Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Nanoscience Instruments Announces Worldwide Distribution of Easy-to-Use CNT System

Nanoscience Instruments announces worldwide distribution of a new benchtop carbon nanotube synthesis device. The Nanotech Innovations SSP-354 is a low-cost system for producing high-quality, multi-walled carbon nanotubes. The device uses an injection CVD process developed at NASA and is integrated into an instrument small enough to fit in a fume hood. The system can produce research-quality, multi-wall carbon nanotubes within a few hours.

The SSP-354 CNT system was designed with both affordability and ease of use in mind. The user injects Nanotech Innovations' organometallic precursor solution into a two-zone furnace where iron catalyst particles are formed. Once growth is catalyzed, the nanotubes form on the surface of a quartz process tube, which is later removed to collect the material. The nanotubes average 50 nm in diameter and can be anywhere from several micrometers to a few hundred micrometers in length, depending on operating parameters.

Because the innovative design eliminates many of the steps normally required in producing CNTs, the system is ideal for educational environments where students may be trained to both produce and characterize carbon nanotubes. "The SSP-354 CNT system is a great complement to our easy to use AFMs (Atomic Force Microscopes)" says Mark Flowers, director at Nanoscience Instruments. "We can now provide simple and cost-effective nanomaterial fabrication along with our line of characterization tools."

Monday, December 27, 2010

Lite-On Mobile Develops Technique for Removal of Split Lines from Plastic Part Surfaces

Plastic is a great material for many purposes. Lite-On Mobile has a wealth of experience in the field, enabling it to offer products that can justifiably be called high-class. Surfaces can be made look and feel totally different to what we are used to when holding a plastic object - ceramic, velvet, shiny, color-changing and, even to the eye of an expert, totally seamless products.

Those are the kind of qualities that give plastic products a high-class look - they are exclusive and expensive looking, but still at an affordable price. And that doesn't go for just mobile phone covers, but for almost anything you can think of.
Kimmo Turunen, Senior Manager from LOM Plastics Innovations explains that Lite-On Mobile has developed a fast and cost-efficient way to remove tooling split lines from the visual surfaces of plastic parts.

* Split line removal is a technique by which the seams in plastic parts are polished away before painting. Plastic parts may sometimes have features like recesses and negative draft areas requiring the mould to be cut into several pieces, and that results in a small witness line on the plastic part. Split line removal is one way of supporting, for example, the seamless phone concept that is so popular today, explains Kimmo Turunen.

Split line removal can be done manually, which is slow and not cost effective. Lite-On Mobile's machinery has been developed both for single part and multi-part flow. Split-line removal can be done for ABS+PC and PC visual parts that are to be painted.

CNC milling is a next generation technology which provides high accuracy and a quality look inexpensively. Material removal is sometimes a necessary production step for a variety of purposes: holes for buttons, camera lenses, screws, etc. With some techniques, the desired forms are difficult or impossible to create in the moulding process, but using CNC milling you can achieve that and even take the design to the next level.

Just about any material can be used, and there are virtually no restrictions on mechanical design. It is possible to achieve sharp hole edges in painted parts, and minimize visible split lines in hole-areas.

These are just some examples of our capabilities in the area of high-class plastics. We listen and discover constantly what the expectations from the world and the customers are. New ideas emerge, more is to come!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Styron Launches Specialized PC, PC/ABS Solutions to Meet the Latest Trends in TV Designs

As a result of the trend towards thinner, trendier TVs, molders and OEMs are faced with an increased demand for thinner TV enclosures with better aesthetics at lower cost. Styron LLC announced the commercial availability of three innovative compounds in Europe that can help molders and OEMs meet these challenges.

XZ 92696.00: high flow PC/ABS compound for applications with high heat requirements

High heat resistant products for TV enclosures traditionally came with compromises in terms of flow, making them less suitable for molders wanting to produce the thin TV housings demanded by today's consumers. With XZ 92696.00, Styron has developed an innovative solution that overcomes the classic compromise between heat and flow.

The innovative PC/ABS compound has a market-leading HDT (Heat Distortion Temperature) value of 94°C at 1.82 MPa, making it an ideal solution for thinner TVs with high heat requirements such as Matrix-lit LED TVs. In addition to this high HDT value, XZ 92696.00 offers a high flow with good mechanical properties. This unique combination makes XZ 92696.00 an excellent choice for molders and OEMs wanting to create thinner TV enclosures for some of the most innovative TV applications.

