Global Fiberglass Market Study Projects Continued Growth

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 5. October 2015


A comprehensive examination of the global fiberglass market—where it’s at and where it’s headed, is the topic of the latest report from India-based market research firm MarketsandMarkets (M&M). Fiberglass Market by Type (Roving, Yarns), by Application (Composites, Insulations) & by Region—Trends & Forecasts to 2020 defines and segments the fiberglass market with analysis and forecast of the market size. The report projects the global fiberglass market value to reach $15.57 billion by 2020.


M&M says the current market is largely dominated by the developed markets. Asia-Pacific and North America collectively held 78.1% of the global market share in 2015. Asia-Pacific is the dominant market globally. The growth is due to the increasing applicability of fiberglass in various industries such as building & construction. The industrial development of the region is driving upwards the demand of various composite materials used in this market sector.


Meanwhile, North America is one of the fastest-growing consumers of fiberglass—a trend that is expected to continue in the near future, Asia-Pacific is the biggest market for fiberglass, accounting for a share of about 55% of the total market size. In terms of volume, China is the highest revenue-generating market for fiberglass in Asia-Pacific. And, it appears to be the faster-growing market for fiberglass in that region. Continuous product development by the participant companies are boosting the market applications base for fiberglass, thus increasing volume consumption. Among some of the prominent players are China’s Jushi Group, U.S.’s Owens Corning, and France’s Saint-Gobain Vetrotex.


Asia-Pacific and North America are at the forefront of the global fiberglass market, with China and Japan the key markets in Asia-Pacific. China consumed more than half of the demand for fiberglass in that region followed by Japan where consumption is growing at a steady rate. Despite some production capacities present in developing countries, such as China and India, these capacities have proven to be more export-oriented than in the favor of promoting domestic growth for fiber glass. China has developed significant market share in the global fiberglass market, however the competition from carbon fiber and rock wool restricts this market growth.


The report categorizes the global fiberglass market on the basis of application—composites, insulation and others with each application  further described in detail with forecasted volumes and revenues; , type—roving and yarns; and geography—North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and RoW. It forecasts volumes, revenues, and analyzes trends in each of the submarkets. 

Photochromic Ink for Flex Packaging Helps Brand Engage with Consumers

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 4. October 2015



At last week’s Pack Expo in Las Vegas, a new way for brands to interact and engage with consumers was launched by Printpack, Atlanta, Ga. The company has developed a proprietary process that allows for photochromic ink to be hidden within standard graphics and remain invisible until exposed to sunlight.


Printpack showed a sample application of its technology at the show, whereby attendees could see the package transform firsthand. According to the company, this process represent the first time photochromic ink has been applied to a flexible film, giving brand owners in any market that utilizes flexible packaging new options for interacting with their customer base.


The application of photochromic ink for the flexible packaging industry for years had been a challenge, particularly in high-speed production environments—in turn limiting options for brand owners looking to differentiate their product. Printpack’s R&D team designed the innovative process to apply the ink while still upholding the integrity of the packaging design and graphics to the highest standards, according to the company.


Printpack says interactive packaging is proven to capture consumer attention and encourages engagement with the brand in a meaningful way. Notes director of technology Mark Brogan, “This type of packaging application can truly set a brand apart by adding depth to the consumer experience. It can make all the difference when it comes to purchasing decisions.”




First-Ever Global Report Outlines Strategies to Ridding Our Oceans of Plastic Waste

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 30. September 2015


The release of a new global report that both identifies the origins of the global ocean plastic debris and how it leaks into the oceans and also outlines reduction solutions and their relevant economics, as well as how to trigger implementation of these solutions from the near-to-the-long-term, is being announced today by the DC-based Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Alliance


Annually, 8-million/m.t. of plastics leak into the oceans and the amount continues to grow. Lacking a concerted global action, this could translate to 1-ton of plastic for every 3-tons of fish by 2025, leading to massive environmental, economic, and health issues.


“Stemming the Tide: Land-based Strategies for a Plastic-Free Ocean”, is the Trash Free Seas Alliance’s signature initiative and Ocean Conservancy commissioned the McKinsey Center for Business & Environment to lead this comprehensive study. It was supported by Alliance members, the Dow Chemical Co., the American Chemistry Council, the Coca-Cola Co., World Wildlife Fund, and the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa. It was also advised by technical pros in waste management, plastics and recycling as well as various government and multilateral organizations.


The study determined that although all countries with coastal access contribute to the ocean plastics problem, over half of the material leaked comes from five rapidly developing countries where production and consumption of plastics is outpacing local waste management capacity, in order of magnitude—China, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand.


This first-of-its-kind report identifies ways this global crisis can be diverted through a set of strategies rooted in stopping the leakage in the first place. It projects, that the implementation of a plan that starts at the local level can result in a 65% reduction of plastic pollution in these five countries, which would translate to a 45% reduction of plastics flowing in the ocean globally by 2025. Noting that there is no “one size fits all” solution, the study says that achieving this global reduction requires this mix:


• 26%: Close “leakage” points within the collection system by optimizing transport systems to eliminate illegal dumping, and closing or improving dump sites located near water ways.


• 23%: Increase waste collection rates by offering expanded service. Plastic waste is over twice as likely to end up in waterways and the ocean if uncollected.


