Article Archive

Close-Up on Technology

Recyclers Now Targeting Higher-Value Engineered Resins
Recycling news from the Society of Plastics Engineers’ Global Plastics Environmental Conference (GPEC) in Orlando, Fla., in March focused on PET, nylon, and waste plastics in electronics—in other words, mainly on higher value engineered resins rather than commodities.Carpet recycling claimed two of the show’s big environmental awards.

First Direct Extrusion of Complex WPC Window Profiles
Wood-plastic composite (WPC) profiles are made by two main approaches.

Features

Doing More With Less
That’s the very definition of efficiency, or productivity as economists like to call it.

Hollow Glass Microspheres Stronger Spheres Tackle Injection Molding
Looking for a way to make lighter parts without giving up properties? New hollow microspheres are stronger than ever—enough to withstand the rigors of injection molding.

Electric, Hydraulic, or Hybrid? What's the Right Injection Press for You?
If you were buying an injection molding machine 20 years ago, you had to decide between a toggle or fully hydraulic clamp and that was pretty much it.

Nanocomposites: Less Hype, More Hard Work On Commercial Viability
Nano-fillers for enhancing thermoplastics and thermosets continue to make headway in commercial applications, although at a slower pace than had been anticipated.

Composites and VOCs: Plain and Fancy Ways To Meet Emissions Rules
One year after EPA’s MACT rules took effect, most FRP fabricators have complied via process modifications or low-styrene resins. But some big players have invested in much more elaborate technology.

Strategies

Composites Innovation in North Dakota
North Dakota is not known for its trees, so one might guess that’s why it is home to a company specializing in composite building products that substitute for wood and metal.

Troubleshooter

Therapy for 'Over-Weight' Weigh-Hopper Scales
Scale performance inaccuracies are typically false-positive weights where the scale reads more material than it is actually receiving. There are steps to manage mechanical scale issues.

CNC Routing Raises Productivity For PVC Door Maker
By using a CNC router, drilling holes in PVC became faster and achieved a much higher level of consistency.

Evaluating Mold Repair Skills
A systematic approach to train mold repair skills is more effective.

Keeping Up With Technology

PUR RIM Goes Under the Street
A proprietary elastomeric rigid foam formulation for polyurethane RIM has been used to produce an under-street valve box (similar to a manhole) to provide access to municipal and residential water lines.

Robotic Trimming System Boosts Productivity
A new automated trimming system from Rimrock Corp., Columbus, Ohio, is claimed to boost productivity and reliability.

Tight-Tolerance Ejector Pins for Critical PartsWater
The new CT (close-tolerance) line of ejector pins from D-M-E Co., Madison Heights, Mich., is designed for medical and electronic applications requiring critical tolerances.

Nano-Cellulose in PLA For Microwave Packaging
PolyNew Inc., an R&D start-up company in Golden, Colo., has worked with John Dorgan of the Colorado School of Mines (also in Golden) to develop a nanocomposite of PLA (polylactic acid) biopolymer and nanoscale cellulose whiskers.

RFID-Coded Couplings Nix Resin Selection Errors
Plants where multiple materials are delivered to multiple destinations rely on electronically coded couplings for their central materials-handling systems.

New Filters for Process-Cooling Water
New filters to remove particles and other contaminants from cooling water used in molding and extrusion are available from Miller-Leaman, Inc., Daytona Beach, Fla.

Simulation Software Is Robust and Fast
A new version of process simulation software from Ansys Inc., Canonsburg, Pa., reportedly offers more robust and faster predictive analysis for extrusion blow molding.

Pressurized Hot-Water Temperature Controller
The Hydra pressurized-water mold-temperature controller is newly available from IMS Co., Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

PS Foam Degrades In a Landfill
Last month Cascades Inc., a paper recycler and packaging company in Kingsey Falls, Que., launched what's said to be the world's fi rst oxidatively degradable (not biodegradable) polystyrene foam.

New Source for Automatic Pipe Coilers
Computer-controlled coilers from Mecasoft in France for small-diameter corrugated and solid-wall tubing are now being built under license by Adescor Inc., Exeter, Ont.

