November 2007

Close-Up on Technology

Carbon Nanotubes Improve In Properties, Purity and Price
ew suppliers and manufacturing technologies continue to emerge in the burgeoning field of carbon nanofibers (CNFs) and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). Recent news includes North American availability of CNFs from Austria’s Electrovac Group.

Machine and Material Innovations Highlight SPE Thermoforming Conference
The industry’s largest twin-sheet thermoformer and the first North American source of halogen heaters were among the machinery and equipment developments at the recent 17th Annual SPE Thermoforming Conference in Cincinnati.

New Starch-Based Bioplastics Arrive
Two new families of starch-based bioplastics are coming to the U.S. market.

Teeny-Tiny PET Vial Is Injection-Blow Molded
Sabel Plastechs Inc. doesn’t flinch at challenging development projects that stretch the limits of blow molding.

Processor's Edge

'Green' and Growing
AERT (Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies) Inc. in Springdale, Ark., maker of ChoiceDek wood/plastic composite deck boards, has always had a “green” strategy.

Starting Up

Monomers Drive Up Polyolefin Prices
Polyolefin prices were on the way up in October, as resin suppliers pointed to rising monomer costs to justify their previously announced resin hikes.

Your Busines Outlook - November 2007
The predominant trend in U.S. production of large blow molded parts (not bottles) has been flat to downward in 2007, and this will not change much through the early part of 2008.


A Whole New Meaning For Plastic/Metal ‘Hybrid’
My vote for one of the most intriguing innovations announced at last month’s K 2007 show in Dusseldorf goes to MetaFuse “nanometal/polymer hybrids.” This is a new use of the term “hybrid,” which up to now has meant selective overmolding of plastic onto sheet metal.

Extruders Made in China: They're Coming Here Now
Low-priced Chinese-built extruders have arrived in North America to make pipe, sheet, film, and profiles. Some customers find them a good buy; others don’t. Here’s what you need to know.

Injection Molding LSR: Three 'M's of Innovation: Mega, Micro, and Multi
Liquid silicone rubber is breaking out of its niche into a broader array of applications, helped by new developments in materials, machinery, and processing. Larger parts, micro-parts, foams, and multi-color or multi-material combinations are key areas of innovation.

Keeping Up With Technology

All-Electric Press For Two-Shot Molding
A new two-shot all-electric machine fitted with nine servomotors comes from French injection press maker and multi-injection specialist Billion, distributed here by Oak Tree Consulting LLC, Dundee, Mich.

Clean Molds with 'Green' Rust Remover
A water-based, biodegradable rust remover for molds and dies is new from Amazing One, Howell, Mich.

Compact Blown Film Line Has Syn-Torque Motors
A three-layer coex blown film line displayed last month at the K Show in Germany by Ghioldi srl in Marnate, Italy, uses permanent-magnet, synchronous torque ("syn-torque") motors from Parker Hannifin Corp., Cleveland.

Complex Vacuum Tank Cools Large Parts
After an absence of 15 years, Conair is back in the field of downstream equipment for large pipe and wide profiles like fence and spa panels.

Controller Runs a Mold The Same on Any Machine
A new injection machine control and monitoring system that allows molders to attain similar production rate and part quality from a mold as it moves from machine to machine was introduced at the K Show in Germany last month by Priamus System Technologies LLC., Brunswick, Ohio.

Desiccant System For Multilayer Bottles
Moisture protection for multilayer extrusion blow molded bottles is provided by new desiccant-layer technology from Sasaki Chemical, Kyoto, Japan.

Economical, Non-Flammable Mold Releases and Cleaners
A new series of mold releases, mold cleaners, and rust preventives reportedly offer high performance at economical prices.

Elastomeric Vinyl Ester For Ballistic Protection
A new elastomeric bisphenol-A vinyl ester features high elongation and toughness for ballistic protection in military vehicles.

Enhanced Purge Compound
An enhanced version of a commercial physical purging agent is said to provide even better cleaning power than the previous version while reducing the amount of residue left behind by 30% or more.

Get Layflat Control Without an IBC
A new system designed by D.R.

Higher MDO Draw Ratios
The first machine-direction orienter (MDO) from Windmoeller & Hoelscher in Germany (U.S. office in Lincoln, R.I.), is capable of higher stretch ratios than the 10:1 limit typical of other MDO units.

High-Volume Compounder For Biopolymers
A pilot-scale co-rotating twin-screw compounding line for biopolymers is scheduled to start up later this year at Reimelt-Henschel MischSysteme GmbH in Germany.

Hot Runners for Crate Molders
A new hot-runner system is designed specifically for crate molders, who often use recycled materials that may contain contaminants.

Husky Finds a Buyer
In early December, shareholders will vote on the proposed sale of Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., Bolton, Ont., to Onex Corp., a Toronto-based privateequity investment firm.

Induction-Heated Molds Boost LFI Efficiency
A new system for heating molds much faster by electromagnetic induction is being used by Germany's KraussMaffei (U.S. office in Florence, Ky.), with its Long-Fiber Injection (LFI) process.

