Article Archive

Close-Up on Technology

New Processes for Food-Grade Recycled HDPE
Recycling HDPE homopolymer from milk and water bottles back into food-grade bottles is a new achievement that was featured at the Plastics Recycling Conference, sponsored by Resource Recycling magazine, and at the SPE Global Plastics Environmental Conference (GPEC 2009), held back to back in Orlando, Fla., last month.Removing volatiles from HDPE to meet U.S.

Bottles Now Have Embedded RFID
A patented technology fully encapsulates Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) components between injection molded discs and then embeds that assembly into an injection-blow molded bottle.

Features

Additive Manufacturing: New Capabilities for Rapid Prototypes And Production Parts
Many plastics processors are just starting to become familiar with the terms “additive manufacturing” or “additive fabrication,” which refer to a group of processes that build up parts by successively adding material, often in layers.

How Do You Keep Up With News in Materials?
I hope your answer includes reading Plastics Technology, particularly our monthly “Keeping Up With Materials” department.

Strategies

A Vinyl Record Business Grows in Brooklyn
In 2001, when Thomas Bernich started Brooklynphono, a private-label LP record pressing company in Brooklyn, N.Y., he bought used equipment from record companies that were going out of business, even despite strong sales growth.

Troubleshooter

How to Determine Maximum Mold Cycle Counts
At my first production meeting with my new employer, I was told, “We want you to establish a preventive maintenance program that is based on maximum cycle counts for all our molds.” Then, before I could launch into an explanation of how best to determine maximum cycle counts, I was hit with the follow-up: “So, how many cycles do you think our molds can safely run before we need to clean them?”Leaving my crystal ball at home and unable to get my x-ray vision working, there was no way to answer this question with any real accuracy.

What’s Your Process Energy Fingerprint?
As we discussed in last month’s column, your plant’s “energy fingerprint” is composed of the base load and the process load.

Keeping Up With Technology

Truck Compressed-Air Tank Uses Filament-Wound Nylon
The first plastic compressed-air tank for truck trailers was exhibited by Schmitz Cargobull of Horstmar, Germany, at the International Motor Show (IAA) for Commercial Vehicles in Hannover, Germany, last fall.

New Source of Robots
All-servo, three-axis traversing robots from Sytrama in Italy are newly available in the Americas from Dri-Air Industries, Inc., E.

PET Sheet Contains Up to 25% PCR
New rigid PET fillm and sheet from Invista Polymer and Resins, Wichita, Kan., contains up to 25% post-consumer recycled content and boasts color, clarity, and processability equivalent to 100% virgin APET for thermoformed food packaging.

Antimicrobial ASA Is a ‘First’
A new ASA copolymer from BASF Corp., Styrenic Plastics, Florham Park, N.J., is claimed to be the first to offer antimicrobial protection.

Smaller Two-Platen Presses
A new series of compact, two-platen machines in lower tonnages comes from Engel Machinery Inc., York, Pa.

New Copolyester Comes in Medical and Filled Grades
A new, clear copolyester from Eastman Chemical Products, Inc., Kingsport, Tenn., continues to broaden its range of applications.

ATH Optimized for Composites
Three new alumina trihydrate (ATH) grades optimized for plastics composites are available from Huber Engineered Materials, Atlanta.

Medical Acrylic Resins
Evonik Cyro LLC (formerly Cyro Industries), Parsippany, N.J., has introduced two Acrylite MD grades of PMMA acrylic molding resins for medical uses.

PEEK in Three New Forms
Availability of three new forms of high-performance PEEK resins has been announced by two suppliers. •Two types of PEEK have achieved ISO 10993 biocompatibility compliance for use in limited-exposure medical devices and instruments.

Powerful Retrofit Rare-Earth Grate Magnets
Aftermarket rare-earth grate magnets from Eriez, Erie, Pa., slide into most existing drawer-magnet housings.

High-Powered All-Electric For Thin-Wall Parts
Thin-walled parts are the target of a new all-electric model featuring high speed, high acceleration, and high-pressure capability, coupled with a high-response control.

Nozzle Mixing Tip For Small Presses
A new nozzle tip designed for small injection presses is said to correct mixing issues such as color streaks, poor regrind incorporation, or uneven melt-temperature distribution.

Infrared Drum Dryers Coming in Smaller Sizes
An energy-saving, high-speed infrared resin dryer, originally designed for high-volume processing will soon be available in a version for smaller throughputs.

New Reactive Compounding Process Cuts Costs in Half
A new compounding process polymerizes liquid monomer without solvent in a single-shaft, plug-flow “Kneader Reactor,” then transfers the viscous polymer to a twin-shaft “Kneader Finisher,” where secondary polymers, additives, and fillers may be added before the compound is pelletized.

Non-Fogging TPO Additive Adds Scratch Resistance
A new processing aid for TPO, PP, and other polyolefins has been shown to be non-fogging and to improves scratch and mar resistance of automotive TPOs.

First 3D Induction Welding For Sheets and Composites
Kuka Systems in Germany has developed an induction welding head and accompanying software that allow a 6-axis robot to bond hollow 3D thermoformed shells.

Bottle and Label Both Fight Bacteria
An antimicrobial additive is now being used in both the bottle and the label of products from blow molder M&H Plastics in Suffolk, U.K.

