Article Archive

Close-Up on Technology

Novel Materials Stretch Process Capabilities
The potential for new or unusual materials to broaden the application potential of standard plastics processes was explored in a number of papers at April’s SPE ANTEC conference in Orlando, Fla.

Features

How to Choose & Use Metal Separators
Use of magnets for removing ferrous contaminants in an industrial environment began in the 1940s to help farmers trap and remove metal contaminants from their grain chutes.

Speed, Flexibility & Customization Spur Success at PS Extruder & Former
Commodore does it all in PS foam extrusion and forming. It builds most of its equipment and all of its tooling and combines that with innovative processing techniques, allowing it to carve a successful niche for itself in a field dominated by much larger companies.

Strategies

Molder Takes 3D Printing In-House to Speed Product Development
“Bringing this function in-house is very much in keeping with the way our company conducts its business.

Troubleshooter

Beat the Heat When Molding High-Temperature Thermoplastics
Conventional molding techniques are not effective with high-temperature materials. Molders need to be aware of certain conditions and parameters to handle problems sometimes posed by high-heat injection molding.

Keeping Up With Technology

INJECTION MOLDING: Fast Two-Platen Machines from China
Gluco, Inc., Jenison, Mich., is introducing to the U.S. the Supermaster line of large two-platen machines from Chen Hsong in Hong Kong.

EXTRUSION: Space-Saving Coex Lines For Window Profiles
In response to a trend to use more recycled materials and fillers in window-profile extrusion, new coextrusion systems from KraussMaffei Berstorff, Florence, Ky., are designed with flexibility and space savings in mind.

EXTRUSION: Optical Non-Contact Sensor For Sheet, Thick-Film
New OptiMike OM190 optical micrometer from NDC, Irwindale, Calif., provides direct, non-contacting, single-sided thickness measurement for sheet, foam, and thick films.

AUXILIARIES: Easy-to-Clean Drawer Magnet
The new Neo self-cleaning drawer magnet from Bunting Magnetics, Newton, Kan., features easy of cleaning that requires no component removal.

MATERIALS: Nylon 612 Compounds for Fuel-Line Components
WEB EXCLUSIVE: A new series of reinforced nylon 612 compounds from Teknor Apex Co., Pawtucket, R.I., are offered as alternatives to nylon 12 for injection molded automotive fuel-line components.

MATERIALS: High-Yield Purging Compound for PP Copolymer
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Houston-based Neutrex Inc. has introduced the first of its new high-yield Purgex 700 series of purging compounds that reportedly enable use of approximately 50% less purging material than standard products.

MATERIALS: New TPUs for Wire & Cable
WEB EXCLUSIVE: BASF Corp., Wyandotte, Mich., has two new Elastollan TPU compounds.

MATERIALS: PC for Railroad Seating Meets Highest Fire-Safety Standards
WEB EXCLUSIVE: New Lexan FST3403 PC copolymer from Sabic Innovative Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass., is hailed as the first thermoplastic material developed specifically for railroad seat-back shells and side covers that meets the strictest fire-safety requirements of the new European CEN/TS 45445-2R5 standard.

MATERIALS: High-Clarity Cyclo-Olefin for Smartphone, Tablet Camera Lenses
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Japan’s Zeon Corp. (U.S. office in Louisville, Ky.) has developed a high-transparency cyclo-olefin polymer (COP) for use in smartphone and tablet-computer camera lenses, which have smaller and thinner camera modules.

Know How

PBT and PET Polyester: The Difference Crystallinity Makes
To properly understand the differences in performance between PET and PBT we need to compare apples to apples—the semi-crystalline forms of each polymer.

Get the Most From Your Tooling
The history and culture of the molding industry has been to pull out every trick possible to work around design, resin, tooling, processing, and testing issues once the mold arrives. It is time to rewrite history.

New Frontier for Single Screw R&D: Mixing & Melting by Extensional Shear
Extensional shear generally has been associated only with twin-screw extruders. However, I am now convinced it can be done with a single moving force (screw) by changing the geometry of the flow field perpendicular to the direction of flow.

