March 2004

Close-Up on Technology

'Chaotic Advection' Creates New Polymer Blend Morphologies
A continuous blending device called the SmartBlender is creating polymer blends with novel properties by folding the two melts together, rather than distributing one evenly throughout the other.

Metal Replacement Accelerates In Under-Hood Parts
Plastics are making new inroads in valve covers and air-intake manifolds on U.S.-built vehicles.

Small Molder Builds a High-Tech Showplace
How does a small injection molding company position itself to compete with much larger, technically sophisticated rivals?

Processor's Edge

Family Lumber Business Turns To Plastics
Five years ago, Quality Wood Treating in Prairie Du Chien, Wis., was a 30-year-old family lumber business and one of the largest wood pressure-treaters in the country.


Ebb and Flow
After the furious pace of mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate upheavals of the past decade, you’d think one more change would hardly raise an eyebrow.

Get the Roll Surface Right
Roll finishes often cost more than the roll itself. The right finish improves film or sheet quality and raises output. Yet most processors don't know how to measure surface roughness or to specify it properly.

The New Dimension in Mold Simulation
Keep an eye on the increasing prominence of so-called “3D” mold analysis. Two vendors of simulation software from Europe and Asia think it’s the best solution for a big proportion of injection molded parts. Established U.S. suppliers aren’t so sure. In any case, the capabilities of both 3D and standard 2.5D simulation are expanding rapidly.

Weather Testing: Why You Need It More Than Ever
If you think your product doesn't warrant weather testing, you could be in for a rude surprise. Any time you change a material formulation or use it in a new application you run the risk of uv-induced failure.

CW Brabender
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