‘Greener’ TPEs For Medical Tubing
A family of five new TPE grades for medical tubing is said to have FDA compliance with “extremely low extractables” for cleaner compounds that address health, environmental, and safety concerns.

PP for Clear Drink Cups
A new clarified, metallocene-based PP homopolymer with a 2.3 MFR is formulated specifically for sheet extrusion and thermoforming of products like drink cups.

Colorants for Medical Plastics
An expanded family of color masterbatches for medical devices or pharmaceutical and medical packaging uses pigments and resins that have been tested and certified compliant with USP Class VI standards.

Low-Viscosity Epoxy For Filament Winding
A new low-viscosity, two-part epoxy from Master Bond Inc., Hackensack, N.J., is targeted for filament winding.

All-Electric Enhancements
New clamping, injection, and screw designs enhance the new MD-S6000 series of all-electric machines introduced by Niigata Machine Techno Co., Ltd., of Japan, at the International Plastics Fair in Tokyo in November. (Niigata is represented here by DJK Global Group—Niigata Plastic Machinery Div., Wood Dale, Ill.) The enhanced versions come in 55 and 110 tons; an 85-tonner will be next.

Chillers Use New Eco-Friendly Refrigerants
Two chiller suppliers have come out with new models designed to handle alternative refrigerants to replace ozone-damaging R-22 (“Freon”), which has been the industry standard. “Soon, all chillers will need to use a non-ozone-depleting refrigerant,” explains Wes Sipe, general manager of the Heat Transfer Group for Conair in Cranberry Township, Pa. “The U.S.

First Extruder in U.S. With 8-Screw Ring
The first extruder in this country to have the new eight-screw devolatilizing section from Gneuss, Inc., Matthews, N.C., was delivered last September to a processor in Florida.

Rheometer for Polyolefins
A dynamic mechanical analyzer designed for polyolefins reportedly uses advanced software to gather a wider range of rheological data more easily and quickly than previous systems.

First Capacitor Film for Ultra-High Energy Density
Biaxially oriented fluoropolymer film made of a special PVDF copolymer and a metallic “electric relaxor” can store roughly 10 times more electric charge than current polymeric capacitor films and can release the charge in less than a microsecond, says the inventor, Strategic Polymer Sciences Inc. (SPS) in State College, Pa.

New Recipes for Compostable Netting
New compostable extruded netting products were recently introduced in Australia and the U.S.

Small Sprue Picker
A new sprue picker that is lightweight, compact, and designed for presses from 22 to 165 tons comes from Harmo of Japan, represented here by AEC, Schaumburg, Ill., and sister company Sterling, New Berlin, Wis.

First Biax PLA Shrink Film
Up to now, shrink film of poly lactic acid (PLA) biopolymer has been made with just MD orientation for bottle labels.

Extrusion Blow Molding Of New SBC Polymer
Industrial-scale extrusion blow molding of a new styrene-butadiene copolymer (SBC) was demonstrated recently at German machine manufacturer Kautex Maschinenbau, represented here by Kautex Machines Inc., North Branch, N.J.

Regrind and Powder Feeders For Larger Weigh Blenders
Auger feeders for regrind and powder are now available on the two largest models of Guardian gravimetric batch blenders from Process Control Corp., Atlanta.

More Steel Choices For Inserts and Cores
Eight different types of steel with circular cross-sections that can be used to fabricate mold inserts and cores have been added to the product line of Hasco America Inc., Fletcher, N.C.

New Line Makes Wider 10-Layer Bubble Wrap
Torninova Corp. in Italy (U.S. office in Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) frst showed its extrusion line for making 10-layer barrier bubble wrap (produced by combining two five-layer films) at the K 2007 show in Germany.

New Mold-Balancing Inserts
Beaumont Technologies, Inc., Erie, Pa., is now introducing its In-Mold Adjustable Rheological Control (iMARC) mold inserts for commercial sale.

Low-Rate Feeder Has Disposable EPDM Hopper
New PureFeed AI-300 feeder from Schenck AccuRate, Whitewater, Wis., is designed for metering additives at rates as low as 1.1 lb/hr, though larger feed augers are available for up to 330 lb/hr.

Compact Deduster Removes Dust, Streamers, Angel Hair
A compact dedusting unit for resin pellets and regrind is suited to spaces with restricted clearances.

Starting Up

Your Business In Brief - March 2009
Gloucester Engineering Teams Up With Kabra in IndiaGloucester Engineering Co. in Gloucester, Mass., has formed a joint venture with Kolsite Group in Mumbai, India, to build blown film lines at Kabra Extrusiontechnik Ltd., a Kolsite company.

Recycled Resins Can Be a Bargain— If You Can Find Them
With manufacturing demand in the doldrums, business is slow for recyclers; but the low prices could be good news for processors seeking a bargain. That is, if you can find recycled material at all.

Outlook - March 2009
The U.S. economy remains mired in the worst downturn since the Great Depression, but recent indicators suggest that demand for many manufacturing products at least started to stabilize in the first quarter.

Higher Prices Return
In the teeth of a deepening recession, commodity resin suppliers managed to raise prices in the first two months of the year, spurred by a sudden uptick in monomer tabs. YES, PE PRICES ARE UPPolyethylene suppliers succeeded in hiking prices 7¢/lb in January and February, giving them full implementation of their first increase of the year.

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