Shutdown Tips For Accumulator Heads
Here's what you need to know to properly shutdown an accumulator head blow molding machine after a week running parts.

Starting Up

First Twin-Screw Lab Line Dedicated to Devol
What’s believed to be the one and only twin-screw laboratory line to perform direct devolatilization is open for trial runs.

Cloeren Breaks Ground on Plant Expansion
Leading flat-die and feedblock supplier Cloeren Incorporated recently broke ground on a multimillion-dollar expansion of its Orange, Texas, Plant 2 site that will add about 37,500 ft² to the facility.

BASF Opens New TPU R&D Lab
BASF Corp., Florham Park, N.J., has opened a new TPU research facility in Wyandotte, Mich., designed to develop new products for the American automotive, construction, sports, and leisure industries.

Sheet Processor Adds Former for R&D
Industrial sheet extruder Premier Material Concepts (PMC) has added a thermforming machine to its Findlay, Ohio, plant to allow it to conduct performance tests on new sheet products and to offer prototyping services for thermoformers.The forming machine was furnished by MAAC Machinery, Carol Stream, Ill.

MGP Bioplastics Launches High-Heat Biodegradable Resin
The Bioplastics Div.of MGP Ingredients, Inc., Atchinson, Kan., has expanded its portfolio of Terratek renewable-content plastics with a new line of biodegradable compounds.

Gloucester & Dolci Share Stretch-Winding Technology
Gloucester Engineering Co., Inc., Gloucester, Mass., and Dolci Extrusion S.r.l. of Italy have announced that they will share winding technology so that each firm can offer the other’s winders for cast stretch film.

Learn About Tools & Strategies for Molding Productivity & Competitiveness
The Molding 2013 Conference next Jan. 21-23 in New Orleans will present a wealth of first-hand testimony from injection molders about proven ways to add value, cut costs, grow your business, and profit from sustainable manufacturing.

New U.S. Production of Engineering-Resin Stock Shapes
ZL Engineering Plastics Inc., Lenexa, Kan., a supplier of stock shapes, has started up its first U.S. extrusion operation in response to growing demand.

‘Breakthrough’ in Nylon Characterization
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Malvern Instruments, Westborough, Mass., has a novel gel permeation chromatography (GPC) method for characterizing nylon that is said to significantly reduce the cost of analysis while simultaneously improving safety, compared with existing methods.

Ultra-Stiff Glass-Filled Nylon 66 in Photovoltaic Mounting System
WEB EXCLUSIVE: The new Aixtralight Clip rooftop solar-panel mounting system from Germany’s Aixtra Solar AG is made of ultra-stiff, 35% glass-reinforced, flame-retardant Ultramid A3WG10 nylon 66 from BASF (U.S. office in Wyandotte, Mich.). The plastic bracket is mounted on a roof, and the rails attached to the photovoltaic modules can be quickly and easily inserted into the bracket.Installing an Aixtralight Clip is said to avoid stresses caused by differences in the expansion coefficients of the trapezoidal sheet metal and the mounting rails.

Nylon Replaces Stainless Steel in Surgical Devices
WEB EXCLUSIVE: A 50% glass-filled Ixef polyarylamide (PARA, also known as MXD6 nylon) from Solvay Specialty Polymers USA, LLC, Alpharetta, Ga., delivers the high strength, rigidity, moldability, and ultra-smooth finish needed to replace stainless steel in new, single-use surgical devices.

Resin Prices

Resin Prices Go Up, Down and Sideways
Tight resin inventories and upward pressure from feedstocks were two factors pushing prices of PE, PP, and PVC higher last month.

Recycled Resin Prices

R-PET Pricing Stable for Now
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Recycled PET orders are starting to pick up, and prices are beginning to stabilize.

Column

Construction Awakens from Long Slumber
Slowly but surely, the housing market is starting to perk up.

A Blueprint for Recovery in Manufacturing?
Manufacturing needs people to run the machines needed to make parts. Here are some idea to help make that happen.

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