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Collaboration Yields First Transparent, Conductive PC Film

By: James Callari 3. June 2014

 

SABIC Innovative Plastics and Cima NanoTech have collaborated to develop what’s billed as the first-ever transparent conductive polycarbonate film that could open applications in consumer electronics, household goods, automotive, architecture and healthcare, many of which currently use glass.

 

In development since late 2013, the film is cast by SABIC, Pittsfield, Mass., from Lexan in thicknesses ranging from 75 microns to 5 mm. A silver nanoparticle conductive coating, which comes as a wet dispersion from Cima NanoTech, is then continuously coated in a roll-to-roll process in a post-extrusion step. While curing, the coating then “self-assembles” into a random mesh-like network on the substrate (see image above).

 

Based in St. Paul, Minn., Cima NanoTech calls its technology SANTE, short for Self Assembling Nanoparticle Technology for Electronics. It’s said to be 10 times better than indium tin oxide in providing high transparency with ultra-low electrical resistance. It is also claimed to be mechanically robust, allowing the film to be thermoformed.

 

The new film is designed to provide “next generation” functionality, officials from SABIC and Cima NanoTech maintain. One major target is touch screens, states Jon Brodd, Cima NanoTech’ s CEO, where the film can reportedly speed up response times. The film is also said to offer “no-line” anti-fogging for automotive windows, and better EMI shielding effectiveness for electronics. It can also be used for transparent WiFi/Bluetooth antennas used in smartphones, tablets, laptops and all-in-one computers, adds Matt Gray, dir. marketing for Sabic’s consumer electronics business.           

 

Gray says the new film is currently available for customer trials. SABIC extrudes the film itself while the coating is applied by an undisclosed partner company in North Asia. Gray says SABIC  is exploring applications with Cima NanoTech for Lexan sheet.

 

Before its collaboration with SABIC, Cima NanoTech had used the coating primarily with PET substrates.

 

Maruka Opens Florida Tech Center

By: James Callari 22. May 2014

Maruka USA, the exclusive North American distributor of Toyo and FCS injection molding systems, will celebrate the grand opening of their new Technical Center in Largo, Florida by hosting a roundtable discussion between legislators and business leaders on the future of the state’s plastics manufacturing industry.

 

Scheduled for May 29, the Future of Florida Plastics Manufacturing event will cover job creation, workplace retention and tax benefits available to manufacturers and other businesses in the state.

 

The event is being co-hosted by 5 Nines Automation, the sales organization serving Maruka customers in Florida and a leading provider of robotics and automation solutions to the manufacturing market.  Steve Fage, founder of  5 Nines Automation, says the panel discussion will help processors learn how they can benefit from Florida's  Sales Tax Exemption Bill HB 7007. Passed on May 1, the bill provides temporary sales and use tax exemption for purchases of certain machinery and equipment.

 

After the panel discussion, Fage will lead a tour of the Technical Center’s training facility.  Dale Bartholomew, Maruka product manager, will then present a live demonstration of a plastics manufacturing work cell featuring an all-electric Toyo injection molding system, Yushin RCII-250 robot with indexing conveyor, and Conair self-contained loader, thermolator and 3-ton air cooled chiller. Throughout the event, equipment suppliers will be on hand to offer assistance and answer technical questions.

 

The event will run from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, followed by dinner. visit the Five Nines Automation website.

Check Out the New Purging Compounds Knowledge Center

By: James Callari 14. May 2014

Earlier this month we launched a new Knowledge Center on the Plastics Technology website. Sponsored by Asaclean, this Knowledge Center focuses on the matter of purging.

 

Whether you run a single extruder in a university lab, or 30 injection molding presses in a Tier 1 automotive supplier, sooner or later you will need to purge your machine. Some of these reasons are beyond your control, but one thing for certain is: which material you use to purge your screw and barrel.

 

Navigate this Knowledge Center and tap into information on purging compound basics, purging for injection molding and extrusion, purging tips on hot runners, and troubleshooting. There’s also a FAQ section and a place where you can direct a specific purging questions to an Asaclean expert.

Did You Miss Our Drying Supplement?

