Featured Articles

Material companies to offer customer centers at NPE2015

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 31st, 2014

At NPE2015, several raw material suppliers plan to offer "Customer Service Centers" where they can connect with processors, designers, OEM/brands and other business professionals in facilities nearby the exhibit floor.

Westlake Chemical completes acquisition of PVC producer

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 31st, 2014

Westlake Chemical has closed its acquisition of German-based Vinnolit Holdings GmbH and its subsidiary companies from Advent International, a private equity firm.

Say cheese? New whey-based thermoformable barrier coating under development

By Karen Laird
Published: July 31st, 2014

As far as growth is concerned, the packaging industry has nothing to worry about. Sustainability, however, is another story. And while the need for greener packaging represents a significant market opportunity, solutions that deliver the requisite performance at a competitive price are still thin on the ground.

A dominant technology in the packaging market is thermoforming, yet although, for example, bio-based trays have been around for a number of years, in general, they fail to meet the barrier properties required for sensitive food products.

Researchers who discovered bacteria-resistant polymers receive award to find out why they work

By Norbert Sparrow
Published: July 31st, 2014

In 2012, two researchers at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom discovered a group of new materials capable of repelling bacteria. Precisely why bacteria steer clear of this material, however, is not known. Now, the scientists have each won a prestigious research award worth a combined £2 million ($3.4 million) to solve the mystery. There is a lot at stake: bacteria-resistant polymers could lead to a significant reduction in hospital infections acquired through implanted medical devices.

DOE announces funding for biomass-based carbon fiber development

By Stephen Moore
Published: July 30th, 2014

The US Energy Department (DOE; Washington, DC) has announced up to $11.3 million in funding for two projects that aim to advance the production of cost-competitive, high-performance carbon fiber material from renewable, non-food-based feedstocks, such as agricultural residues and woody biomass.

The nation's capital bans PS foam containers

By Heather Caliendo
Published: July 30th, 2014

Washington D.C. believes it has a big problem. This time around it's not about crime or corrupt politicians, but rather polystyrene foam containers.

Starting in January 2016, food and beverages that are packaged in PS foam will no longer be permitted for carryout use. A ban on many other disposable foodservice products that are not "compostable or recyclable" will start in 2017.

Reshoring: It’s not a myth (but it needs your help)

By Matt Fehrmann
Published: July 30th, 2014

American companies have outsourced its manufacturing work for decades to low-cost countries like China, Vietnam and India to take advantage of cheap labor rates. This has taken a toll on the American manufacturing sector - the Bureau of Statistics indicates that nearly six million manufacturing jobs were lost between 1999 and 2009 (over one-third of the country's manufacturing workforce).

This kind of damage is hard to reclaim, but fortunately, this trend is starting to reverse itself.

Researchers develop nanopropellers that swim through body to deliver medical treatments

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 30th, 2014

In Fantastic Voyage, a cheesy science fiction movie from the 1960s, a submarine and crew are miniaturized and injected into a person's blood stream to remove a brain clot. While researchers have yet to develop the shrink ray, one group of scientists has created a tiny propeller, not unlike the device that propels submarines, except that it is 100 times smaller than a human blood cell.

Measuring 70 nm in diameter and 400 nm long, the nanopropeller could move through the human body, and even inside cells, to perform medical procedures and deliver drugs.

Back-to-school means STEM will be in the forefront for the industry

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: July 30th, 2014

Summer is nearly over and many kids are already preparing for back-to-school with activities such as shopping for new clothes, school supplies and wondering what awaits them in a new grade level with new teachers. One thing for sure, STEM will be at the forefront. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) is being pushed hard through all grade levels in schools across the country as a way to prepare young people for high-paying jobs in the business of manufacturing and industry.

NinjaFlex makes its mark in 3D printer materials market

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: July 30th, 2014

Fenner Drives, a 103-year-old company that specializes in the manufacture of tensioners, idler pulleys, chain sprockets, UHMW belt and chain guides, and more solutions for critical applications, put its engineering expertise in urethanes to work in the 3D printing industry. NinjaFlex, an innovative thermoplastic elastomer 3D printer filament, provides a super elastic, highly durable material that is catching on in the industry.

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