Green Practices

Panorama roof incorporates infrared absorption function

By Stephen Moore
Published: January 25th, 2015

A heat-absorbing panorama roof made of shatterproof polycarbonate (PC) plastic brings more light into the interior and creates a sense of greater spaciousness in the smart fortwo, while at the same time reducing heat buildup in the cabin and thereby contributing to better fuel economy via reduced air-conditioner load.

Teknor Apex and Arkema collaboration yields new breathable housewrap film compounds with renewable content

By Karen Laird
Published: January 21st, 2015

A collaboration between Teknor Apex Company and Arkema Inc. has led to the development of a new family of compounds based on the combination of Arkema's Pebax thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) with Teknor Apex's Terraloy bioplastic. The compounds resulting from the strategic alliance between the two companies will broaden the range of breathable, bio-based films that offer a wide choice of film permeabilities enabling manufacturers of housewrap to increase their product offerings and expand their commitment to sustainability.

Ford accelerates carbon fiber research for auto applications

By Stephen Moore
Published: January 13th, 2015

Ford and DowAksa are accelerating joint research to develop high-volume manufacturing techniques for automotive-grade carbon fiber. The companies will be part of the newly formed Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, created by the U.S. government.

Beverage carton from fully plant-based materials hits Finnish grocery shelves

By Karen Laird
Published: January 13th, 2015

A new breakthrough has been reached in the world of beverage cartons. Following Tetra Pak's announcement last October of the launch of the industry's first carton made entirely from plant-based, renewable packaging materials, Finnish dairy producer, Valio, has now become the first company in the world to sell products to consumers in the new packaging. The new cartons are available from retail stores in Finland starting this week.

Start-up recycler QCP building circular polymer plant at Chemelot

By Karen Laird
Published: January 12th, 2015

If all goes according to plan, the Netherlands will boast a brand new plastics recycling plant that is due to start up operations by the end of 2015. Called QCP, short for Quality Circular Polymers, the company was established in April 2014 by Huub Meessen and Marc Houtermans, with the backing of a number of strategic investors. QCP's plant will ultimately produce high-quality raw materials, with a focus on PP and PE, derived from industrial and household plastic waste for the plastics industry. The project involves a total investment of 75 million euros ($88.42 million).

National composites innovation hub slated for Knoxville, Tennessee

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: January 11th, 2015

A consortium of 122 companies, non-profit organizations, universities and research laboratories is partnering with the Department of Energy to create a $250 million-plus manufacturing innovation institute focused on US leadership in next-generation composite materials, such as carbon fiber composites.

Toyota to offer more than 5,600 fuel cell and related patents available for royalty free use; until 2020

By Stephen Moore
Published: January 8th, 2015

Having recently debuted its Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle, the automaker says it is opening the door to the hydrogen future, making available thousands of hydrogen fuel cell patents royalty free for use up to 2020. Announced at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Toyota says that the initiative will spur development and introduction of innovative fuel cell technologies around the world.

Turboprop aircraft gets full composite treatment

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: January 7th, 2015

TenCate Advanced Composites North America (Morgan Hill, CA) has signed a long term composite materials supply agreement with Kestrel Aircraft (Superior, WI). The use of composite materials is reportedly essential to enable the Kestrel design engineering team to optimize the aerodynamic shape of the Kestrel K-350 single engine turboprop aircraft, which provides significant improvements in speed and weight compared to traditional aluminum construction.

NPE 2015: DSM highlights gas tank, under-the-hood applications

By Stephen Moore
Published: January 6th, 2015

DSM Engineering Plastics (Singapore) will be present at NPE in Orlando, FL, March 23-27 with a number of auto-related innovations on show. These include a high pressure gas tank in thermoplastic composite and a portfolio for high temperature polyamide resin for use in engine compartments  DSM will also highlight its solutions via speaker presentations at SPI and ANTEC as well as in their Customer Service Center in the West Hall, Room 225A.

Japanese, Korean firms consolidate their polyurethane businesses

By Stephen Moore
Published: January 5th, 2015

In a somewhat rare case of Japan-Korea cooperation, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. (Tokyo) and SKC Co., Ltd. (Seoul) have signed a joint venture agreement to consolidate the polyurethane material businesses of both companies. The two companies plan to form a Seoul-based joint venture company by April 1, 2015 that will target global sales of $2.0 billion per year by around 2020. The 50:50 joint venture anticipates revenue of approximately $1.5 billion in 2015.

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