July 2007

Close-Up on Technology

Infrared Crystallizes and Dries PET Faster and with Less Energy
In the search for ways to dry hygroscopic resins faster and more efficiently, infrared energy is an approach that many dryer makers find intriguing and potentially promising.

Nanocomposite Foams Unveiled At SPI Processors' Conference
One of the industry’s first uses of nanocomposite foams for strong, lightweight composites was introduced at April’s 2007 Plastics Parts Innovation Conference of the SPI Alliance of Plastics Processors (APP) in Memphis, Tenn. (The APP was formerly SPI’s Structural Plastics Div.) Other news highlights of the meeting included one of the first uses of external gas-assist molding in the U.S., a new use of direct in-line compounding of long-fiber thermoplastics (D-LFT) to make glass-mat thermoplastic (GMT) sheet, and a unique one-piece automotive grille guard with a molded-in chrome tube. Lighter, stronger foamsNanoclays and carbon nanotubes from 5 to 10 nanometers thick have been incorporated into foams of PVC, polystyrene, and polypropylene in a collaborative project called the Center for Multifunctional Polymer Nanomaterials and Devices (CMPND) at Ohio State University.

New Barrier Options Debut at SPE ANTEC
Innovative barrier technologies to boost the shelf-life of PET bottles were introduced at the May SPE ANTEC 2007 conference in Cincinnati.

New Machinery and Processes for Thermosets, LSR Foam and Moldable Leather
A new small vertical press for insert molding and a new BMC stuffer were rolled out by Arburg GmbH + Co.

New Screw Design for Long-Glass Microcellular Foam Molding
A combination of microcellular foam molding and long-glass fibers offers new potential for injection molding to penetrate large structural automotive parts such as door-module carriers, brackets, and front-end systems.

Starting Up

PP Prices Drop While Others Rise
Domestic resin demand was moderate to slow in the second quarter, but exports were booming and many feedstock prices were rising.

Your Business In Brief - July 2007
SABIC Buys GE PlasticsGeneral Electric Co., Fairfield, Conn., has agreed to sell its GE Plastics business, based in Pittsfield, Mass., to Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for $11.6 billion.

Your Business Outlook - July 2007
There is nothing surprising about the recent downtrend in market demand for vinyl windows and siding.


Carbon Nanotubes Lots of Potential--If the Price is Right
With capacity scale-ups driving prices down, the pace has picked up for commerical applications that boost electrical and thermal conductivity, structural strength, and thermal stability.

Composites–Part II New Reinforcements and Materials At Paris JEC Show
Part II of our review of the biggest international composites show focuses on new reinforcements, resins, prepregs, and additives. Thermoplastics were a particularly strong presence.

What Are You Buying?
The market votes with its checkbook.

Keeping Up With Technology

8-Micron LLDPE Blown Films
When Borealis Group in Austria launched the world's fi rst bimodal LLDPE grades eight years ago, it was targeting thicker industrial blown fi lms that could take advantage of the material's broad MWD, high melt strength, and extraordinary tensile strength.

Additives Improve Utility, Weatherability
Three new polymer modifi ers were launched by Chicago-based HallStar Co. (formerly known as CPH Holding and before that, C.P.

Barrel Venting Option Improves Part Surfaces
A venting system that improves part surface quality by removing gas in the melt before it is injected is a new option from JSW Plastics Machinery Inc., Corona, Calif.

Biocompatible Masterbatches For Medical Applications
New standard lines of UniColor universal masterbatches and precolored resins for use in medical devices and disposables and medical/pharmaceutical packaging are available from RTP Co., Winona, Minn.

Clear OPS Shrink Labels Add UV Barrier to PET
A new decorative heat-shrink label fi lm developed by France's Sleever Technologies (North American offi ce in Toronto) is said to provide an effective uv barrier while maintaining the transparency of PET bottles.

Colorants, Additives for Biodegradable Plastics
A newly launched line of colorants and additives was developed specifi cally for use in biodegradable polymers such as polylactide (PLA), polyhydroxybutyratevalerate copolymer (PHBV), polybutene succinate (PBS), polybutylene adipate co-terephthalate (PBAT), and starch blends.

Datalogger Now Standard on Dryers
The latest PCT2 dual-bed desiccant dryers from Universal Dynamics, Inc., Woodbridge, Va., now come standard with the fi rm's FCX control, which incorporates the System Datalogger.

Dual-Head Surface Treater
A new plasma treating system has two treater heads that reportedly add fl exibility while costing one-third less than two separate treaters.

Extruded Foot Bridges Of PP/Wood Composite
Green Forest Composites Inc. in Nevada, Mo., is extruding die-drawn, oriented composite boards up to 60 ft long of PP plus 30% wood fi ber for pedestrian bridges.

Fluorination + UV Coating Preserves WPC Decking
New oxidative surface treatment with reactive fl uorine gas is the fi rst such treatment for wood/plastic composites that allows them to be painted or coated, says Inhance/Fluoro-Seal in Houston.

Get Higher Output From Your Pelletizer
For about a year, the Black Clawson Converting Machinery div. of Davis-Standard LLC in Fulton, N.Y., has been retrofi tting and debottlenecking pelletizers with die plates suited to higher output.

