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Processing and modeling techniques moving wind energy forward
By Don Rosato
Wind intercepted by the turbine is proportional to the square of its blade length. However, the maximum blade length of a turbine is limited by both the strength and stiffness of its material. The industry is looking to material advances in resin and fiber as well as processing technologies to enable development of longer, lighter turbine blades. Turbine blade manufacturing automation is a key wind-energy processing trend.
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Industry Pulse: What is a key emerging plastic processing or design technology in wind energy?

Last week's survey: Do green energy plans conflict with energy independence?


Improving the wear resistance of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene
SPE Plastics Research Online
Extensive exploration of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene as an engineering thermoplastic has led to its use in a wide range of applications today: among them, in medicine, is a total bone joint replacement. For this application in particular, there remains a need to improve the polymer's mechanical properties, primarily its wear resistance.
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    Plastic fantastic: The green side of plastic
    When the term "sustainability" was introduced to interior design, it posed an ethical challenge to the industry as a climate conscious market emphasized natural materials, recycling was vital and plastic became the sworn enemy. Today, a material that was recently seen as a symbol of waste is being repurposed as designers revive plastic for its incredible flexibility, durability and appealing price point. Plastic was linked to pollution in part due to the highly toxic substances it releases. Today, however, new plastic polymers have been created that are breathable and easier to recycle, such as polyethylene, polypropylene and polycarbonate.
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      Stoner Mold Cleaners & Release Agents

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    Which companies moved up in our 2013 recyclers' ranking?
    Plastics News
    Plastics News has published its annual ranking of North American recyclers, so let's take the opportunity to look at the number behind the ranking. In print, we rank the top 25 companies, but online we've got data for 226 companies. Three companies moved into the top 25 this year.

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    Test-firing the world's 1st fully 3-D printed gun
    A tall, sandy blond engineer named John just pulled a twenty-foot length of yellow string tied to a trigger, which has successfully fired the world's first entirely 3-D printed gun for the very first time, rocketing a .380 caliber bullet into a berm of dirt and prairie brush.

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    Batteries get flexible: Polymers could power bendable displays
    Chemical & Engineering News
    Imagine how versatile a rechargeable battery would be if it were lightweight and thin and could be flexed, stretched and rolled up. Organic polymers endowed with unusual combinations of properties may hold the key to these kinds of advanced batteries.

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    Why 3-D printing is overhyped — I should know, I do it for a living
    Everyone's now aware of 3-D printing — they've read about it in the papers, on blogs or seen it on TV. The mentality now seems to be that, in the future, we'll be able to download our products or make them ourselves with CAD programs, apps and 3-D scanners, then just print them out, either at home, or in localized print shops. Which, in turn, will supposedly decentralize manufacturing and bring it back to the West. But 3-D printing is severely overhyped — and Nick Allen, the founder of 3-D printing company 3-D Print UK, should know because it's what he does for a living.
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    Bench-top hand-operated molding machine wants to go bigger
    Plastics Today
    VideoBriefThe company behind the bench-top hand-operated injection molding machine that launched in November 2011 and has seen 60 units sold is now trying to find funding for a larger, upgraded model. LNS Technologies, the company that introduced the PIM-Shooter Model 20A is now hoping to launch the PIM-Shooter Model 150A, seeking investors on Kickstarter, the popular crowd-funding site.
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    Packaging award winners highlight collaboration and security
    Plastics News
    So ColaLife, an independent, nonprofit organization collaborated with several plastics industry players to use Coke's omnipresence to create the AidPod. The AidPod is a wedge-shaped, structural, self-contained package for an anti-diarrheal kit, designed to nestle into unused space between bottle necks in a crate of Coke. The AidPod won top honors, the Diamond Award, at DuPont's annual Awards for Packaging Innovation in Wilmington, Del.
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    Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword PACKAGING.

    Nozzles Exceed OEM Tolerances & Quality

    EMI stocks several styles of nozzles and tips in popular sizes and machine makes. We can also custom make them to your specifications. MORE
    Life-saving Precision

