SPE Industry Update
Dec. 5, 2012

Plastic bulb development promises better quality light
BBC News
U.S. researchers say they have developed a new type of lighting that could replace fluorescent bulbs. The new source is made from layers of plastic and is said to be more efficient while producing a better quality of flicker-free light. The new light source is called field-induced polymer electroluminescent — or Fipel — technology, and scientists believe the first units will be produced in 2013.More

Partial carbon black replacement by nanoclay for enhanced crosslinking
SPE Plastics Research Online
For commercial production of rubber, it is essential to study the energy consumption during processing and vulcanization, as that helps to find the best curing parameters and directly influences the cost and effectiveness of the end product. Most of the final properties for rubber compounds correlate to the type and degree of vulcanization, as well as the type and amount of fillers. The study of cure kinetics and processing behavior gives a clear insight into the actual mechanisms of curing and its effect on the final properties of the end products.More

Thermoplastic-ceramic composites for electronics prepared by cryomilling
SPE Plastics Research Online
Barium titanate, or BaTiO3, is a ceramic material with electrical properties that are of interest for electronic components such as capacitors, sensors and storage memories. However, it requires high processing temperatures that may be incompatible with the usual methods of fabricating devices or printed circuit boards. A way to overcome this problem is to use submicrometer BaTiO3 particles as a filler in a thermoplastic composite, so as to combine its useful electrical properties with the polymer's pliability and ease of processing. More

Self-healing materials — The future of repairs
The ability to self-heal is one of the true wonders of nature, and now material scientists are closer than ever to reproducing this ability in everyday materials, which would hail in a new era in civil engineering and construction. Self-healing materials are those that have a potential to repair mechanical damages and cracks caused by overusage, without the need for human interference.More

First look as mill slams chemicals together
McGill University via Futurity
Bulk solvents pose a serious threat to human health and the environment. As a result, there is growing interest in avoiding their use by relying on "mechanochemistry" — an energy-efficient alternative that uses high frequency milling to drive reactions. Now, for the first time, scientists have studied a milling reaction in real time by using highly penetrating X-rays to observe the surprisingly rapid transformations as the mill mixed, ground and transformed simple ingredients into a complex product.More

Forecast for plastics products: Momentum will build in second half of 2013
MoldMaking Technology
In the third quarter of 2012, the Federal Reserve Board's data on the total output of plastics products escalated by 4 percent when compared with the third quarter of 2011, and it was also up 1 percent from the second quarter of this year. The level of output for the U.S. has hit a plateau at current levels, but it will accelerate rapidly once the growth in the overall economy picks up. More

Canadian plastics sector optimistic at home, opportunistic abroad
Plastics Today
David Palmer, chairman of the Canadian Association of Moldmakers said Canadian tool shops are busy with activity. "We've seen a resurgence; we've seen a recovery of the automotive sector," Palmer said. "At the same time, we're also looking at other opportunities in this global market." The Canadian $26.2 billion plastics industry features more than 3,000 companies and employees, according to Canadian Plastics Industry Association. More

Toronto City Council kills plastic bag ban
Toronto Star
Faced with lawsuits from the plastics industry, Toronto City Council voted 38-7 to forget about banning plastic shopping bags on Jan. 1 as planned. At the behest of Mayor Rob Ford, the council earlier this year scrapped the mandatory 5-cent bag fee introduced in 2009, which supporters said had been successful in slashing the number of bags dispensed. After the latest move, there are no official restrictions whatever on bags.More

Medical plastic recycling projects expand
Plastics Today
Results from pioneering plastic recycling projects at the Stanford University Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic are being developed into "lessons learned" and best practices guides designed to boost plastics recycling at hospitals around the United States.More

Converting waste rubber into quality products
CORDIS via Phys.org
Pioneering new research is set to upset the standard paradigm of downcycling, and as a result, high-quality new plastics from old plastics will soon be a possibility. This breakthrough is made possible thanks to a new kind of material: an environmentally friendly material mix called EPMT. More

Dutch aim for bioplastics domination
Plastics News
The Dutch government is investing in creating a bio-based economy and hopes to be known as "the land of green chemistry" by 2050. Bioplastics leaders from across Europe gathered in the Netherlands for a symposium organized by the Biobased Performance Materials program, where government and industry outlined plans to make the Netherlands one of the largest bio-based economies in the world.More

Announcing the publication of a practical study of the production and potential of multilayered plastic films
Plastics Information Direct
A new book published by Plastics Information Direct explores and explains the three key processes used to manufacture multilayered plastic films: extrusion coating, lamination and coextrusion. Films for applications such as food packaging and medical products demand a range of properties such as heat-sealability, puncture resistance, controlled gas transmission, product resistance, transparency or opacity and the ability to be printed and sterilized.More

Scientists image the molecular structure of polymer blends
National Institute of Standards and Technology via Phys.org
Using an enhanced form of "chemical microscopy," researchers there have shown that they can peer into the structure of blended polymers, resolving details of the molecular arrangement at submicrometer levels. The capability has important implications for the design of industrially important polymers like the polyethylene blends used to repair aging waterlines.More