SPE Industry Update
Sep. 4, 2013

Materials for the future: Thermal isolation and PCM
By Adolfo Benedito
Imagine smart materials prepared to react to temperature changes. Materials that absorb calorific energy or release it become the answer for cold or hot environments. They are the basis for a new generation of thermal comfort materials in textile developments, industrial devices and construction innovations. Phase change materials are really old friends, but new ways of implementation have opened up new doors for industrial applications. More

Effect of compatibilization on polyethylene/thermoplastic starch blends
SPE Plastics Research Online
One of the most important issues to emerge in recent years is how to ensure a sustainable world. Polymeric wastes pose a major threat to the environment because of their nondegradability and resistance to micro-organisms. The time it takes many synthetic polymers to fully decompose is estimated to be around 500 years, and during the long interim natural phenomena may be influenced by the presence of these materials.More

3-D printed medical devices spark FDA evaluation
Fox News
When Kaiba Gionfriddo was just a few months old, a 3-D printed device saved his life. Kaiba was born with a rare condition called tracheobronchomalacia, which meant his windpipe was weak, and would collapse and prevent air from flowing to his lungs. Researchers at the University of Michigan sought approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a 3-D printed tracheal splint, which they implanted around the baby's airway to help him breathe.More

Lubricated compound can be molded
Plastics News
Clariant Masterbatches' specialty compounding group has developed a new nylon 66 compound that allows injection molding to replace machining in lubricated products such as bushings. More

Bayer MaterialScience develops an integrated cockpit concept based on polycarbonite
Plastics Engineering
When it comes to the interior of their automobiles, more and more people dream of a customized comfort zone. It should offer a level of comfort similar to that of their living room at home while including all the latest technology and a high degree of functionality.More

Plastics recycler targets US blast furnace mart
American Metal Market
A New York state plastics recycling company is developing what it describes as the first plastics-based reducing agent for blast furnace use by integrated steel mills in the United States.More

Materials for the future: Thermal isolation and PCM
By Adolfo Benedito
Imagine smart materials prepared to react to temperature changes. Materials that absorb calorific energy or release it become the answer for cold or hot environments.More

New plastic becomes stronger when stressed, drop-proof smartphones incoming
Plastics are amazingly versatile materials, and their usage in all manner of objects is only increasing. Virtually everything you own is at least partially composed of plastic, and that's usually a very good thing. Plastic is light, inexpensive, and can be molded in any shape. However, it's not always the strongest material. Many smartphone owners know the sorrow of dropping a phone and finding the fall cracked or chipped the casing. A new type of plastic developed at Duke University could change all that. This material actually gets stronger when it is stressed. More

Global demand for thermoplastic elastomers to reach 5.8 million metric tons in 2017
Plastics Engineering Magazine
Global demand for thermoplastic elastomers is forecast to rise 5.5 percent per year to 5.8 million metric tons in 2017, valued at more than $20 billion. Advances will be driven by ongoing product innovation on the part of TPE manufacturers, allowing these materials to continue to displace traditional elastomers and thermoplastics in a variety of applications. More

Will 3-D printing push past the hobbyist market?
The Fiscal Times
3-D printing sounds like the stuff of science fiction: A technology that potentially can create any object of one's imagination, even human organs, with just a few computer instructions. To Star Trek fans, the technology may evoke memories of Captain Picard ordering his favorite cup of tea using a voice-activated replicator on the Starship Enterprise: "Tea. Earl Grey. Hot."More

Why Apple loves plastics
Plastics Today
It's no wonder that Apple keeps bulking up its materials' engineering capabilities. New types of plastics and molding capabilities keep emerging, creating opportunities for high-end consumer electronics applications. Given Apple's demand for the highest-possible quality, and willingness to pay for it, high end materials' science is a perfect fit for the company. More

Plastics packaging 'needs redesign'
Materials Recycling World
Black and hard plastics packaging have been voted as the worst designed items for waste reduction in a public poll. The poll, which surveyed 1,000 people, ranked black plastic packaging and rigid plastic packaging as the worst designed, followed by ink jet printers.More

Microsoft moves into smartphone business
Plastics News
Microsoft Corp. is staking its claim in the global competition for smartphones with its planned purchase of Nokia Corp.'s devices and services business, including manufacturing and design operations. More

3-D printed eyeglasses are fit for a king
Design News
It's possible to 3-D print your own analog camera — but minus the lens. The day when you can 3-D print that too may not be far away. Dutch company LUXeXceL, which has developed a proprietary process to print plastic lenses and other non-imaging optical-quality components, has 3-D printed complete pairs of eyeglasses to demonstrate the capabilities of the process. More

UK manufacturing output at 20-year high
Plastics & Rubber Weekly
UK manufacturing output is growing at its fastest rate in nearly 20 years, according to new figures. New orders are also on the rise, according to data from the Markit/Chartered Institute of Purchasing Supply's Purchasing Managers' Index.More

Design guidelines push recyclability
Plastics News
A trade group representing plastics recyclers is out with new information to help people understand recyclability design guidelines for packaging and containers. The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers has published design guidelines for 14 years, but the group expects a new executive summary will help reach a broader audience.More

Recycling glass fiber reinforced composites — history and progress (Part 1)
Reinforced Plastics
This article discusses the issues surrounding the recycling of glass fibre reinforced plastics, and reviews some of the options available today. More