PT Blog

Silicon Valley-based Arevo announced a partnership with boutique bike manufacturer Franco Bicycles to deliver a reported “world’s first” 3D printed, continuous carbon fiber single-piece unibody frame for a new line of eBikes Franco that will sell under the “Emery” brand.

Arevo DNA additive manufacturing (AM) technology features patented software algorithms enabling generative design techniques, free-motion robotics for “True 3D” construction, and direct energy deposition for virtually void free construction all optimized for anisotropic composite materials. For instance, the Arevo bike frame is made as a single part, in contrast to current composite frames, which are made of many parts glued together. 

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In the first week of the second quarter, we saw a mixed trajectory for prices of the five major commodity resins, with PE, PVC and PET generally flat; PP dropping; and PS moving up. Although the key drivers vary to some degree, such as record high inventories for polyolefins and upward feedstock pricing for PS, we have a general expectation in the industry that the overall softness in demand through first quarter was coming to an end.

Still, barring the occurrence of production disruptions or other major events, there do not appear to be any projections for significant price surges for this quarter. Take a look at how purchasing consultants from Resin Technology, Inc. (RTi), Fort Worth, Texas; senior editors from Houston-based PetroChemWire (PCW); and CEO Michael Greenberg of the Plastics Exchange in Chicago, see things shaking out at least for the next 60 days or so.

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We’ve all found ourselves in these conversations. Friends, family, coworkers with well-meaning but often misguided and misinformed opinions or questions about plastics that have pushed us, and our industry, into a corner.

These conversations have mostly been prompted by the very real problem of plastics being mishandled at their end of life and ending up in the greater environment. At that point, the materials’ resistance to the elements serves against its best interests, allowing it to survive and accumulate in places it would have never been but for mishandling by people. The same properties that protect food or medicine, literally saving lives, now allow the materials, if improperly handled, to linger and amass in nature.

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Closed Loop Partners, an investment firm focused on building the circular economy, released a study that looks at the potential of new recycling technology, in particular, chemical recycling. The report says there is at least 60 technology providers developing “transformational” technologies that purify, decompose or convert waste plastics into renewed raw materials. This report defines the processes as follows: 

Purification involves dissolving plastic in a solvent, then separating and purifying the mixture to extract additives and dyes to ultimately obtain a “purified” plastic. Purification processes make it possible to safely transform carpet into yogurt cups, for instance—greatly increasing the value of plastics waste. PureCycle Technologies will do that when it opens its Ohio facility in the next year.

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It’s a new hybrid method combining the best features of injection molding and additive manufacturing. At next month’s Rapid + TCT show and conference in Detroit, AddiFab of Denmark, Mitsubishi Chemical America, and Alba Enterprises will collaborate to provide an answer. AddiFab (U.S. office in Palo Alto, Calif.) supplies 3D printing machines and materials that use a stereolithography technique to light-cure liquid resins. Its Freeform Injection Molding (FIM) process involves these steps:

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