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    15 sectors, comprising nearly 80 percent of US manufacturing output, produced less in 2009 than in 2000
    The Huffington Post
    Talk of a manufacturing revival is in the air. America has, in fact, gained a quarter-million industrial jobs since the start of 2010. Unfortunately, this is less than 15 percent of the number lost during the recession. Furthermore, after this teasing uptick, U.S. manufacturing output seems to be stalling again. To get past the slew of analysis out there claiming everything is fine, it is crucial to understand why the usually quoted statistics that seem to show that American manufacturing is healthy are wrong.
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    Moth's eye inspires anti-reflective plastic
    European Plastics News
    A plastic with a texture inspired by the structure of a moth's eye has been developed by researchers at the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, a research institute of Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research, working with commercial partners.
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    Manufacturing interest at an early age
    Crain's Cleveland Business
    High schools and manufacturing are starting to mix again. Exposing high school students to manufacturing — and welding in particular — is critical, said Christopher L. Mapes, president and CEO of Lincoln Electric. Mapes said there is a shortage of welders, and that training alone won't solve the problem. It's important to get people interested in welding.
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    BASF project in China aims to show viability of bioplastics in composting food waste
    Plastics News
    German plastics maker BASF SE hopes to seed the market for biodegradable plastics in China with a trial program composting household food waste in 100,000 homes in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. The company said it hopes to give momentum to a trend in a few Chinese cities to compost food and organic waste, and that it sees opportunities for its various grades of biodegradable and compostable plastics.
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    Use of plastics implants is soaring
    Plastics Today
    Evidence continues to mount showing soaring use of plastics in medical implants, led by polyetheretherketone. As of February, the number of implantable medical devices manufactured from PEEK-OPTIMA and cleared for market in the US reached 500, with more than 80 approved for market in China.
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    Exeter researchers work with Coca-Cola to transform home recycling
    University of Exeter
    Researchers from the University of Exeter are working with Coca-Cola Enterprises on a groundbreaking study with 20 households in Great Britain and France to observe at-home recycling behaviors. The study will seek to understand why recycling rates are so low, despite people expressing strong beliefs towards environmental behaviors.
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    A mold change in less than 10 minutes...

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    The next frontier for 3-D printing: Helping the disabled
    Fast Co.Design
    People with disabilities are too often stuck buying expensive gadgets to improve their daily lives. Worse, those gadgets may be poorly designed and fabricated. For Enabled By Design, a nonprofit specializing in "good design [that] can support people to live as independently as possible," 3-D printing is a game-changer. Instead of buying mass-produced products, people with disabilities can manufacture exactly what they need to suit their individual needs.
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    Hong Kong launches plan to tackle waste crisis
    Hong Kong launched a ten-year plan to reduce waste by 40 percent per person as part of efforts to catch up with other leading Asian cities and avert a looming environmental crisis. The government's "blueprint" document proposed reaching its reduction target by expanding recycling, levying duties on household rubbish and improving waste-related infrastructure. It also mooted the possibility of building incinerators and extending existing landfill sites.
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    Study: Biodegradation of polyester polyurethane by endophytic fungi
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology
    Bioremediation is an important approach to waste reduction that relies on biological processes to break down a variety of pollutants. This is made possible by the vast metabolic diversity of the microbial world. To explore this diversity for the breakdown of plastic, we screened several dozen endophytic fungi for their ability to degrade the synthetic polymer polyester polyurethane.
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    Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        Getting green and energy independent: Nice try? (MultiBriefs)
    Multifunctional nanocomposites for environmental remediation (SPE Plastics Research Online)
    White House launches competition for 3 manufacturing innovation institutes (The White House)
    Your future will be manufactured on a 3-D printer (Bloomberg)
    The effort is there on bag recycling, but is it enough to stop the bans? (Plastics News)

    Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

    Florida governor signs manufacturing tax break bill
    Jacksonville Business Journal
    Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill that eliminates state sales tax on the purchase of new manufacturing equipment. The measure, which gives manufacturers a three-year break on paying the 6 percent tax, had been one of Scott's top legislative priorities and he circled the state to promote it.
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    Disney turns you into a 3-D printed Stormtrooper
    Created by Disney Research, the scanning process only requires about 10 minutes of exposure to a high-resolution single-shot 3-D face scanner. From there, the image of your visage goes off to a 3-D printer and the finished figurine arrives on your doorstep some seven to eight weeks later. There's also a carbon-freeze option for those who want to see themselves in a block of Bespin's finest without dealing with that crummy hibernation sickness.
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    SPE Industry Update
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    Disclaimer: The SPE Industry Update is a digest of the most important news selected for the Society of Plastics Engineers from thousands of sources by the editors of MultiBriefs. Neither MultiBriefs nor the Society of Plastics Engineers is responsible for opinions or statements of facts expressed in the articles referenced in SPE Industry Update. Advertising appearing in SPE Industry Update is not to be taken as an endorsement, expressed or implied, of the respective company's processes, products or services represented in the ad.

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