November 2008

Close-Up on Technology

Colloidal Silica Processing Aid Slashes Molding Cycle Times
Ultra-fine synthetic silica particles have been shown in laboratory and commercial field trials to reduce injection molding cycle times by 20% to 30% in polypropylene, filled and unfilled nylon, PBT, and ABS.

New Machines and Materials Unveiled At SPE Thermoforming Conference
A new continuous roll-fed machine for high-precision forming and a flexible pressure former for prototyping were among the highlights of the recent 18th Annual SPE Thermoforming Conference in Minneapolis.

Processor's Edge

Vacuum Venting Keeps Molds Running Longer
In tough economic times, facing hungry competition here and abroad, molders cannot afford to ignore preventable problems that slow cycles, cost machine downtime and mold maintenance, and waste material on reject parts.

Starting Up

Economic Outlook - November 2008
After enjoying 6% growth in 2007, large-parts blow molders have struggled in 2008.

Hourly Rate Survey - November 2008
Custom injection molders raised machine-hour rates sharply in the first half of 2008, despite a substantial drop in their capacity utilization and a gloomy outlook for business conditions.

Market Outlook - November 2008
Despite current economic worries, Mastio & Company’s most recent Injection Molding Markets Study forecasts moderate growth for injection molded consumer products in the next two years.

Your Business In Brief - November 2008
First Biobased PP Developed in BrazilAlready the first to develop bio-sourced LLDPE and HDPE, Brazil’s Braskem (U.S. office in Wilmington, Del.), has produced the first samples of polypropylene from 100% renewable raw material.

Your Business Pricing Update - November 2008
All commodity resin prices are down and still falling, thanks to weak global demand and soft feedstock prices.


They’re Multiplying Everywhere!
Preoccupied as you may have been lately by high resin prices, a stagnating economy, overseas competitors, hurricane disruptions, and the credit crunch, not to mention the chaos on Wall Street, you may not have noticed something new and different sprouting up all around you, so to speak.

Unbalanced? No Shortage of Ways to Fix Uneven Filling of Multi-Cavity Molds
The accepted ground rule for balancing melt flow in multi-cavity injection molds is to achieve equal flow distance from the injection point to each cavity.

Keeping Up With Technology

‘Fade’ Effect Colors for Personal-Care Packaging
New special color effects for personalcare bottles use multilayer coextrusion to provide a seamless transition from one color to another along the length of the container.

Adhesive PE for Pipe Coating
A new maleic-anhydride grafted LLDPE adhesive resin is specially designed to for anticorrosion coatings on on oil, gas, and water pipelines.

Adjustable Pipe Calibrator Gets Bigger
An adjustable calibrator is available in a new larger size from Inoex GmbH in Germany (U.S. office in Lancaster, Pa.). The Advantage Sleeve can now accommodate pipe diameters up to 1200 mm, vs. up to 400 mm before.

Color Metering Systems For PUR
A color-metering system for PUR is said to eliminate the risk of color carryover.

Combo Lab Lines Run Blown/Cast Film or Sheet
A five-layer cast and blown film line for lab or small-scale production was recently built by Macro Engineering & Technology Inc., Mississauga, Ont.

Compact Cleanroom Cell
A compact cleanroom molding design requiring about 6 sq ft of floorspace was exhibited by Boy Machines Inc., Exton, Pa., at a recent trade show in Poland.

Data Management Software For Ultrasonic Welders
DataRecorder from Herrmann Ultrasonics Inc., Bartlett, Ill., is a new Windows-based add-on software package that improves the data-management and communications capabilities of the company’s Dialog ultrasonic welders.

Diamond-Coated Drill For Reinforced Epoxy
A new diamond-coated parabolic drill from Onsrud Cutter, Libertyville, Ill., is designed for carbon fiber/epoxy composites.

Eight-Station Pad Printer With Carousel
A two-color, sealed-cup pad printer with integral carousel boasts quick setup and reduced printing costs.

Epoxy/Urethanes for High-Heat Composites
WEB EXCLUSIVE A line of polyurethane resin systems high glass-transition temperature (Tg) and low smoke and flame-spread ratings is newly available in North America for use in high-temperature composites.

