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12/14/2010 | 3 MINUTE READ

Industry & Technology News

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Bemis Molds Chair Out of 111 Recycled Coke Bottles - Styron Makes Its Official Debut - At Spartech, a Decade of PLA Sheet Pushes the Boundaries.


Bemis Molds Chair Out of 111 Recycled Coke Bottles

The newest incarnation of the 66-year-old Navy Chair has been converted from aluminum to recycled PET with the aid of gas-assist injection molding at Bemis Manufacturing Co., Sheboygan Falls, Wis. Born out of a World War II project for the U.S. Navy, the original metal Navy Chair from Emeco, Hanover, Pa., has sold more than a million units. After four years in development, Emeco launched the 111 Navy Chair in April in cooperation with The Coca-Cola Co., Bemis, toolmaker Delta Mold Inc., Charlotte, N.C., and BASF Corp., Engineering Plastics, Wyandotte, Mich.

Each finished chair contains about 13 lb of BASF’s Petra 7030 30% glass-reinforced PET compound, made from about 111 20-oz Coke bottles obtained from the Spartanburg, S.C., recycling plant started up in 2009 through a partnership of Coca-Cola and United Resource Recovery Corp. The chair could potentially consume 3 million bottles a year. The chair is molded in two parts by Bemis on two separate presses. The chair itself is molded in a hot tool to achieve optimum surface finish; the 3-min cycle is three times longer than for a typical plastic chair. It is demolded by an ABB six-axis robot, which enters the mold on a sliding table. The H-frame support, which fits between the chair legs, is inserted into place by a robot while the chair is still hot. Bemis and BASF contributed expertise in gas-assist injection. The chair has two overflow wells to trap melt displaced by gas.
(800) 558-7651 • bemisplastics.com
(800) BC-RESIN • plasticsportal.com/usa


Styron Makes Its Official Debut

In June, Styron LLC, a former business unit of Dow Chemical Co., officially became a stand-alone company owned by Bain Capital Partners. Styron is headed by Christopher D. Pappas, president and CEO and a former executive at Dow and Nova Chemicals. V.P. of Plastics at Styron is Paul Moyer, previously Dow’s business v.p. of Styrenics and Polycarbonate/Compounds and Blends. Based in Midland, Mich., Styron is a world leader in PS and SB latex. It has $3.7 billion in revenue, 20 manufacturing sites, and 1900 employees in 30 countries. Besides latex and PS, Styron produces styrene monomer, synthetic rubbers, HIPS, SAN, ABS, EPS bead (only in Europe), PC, PC/ABS, certain automotive PP blends, and TPOs. According to Moyer, Styron’s business is “well balanced” between automotive, building/construction, packaging, and sheet markets, as well as consumer good and electronics, information technology, appliances, medical, electrical, and lighting.
(888) 789-7661 • styron.com


At Spartech, a Decade of PLA Sheet Pushes the Boundaries

At this spring’s conference on biopolymers hosted by NatureWorks LLC, Minnetonka, Minn., Tim Dawsey, senior director of technology at Spartech Corp., St. Louis, the nation’s biggest independent sheet producer, reported on its work with NatureWorks’ Ingeo polylactic acid (PLA). Spartech has worked with PLA for a decade, offering commercial PLA sheet since 2006. Its standard Rejuven8 PLA sheet is very clear and stiff, but relatively brittle and low in heat resistance. It has been used primarily in refrigerated food packaging and drinkware.

A later development, Spartech’s Rejuven8 Plus impact-modified PLA sheet, is opaque or clear, has good impact resistance and stiffness, but still is low in heat resistance. Its commercial uses include refrigerated food packaging, other thermoformed packaging, drinkware, gift cards, and other printed applications.

Spartech’s latest generation is Enhanced Rejuven8 Plus, which is opaque or clear, tough and stiff, low in heat resistance but has accelerated crystallization in secondary processing, achieved through special additive formulation. This translates into faster and easier annealing in gift cards and other printed uses. It has been shown to reduce annealing cycle time by more than 25% and annealing temperature by more than 25° F.

Spartech is also aiming R&D at raising PLA’s heat resistance. Possible approaches include lamination to other materials, coextrusion or blending with other materials, use of special additives, or special processing methods. Developmental high-heat Rejuven8 EX17 is opaque, tough, and stiff and also has good heat resistance similar to PET and PETG without need for secondary processing. Initial applications include refrigerated food packaging, other thermoformed packaging, drinkware, gift cards, and fabricated parts.
(888) 721-4242 • spartech.com