By: James Callari 14. May 2014

 

As a subscriber to Plastics Technology you should have received by now a supplement that was polybagged with our May issue. It was called Drying Done Right and it is chock full of advice on materials drying from experts in the field, including leading processors. If it’s sitting on your desk, I suggest that you open the bag and take a look (of course give the regular issue a thorough read too). I think you’ll want to keep it handy and will be referring to it often.

If you can’t get your hands on it—perhaps one of your colleagues lifted it?—then click on this link and go to our digital edition. You can download the entire issue as a PDF and circulate it among your associates. Or if you prefer you can access on via our online archives.

Happy drying.
 

Printpak Spearheads Local Effort to Recycle Rigid Plastics

By: James Callari 1. May 2014

 

At a time when plastics are being challenged on a regular basis by governments, James City County in Virginia along with three other and Virginia municipalities have joined the ranks of more-progressive lawmakers by making accommodations for their residents to include rigid plastics in their curbside pickup for recycling.

 

Starting in July 2014, residents in these areas will be able to include plastics like yogurt cups and grocery store clam shells, among other plastic containers in their recycling bins.

 

The initiative was driven by Printpack Rigid, and Jamie Clark, its v.p. and GM.  One of Printpack’s U.S.- based rigid plastics processing plants, which produces sheet rollstock and a variety of barrier PET-based cups for applesauce, pudding, tuna and a variety of other applications, is located within James City County, where Clark also calls home.  As an officer of the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) and the chairman of the SPI’s Rigid Plastics Packaging Group (RPPG), Clark helped support a study on rigid plastics recovery within the county.

 

The Virginia Public Service Authority (VPPSA),  which manages curbside collection for the four municipalities, led the initiative with support from Printpack and RPPG.  The study showed when households were asked to recycle all of their rigid plastics, the entire quantity of recyclables went up by 20% with polypropylene and non-bottle PET making up the majority of the increase. Even PET bottles, which are already included in the program, saw a substantial bump. 

 

National recycling statistics show a trend in improvements in the recovery stream for rigid plastics.  Non-bottle rigid plastic recovery has increased threefold since 2007 to 2011 from about 325 million lb to 934 million lb.  In addition, the ratio of materials staying in Canada and the U.S. as opposed to shipping to other countries has increased from 37% to 61%, which is higher than aluminum and paper.

 

Initially, the VPPSA was reluctant when collection of all rigid plastics for recovery had originally been put on the table for discussion, Clark recalls. The market for mixed plastic seemed to be centered overseas, and VPPSA wanted assurances that if it were collected, it would actually be recycled.  Traditionally, the only plastic material they accepted was PET bottles and HDPE jugs with necks.

 

As the project progressed, VPPSA put their contract for collection out to bid.  But they did not include all rigid plastics in the RFQ because they were concerned that there wasn’t enough economic incentive to collect the material. VPPSA was also concerned that they might even see cost increases if they included all rigids.

 

After extensive research on this matter, Jamie Clark ensured them that the domestic market was developing to handle this type of recovery. “The expanded recycling won’t cost the localities more nor require a change in the regional contract.  There is enough market for the materials that contractors seem to be looking for more of this mixed plastic to buy,”  Clark states. He adds, “The scale of manufacturing in China shows the level of polypropylene consumed is three to four times of that in the U.S.  We should not be surprised that Asia has high demand for this raw material. This is a good thing.”

 

HAMMERING OUT THE DETAILS

 

This past January, Printpack executives and representatives from the SPI, the Southeast Recycling Development Council, County Waste, the MRF (the company that won the bid), and James City County’s Economic Development and General Services Departments met to work out the program’s details. “The meeting was targeted to roll up our sleeves and figure out how to expand plastics recycling locally,” said Clark.  County Waste came in with the attitude of, ‘we’re ready to do it, we’re already doing it elsewhere, so let’s roll.’ County Waste clearly understood that maximizing collection and recycling of all rigid plastics was profitable.

 

James City County Economic Development Group was instrumental in aligning the parties and moving this initiative forward.  Clark added, “There is good reason that Forbes Magazine ranked Virginia the best state for Business in 2013.”

 

Citizens of the county can expect a simple procedure of simply separating out their plastics in a separate bin to be picked up with regular waste disposal.  With local industries and citizens at large aligned, this no cost solution to aid in the recovery of plastics is projected to be a hit in this community.




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