PT Blog

Additive manufacturing (AM) and traditional injection molding can already check a lot of the same boxes: net-shape parts, precision, repeatability, a wide range of materials. The pace of change within AM is such that the technology is continuously making big strides in areas like resolution, speed and materials offered. Beyond the similarities with molding, there are also key differences, including geometries that would be virtually impossible in molding and the time and cost associated with the fabrication of tooling.

With that in mind, Molding 2018 (Feb. 27-March 1; Long Beach, Calif.) is providing an entire track dedicated to the technology—3D Printing: Molder’s Friend or Foe—which will feature a cross section of industry players who are fully immersed in additive manufacturing. Speakers in the session range from molders and moldmakers to printing technology suppliers and AM houses with the scale to challenge traditional molding in certain lot ranges.

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Jeannette Garcia is a polymer chemist at IBM Research and her inquiries are focused on the rational design of new polymers and materials through sustainable methods, targeting recyclable materials with mechanical and thermal properties in combinations not previously accessible. She wrote a blog in 2017 detailing some of her research in this area. I checked in with Garcia to see what she’s working on now:

Q: What are some of your key findings with plastics recycling?

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It’s that time again.

Plastics Technology is bringing the world of extrusion to a new location in Cleveland at The Extrusion 2018 Conference, Sept. 18-20. During this three-day event, business owners, plant managers, process engineers and manufacturing personnel will be brought up to speed on technology developments impacting all types of extrusion operations.

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As we approached the last week of January, resin prices for commodity resins were up, down and in between. Here’s how things were shaping up according to Houston-based PetroChemWire (PCW;) and CEO Michael Greenberg of Chicago-based The Plastics Exchange.

PE: Spot PE prices rose in the midst of tight availability, according to PCW’s senior editor David Barry, who characterized LDPE as the tightest grade, with LLDPE and HDPE as more balanced. “Cold weather along the Gulf Coast caused some units to stop running or reduce rates temporarily, although temperatures moderated toward the end of the week.”

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Last week we reported on the results of 2017 research conducted by market-research firm Mastio & Co., St. Joseph, Mo. on the PE film industry, focusing on stretch film.

Here, we recap Mastio’s research on another huge segment of the PE film business: t-shirt bags, also known as grocery sacks.

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