Equipment Makers Move
Two recent moves by plastics equipment firms to larger quarters include the relocation of injection machine supplier Negri Bossi USA from Newark, Del., to New Castle, Del.

Extrude PET Strapping From Undried Flake
A 90-mm single-screw extruder produced PET strapping from 100% undried PET bottle flake at a July open house of SIMA SrL, Bologna, Italy, a builder of extrusion lines for strapping.

Faster Die-Flow Simulation
Plastic Flow LLC, Houghton, Mich., a spin-off from Michigan Tech University, released polyXtrue software last summer to simulate monolayer die flow.

Faster Die-Flow Simulations
WEB EXCLUSIVE Two developers of 3D flow simulation software are releasing faster programs.

First Commercial System For Oriented PVC Pipe
A new commercially available system stretches and orients PVC pipe with air rather than water, reportedly achieving both higher stretch ratios and larger diameters than previous technologies developed by processors for their own use.

Foam Cell Stabilizer For PVC Sheet
A new acrylic cell stabilizer for rigid PVC foam sheet is said to reduce additive usage by 10% to 15% or else produce lower-density foam with performance equal to higher densities.

FR Concentrate For Heat-Seal Films
A brominated flame-retardant concentrate is designed for industrial bags, foam packaging, and other products that need good heat-sealability and printability.

Heat-Reflective Acrylic For Dark-Colored Parts
A new heat-reflecting acrylic compound from Evonik Cyro LLC, Parsippany, N.J., reduces heat buildup by up to 20% in dark-colored outdoor parts for automotive, building/construction, marine, and recreational markets.

Hopper Vibrator Prevents Bridging
A new hopper vibrating unit is said to prevent bridging and rat-holing of cohesive, hard-to-flow bulk materials in stainless-steel hoppers.

Hybrid Pump System Boasts Energy Savings
A new high-pressure hydraulic power system is said to improve energy efficiency and process control in injection molding machines.

Hydraulic Accumulator Presses Get Electric Screw Drive
Screw plastication consumes most of the energy on an injection machine, so two suppliers have outfitted accumulator-assisted hydraulic presses with new electric screw drives.

Hydrophobic Epoxy for Electrical Insulators
A new semi-flexible, cycloaliphatic epoxy from Huntsman Advanced Materials, The Woodlands, Texas, is used to mold sheds for outdoor electrical insulators in medium- to high-voltage applications.

Industry’s Largest Injection-Blow Unit
Jomar Corp., Pleasantville, N.J., is introducing what’s said to be the industry’s largest injection-blow machine.

Integrate Machine Control And Cavity Sensing
A new control option that combines injection machine control with cavity-pressure/temperature sensing and control comes from Keba AG, Linz, Austria, and Priamus System Technologies LLC., Brunswick, Ohio.

Jet Milling Service for Hard-to-Grind Plastics
Advanced size-reduction technology is said to mill plastics previously considered ungrindable.

Large Electric Presses Loaded with Enhancements
A new line of large all-electric machines is said to be quieter, more responsive, and more economical to operate, among other improvements.

Low-Chlorine PPS For E/E Applications
Ticona Engineering Polymers, Florence, Ky., has developed a low-chlorine version of Fortron PPS that meets eco-compliant demands for electrical and electronics components.

Low-Gloss PC/ABS For Auto Interiors
A new low-gloss PC/ABS blend from Bayer MaterialScience, Pittsburgh, is aimed at glove-box doors, cup holders, door trim, knee bolsters, console bin doors, and overhead trim.

Melt-Strength Enhancer and Impact Modifier for PLA
WEB EXCLUSIVE Two new acrylic additives for packaging made from polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymer come from Rohm and Haas Corp., Philadelphia.

Mini Date Stamp For Ultra Small Parts
A new series of stainless-steel date stamps, including a mini version for very small parts, comes from Hasco America Inc., Arden, N.C.

Mold Release for PUR Elastomers
A new mold release is designed for urethane elastomers used in auto interiors.

Mono and Dual Strand PVC Profile Dies Trim Backpressure
Two recently developed dies from Gruber & Co.

