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Home   Membership   Technical Resources   Events   Technical Groups   Online Store Aug. 17, 2011

Cheap shale gas means record US chemical industry growth
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Dow Chemical spent a decade moving chemical production to the Middle East and Asia. Now it's leading the biggest expansion ever seen back home in the U.S. as shale gas revives the industry's economics. Dow is among companies planning to build crackers, industrial plants typically costing $1.5 billion apiece that process hydrocarbons into ethylene and other synthetic materials. More


Blend membranes for ionic polymer-metal composite actuators
SPE Plastics Research Online    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ionic polymer-metal composite actuators produce a voltage when a mechanical force is applied to them. They are used as biomimetic sensors, actuators, and biomedical devices and display continuously large actuation displacements — both without back relaxation and with large blocking forces — at low DC voltages. However, the need to maintain ion mobility without hydrolyzing water can limit their useful voltage range. More

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Synthesis of core-shell block copolymers by miniemulsion polymerization
SPE Plastics Research Online    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Block copolymers that possess both soft and hard components of different glass transition temperatures are one of the most important polymer classes. They are usually synthesized through anionic polymerization with either sequential or coupling methods in solution. Unfortunately, the procedures used for industrial synthesis of polystyrene-b-polybutadiene-b-polystyrene and polystyrene-b-polyisoprene-b-polystyrene are typically rigorous, expensive, and toxic. More

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US sales and production of resin slows
Plastics Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Production, sales and captive use of plastics in the U.S. slipped during June on a year-over-year basis, and while overall first-half figures for 2011 are up slightly, bigger gains and market momentum seen in March and April seem to have faded. According to statistics released by the American Chemistry Council, U.S. production of major plastic resins totaled 6.2 billion lb during June 2011, a decrease of 0.3 percent compared to the same month in 2010. More

Borealis CEO says repeat of 2008 petchems collapse unlikely
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The chief executive of Austria-based chemicals company Borealis, Mark Garrett, told Platts the global market turmoil is unlikely to lead to a repeat of the collapse of the petrochemicals market in late 2008. "Is it a repeat of the fourth quarter of 2008? No, we don't think so," Garrett said in a telephone interview after the release of the company's second quarter results. More

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Plastic from the wood: Environmentally friendly packaging
Materials Views    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As fossil fuel supplies dwindle and as consumers increasingly demand environmentally friendly products, various companies have begun to commercialize sustainable or green polymers. The most successful bio-renewable synthetic plastic is poly (lactic acid), which can be found in various packaging applications. However, drawbacks to PLA include: A limited functional temperature range; the utilization of a food source for its starting material (corn and other starches); and a reliance on batchwise fermentation technology for feedstock conversion. More

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Opinion: The assault on America's plastic composites industry
Industry Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Jobs and revenue are at great risk for leaving the U.S. if people become afraid of styrene as a result of the National Toxicology Program classifying styrene as 'reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen' in June, writes Congressman Donald Manzullo, R-Ill. More

Plastics use rises after Hong Kong taxes bags
Plastics News China    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A study from the Hong Kong plastics industry says that contrary to expectations, the city's bag tax has increased the amount of plastic used in bags by more than 25 percent, prompting industry officials to question the 2-year-old law’s environmental benefits. The study found that use of the plastic bags targeted by the law — the T-shirt and die-cut bags commonly used at supermarkets and retailers — did drop substantially, as the law envisioned. More

Polymer's hunt for nicotine
Science Daily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Newly synthesized polymer, fitted with molecular pincers of carefully tailored structure, effectively captures nicotine molecules and its analogues. The polymer can be used for fabrication of sensitive and selective chemical sensors to determine nicotine in solutions, and in the near future also in gases. Moreover, the polymer is suitable for slow, controlled release of nicotine, e.g., for therapeutic purposes. More

ACI still growing after 25 years
Plastics News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Advanced Composites Inc. recently marked its 25th year of navigating the highways and byways of the North American automotive field. And the firm isn't slowing down — with plans to add compounding capacity at two of its sites by the end of 2012. The Sidney-based company is one of North America's largest compounders of polypropylene and of PP-based thermoplastic olefins. More

Sonoco Plastics to develop new rigid plastic container plant in Ohio
Enhanced Online News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sonoco, one of the largest diversified global packaging companies, will be developing a new rigid plastic container operation in the new Beauty and Home Care campus in New Albany, Ohio. The new plant is expected to be operational by the end of the second quarter of 2012. More

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Taiwan July oil imports fall after Formosa Plastics accident
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Taiwan, which imports more than 99 percent of its crude oil needs, purchased less of the fuel last month after an accident at Formosa Plastics Group reduced processing capacity. Shipments declined 27 percent from a year earlier to 27.2 million barrels last month, the Ministry of Finance said. The island's July oil bill climbed 10 percent to $3.02 billion, the ministry said in a statement. More

Engineers create polymer light-emitting devices that can be stretched like rubber    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Stretchable electronics, an emerging class of modern electronic materials that can bend and stretch, have the potential to be used in a wide range of applications, including wearable electronics, "smart skins" and minimally invasive biomedical devices that can move with the body. More

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