PP/Glass Prepreg Tape Is Lighter in Weight
Extra-lightweight Tri-Ply reinforcement from Polystrand Inc., Montrose, Colo., is a continuous 25-in.-wide tape that provides 70% glass fi ber by weight in a polypropylene matrix.

Heating/Chilling Units Come in Wider Range
Iceman Full Range chiller/heater combinations are now available in a wider range of capacities up to 35 tons.

Injection-Blow Molded PLA Bottles Arrive
Injection-blow molded PLA bottles made by Alpha Packaging, St.

HMW-HDPE for Fuel Tanks
A new HMW-HDPE for injection molding components of automotive fuel tanks is said to provide better mechanical properties than other commercial grades and outstanding environmental stresscrack resistance (ESCR). Available from Basell Polyolefi ns, Elkton, Md., Lupolen 4261A IM also reportedly is compatible with HDPE grades used for the tank shell.

New Cooling Technique Arrives from Australia
Moldmaker StackTeck of Brampton, Ont., is exploring applications for a new mold-cooling technology patented by RiTemp Technologies Pty.

FR TPU for Wire and Cable
A new TPU from Noveon Inc. (now Estane Engineered Polymers), Cleveland, is claimed to be an industry first for flame-resistant wire and cable jacketing.

New Polyarylamide For Barrier Tanks
A new modifi ed polyarylamide (MXD6 nylon) from Solvay Advanced Polymers, Alpharetta, Ga., is offered as a barrier resin for small fuel tanks and fi ller tubes.

Die-Drawn Wood/Plastic Boards Go Thinner, Wider
Lumber giant Weyerhaeuser Co., Federal Way, Wash., is testing 1 x 4 and 1 x 6 in. wood-fi ber/PP composite boards with different material formulations, using patented die-drawing technology developed by PSA Composites LLC in nearby Kent, Wash.

Silicone Hybrid TPE Finds Commercial Use
So-called hybrid TPEs of silicone elastomer joined to an organic polymer have entered commercial use, according to developer Wacker Chemie AG of Germany (parent of Wacker Silicones, Adrian, Mich.). The industry's fi rst silicone-based TPE, called Geniomer, is being used as a heat-sink material in electronics applications and as a damping material in distance sensors for automotive applications, says Wacker.

Microlayer Foam/Solid Sheet Structures
Coextruding sheet with alternating microlayers of solid and foamed plastic reduces foam cell size dramatically without increasing the density.

Electric Machine Series Up-Sizes Injection Units
New and larger injection units are now available as options on several models of the Roboshot S2000i-B series of all-electric machines from Milacron Inc., Batavia, Ohio.

Coating Slot Dies Up to 30 Feet Wide
Since Extrusion Dies Industries LLC, Chippewa Falls, Wis., bought Liberty Coating Equipment in Sussex, Wis., in February, EDI's larger machining capacity allows Liberty to quote its specialized slot dies up to 30 ft wide, vs. 80 in. before.

New Way to Make PP Natural-Fiber Compounds
A new technique (U.S.

Nano-Metal Coating For Composite Tools
A new hard metal coating with low thermal expansion is claimed to extend the lifespan of composite tooling.

Reflective Metallic Colorants for PET
A line of special-effect masterbatches reportedly gives PET packaging colors of metallic refl ectivity, depth, and intensity.

Multi-Hopper Bank of Compressed-Air Dryers
Compressed-air membrane dryers are now available in a multi-hopper bank so that different materials can be dried at different temperatures.

Dual-Lamination Process Decorates Parts for Auto Interiors
A new multiple in-mold decoration process allows injection molding parts with several differently decorated surfaces using just one dual-barrel injection machine.

New Reinforcements for Thermoplastics, Thermosets
Two fiberglass suppliers recently introduced several new continuous and chopped-fi ber products for thermoplastic and thermoset composites: MultiStar 277 is a new assembled roving for Class A SMC auto exterior panels.

