PT Blog

The “Holy Grail” of PC Glazing Appears on the Sporty Electric Tommykaira ZZ

There’s been a lot of activity taking place in the automotive PC glazing arena within the last few years, starting with non-windshield glazing such as fixed rear-side windows and rear windows, with developments led by companies such as SABIC and Covestro.

Most recently, this has included a new-generation Buick GL8 and GL8 Avenir luxury multi-purpose vehicles, which sport what is reportedly the largest PC rear-quarter window in the world. It is molded from SABIC’s Lexan PC. Yet another, was a new electric concept car featured by Covestro at K2016, which features a wrap-around glazing made of transparent Makrolon PC.

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All this happened as Preusse discussed his further views on Industry 4.0—manufacturing’s version of IoT—following an in-booth demonstration at his Amerimold 2017 stand of what the fourth industrial revolution means to the supplier of auxiliary equipment, robotics and injection molding machines. That irony was not lost on this author.

In their private and business lives, processors encounter IoT everyday with technologies like connected doorbells, but what about on the shopfloor? Their doorbell might communicate with their watch but can their molding machine talk to the temperature control unit?

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Keurig to Produce Recyclable K-cup Pods in Canada by End of 2018

In its Sustainability Report, Keurig Green Mountain announced that it’s targeting a new recyclability milestone: 100% of K-Cup pods in Canada will be produced in a recyclable format by the end of 2018. In addition, Keurig reiterated its sustainability goal that 100% of its K-Cup pods are recyclable by the end of 2020.

Also, the company is working to improve recycling systems and education through investments totaling more than $1 million a year in conjunction with organizations such as The Closed Loop Fund and The Recycling Partnership. The company stated:

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Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes Stay Put

Back in 2007, I reported on carbon nanotubes and other electically-conductive and/or thermally-conductive nano-particles noting that there is plenty of potential, if the price is right. Hampering their progress was high cost and miniscule supply, but even then, these limitations were on their way to being resolved.

In the intervening years, however, concerns have arisen regarding the release of these particles from nano-reinforced plastics products and their potential health and safety hazards.

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One of the First Biobased Nylons Turns 70

We have been reporting on new bioplastics for the last several years and more recently, I have blogged about new developments unveiled at the SPC Bioplastics Converge conference. We have also reported on the ‘greening’ of engineering thermoplastics—a cover story that appeared in our May 2015 issue.

In that article, I noted that most of the commercial activity has been focused on nylons and polyesters, though some are directed towards higher-end TPEs and TPUs. The nylons appear to have the longest run, though, and I thought it worthwhile to highlight the 70th anniversary of the invention of Arkema’s flagship Rilsan nylon 11 series of high-performance polymers, whose feedstock source is derived 100% from the oil castor bean (pictured at top)—making it among the earliest members of the biobased nylon family of polymers.

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