PT Blog

A small group of scientists at the University of Arizona (UA) have been working on “yellow chemistry”, which like the “green chemistry” pursuits of others, promises to benefit the environment but also deliver a new class of inexpensive plastics. “Yellow” here because the material is based on sulfur. The material has properties that makes it ideally suited for use in lenses in infrared devices like heat-sensing cameras. The new hybrid material is called CHIPs—Chalcogenide Hybrid Inorganic-Organic Polymers.

The invention is the result of cross-campus collaboration including lead scientist Jeffrey Pyun, professor in the UA’s Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry; UA optical sciences professor Robert Norwood; and UA chemistry and biochemistry professor Richard Glass. Pyyn discovered the new type of plastic as part of the research on sulfur-based materials for advanced batteries, which started back in 2010. At that time, Pyun and his colleagues were focused on using waste sulfur from the petroleum refining industry as a low-cost feedstock for a new kind of plastic.

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Two custom molders in the Northeast are boosting their capacity to serve medical markets:

Currier Plastics, Auburn, N.Y., has done some medical molding for a few years, but is now making a serious push into this market. The company has an unsual advantage in offering both injection and blow molding capabilities, according to Ron Ringleben, v.p. of business development (for more, visit here and here). Currier is targeting specific segments of the medical market: in-vitro diagnostics (vials, closures, tubes, pipettes), pharmaceutical containers, and handheld medical instruments. For example, applications could involve both blow molded containers and injection molded closures (photo).

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Nova Chemicals Bonfire Multilayer Property Predictor (MPP)

A newly-enhanced web-based tool launched by Nova Chemicals (U.S. office in Moon Township, Penn.) is the latest version of the company’s Multilayer Property Predictor (MPP), which allows its customers to predict the performance of complex film structures with up to nine layers.

The enhancements in the new Bonfire MPP version include new calculations, structure templates, reports for offline reference, and an expanded resin database that save customers time and resources when developing new structures and applications. Said technical service specialist Dan Ward:

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Proto Labs colored heat map

Proto Labs, Maple Plain, Minn., a “digital manufacturing company” known for its rapid injection molding prototyping services, has expanded its injection molding capabilities to address the market for short-run “on-demand” manufacturing. The service is aimed at customers with uncertain demand for a new product or variable and unpredictable demand for existing products. It also makes it more economical for customers to enter markets with low-volume, custom-tailored products.

Proto Labs, Inc. can provide anywhere from a handful to 10,000 or more parts in the small to medium size range and in 10 days or less. “We have always done short-run manufacturing,” says CEO Vicki Holt, “but now we have really tailored our service offering to meet the needs of procurement and supply-chain professionals.”

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PetroChemWire weekly resin pricing reports

Having just celebrated its 10th anniversary, PetroChemWire (PCW) has further added to its offered products and services, with some weekly pricing update reports on ethylene, propylene, PE, PVC, and recycled resins, with a weekly PP report also coming in the near future.

Executive editor and founder Kathy Hall launched a daily newsletter back in 2007 to serve the U.S. olefins and polymers markets by providing commodity chemical pricing and operations information. PCW grew from producing that single daily email report to producing five daily reports, four weekly reports, and several monthly reports available by email and on data platforms including GlobalView, Morningstar and Bloomberg. 

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