PT Blog

The Extrusion 2019 Conference will take place Sept. 17-19 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., less than two weeks away. You still have time to register for the two-and-a-half-day event. The clock is ticking, but registering for the event is just a few clicks away.

Click here for information about the conference.

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This fall, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) plan to introduce legislation that aims to address plastic waste. The proposal includes a mix of phase-outs of certain single-use consumer products, an extended producer responsibility for those and other products, and deposit or charge requirements at the consumer retail level. Companies that produce products would be required to design, manage and finance end-of-life programs for both products and their packaging. 

Maureen Gorsen is a partner in Alston & Bird's Environment, Land Use & Natural Resources Group and a national chemicals authority who has testified previously before Congress on proposed reforms. She’s also the former director of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and former general counsel of the California Environmental Protection Agency. Here’s her perspective on the potential impact of this plan:

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The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive Division has named Michael J. Whitens, retired former global director for Ford’s Vehicle and Enterprise Sciences Research and Innovation Center the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award winner. An automotive industry veteran with over 30 years of experience, Whitens has spent the majority of his career at Ford Motor Company in various body engineering disciplines. He will be honored for his lifetime of industry expertise and innovation, contributing to the advancement of the automotive plastics industry at the 49th annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala on Nov. 6, 2019 at Burton Manor in Livonia, Mich.

In his most recent role at Ford (2014 – 2018), Whitens led the development of technology strategy and implementation in support of emerging areas including plastics/polymers, advanced plastics processing technologies, composites and material formulations with responsibility for over 500 researchers at three Ford Motor Company global facilities.

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A new study from U.K.-based research and consulting firm FactMRon liquid crystal polymers (LCPs) indicates that demand is growing at a very rapid pace with a multitude of applications, ranging from E&E and automotive to consumer goods, sports, leisure and medical devices.  Sales in 2018 were up 13%, and that is expected to increase by another 6%/yr between 2019 and 2029.

The study attributes this growth to the growing traction for LCP films to develop high-in-demand flexible printed circuits and for semiconductor packaging. Furthermore, increasing application of LCP films in flexible solar cells, owing to its exceptional heat resistance and low water absorbency are also underpinning gains for the market. Moreover, fast-growing technologies, such as 5G communication and 3D printing hold high stakes of growth for the LCP market during the foreseeable period, says the study.

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The automated integration of touchscreen sensors into plastic parts will be demonstrated at K 2019 by Leonhard Kurz  (Kurz Transfer Products is in Charlotte, N.C.). The sensors will be applied to a white goods control panel using Kurz’s patent-pending FFB (Functional Foil Bonding) process. First presented at Fakuma 2018, the process is now being adopted in series production applications. Kurz will also display for the first time a semi-rotary variant of FFB.

In the past, sensors with adhesive layers have predominantly been used for touchscreens, and these sensors have been applied by lamination in a relatively costly process. Kurz will demonstrate that FFB provides an automated, economical process alternative. Besides being more cost-effective, FFB offers advantages with regard to durability. When lamination is used for plastic panels, alternating climate tests have shown that there is a risk of bubble formation due to outgassing of the plastic. Parts with FFB-integrated sensors, on the other hand, do not exhibit these negative effects in alternating climate tests but instead prevent them, thereby enabling perfect results, according to Kurz.

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