivering superior value to customers. New regulations, shifts in consumer preferences, and recent technology innovations are encouraging automakers to continue increasing their use of advanced plastics and polymer composites to meet tomorrow’s challenges and opportunities.More