Wheat Straw + HDPE = New Fence Profiles
Heartland BioComposites LLC in Torrington, Wyo., recently started extruding its PrairiePicket privacy-fence profi les out of recycled HDPE from milk jugs plus 50% to 60% cellulose from wheat straw.

Novel Sheet Splicer Reduces Downtime
One of the fi rst commercial continuous sheet splicers has been developed for polystyrene foam thermoforming lines.

Mold Release for Rubbers
A water-based, semi-permanent mold release is designed to overcome mold fouling with natural and synthetic rubbers.

Mold Release for DCPD Polyester Resins
A new internal mold release is designed specifi cally to address processing diffi culties frequently associated with molding DCPD-based polyesters.

New Bin-Vent Filters Won't Rust
Rusting of bin vent fi lters on top of silos for powder bulk storage is no longer a problem, thanks to the GalVent BV1000 from O.A.

Waste Densifier for Film & Trim Scrap
The new WastePAC Densifi er from Precision AirConvey, Newark, Del., converts trim and loose film and coated paper scrap into 5 x 5 in. rigid bricks that can be from 6 to 100 in. long.

Engineering TPV Goes Softer
A softer grade has been added to the Zeotherm line of engineering TPVs from Zeon Chemicals LP, Louisville, Ky.

Stereolithography Resin Resembles White ABS
A new, tough material for stereolithography rapid prototyping and manufacturing is said to simulate the look and feel of molded ABS.

Atmospheric Plasma Treats Thick Sheet
Enercon Industries Corp., Menomonee Falls, Wis., introduced the tangential plasma treater a year ago and has two dozen installed.

Control All Aspects of Hot-Runner Operation
A new multifunctional hot-runner controller is available from HRS Hot Runner System NA Inc., Windsor, Ont.

New Press For TPE Molding
A new vertical-injection/vertical-clamp press designed specifically for molding thermoplastic elasomers comes from REP Corp., Bartlett, Ill., a major French-based supplier of rubber injection machinery.

PC/ABS Blends Target Medical Uses
The first medical-grade PC/ABS blends from Bayer MaterialScience, Pittsburgh, have been introduced for opaque parts such as surgical instruments, diagnostic devices, drug-delivery systems, and IV systems.

Nanocomposites Less: Hype, More Hard Work On Commercial Viability
Nano-fillers for enhancing thermoplastics and thermosets continue to make headway in commercial applications, although at a slower pace than had been anticipated.

Simulation Software Adds 3D Validation Tool
Improved productivity and increased effi ciency are promised with the new release 8.0 of Moldfl ow Plastics Advisers (MPA) molding simulation software from Moldfl ow Corp.

TPE Alloys for Gaskets and Seals
A new series of TPE alloys from GLS Corp., McHenry, Ill., were developed specifi cally for gaskets and seals.

Palm-Sized Tester For Micro Samples
A new line of palm-sized universal testing machines is designed for determining the mechanical properties of miniature specimens in tension, compression, or fl exure.

New Guides to Antistats
What is said to be the fi rst comprehensive handbook and database on antistatic additives for plastics and other materials is available from Research and Markets Ltd. of Dublin, Ireland.

New Software Upgrades Universal Testers
Armed with enhanced software drivers, a well-known series of universal testing machines reportedly allows users to develop complex testing sequences beyond the scope of standard software.

Starting Up

Your Business Outlook - May 2006
While many sectors of plastics have experienced weaker market demand over the past few quarters, the overall market for plastic bottles has continued its trend of moderate growth.

Hikes on the Way
Prices of PP, PVC, and PET moved up last month and new price hikes were under way for PE, PP, PS, PVC, and PET. PE prices up 3¢Polyethylene prices moved up 3¢/lb in March, bringing the total increase this year to 6¢/lb.

Your Business In Brief - May 2007
MPM Restructures Plastics MachineryMannesmann Plastics Machinery GmbH, Munich, the world’s largest maker of plastics and rubber machinery, announced a restructuring of its operations.

Your Business Hourly Rate Survey - May 2007
Despite slowing of housing and automotive markets, the national average for custom injection molding machine-hour rates crept up a barely perceptible 0.8% in the second half of 2006.

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