December 2004

Close-Up on Technology

D-LFT Composites Aim for Auto Body Panels
Direct long-fiber thermoplastic (D-LFT) compounding and molding is getting ready to expand beyond non-appearance structural automotive parts to exterior body panels.

Two-Material Automotive Part Is Cored Out with Water
A three-stage injection process involving nylon, polypropylene, and water assist was demonstrated at the recent K 2004 show in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Processor's Edge

Not Such Good Advice Anymore?
The Plastics Academy of St.


In Praise of Trade Shows
I doubt anybody attends more trade shows than a plastics editor.

In-Mold Labeling Catching on in North America
Already a familiar sight on European store shelves, the eye-catching appeal of "IML" is gaining traction among North American injection molders. The latest tooling and automation designs can handle the higher volumes needed here.

Know Your Mold Coatings
Nowadays, there's a lot more to mold wear and corrosion protection than just hard chrome and electroless nickel. Some tools need more protection or more lubricity than they can offer. Here's one expert's guide to the newer options.

Plastics Building Materials: Slower Growth But Still Strong
North American production of extruded window and door profiles rose rapidly in 2004.

Polyurethanes: Foams Go 'Green' at Ever-Lower Cost
A great deal of effort is going into formulating rigid and flexible foams for lower cost and better properties, despite the transition to "cleaner" blowing agents. Improving fire and smoke performance is another challenge.

CW Brabender
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