More Materials for FDM Prototyping
WEB EXCLUSIVE New material options for FDM (fused-deposition modeling) rapid-prototyping and direct digital manufacturing systems are available from Stratasys, Inc., Minneapolis.

New Cellulosic Grades
WEB EXCLUSIVE A new cellulose acetate grade with improved properties has been introduced by Rotuba Extruders, Linden, N.J.

New Soft TPVs Are Electrically Conductive
A new line of electrically conductive olefinic TPVs from RTP Co., Winona, Minn., features Shore A hardnesses of 55 to 85 for replacing conductive EPDM rubber.

New Source of Mold Locks
Interlocks that ensure accurate alignment and guidance of the mold halves are new additions to the line of D-M-E Co., Madison Heights, Mich.

New Source of Slide-Plate Screen Changers
The first slide-plate screen changers from Kreyenborg GmbH in Germany (U.S. office in Lawrenceville, Ga.), were introduced last month.

Pad-Printing Ink for PP
A new single-component pad-printing ink was developed specifically for adhesion to treated and untreated polypropylene, especially in medical applications.

Pepsi Unveils Lighter Half-Liter PET Bottles
Pepsi-Cola North America, Purchase, N.Y., has lightweighted its flavored non-carbonated 500-cc PET bottles by more than 20%. The weight of iced-tea and fruit-drink bottles was cut from 23.5 g to 18.6 g through structural bottle design, according to the company.

PLA Biopolymers: New Copolymers, Expandable Beads, Engineering Alloys and More
Up to now, the number-one biopolymer in commercial use, polylactic acid or PLA, has been available mainly from one supplier and in a limited range of varieties. But there appear to be a number of new sources waiting in the wings, who are preparing a profusion of new PLA variants—copolymers, alloys, “engineering” PLA and even “do-it-yourself” PLA.

Plasma Unit for Hard-to-Treat Extruded Profiles
A variable-chemistry atmospheric plasma treater is designed for hard-to-treat surfaces and especially extruded profiles such as wire, cable, tubing, sheet, and boards.

Portable Injection Units With Hot-Runner Control
Hot-runner temperature controls from Gammaflux LP, Sterling, Va., are now standard on Universal Multishot System portable auxiliary injection units from MGS Mfg.

PVDF Capacitors Under Development
Solvay Solexis, West Deptford, N.J., has entered into a joint development agreement with Strategic Polymer Sciences, State College, Pa., for large-scale production of ultra-high-energy capacitor materials based on biaxially oriented PVDF films.

Shut Off Individual Gates In Multi-Tip Hot Runner
A new manual shut-off feature is available for the Melt-Disk side-entry, hot-tip gating system from Mold-Masters Ltd., Georgetown, Ont.

Smoother MuCell Foams With Mold Thermal Cycling
The Series III MuCell microcellular molding system from Trexel Inc., Woburn, Mass., has been teamed with “Variotherm” mold heating/cooling technology to produce smoother part surfaces.

Software for Reactive Extrusion Simulation
Software for twin-screw extrusion simulation, developed by Sciences Computers Consultants in St.-Etienne, France, was introduced to the U.S. with a presentation at the SPE ANTEC in Milwaukee last May.

Solvent-Free Adhesive For Vacuum Infusion
The Vac-Tac adhesive system from Power Adhesives, Charlotte, N.C., is a solvent-free and reportedly fast-acting system for holding reinforcements, cores, bleeders, breathers, peel plies, and release films in mold layups for vacuum infusion.

Stiff, Ductile Blends Of PC and PBT or PET
A new series of PC/PBT and PC/PET alloys combines a nanofibrillated thermoplastic network and patent-pending mineral filler technology to produce an unusual balance of stiffness and ductility.

Transparent Colors For PET Bottles
WEB EXCLUSIVE A new transparent color masterbatch is said to offer an exciting fluorescent appearance to PET bottles energy drinks and personal-care products.

Twin-Bore Capillary Rheometer from New Source
A new twin-bore capillary rheometer with a new software package is said to enable users to make fast, accurate rheological measurements on a wide range of materials.

Water-Based Release for BMC/SMC
MoldWiz 985JB is a new concentrated water-based mold release for SMC/BMC molding.

CW Brabender
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