XZ 92696.00 is UL listed according to UL94 V1 at 1.5mm.

XZ 92699.01: high flow compound based on PC/ABS for thinner TV back covers

The trend towards thinner TVs has also led to new challenges for molders and OEMs, such as the need for high flow products to create thinner back covers for televisions. XZ 92699.01 from Styron is an innovative compound based on PC/ABS with a spiral flow value comparable to that of ignition-resistant polystyrene. Styron's innovative compound combines high flow with high stiffness, making it a great option for molders wanting to produce thinner TV back covers.

Styron's innovative XZ 92699.01 compound offers molders new opportunities to create more cost efficient TV back covers compared to traditional PC/ABS compounds because:

  1. It was specifically developed to be more cost competitive than traditional PC/ABS compounds.
  2. Its high flow allows the compound to be injected at lower temperatures of 245°C instead of 260°C, leading to shorter cycle times and increased efficiency.
  3. As molders can inject XZ 92699.01 at lower temperatures, they could save on energy consumption during the molding process.

In an addition to processing advantages, Styron's new compound also provides molders and OEMs with the additional design freedom needed to create thinner TVs with fashionable designs. XZ 92699.01 allows molders to better replicate the embossing of molds on TV back covers, allowing additional design options and increased aesthetics for TV back covers.

XZ 92699.01 is UL listed according to UL94 V0 at 2mm for black formulations.

XZ 94291.01: high flow, high transparency PC compound for thinner TV front covers

Consumer demand for trendier TVs means that molders and OEMs need additional design freedom and increased aesthetics for TV front covers. Styron has introduced an innovative transparent PC compound with high flow that allows molders to fill thinner TV front covers to help address this need. Using XZ 94291.01 results in fewer weld lines, making it particularly suitable for the 'back-paint' process, where paint is applied to the back of a PC front cover.

"The trend for thinner, trendier TVs brings new requirements for TV enclosures, and we believe Styron's renewed product portfolio is perfectly adapted to meet those requirements," says Tsuyoshi Okii, Global Market Manager Consumer Electronics at Styron. "Our products allow molders to produce thinner TV housings at a lower cost while offering additional design freedom and increased aesthetics."

Acoustic Polymer Foams Give True Theatre Experience

To provide effective sound insulation for optimal acoustics in the oval-shaped Genexis Theatre (Fusionopolis, an R&D complex in Singapore), BASF’s flame-retardant specialty foam Basotect® has been used by the engineers. The Basotect panels, surrounded by black fleece, are fitted behind numerous timber beads spread across the heavily lined and curved theater walls.

Basotect, made from melamine resin, a thermoset polymer, is a good sound absorption material and minimize reverberations occurring inside the theatre. Its characteristic feature is its three-dimensional network structure consisting of slender and thus easily shaped webs. Basotect’s open-cell foam structure makes it lightweight (9g/l), thermally-insulating and sound-absorbing material. This unique structure also provides the much needed flexibility to the foam and can be used at up to 240°C without any deterioration in performance.

Indian southern cities turning to natural gas

According to a top official from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Bangalore will have CNG fuelling stations by 2012. Meanwhile, in Chennai the gaseous fuel will be available in the next three years thanks to a city gas distribution project, said Gail India Limited’s general manager R. Tiwari.
Indian southern cities turning to natural gas

Chairman of Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) L. Mansingh said that infrastructure to supply compressed natural gas in Bangalore would be in place in two years. Moreover, there is a Petronet LNG’s project, expected to be commissioned by March 2012, to establish a Bangalore-Mangalore-Kochi pipeline. Once built, consumers will have the benefit of piped natural gas delivered in town.

On the other hand, Chennai would be on the CNG map after the City Gas Distribution (CDG) project is implemented in the next two to three years. According to Tiwari, the CDG would reduce the nation’s dependence on petrol by 31 per cent and help save $87 billion of foreign exchange flowing outside the country through oil imports.

