TPE resin pricing Jan. 30-Feb. 3: PE flat; PP up $0.04/lb; Ethylene and propylene continue to rise

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: February 8th, 2012

Uncertain contract pricing lead to choppy spot resin trading, in what The Plastics Exchange (TPE) called a "very interesting week in the plastics markets" in which spot polyethylene (PE) was steady while spot polypropylene (PP) rose another $0.04/lb. At the end of the month, several major PE producers pushed off the January $0.06/lb price increase and will now look to implement it in February.

Fourth time’s a charm; Mexichem acquires Wavin after raising bid for a fourth time

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: February 8th, 2012

Mexico's Mexichem S.A.B. de C.V. has bid to acquire Netherlands based Wavin for just over a half a billion euro's, paying euro 531 million, or euro 10.50 for each Wavin ordinary share, to create a euro 4 billion plastic pipe firm that hopes to leverage the combined companies' design, engineering, and R&D capabilities with Mexichem's low-cost manufacturing. Wavin will retain a separate operating and legal structure with headquarters in Zwolle.

Bioplastics and more bloom at Chinaplas 2012

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: February 8th, 2012

In its second year and renamed the Bioplastics Zone, a section of Chinaplas 2012 dedicated to renewable materials and green manufacturing is expected to be 40% larger than the inaugural 2011 version. Show organizer Adsale say exhibitors in the space will include Cardia, Danisco, Ecomann, Esun, Hisun, Kingfa, Metabolix, NatureWorks, and Nuvia, promoting renewable materials like PLA, PHA, PBS, PPC, PCL, PVA, TPS, PA, and PTT.

Record 2011 robotic sales fueled by automotive surge, onshoring

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: February 8th, 2012

A revived and growing automotive industry along with an overall strengthening in manufacturing made 2011 a banner year for robotics sales in North America. New statistics released by the Robotics Industries Assn. (RIA) last week (Feb. 2), showed a total of 19,337 robots valued at $1.7 billion were sold to companies in North America, beating the previous record of 18,228 robots sold in 2005.

Toray is building 'artificial kidney' factory in China

By Doug Smock
Published: February 8th, 2012

Toray Medical will manufacture a polysulfone membrane dialysis device, which it calls an artificial kidney, in a plant under construction in Qingdao, China.

In the dialysis process, solutions from a patient suffering kidney failure are diffused across a semipermeable membrane such as polysulfone film while circulating outside of the body. Urea and other waste products, potassium, and phosphate diffuse into the dialysis solution. Polysulfone dialysis membranes are well known to have excellent biocompatibility in clinical use.

Thrifty Scots recycle whisky waste into biofuel

By Karen Laird
Published: February 7th, 2012

Launched on January 25 as a spin-off from Scotland-based Edinburgh Napier University's Biofuels Research Centre, Celtic Renewables Ltd. is a new company formed to commercialize a process for producing a next generation biofuel (and other high value sustainable products) from the by-products of biological industries. The initial focus is on the waste products derived from whisky production.

Apprentice programs evolve with the industries they serve

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: February 7th, 2012

Today's metalworking environment has changed dramatically over the past two decades but many apprenticeship programs haven't matched those changes.

Roquette and Rhodia Acetow combine strengths to develop new plant-based polymers

By Karen Laird
Published: February 7th, 2012

It seems as though not a week goes by without some plastic raw materials manufacturer announcing a collaboration with a producer of biobased materials. It's an interesting trend, and one that serves to underline the increasingly important role of bioplastics in the marketplace today as a sector that everyone wants to be part of.

Future Car to be unveiled at Chinaplas 2012

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: February 7th, 2012

What will the future automobile look like? A sneak peak at tomorrow's car will be presented at Chinaplas 2012 as part of design competition in that show's "Future Zone" display.  A five-month design, selection and production process of the "Future Car" is already underway with 15 groups of students submitting applications.

COCs challenge nylon, PVC for medical bags

By Doug Smock
Published: February 7th, 2012

The initial application for the industry's first cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) elastomer is expected to debut soon in an extruded medical application.

The newly developed material targets plastics such as nylon and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in medical applications including tubing and bags. The benefits of the COC elastomer for film are toughness, purity and moisture barrier.

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