SPE Industry Update
Sep. 2, 2015

Axion Polymers Introduces New Recycled Polymer Grades
CIWM Journal
Axion Polymers has introduced new polymer grades of ABS, polyethylene and polypropylene, recycled from end-of-life automotive and WEEE resources, following further investment in its plastics refinery plant to increase extrusion capacity and improve melt-filtration technology. Axpoly® ABS52 1000 is a tough plastic suitable for moulding parts that require durability, longevity, strong puncture strength and good dimensional stability, such as automotive trim components like car wing mirrors and car bumpers.More

Investigating the Crystallization Behavior of Poly(Lactic Acid) Materials
SPE Plastics Research Online
With the continuing decline of oil reserves, as well as the environmental problems caused by petroleum-based plastics, there is likely to be increasing demand and a new market for bioplastics in the near future. Poly(lactic acid) — or PLA — is a biologically based and biodegradable plastic. As such, this material has attracted much interest in various fields (e.g., medical and packaging materials). The application of PLA, however, is still limited because of several problems. These include its poor thermal resistance and its brittle nature.More

A Buying Spree for Moldmakers
Plastics Engineering
Now that the global economy is finally starting to put the financial crisis behind it, confidence is returning to many industrial sectors. The moldmaking industry is no exception — with this renewed confidence predicted to fuel a buying spree. According to a survey conducted last year by Gardner Business Media, a U.S. publishing company, moldmaking companies expect to increase their spending on production equipment by over 30 percent this year compared to 2014, up to $500 million.More

Resin Pricing: Plastics Processors Feeling Gouged
Plastics Today
The spot resin markets continued to transact at a rapid rate, polyethylene more so than polypropylene, according to the weekly report from the PlasticsExchange. Completed volumes were considered high, and prices, which had been consistently falling for weeks on end, mostly held steady at these lower levels.More

Biological Tools Create Nerve-Like Polymer Network
Using a succession of biological mechanisms, Sandia National Laboratories researchers have created linkages of polymer nanotubes that resemble the structure of a nerve, with many out-thrust filaments poised to gather or send electrical impulses. "This is the first demonstration of naturally occurring proteins assembling chemically created polymers into complex structures that modern machinery can't duplicate," said Sandia National Laboratories researcher George Bachand.More

Shaw to Make More Carpet from recycled PET
Plastics News
Shaw Industries Group Inc,. plans to spend tens of millions of dollars at a South Carolina carpet fiber plant to increase the use of fiber from recycled plastics. The world’s largest carpet maker, based in Dalton, Georgia, is planning new polyester extrusion operations that will include the use of recycled PET beverage containers. The company also will add nylon fiber capacity.More

Flexible Dielectric Polymer Can Stand the Heat
Easily manufactured, low cost, lightweight, flexible dielectric polymers that can operate at high temperatures may be the solution to energy storage and power conversion in electric vehicles and other high temperature applications, according to a team of Penn State engineers. "Ceramics are usually the choice for energy storage dielectrics for high temperature applications, but they are heavy, weight is a consideration and they are often also brittle," said Qing Wang, professor of materials science and engineering, Penn State.More

Researchers Probe Microbes for a Future Plastics Building Block
Plastics News
Microbes commonly found in moist, natural environments could eventually be a source of ethylene, the building block for polyethylene resin and many other polymers. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory are tweaking cyanobacteria to produce ethylene through photosynthesis. If they can get the yields up, the process might be an alternative to using oil and gas for making the raw material of plastics. More

NASA Wants to Recycle Astronaut Poop into Plastics and Vitamins
Plastics Today
NASA is taking recycling to a whole other level. The U.S. space agency recently awarded researchers at Clemson University in South Carolina approximately $200,000 per year in grants to turn human waste into viable products, such as vitamins and plastics. The three-year research project called, "Synthetic Biology for Recycling Human Waste into Food, Nutraceuticals, and Materials: Closing the Loop for Long-Term Space Travel," will focus on how to genetically engineer yeast to create items for astronauts' use on space, since supplies are limited once astronauts take-off.More

Next-Level Nanotechnology Tools from Nanosurf
"Microscopy Made Easy" has been the Nanosurf slogan for many years and one of the guiding principles in product development since its founding days. Today, the ease-of-use of their instruments is widely touted throughout the industry and other manufacturers have strived to follow Nanosurf’s lead in this respect. As Nanosurf has grown from a simple and robust teaching instruments supplier to a globally recognized research instruments provider, ease-of-use no longer fully describes the Nanosurf philosophy.More

Local Motors and Arizona State University partner on high-tech materials for 3-D-printed car
Plastics Today
Local Motors and Arizona State University have formed a partnership to advance materials research into 3-D-printed automotive parts, which will be used on the world's first 3-D-printed car, scheduled to be on the road in early 2016. Local Motors will join the ASU Polytechnic eProjects program, which connects students and faculty in ASU's Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering with cutting-edge technology companies. More