During the first phase, the project would be implemented in 17 cities through a Gail subsidiary, with authorization from PNGRB, reported the Indian online newspaper Express. The CGD network would create green corridors for distributing and marketing of CNG as fuel for vehicles (inter city as well as intra city) and piped natural gas for domestic and industrial purposes.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ticona's Ultra-High Heat Vectra® LCP Helps JST Corp. Solve Weld-Line, Cracking Issues in SD Connectors

JST Corp., a global manufacturer of interconnection products, has eliminated stress cracks in its injection molded Secure Digital (SD) connector thanks to the superior weld-line strength and higher heat deflection properties found in inherently flame resistant Vectra® liquid crystal polymer (LCP) from Ticona Engineering Polymers.

"With technical assistance from Ticona, JST was able to switch to Vectra S135 and start molding thin-wall parts with excellent process consistency and good surface appearance," said Miguel Padilla, JST Molding Supervisor at JST in Waukegan, Ill. "Now we have the extended operating temperature and flowability that allows us to consistently fill these complex geometries while, at the same time, maintaining tight tolerances and avoiding assembly process issues."

When molding with a 10 percent glass, 30 percent mineral reinforced LCP resin with a distortion temperature under load (DTUL) of 248 degrees Celsius (479 degrees Fahrenheit), JST had been experiencing weld-line issues and occasional cracks that developed during the assembly process. JST needed an engineering thermoplastic with a higher heat deflection temperature (HDT) profile that could withstand the particularly challenging dimensional considerations and withstand lead-free soldering demands of this SC connector application for handhelds such as bar code scanners.

JST turned to Ticona for material and processing technical assistance. During molding trials, Ticona demonstrated that JST could make the successful material switch to Vectra S135 and eliminate intermittent fill and bowing issues its molder was experiencing with SD connector parts molded with the other commercially available LCP.

"Ticona designed Vectra S135 to meet the needs of customers like JST ultra-high heat resistance, thinner walls and faster cycle time," said Edward Hallahan, Technical Marketing Manager Ticona High Performance Polymers. "By switching to Vectra S135, JST also was able to optimize their molding process to reduce cycle times by 4 seconds."

As a member of the high-temperature Vectra S series family, Vectra S135 significantly extends the possible processing window with a melting point of 350 degrees Celsius (662 degrees Fahrenheit). It is a 35 percent glass fiber reinforced LCP with very low outgassing and high stiffness designed for use in demanding connector and surface-mount applications, especially those that must meet Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS). A unique polymer structure allows S135 to achieve a high DTUL, and process stably at temperatures significantly lower than other high-DTUL LCPs. It offers:

  • A DTUL of 335 degrees Celsius (635 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Improved weld-line strength
  • Reduced viscosity, which allows it to fill walls as thin as 0.2 mm (0.008 in)

Vectra LCP is widely used by customers to make eco-friendly connectors, bobbins, switches and relays that meet RoHS and European Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directives. In addition, customers and original equipment manufacturers are striving to accelerate the production of green and safe products.

Teijin Sets 2012 as the Target to Launch its Bio-derived PET Fiber

Teijin Fibers Limited, the core company of the Teijin Group's polyester fibers business, announced that it will begin the full-fledged production and marketing of new plant-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fiber as the world's first commercially produced bio-derived PET fiber, in April 2012.
Named ECO CIRCLE PlantFiber, the new product, also available as a textile, will become Teijin Fibers' core biomaterial for applications ranging from apparel, car seats and interiors to personal hygiene products. Teijin Fibers expects to sell 30,000 tons of ECO CIRCLE PlantFiber products in the initial fiscal year ending in March 2013, and 70,000 tons by the third year of business.
ECO CIRCLE PlantFiber is made roughly 30% from biofuels derived from biomass such as sugarcane. Conventional PET typically is made by polymerizing ethylene glycol (EG) and dimethyl terephthalate (DMT) or telephthalic acid (PTA), with EG accounting for roughly 30%. The EG contained in ECO CIRCLE PlantFiber is bio-derived rather than oil-derived, so it helps to conserve fossil resources and lower greenhouse gas emissions. What's more, ECO CIRCLE PlantFiber has the same characteristics and quality of oil-derived PET, so it is suitable for use in many polyester products.
ECO CIRCLE PlantFiber also can be recycled using Teijin Fibers' ECO CIRCLE closed-loop polyester recycling system. Polyester is chemically decomposed at the molecular level by the system and then recycled as new DMT that offers purity and quality comparable to material derived directly from petroleum.
Teijin Fibers develops unique polyester technologies through "hybrid strategies" that variously combine the company's special expertise in biomaterials, recycling, functional materials and manufacturing processes to reduce environmental loads.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Warwick University's New Technique Could Ease Recycling of Most Challenging Christmas Plastic Wrapping

On average we each consume 120 grams of plastic wrapping on Christmas gifts most of which is of a type which almost impossible to recycle. Now researchers at the University of Warwick have devised a new technique which could process 100% of Christmas and other household plastic instead of the tiny fraction that currently actually gets processed - typically only 12% of such waste is truly recycled often and the rest is often put into land fill or simply burnt as fuel.

