Featured Articles

Polystyrene foam cup: environmental scourge or greener than paper and PLA alternatives?

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: March 29th, 2011

In terms of an easy mark for environmentalists, few packaging products catch the flak that polystyrene (PS) foam does, but a new study comparing the energy consumption, water use, solid waste (by weight and volume), and greenhouse gas emissions for PS, paper, and bioplastic PLA (polylactic acid) found that PS uses less energy and water than its "green" competitors over its lifecycle from production to transportation to disposal.

Solar photovoltaic boom could double demand for PMMA film

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: March 29th, 2011

With its excellent UV resistance and clarity, high gloss, scratch resistance, and superior outdoor weatherability, PMMA film is turning out to be an ideal candidate for one of the world's fast growing markets.

376 days out, NPE2012 neared 2009 floor-space levels

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: March 29th, 2011

With only 376 days left until the show, NPE2012 had attracted 813 exhibiting companies covering 754,000-ft2.

TPE resin pricing, March 21-25: PE up $0.01/lb, PP up $0.015/lb; ethylene hits 52-week high

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: March 29th, 2011

Market overview: Spot resin trading was active, with a high volume of completed transactions recorded, good demand, and higher prices, as buyers scooped up spot material amidst rising monomer costs. The cost-push pressure from those rising monomers will lead to higher resin prices in April. Spot-trading platform The Plastics Exchange (TPE) noted that polyethylene (PE) prices rose a penny on average with some variance between grades.

Joining screws require neither nuts, nor inserts

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: March 29th, 2011

Remform screws from Arnold Umformtechnik GmbH & Co. (Forchtenberg-Ernsbach, Germany) reduce the overall assembly cost of plastic parts because they do not require nuts or inserts. They furthermore ensure the highest levels of assembly security, due to a specific design that creates a large difference between the forming torque and the stripping torque. The main application of Remform for plastic parts assembly is the automotive industry.

One company’s transformation journey to profitability

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: March 28th, 2011

Competing with offshore molding and mold manufacturing companies continues to be a struggle for many companies in these industries. But there is a way to compete and win new business, become profitable and grow the business. Thomas Duffey, president and owner of Plastic Components Inc. (PCI) in Germantown, WI, spoke recently to a group attending the American Mold Builders Assn. conference in Las Vegas, and addressed the lingering concerns of the group about offshore molds.
   

Processors' concerns? Expensive resin and inexpensive German labor

By Matt Defosse
Published: March 28th, 2011

The rising cost of plastics and cheap German labor—yes, you read that correctly—have Belgium’s plastics industry concerned. In a survey of its plastics processing members, the country’s plastics trade association found them generally optimistic about recovery but worried about their ability to competitive.

Recycling bioplastics production waste? Not a problem

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: March 28th, 2011

Plastics processing generates scrap, often 2-10% of total plastics consumed, and the experts at Next Generation Recyclingmaschinen GmbH (NGR) have developed a unit especially suitable for recycling of one of the industry’s fastest-growing materials, bioplastics. Though representing only a small percentage of the total plastics market, bioplastics’ consumption is expected to grow by 40% and more per year for years to come.

Meat and bone meal blended with UHMWPE for partially biodegradable compound

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: March 28th, 2011

Banned from use in cattle feed, billions of pounds of meat and bone meal could be diverted from landfills and into partially biodegradable plastic. Researcher Fehime Vatansever and her team reported their experiments using meat and bone meal (MBM) as a component of partially biodegradable plastics to the National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society at its spring event held March 27-31 in Anaheim, CA.

Nine extruders, five layers, one striped, thermoformed yogurt cup

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: March 28th, 2011

With nine extruders that can be configured to provide numerous stripe and layer combinations, Welex (Blue Bell, PA) says its new five-layer sheet-extrusion system for multicolored food packaging sets a new mark for the number of extruders on one die. Built for a European custom-sheet manufacturer for use in thermoformed yogurt cups, the system has already been shipped and is expected to begin production in April.

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