PT Blog

I recently had the pleasure of interacting with the ARRK Engineering Division of Germany’s ARRK Group regarding what they claim to be the first thermoplastic composite gearbox housing with layer-optimized organic sheeting.

Geared to electric vehicles in particular, as keeping weight down is paramount in ensuring long range, this prototype was developed by an interdisciplinary team focused around Münich-based Technology & Innovation at ARRK Engineering.

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Made In Space

U.S.-based Made In Space, a developer of zero-gravity 3D printers and an official supplier to NASA, recently announced it has begun using PEI/PC (polyetherimide/polycarbonate) blends, a high-performance alloy, for 3D printing in its Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) aboard the International Space Station (ISS). PEI/PC is an aerospace-grade polymer that produces stronger, more heat-resistant materials. Blends of PEI/PC, such as ULTEM 9085 and ULTEM 1010, are used in additive manufacturing in the commercial aerospace industry.

“Made In Space is proud to add PEI/PC to the suite of materials it is manufacturing in space with,” MIS President & CEO Andrew Rush said. “Our team has been regularly printing parts in space with AMF for over a year now. This unparalleled knowledge base of in-space manufacturing operations will enable us to deliver future in-space manufacturing solutions in the most cost effective and efficient ways possible.”

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resin prices

We are at mid-August and whether prices for polyolefins and PVC are moving up or not isn’t quite clear. This, according to PetroChemWire’s (PCW) weekly reports on PP, PE, and PVC, as well as from the August 11 market update of The Plastics Exchange. The key takeaways:

PP: This is from PCW’s inaugural PP weekly report, prepared by Senior Editor David Barry. Polypropylene suppliers are still out with a 3¢/lb contract price increase for August—a profit margin move, in addition to any change in the August propylene monomer contract price, which has yet to be settled. Judging from spot monomer prices, another modest fractional increase of ½ cent/lb is possible for August contracts. Barry noted that there had been an expectation that the startup of the Enterprise PDH plant this quarter would serve to pressure propylene monomer (PGP) prices downwards. However, other factors cited by industry sources include a tightening up of PGP supply going forward, including ethane cracking being favored versus heavier NGLs and refineries reducing their output of gasoline and reactor grade propylene (RPG) to favor distillate production in the fall.

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blown film extrusion line

Have you checked out Plastics Technology’s upcoming Extrusion 2017 Conference? It’s going to be held Oct. 18-20 in Charlotte, N.C. at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel in the downtown section of the city.

This two-and-a-half-day event, Plastics Technology’s third such conference, is packed with presentations from more than 80 technical experts covering a wide range of subject areas. The morning sessions on all three days day will consist of presentations on general extrusion topics. During each afternoon of the first two days, there will be three concurrent breakout sessions that hone in on your particular process: film, sheet; pipe/profile/tubing; and compounding.

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PCW weekly resin prices

As the first week of August came to a close, PetroChemWire (PCW) released its weekly reports including the PE Weekly and the PVC & Pipe Report. Here are the key takeaways:

PE: Starting with PE contract news is definitely a mixed bag. PCW’s Senior Editor David Barry confirmed that July was a rollover and that PE suppliers were now pushing to implement their 3¢/lb increase in August. Moreover, two suppliers have announced an additional 4¢/lb increase, effective September.

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