Some plastic still goes straight to land fill but householders currently spend a great deal of effort separating out the rest of their plastic waste believing it will be recycled yet typically only 12% of "Municipal Plastic Solid Waste" is truly recycled.. It is often simply too time consuming to separate out and clean the various types of plastic of their persistent labels or other problems, as that requires significant laborious human intervention. An additional problem is that often objects are made of more than one plastic that would require different treatments.

However University of Warwick engineers have come up with a simple process that can cope with every piece of plastic waste and can even break some polymers such as polystyrene - back down to its original monomers (styrene in the case of polysterene).

The Warwick researchers have used support from AWM's Science City funding devised a unit which uses pyrolysis (using heat in the absence of oxygen to decompose of materials) in a "fluidized bed" reactor. Tests completed in the last week have shown that the researchers have been able to literally shovel in to such a reactor a wide range of mixed plastics which can then be reduced down to useful products many of which can then be retrieved by simple distillation.

The products the Warwick team have been able to reclaim from the plastic mix include: wax that that can be then used a lubricant; original monomers such as styrene that can be used to make new polystyrene; terephthalic acid which can be reused in PET plastic products, methylmetacrylate that can be used to make acrylic sheets, carbon which can be used as Carbon Black in paint pigments and tires, and even the char left at the end of some of the reactions can be sold to use as activated carbon at a value of at least £400 a ton.

This research could have a significant impact on the budgets of local authorities and produce considerable environmental benefits. The lab scale tests concluded this week have successfully produced distilled liquids and solids that can be taken away by the bucket load for processing into new products. The University of Warwick engineers are now working with the University's technology transfer arm, Warwick Ventures, who expect that their work will be of great interest to local authorities and waste disposal companies who could use the technology to create large scale reactor units at municipal tips which would produce tanker loads of reusable material.

The lead researcher on the project, University of Warwick Engineering Professor Jan Baeyens, said: "We envisage a typical large scale plant having an average capacity of 10,000 tons of plastic waste per year. In a year tankers would take away from each plant over £5 million worth of recycled chemicals and each plant would save £500,000 a year in land fill taxes alone. As the expected energy costs for each large plant would only be in the region of £50,000 a year the system will be commercially very attractive and give a rapid payback on capital and running costs."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

FISIPE Gets Harper's State-of-the-Art Carbon Fiber Processing Line Installed

Harper International has installed a full pilot scale carbon fiber (CF) process line for FISIPE, S.A., one of the leaders in specialty acrylic fibers for technical applications. Additionally, Harper and FISIPE, S.A. have developed a collaborative agreement in which the pilot process line in Lavradio, Portugal is available as an open reference and capabilities demonstration to other select Harper clients.

Harper was chosen as the primary partner for engineering, process equipment, installation supervision and startup for a complete pilot scale CF line rated for production of carbon fibers from 24k to 320k from PAN based precursor. Harper's process equipment solution incorporates their proprietary multi-flow oxidation oven, advanced LT and HT slot furnaces rated for 800°C and 1800°C respectively, surface treatment and waste gas abatement systems, and winders.

"FISIPE partnered with Harper due to their background in carbon fiber process equipment," stated José Miguel Contreiras, Commercial Manager / Board Member, FISIPE, S.A. "Harper offered to us the most credible proposition and we are extremely confident that our collaborative agreement will be mutually beneficial."

During the installation phase, Harper deployed a field team consisting of a supervisor as well as ancillary engineering and manufacturing resources to support erection and start-up activities on site. Harper worked directly with the client's contractors and internal staff for field installation of electrical and mechanical interconnect.

"At Harper, we seek to partner collaboratively with clients as they develop, refine and scale up their process technologies," commented Charles Miller, Jr., President, Harper International. "Our depth of expertise and unique ability to create solutions enables firms like FISIPE to optimize their R&D investments and achieve their goals more swiftly and successfully."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Braskem GP Recycling Campaign Makes São Paulo Greener by Collecting Over 13.5 Tons of Plastic Waste

Proving that small gestures can be transformed into great acts, the Braskem GP Recycling Campaign succeeded in its goal of encouraging São Paulo citizens to dispose of their plastic waste at special collection points.

