SPE Industry Update
Nov. 28, 2012

Plastic electronics: How they could change consumer technology
VideoBrief Plastic electronics, also known as organic and printable electronics, is an emerging field, which some experts say will revolutionize the electronics industry. The terms describe electronic devices made from carbon-based, organic materials and components, using printing processes, rather than traditional silicon-based, inorganic materials.More

Making an impact with nanocomposites
SPE Plastics Research Online
Polymer nanocomposites are new materials that show great potential in a variety of applications. By incorporating nanoscale particles of a filler material, the performance and properties of the bulk material can be drastically altered. Indeed, quite exceptional improvements can be achieved with small amounts of filler.More

Properties of a multi-walled carbon nanotube/epoxy nanocomposite system
SPE Plastics Research Online
Integrating carbon nanotubes into polymer matrices holds great potential for the accomplishment of continuous fiber-reinforced composites with improved mechanical, thermal and electrical properties. These materials also represent a good compromise between high performance and low cost. They could, for example, be used in aerospace applications on account of their improved out-of-plane mechanical properties.More

3-D printing and the rise of the makers
The edge of technology is when it enables you to do something that you couldn't do before. It's one thing to put your imagination down onto a piece of paper or into a computer program, but what if you could hold it in your hands? This is the vision of 3-D printing. Digital designs can be turned into real objects using various kinds of plastic.More

Manufacturing jobs returning to US
USA Today
Who would have thought that jobs like metal-refining furnace operators and tenders would be making a comeback in the year 2012? But they are. You can find these jobs at such employers as iron and steel mills and steel product manufacturing and machine shops. They are at manufacturers who make machinery for mining, agriculture, engine and turbines, and plastic and rubber as well as manufacturers that make equipment for companies that make cars, motor vehicle bodies and parts, railroad stock and aerospace.More

Plastics thieves operating in plain sight cost firms millions
Los Angeles Times
Plastic crates and pallets have been disappearing since their invention, in part because they make for cheap makeshift furniture and shelves. But as the price of oil began to rise more than a decade ago, it drove up the cost of plastic, and thefts escalated. The theft is a nationwide problem, but officials say it is particularly acute in Southern California because material can be shipped overseas from the Port of Los Angeles, and the region's recycling infrastructure is well-developed. More

Polymer basics: Structure and properties
Polymers are the most widely used materials in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry. However, there have been instances of unexpected product failure and yield deterioration driven by changes in the physical and chemical structure of polymer materials that may occur during production, post treatment, transportation, in storage or in use. This paper introduces the basic concepts related to polymeric materials' structure and properties.More

Expandable interpolymer foam delivers enhanced child safety seats
Plastics Today
Expandable interpolymer particle foam from BASF is now providing greater safety in the new Trifix child safety seat from Britax. Used in the head and neck region, this new material from BASF has tough-elastic and crack-resistant properties that enable it to meet the highest demands placed on materials in child safety seats.More

New electrically-conductive polymer nanoparticles can generate heat to kill colorectal cancer cells
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center via Phys.org
Researchers have modified electrically-conductive polymers, commonly used in solar energy applications, to develop revolutionary polymer nanoparticles for a medical application. When the nanoparticles are exposed to infrared light, they generate heat that can be used to kill colorectal cancer cells.More

Plastic plays role in improved Chrysler interiors
Plastics News
In any roomful of Detroit auto executives, the man most responsible for the dramatic interior improvements of Chrysler Group's vehicles stands out dramatically. Klaus Busse is tall and lanky with giant hands and an outsized smile. His standard attire is a light-gray windbreaker worn over a faded T-shirt and jeans. But the attribute that makes Chrysler's head of interior design really stand out is that he chose to stay in Detroit for a trip through bankruptcy hell so he could help with the automaker's resurrection.More

Spotting silicon in graphene, it's dope
Chemistry World
A combination of scanning transmission electron microscopy and atomic-resolution spectroscopic techniques has allowed U.S. researchers to pick out individual silicon atoms in a doped graphene sheet. The technique reveals that the silicon atoms can exist in a planar hybridized "sp2d" like form when bonded to four carbon atoms, as well as the anticipated sp3 form when triply coordinated.More

Cellulose nanofibers promise significant weight reduction
Plastics Today
Cellulose fibers have come under increasing focus as reinforcing materials for plastics of late, and R&D activity in the field is not only limited to North America. A joint effort between industry, academia and the public sector has realized plant-derived cellulose nanofibers exhibiting a high degree of compatibility towards polypropylene and other resins, opening up opportunities for lightweighting in vehicles.More