Featured Articles

Thermoplastic-compatible carbon fiber production commences; focus on auto sector

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 27th, 2014

At the end of June, SGL Group (Wiesbaden, Germany) started production of thermoplastic-compatible polyacrylonitrile-based carbon fibers at its Muir of Ord site in Scotland. The new production start-up will initially service orders from the automotive industry.

Desiccant wheel dryers sized just right for medical molders, extruders

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 27th, 2014

New compact dryers from Conair (Cranberry Township, PA) that can be mounted on the feed throat of a molding machine or extruder provide the same performance as larger desiccant-wheel dryers, making them advantageous when small quantities of expensive engineering resins are processed. Suppliers serving the medical device industry and other sectors where engineering resins are commonly used will benefit.

Reportedly the smallest wheel-type dryers on the market, the MicroWheel devices are designed as an alternative to compressed-air dryers and small twin-tower units.

New study looks at the role plastic films play in global food production

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 25th, 2014

In order to feed a global population, which is expected to top nine billion people by 2050, the world must reduce food waste and the distribution of food needs to be improved and food production increased. At the same time, agriculture faces challenges due to changing economic and environmental trends including climate change, biofuel expansion, slowing agricultural yields, rising meat demand and ever increasing calorie intake from a growing global middle class. It is estimated that by 2050, about 70% of the global population will be urban, compared to 50% today.

Medical devices done dirt cheap

By Norbert Sparrow
Published: July 25th, 2014

Smartphones and 3D printing have the potential to bring life-saving medical technology to the masses at a fraction of the cost of conventional medical devices. From the $50 prosthetic hand to bubble wrap's conversion to in vitro diagnostics, here are four stunning examples of advanced medical and IVD technology that cost less than a pair of athletic shoes.

Click on the arrow below the image to learn about the $50 prosthetic that, in some circumstances, outperforms a $42,000 device.

IMDA symposium to feature keynote speaker Mike Ferrari

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: July 25th, 2014

The In-Mold Decorating Association announced Mike Ferrari of Ferrari Innovation Solutions, LLC, as its keynote speaker at its 2014 IMDA Symposium and Exhibit, October 22-23, 2014. The event will be held at the DoubleTree Chicago North Shore Hotel & Conference Center in Skokie, IL. The theme for the 2014 Symposium is "IML/IMD - Concept to Completion: How IMDA Awards are Won."

Andiamo Luggage uses new extrudable polycarbonate designed for enhanced scratch-resistance

By Tim Somheil
Published: July 25th, 2014

A billion people worldwide travel annually, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). That number is expected to rise to 1.8 billion by 2030.

But there's no reason to expect travel to get any easier—on travelers or on their luggage—in years to come.

Andiamo Luggage LLC and Bayer MaterialScience developed an extrudable polycarbonate grade intended to help keep suitcases looking good, even after extensive travel. Makrolon ET MS240 is designed to provide significantly better surface protection.

New antioxidant biomaterial prevents medical implant failure, promotes healing

By Norbert Sparrow
Published: July 25th, 2014

When a foreign material is put inside the human body, you will always get an inflammatory response to some degree, says Guillermo Ameer, professor of biomedical engineering in McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and professor of surgery in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University (Chicago). "A problem with commonly used plastic materials, in particular, is that in addition to that inflammatory response, oxidation occurs," he adds.

Whirlpool refrigerators become first commercial application for a polyurethane insulation system using HFO blowing agent

By Tim Somheil
Published: July 25th, 2014

Whirlpool Corp., the world's largest producer of major appliances, has begun the first commercial use of a polyurethane refrigerator insulation system with a HFO (hydrofluoroolefin) blowing agent.

The polyurethane is a new formulation of BASF's Elastocool rigid foam. It is used with Honeywell's Solstice liquid blowing agent (LBA), an HFO with an ultra-low global warming potential (GWP) of 1. Traditionally used hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) have GWPs between 700 and 1000

The battle over “green” plastics continues in the building & construction industry

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: July 24th, 2014

This week, David Levine, CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council, took the opportunity to rake the plastics industry over the coals while SPI and other plastics industry groups held their "fly-in" in Washington, D.C.

DuPont and Reifenhauser Kiefel Extrusion develop new perforation resistant thermoformable film

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: July 24th, 2014

A collaboration to improve the efficiency, performance and sustainability of packaging applications between Reifenhauser Kiefel Extrusion and DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers, has resulted in a material and cost-saving medium barrier 9-layer film for thermoforming applications.

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