January 2011

Close-Up on Technology

BLOW MOLDING: Electric Machines Starting to Purr
Growing use of electric drives in blow molding machinery gathered steam at the K 2010 show, as suppliers rolled out new all-electric and hybrid models for extrusion blow, injection-blow, and stretch-blow production.

Compounding: New Torque Record Set At K '10
New twin from Coperion also pumps up output by 30%

EXTRUSION & COMPOUNDING: Five-Layer Film Structures Set to Supplant Three Layers?
In blown film, equipment and material suppliers have come together to push five-layer technology into non-barrier applications previously held by three-layer films.

INJECTION MOLDING: Automation and Integration Added the ‘Wow’ at K Show
There were new presses of all stripes aplenty at K 2010, but the “wow” factor was supplied by automated work cells and integrated manu-facturing systems performing multiple operations before, during, and after molding.

K Show Report: Nanos Are The Rage
Flat film and sheet toolmakers are focusing on technologies for nanolayer systems.

New Flexibility For Pipe Extrusion At K'10
Tooling developments allow for versatility, quick changes.

THERMOFORMING: New Roll-Fed Systems Boost Output & Flexibility
Continuous in-line packaging systems headed up the K 2010 thermoforming news as suppliers launched a range of roll-fed systems with greater capacity, more flexibility, and improved automation.

Know How

Extrusion: Start Up and Shut Down Properly
A key goal during startup and shutdown of the extruder is to prevent degradation of the polymer left in the extruder and downstream components such as screen changers, adapters, and dies.

Injection Molding: Answers to Bozzelli's Drying Quiz
Three questions about drying plastics that everyone should know how to answer.

Injection Molding: You Must Dry Hygroscopic Resins
The reason you dry certain plastics is to get the moisture out. But why does the moisture have to be taken out before processing?

Starting Up

Geothermal Cooling Works in Molding, Too
While geothermal water-cooling systems are becoming known as an energy-saving alternative for residential use, they are still quite novel in plastics processing.

Largest Aluminum Injection Mold Ever
Unique Tool & Gauge, Windsor, Ont. (, completed a production injection mold machined from the largest block of tooling-grade aluminum ever forged.

Lots of Action in Plastics Recycling
Several projects in recent months will increase capacity for recycled plastics.

Recycled Resin Prices

Recycled Resin Prices Still Rising in First Quarter
2010 was recovery year for many reprocessors.


Automation, Old-Fashioned Values Help Sustain Molder’s Success
This 55-year-old, family-owned and operated custom injection molding company continues to thrive by practicing a value that’s gained widespread popularity lately: “sustainability.”

How to Set Up & Maintain An Efficient Resin Handling System
In today's world, having a reliable resin-handling and conveying system is as important as having reliable electrical power.

Keeping Up With Technology

Materials: Clear TPEs Based on Cyclic Olefin Copolymers
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Topas Advanced Polymers, Florence, Ky., has developed the first cylic olefin copolymer (COC) thermoplastic elastomers.

Materials: First Nylon 6 for Laser Sintering
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Rhodia Polyamide is introducing what it says are the first nylon 6 powders for selective laser sintering (SLS).

Materials: Foam-Core PE Sheets Arrive in North America
WEB EXCLUSIVE: A new joint venture will market and manufacture structural-foam polyethylene sheets suitable for applications in recreational-vehicle panels; shipping containers; concrete forms (already commercial); marine decking, storage bins, and hatches; and playground equipment.

Materials: Glass-Reinforced Compounds for Healthcare
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Engineered compounds with glass reinforcement for medical housings, surgical tools and trays, IV connectors, valves, caps, and other structural healthcare components are new from PolyOne Corp.

Materials: Highly FR TPU for Cable Jacketing & Molding
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Lubrizol’s Estane Engineered Polymers group has come out with a halogenated TPU for wire and cable jacketing and injection molding that has an LOI of 40.

Materials: Metal-Effect Resin Debuts in Steering-Wheel Bezels
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Two of the first parts molded in North America from the new MetaLX compounds from Ticona, Florence, Ky., are the left and right steering-wheel bezels for the 2011 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan

Materials: New Inroads for Engineering Resins in Electric & Hybrid Cars
WEB EXCLUSIVE: The rapidly emerging market for hybrid and electric cars holds numerous potential applications for specialized engineering resins and compounds that have been proven in other markets but are relatively new to the automotive scene.

Materials: Prices Up for Nylons, Styrenics, Ethylene Copolymers
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Prices are rising this month and next for several materials by anywhere from 4¢ to 10¢/lb

Materials: Teknor Apex Distributes COIM TPU Wire/Cable Compounds
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Teknor Apex Co. is the new exclusive North American distributor of TPU compounds for wire and cable from COIM S.p.A. in Italy.

Resin Prices

Prices Up for PE, PP, Down for PS, PVC
Higher prices are likely for PE and PP through this first quarter, driven by higher exports, tightly managed supplier inventories, and, in the case of PP, higher priced monomer due to supply shortages.


Processor Strategies - Thermoforming Helps Harvest the Wind
It was a decades-old relationship that led to the development of an exciting new application for twin-sheet thermoforming.

Start Your Engines
The engine that powers the plastics processing marketplace is tuned up and ready to fire.

The Practical Processor - January, 2011
Mixing LDPE and PP. Types of polypropylene.

Wood on Plastics - Electronics Remain a Growth Leader
The growth rate for the U.S. electronics industry decelerated during the second half of 2010. Growth was still positive, and it was certainly better than for other types of durable goods,

CW Brabender
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