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Week that Was: Top 10 most clicked articles and highlights from 2/25-3/1

Chevrolet's emblem got some added bling in 2013, 100 years after it was created by William C. Durant in 1913, thanks to a thermoformed film and inmold decoration according to Automotive/Mobility Editor Stephen Moore. Past bowties were made from a vacuum metalized translucent acrylic.

. Past bowties were made from a vacuum metalized translucent acrylic. A representative of the part's molder, Elmo Technologies, told Stephen that similar IMD technology has already been used in body side moldings, rocker panels, chin spoilers, and even composite roof panels.

Improved impact performance, great; 20% lower costs than traditional long-glass-fiber-reinforced polypropylene (PP)? Even better. That's the claim by Asahi Kasei Plastics about its Thermylene I. The company declined to tell Stephen how the savings were achieved by the compounded PP, which has fiber loadings of 10-60% and pellet lengths from 10-12 mm, but did say Thermylene also has improved impact resistance, knit line strength, and better flow.

Could elastomers benefit from new FDA guidance on the application of human factors and usability in medical device design? That was the buzz in Anaheim at MD&M West according to Medical Channel Editor Doug Smock. Larry Johnson, global director healthcare marketing at PolyOne, told Doug that applications like orthotics, prosthetics, and medical devices could apply softer materials for cushioning, better feel, and reduced muscle strain, among other benefits. Doug also highlighted a new alliance's effort to promote and protect PVC for medical products in Europe. While the new PVCMed Alliance will "actively participate" in several events, PVC promotion was largely absent at MD&M.

At MD&M West held earlier this month in Anaheim, CA, there was no discernible presence of PVC, even though it represents 30% of plastics products in the medical market, far more than any other plastic. Suppliers will discuss PVC, but primarily promote elastomers or polyesters or other products that have a more positive image.

Martin Sheen, partly by virtue of portrayal of fictional U.S. President Josiah Bartlet, carries a distinct air of credibility, and that quality could be why he was chosen to host a PBS series on sustainable packaging. The concept and Mr. Sheen's involvement caught Packaging Channel Editor Heather Caliendo's eye and after some digging it got more interesting, but not for any "green" reasons.

It appears the [production] company approaches various businesses and trade associations with the intent to produce "flattering" segments. While the programs may attempt to mimic the look and feel of an educational documentary, they are actually infomercials.

Heather also spoke with Thomas E. Blaige, chairman and CEO of plastics, packaging, and chemicals investment banking firm Blaige & Co. about a new plastics packaging M&A consolidation study based on 12 years (2001-2012) of proprietary research. Blaige identified four key trends that could drive the plastics packaging M&A market. His advice:

The playing field is changing. There could be more risks by doing nothing; they need to go beyond their comfort zone.

Green Matter Editor Karen Laird highlighted Purac's efforts to promote its PLA resins beyond expected applications for the bioplastic. Helping its case, heat deflection temperature of 120°C.

In reporting from the IBS event in Las Vegas earlier this year, Clare Goldsberry reported on hy-PE-RTube; the first product resulting from the strategic collaboration of Dow and Zurn Pex focused on delivering next-generation piping solutions for hot and cold pipe applications. A welcome technology in what has been a cold winter for many.

Top 10 most-clicked articles 2/25-3/1

  1. Hydraulic-assisted drive promises to almost double fuel economy
  2. New TV series to focus on sustainable packaging, but is there a catch?
  3. Small turbo engines don't deliver on fuel economy claims: Consumer Reports
  4. Arburg develops injection molding machines tailored for packaging
  5. Intertech adds two presses, central chiller in response to reshored business
  6. In-mold decoration creates durable badge for Chevrolet
  7. Big shot(s): Integrity installs 4-shot 1650-ton Engel
  8. Increased demand equals cleanroom expansion, new machines
  9. Mondelēz International discusses new approach to packaging development
  10. Plastic film recycling reaches 1 billion lb
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