High Vinyl Acetate EVA Covers Cable Needs
A new EVA random copolymer for oil-resistant crosslinked cable and fl exible jacketing boasts a very high vinyl acetate content (40%) and a low MFI (less than 3), a diffi cult combination to achieve, according to the supplier, Arkema Inc., Philadelphia.

How Many Extruders in Your Online Shopping Cart?
Since developing its standardized Alpha single-screw extruder over six years ago, Cincinnati Extrusion in Austria (U.S. offi ces in Erlanger, Ky.) has sold 473.

Largest Continuous Former Finds Commercial Use
What's said to be the largest continuous roll-fed thermoformer in the world has found use producing 32-oz PP cold-drink cups in 144 cavities.

Long-Fiber Injection With In-Mold Graining
Germany's Krauss-Maffei (U.S. headquarters in Florence, Ky.) has teamed up with German moldtexturing expert Galvanoform to develop a process that combines K-M's PUR Long-Fiber Injection (LFI) process with Galvanoform's in-mold graining (IMG) technology.

Low-Cost Electric Presses Are Made in China
A new, line of all-electric toggle presses built in China by Toshiba Machine Co.

Low-Gloss Mold Release For Polyurethane
A new low-gloss, water-based mold release is specifi cally designed for in-mold painted PUR auto interior parts.

Matrix Optimizes Capstock Resins
Which base resin gives the best cost and performance in a given color of capstock on a PVC or wood composite profi le?

Mini Cavity-Pressure Sensors for Small Parts
Miniature cavity-pressure sensors have been added to the Priasafe line from Priamus System Technologies LLC, Brunswick, Ohio.

New All-Electric Line Debuts At Japan Show
A new all-electric toggle press series debuted at last month's Platex show in Osaka from Toyo Machinery & Metal Co., Ltd. (represented here by Maruka U.S.A.

New Leak Detector Has PLC Control
A new leak detector for plastic containers now comes with a PLC-based control for improved testing capability.

New TPUs for Medical Use
A new family of polyether TPUs is aimed at medical applications like catheters, thin-wall tubing, connectors, luers, stopcocks, films, and fabric coatings.

Non-stick Coating Eases Heater Removal
Extraction of cartridge heaters from precision-drilled holes just got easier, thanks to the new Duraslik coating on heaters from Durex Industries, Cary, Ill.

PEEK Films Make Commercial Launch
A line of fi lms based on Victrex PEEK resin have been launched by Victrex USA Inc., West Conshohocken, Pa.

PET Dryer Is Said to Cut Energy Use by 67%
A new method of recycling hot exhaust air back into the drying hopper of a wheel-type desiccant-rotor dryer is said to reduce energy consumption in high-volume PET processing by up to 67% relative to other desiccant dryers.

QC Software For Color Reader
New Windows-based quality-control software is said to provide an extremely accurate, easy-to-use, and competively priced method of measuring and comparing colors on the production fl oor.

See-Through Vacuum Loader Built for Quick Changes
The new Glass-Vu loading system from Novatec, Inc., Baltimore, includes cylindrical loaders, receivers, and machine-mount hoppers that have large, wrap-around glass midsections to give a clear view of the loading process and aid in setup.

Simple Control of Small Central Handling Systems
A new controller for up to 12 vacuum-loading stations is said to be affordable and easy to use.

Small Hybrid Vertical Press Unveiled in Japan
A new hybrid-electric vertical-injection/vertical-clamp press was introduced at the Platex show in Osaka, Japan, by Nissei Plastic Industrial Co.

Tandem Planetary Rollers Handle High Filler Loads
American Maplan Corp., McPherson, Kan., is developing a new approach to compounding highly fi lled composites, using two planetaryroller extruders in tandem.

Three New Resins Aimed At Aircraft Interiors
Three new engineering resins from GE Plastics, Pittsfi eld, Mass., are designed to provide reduced weight, enhanced fl ame resistance, and lower cost in aircraft interiors.

Tilt-Mold Cut-Sheet Former Boosts Output
A new high-speed cut-sheet thermoformer features an 80° tilting mold for producing water and yogurt cups of PP, HIPS, and PET.

TPUs Get the Yellow Out
A new family of thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) with a low yellow index will be commercialized under the Pellethane brand by the end of 2007, according to Dow Chemical, Midland, Mich.

User-Friendly Upgrades For Cavity-Pressure System
Enhanced performance and ease of use are claimed to result from new or upgraded features on the latest version of the eDART process controller from RJG Inc., Traverse City, Mich.

Vacuum Hopper Removes Most Moisture
A new two-stage vacuum hopper is said to remove at least 60% of the moisture and/or volatiles in undried resin before it enters the injection barrel.

Valve-Gate Nozzles Suited to Packaging
A new line of hot-runner valve-gate nozzles for closures and other packaging comes from Hasco America, Arden, N.C.

Wider 7-Layer Cast Stretch-Film Lines
Adtech Provera SpA in Rovato, Italy, held an open house in April to demonstrate a 5-meter-wide cast stretch-fi lm line with four extruders (180-, 160-, and two 120-mm diam.) for up to 7-layer cast fi lm.

World's First Dedicated PEEK Film Plant
In May, Victrex PLC in the U.K. (U.S. offi ce in West Conshohocken, Pa.), maker of Victrex PEEK high-performance thermoplastic, started up the world's fi rst dedicated, high-volume production line for PEEK fi lm.

CW Brabender
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