• 16%: Keep leakage points closed by increasing the value of waste. Manually sort waste in rural areas to extract high-value plastic waste for recycling and convert the low-value waste into fuel for use in the cement industry. Deploy a mix of waste-to-fuel or waste-to-electricity technologies in cities.


In addition, the Alliance’s study stresses the need for working with industry to introduce new materials, recovery, and recycling approaches that will allow uncontrolled plastic waste to peak globally by 2030. Also, the strategies offered by the study are not plastic specific—they target the whole waste stream. If implemented today, the total program would entail a cost of $5-billion/yr.  The six priority areas of action for such a global program are:


• Ensure political leadership and commitment. Obtain real and meaningful commitments from national governments, governors and mayors to set and achieve ambition waste management targets.


• Secure on-the-ground wins. Provide local “proofs of concept” for integrated waste management approaches in a number of carefully selected “beta” cities.


• Get critical mass. Use lessons learned in beta cities to enable stakeholders to build a “best practice” transfer mechanism that can accelerate the transfer of global expertise to high priority cities.


• Pave the way for funding. Ensure that required project investment conditions are in place in the private, public, and multi-layer sectors. Work with industry on an innovative mechanism to strategically reduce capital costs and investment risks.


• Facilitate technology implementation. Equip state-of-the-art waste management technology provides the detailed data on waste composition, volume, and pathways; local infrastructure, wage structure; scavenger systems; feedstock supply security; energy prices, feed—in tariffs and off-take agreements to enable implementation of scale.


• Intensify the priority. Bring leadership and strategic focus on solutions to the ocean plastic challenge as part of the global policy agenda on the ocean.





NuSil Film Series Offers a Nice Basic Education on Silicones

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 28. September 2015


More and more people are interested in getting into silicone processing, specifically LSR. NuSil Technology LLC, Carpinteria, Calif., has now made available a series of films on the key physical properties of silicones and the tests that support them. This new offering can provide a good basic education on silicones, not limited to LSR.

The new film series has been created in a relatable way, hoping to make these physical properties easy to understand and to better clarify the process of testing. According to NuSil, these films are designed for anyone--from a novice in the industry to an expert in the field. They are also intended to impart the unlimited range of possibilities available when the chemistry is in the right hands.

Visitors interested in a particular physical property or test method, can use the following links:

A global leader in medical and space-grade silicones, the company has over three decades of expertise in the development of products for the most demanding applications—from deep inside the human body to the harsh conditions of outer space. It operates state-of-the-art laboratories and manufacturing facilities in North America and provides on-site, in-person application engineering support worldwide.



Newly Named Wellman Advanced Materials Expands into Auto TPOs

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 22. September 2015


Newly renamed and reshaped Wellman Advanced Materials will make its public debut at the upcoming SPE TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins conference, Oct. 4-7, 2015 at the Detroit/Troy Marriott. Technical presentations will be given by Dean Chundury, v.p. of R&D of Wellman Advanced Materials and Johnny Zhang, senior technical manager of parent company Shanghai PRET Composites. Moreover, plans for new North American TPO capacity for the automotive industry are well underway.


PRET, a leading automotive plastics compounder, acquired Wellman Plastics Recycling and its subsidiary DC Foam Recycling, Johnsonville, S.C. earlier this year. In addition to its well-known PET recycling division that supplies pellets for beverage packaging and straps, Wellman’s former engineering resins division has been a longtime leader in compounding nylon in North America, producing prime, post-industrial, and post-consumer recyclate nylon 6 and 66 grades as well as PP compounds for automotive and other industries.


Meanwhile, a major new 44-million/lb capacity expansion at the Johnsonville site is now underway in order to offer PRET’s well regarded TPO, long-glass reinforced polypropylene, and other engineered PP compounds to North American automakers and tier suppliers. The first compounding extruder will be installed before year’s end with a second to be installed in early 2016.


PRET’s products are known for their innovative technology, including compounds with seamless airbag deployment approvals, very-low odor and emissions, high scratch and mar resistance, minimal tackiness, and excellent color matching and color consistency—all key attributes for interior-trim components. These materials, which already carry global automotive approvals at Ford Motor, BMW Group, Daimler AG, Volkswagen Group, and others, will now be available for use on North American vehicles.


According to Larry Berkowski, v.p., sales and marketing at Wellman Advanced Materials, a broad range of PRET’s TPO and PP grades will be offered, including talc filled, custom color, long glass, and higher strength--modified with polyolefin elastomers. “PRET is very well known for its pre-colored material quality, and Wellman Advanced Materials will bring the expertise to North American customers who prefer to buy pre-colored products.”


In addition to the new capacity, Wellman Advanced Materials will also be expanding product development and application testing services at its R&D facility in Johnsonville with testing equipment that is identical to that used by PRET in China, with more in-house mechanical testing, material characterization, and color-matching resources.


Moreover, Wellman will now offer moldfilling and structural analysis support for its North American customers. Says Berkowski, “In China, PRET’s work with synchronized moldfilling and structural analyses to support lightweighting needs, gating optimization, warpage reduction, and improvements to final part performance such as head impact predictions is highly valued. We’re really excited to be able to provide such value-added services to our customers directly from our Detroit-area office.”





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