Article Archive

August 2011

Past Issues

Starting Up

Braskem Buys Dow's PP Business
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Braskem in Brazil has acquired the polypropylene business of Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich.

Thermoformer Offers Tips for Working with Wal-Mart
Chicago-area thermoformer Dordan Manufacturing will be offering tutorials on Wal-Mart’s Packaging Modeling 3.0 software at Pack Expo 2011, Sept. 26-28 in Las Vegas.

First 100% RPET Soft-Drink Bottle in North America
Last month, PepsiCo Beverages Canada, Mississauga, Ont., unveiled what’s said to be North America’s first soft-drink bottle made from 100% recycled PET.

Report Details Opportunities for Battery-Film Processors
If you make battery separator films you might be interested in a report released recently by Eldib Engineering & Research, Berkeley Heights, N.J.

'Green'...And Microwaveable Too
New technology from Teknor Apex Co., Pawtucket, R.I., eliminates a property tradeoff that could allow polylactic acid (PLA) to supplant polystyrene and polypropylene for microwavable frozen-food trays, lids for hot beverage cups, and carry-out containers.

Nova Plans Major PE Expansions
Nova Chemicals Corp., Pittsburgh, plans three capacity additions at its facilities in Canada.

Biopolymer Database Adds Applications
An Application Database has been added to the Biopolymer Database available at Plastics Technology’s PLASPEC Global materials datacenter ( The biopolymer database allows material searches by polymer, producer, mechanical or thermal properties, and by attributes such as biodegradability, compostability, food approval, and renewable-resource or recycled-resin content.

Biobased PTT Polyester Used in Hybrid Car
The first commercial automotive application for Sorona EP biobased PTT polyester from DuPont Performance Polymers, Wilmington, Del., is in the interior of the Toyota Prius (alpha) hybrid car made in Japan.

Americhem Expands in North Carolina
Americhem, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, is building a new manufacturing “campus” in Liberty, N.C., near Greensboro.

World's Smallest Hot-Runner Controller
Measuring 97 x 61 x 30 mm and weighing 135 g, you can hold it in your hand.

DMS Opens China Facilities
Mold-components supplier DMS North America, Oldcastle, Ont., has opened a new office in Hong Kong and a distribution center in Dongguan, China.

Know How

The Effects of Temperature
The polymers we work with follow the same principles as the body: the hotter the environment becomes, the less performance we can expect.

Where Does Shear Heating Occur? Here’s How to Find Out
One of the least understood yet most important concepts is viscous dissipation, which is the shearing or stretching of the polymer between the rotating screw and stationary barrel, causing heat to develop in the material.

Know Your Head Tooling Requirements
The head tooling consists of the mandrel and bushing. Its purpose is to form the parison size needed to make a given part.

Keeping Up With Technology

INJECTION MOLDING: Hot Runners for Auto Lighting
Synventive Molding Solutions, Peabody, Mass., has come out with a line of hot-runner systems tailored for automotive lighting such as front and rear lenses.

INJECTION MOLDING: New Modular Presses Debut
The new F-Series from Ferromatik Milacron (U.S. office in Batavia, Ohio) began shipping in May with its first three models—80, 160, and 350 metric tons.

BLOW MOLDING: Flying-Head Leak Tester Gives High Output, Easy Changeovers
W. Amsler Equipment Inc., Richmond Hill, Ont., has extended its line of leak testers with an innovative flying-head design that offers blow molders high output, flexibility, and tool-free changeovers.

EXTRUSION: Entry-Level, Fixed-Point Web Gauging
The new fixed-point 8000-F web-gauging system is described as a cost-effective, entry-level version of the TDi family of distributed measurement and control systems from NDC Infrared Engineering Inc., Irwindale, Calif.

AUXILIARIES: Versatile, Compact, Benchtop Spectrophotometers
Konica Minolta Sensing Americas, Inc.

AUXILIARIES: Modular Central Chillers Debut
The new GC Series central chiller from ACS, Schaumburg, Ill. (parent of AEC, Sterling, and Colortronic North America), has modules that range from 20 to 60 tons, allowing processor to add cooling capacity as the need arises, up to 300 tons.

MATERIALS: PLA Properties Get a Boost
Four suppliers are bringing out higher-performance materials partly or wholly based on PLA biopolymer.

MATERIALS: Static-Dissipative ABS for Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing
WEB EXCLUSIVE: A new static-dissipative ABS for fused deposition modeling (FDM) is available from Stratasys, Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn.

MATERIALS: Colorable PC/ABS for LDS Electronic Circuitry
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Laser direct structuring (LDS) is a powerful technology for adding electrical circuit paths to plastics electronic products such as mobile phone and notebook antennas or molded interconnect devices (MIDs). But up to now, LDS-ready plastics were limited mainly to black.

MATERIALS: New Polyolefin Elastomer for TPOs
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich., has introduced Engage XLT, a new grade of polyolefin elastomer (POE) for PP-based TPOs.

MATERIALS: Higher Prices for PBT, TPU, Nylon, Thermosets & More
MATERIALS: Higher Prices for PBT, TPU, Nylon, Thermosets & More

Close-Up on Technology

New Barrel Heater/Cooler Saves ‘Juice' to Run an Extruder
New, patent-pending design is said to reduce both radiant and convection heat losses.

Physically Foamed HIPS Is New Factor in Rigid Packaging
Relief for escalating costs of packaging materials and an opportunity to address sustainability goals are two factors that have helped attract global attention to a new physical foaming technology for HIPS packaging.

Novel Molds & Machinery for Medical Molding
The combined MD&M East and Plastec East shows in N.Y.C. in June presented intriguing developments for medical injection molders.


Automation & Waste Reduction: Medical Molder's Prescription for Efficiency
Vision Technical Molding in Manchester, Conn., doesn’t believe in standing still.

Why—and How—to Baseline Your Extruder
If you don’t baseline your extruder, then how are you going to set realistic expectations for its performance? Here's how to get going.

Boost Performance, Speed, Economy with Servo-Controlled Welding
Ultrasonic welding is one of the most widely used processes for bonding polymers, valued for its speed, flexibility, and low cost.

Energy Miser: Use Less Energy to Generate Compressed Air
Last month, we addressed how to minimize your plant’s usage of costly compressed air.


To Troubleshoot Profile Extrusion, First Get to Know All the Variables
It requires patience, logical thinking, and a methodical approach to assess each unique problem and solve the problem in a timely fashion.


Treat Every Pellet Like a Pearl
You’re probably between the proverbial rock and hard place competitively.

Wood on Plastics: Medical Outlook: All or Nothing?
Medical market filled with opportunities...and risks.

Practical Processor
Your processing questions answered.

Processor's Edge

Compounder’s Low Headroom Doesn’t Stunt Its Growth
With careful planning and the use of bulk-bag discharging and conveying equipment, The Plastics Group of America was able to accommodate its latest expansion on one level of its 60,000-ft² building.

Resin Prices

Commodity Prices Fall; More Dips Coming?
Falling prices for the four main commodity thermoplastics was the trend by mid-July.

CW Brabender
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