IR Oven Speeds Cure Of PEX Pipe
A patented vertical oven emitting a special distribution of IR wavelengths under 1.6 microns crosslinks PE pipe in record time of about 6 sec vs. 2 to 5 min for typical curing in hot liquid.

Lighter Sleeve Label Brings Recycling Benefits
A new low-density shrink film for sleeve labels is claimed to be the industry's only decorative solution for PET bottles that is recyclable.

Liquid Silicones Boast High Tear Strength
A new line of low-durometer liquid silicone rubber (LSR) boast high tear strength and high viscosity for minimal flash.

Mirror-Effect Ink For Screen Printing
A new flatbed screen-printing ink for a wide variety of plastic substrates produces mirror effects as an economical alternative to foil blocking and film metalization.

Mixer Quadruples Speed And Output
Experimental work by Univation Technologies, a Houston-based joint venture of Dow Chemical Co. and ExxonMobil Chemical Co., has obtained surprisingly high outputs from a twin-rotor continuous mixer by running it at higher speed with a variable-speed direct drive.

More Efficient Compatibilizer for WPCs
A "next-generation" coupling agent for wood-plastic composites (WPCs) is said to promise signifi cantly higher efficiency than existing products.

New PET Copolymer Beats the Heat
A new-generation PET copolyester with higher heat resistance was unveiled last month by Eastman Chemical Co., Kingsport, Tenn., at the K 2007 show in Dusseldorf.

New Soft TPU Is Abrasion-Resistant
A new soft TPU from Lubrizol Advanced Materials (now Estane Engineered Polymers), Cleveland, is designed for abrasion-resistant wire and cable, hose, and tubing.

Nylon 6 Film Grades Target Packaging
A new high-productivity nylon 6 extrusion resin is said to offer a broad processing window for more uniform thickness distribution in cast film for packaging.

Nylon 66 Stays Tough In Cold Weather
A new supertough nylon 66 from Nylon Corporation of America (NYCOA), Manchester, N.H., boasts 10% to 15% better cold-weather impact than competing grades.

Online 'Encyclopedia' Of Plastics Testing
If you want to learn what different kinds plastics tests measure, how they are conducted, what equipment is involved, and what sorts of test specimens are used, visit the new “Testlopedia” on the website of Plastics Technology Laboratories, Inc., a plastics testing service lab in Pittsfield, Mass.

Panel-Mount Viewer For Vision Sensors
SensorView 350 is a new, compact, panel-mount display for the Checker 200 Series vision sensors for parts inspection, supplied by Cognex Corp., Natick, Mass.

Portable Chillers With Dual Circuits
Mokon, Buffalo, N.Y., now offers its Iceman portable chillers in dual-circuit models from 10- to 40-ton capacity.

Powder Coating for In-Mold Painted SMC
A new line of powder coatings from Protech Powder Coatings, Montreal, is designed for in-mold painting of SMC.

Screenless Granulators From a New Source
Motan Inc., Plainwell, Mich., is the newest supplier of screenless beside-the-press granulators.

Sensors Below Frost Line Tune Bubble Width
Four non-contact, ultrasonic sensors-two below the frost line and two above it-are part of a new, patented "early warning" IBC control from Addex Inc., Stoughton, Mass.

Short Neck Finish Cuts Material Cost
A new short-neck PET bottle finish from Corvaglia Ltd., Eschlikon, Switzerland, reportedly offers a significant material savings and is compatible with other short-neck alternatives.

Shredder Tackles Tough Films
A new single-shaft shredder is designed for high-output size reduction of films.

Simulation Software Includes Mold Deformation
Taking account of mold deformation and plastic stress relaxation are two new capabilities in new version 4.6 of Sigmasoft injection molding simulation software from Sigma Plastics Services Inc., Schaumburg, Ill., the U.S. operation of Sigma Engineering GmbH in Germany.

Soft Elastomers Meet Underhood Demands
New soft and heat-resistant elastomers from DuPont Engineering Polymers, Wilmington, Del., include three new grades of ETPV engineering thermoplastic vulcanizates and a new grade of Hytrel polyester elastomer.

Special Glass Makes Wind Blades Lighter
The trend toward longer wind-energy blades requires composites that are stiffer, lighter, or both.

Static Charging System For In-Mold Labels
A compact electrostatic charging system for in-mold labeling (IML) is claimed to provide consistent pinning power regardless of changes in ambient conditions or variations in label properties.

This Needle Valve Leaves No Weld Lines
A new needle-drive unit for hot-runner valve gates is said to overcome several limitations common to single-shot needle valves.

Touchscreen Controller Brings Higher Precision
A new touchscreen control said to set new standards for speed, precision, and ease of use comes from Boy Machines Inc., Exton, Pa.

UV-Stable TPVs Cycle 20% to 30% Faster
A new family of fast-cycling PP-based TPVs from ExxonMobil Chemical Co., Houston, is recommended to replace thermoset rubber and other TPEs in thick-walled (over 2 mm) parts.

Wood/PP Siding Arrives
Wood/plastic composite siding doesn't have to be made with PVC.

CW Brabender
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