Conducted last month in five parks in different regions of the city during the three-day-long Brazilian leg of the Formula 1 championship, the campaign collected a total of 13.5 tons of plastic waste.

In return for this positive gesture of citizenship and respect for the environment, the city of São Paulo will receive 500 items of urban furniture, including benches, flower beds and garbage cans. Plásticos Suzuki will be responsible for manufacturing the recycled plastic benches that will be donated by Braskem to the São Paulo Municipal Government on the city's anniversary, on January 25.

A partnership between Braskem, the São Paulo Municipal Government and Plastivida, the campaign also involved five cooperatives, which sorted the material collected and weighed the plastic waste: Cooperativa da Capela do Socorro, Corpore Centro, União de Itaquera, Central do Tietê and Coperviva Bem, each of which responsible for the garbage collected in their respective region. Coopercaps, another cooperative, was responsible for collecting the waste disposed of at the Interlagos Formula 1 track.

Formula 1 GP - The Braskem GP Recycling campaign, featuring Emerson Fittipaldi as spokesperson, received widespread publicity during the Brazilian leg of the Formula 1 championship, during which Braskem and Plásticos Suzuki demonstrated a mini recycling plant. According to João Gomes, Braskem's Marketing Officer, "It was a fun way of showing how items of furniture can be made from recycled plastic."

Twelve tons of plastic waste was collected at the track alone. "The combined results of the Interlagos and the park operations exceeded our expectations. In addition to collecting 43% more plastic waste than we had anticipated, the campaign had an impact on a significant number of people, which pleased us enormously," Gomes concluded.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

New Modular Polyethylene Tank Stand from Assmann Corporation Offers 100% Chemical Resistance

Assmann Corporation has introduced new modular polyethylene tank stands for use with the FDO (full drain outlet) assembly. These new stands can be installed on any suitable, flat surface and elevate polyethylene tanks 12" from grade for a full drain tank without the need to pour concrete. The stands are 100% chemical resistant and are suitable for all corrosive environments.

Features of this modular tank stand include corrugated sidewalls for maximum support, interlocking dovetail joints for securing modular sections together and optional wind load anchoring points. The lightweight modular sections are easily disassembled and relocated to a different site. A wide range of color choices are also available.

Assmann has tested this stand to over 300,000 lbs. of crush force.

Friday, December 3, 2010

EPRO Awards TEFAL this Year's "Best Recycled Product" for Enjoy Kitchen Tools

EPRO (European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisations) has awarded Enjoy Kitchen Tools, manufactured by TEFAL - SAS, France as this year's winner of "Best Recycled Product".

Following the success of the first Best Recycled Product Competition in 2009, earlier this year, EPRO invited the plastics industry across Europe to provide examples of products containing recycled plastics.

The competition aims to promote the cycle of plastics, as well as increase the request for recycled materials. Once again the competition has been a great success, over the two years the competition has lasted, we have seen over 60 entries from 13 countries. The entries were judged by a panel from across Europe, including representatives from EPRO, Plastics Europe and EuPR. The awards were presented at a key plastics industry event - Identiplast 2010, in London.

The top three places were awarded as below:

  1. Enjoy Kitchen Tools, TEFAL SAS - France
  2. eko84®, Retail Shopping Trolley, Keo S.r.l - Italy
  3. FORMaBLOCK, Innovation in low cost construction, FORMaBLOCK - UK

Worth the effort

Hundreds of thousands of tonnes recycled plastics are used as material for new products. Sometimes the material is cheaper and sometimes the recycled material is just superior to an alternative. The competition therefore focused on several criterias: The entries had to contain at least 50 per cent recycled plastics. They also had to be made out of recycled used plastics packaging, entered the market and made sales in since 2008 and of course, it had to be manufactured in Europe.

The results of the this year competition show that global operating and well- known companies such as TEFAL recognize that recycled plastics is a valuable raw material for their products.

"The competition brings home the reality of what can be achieved when we all work together. For the consumer who makes the effort to collect their used packaging for recycling this competition provides some great examples of what can be achieved. For the industry we hope that it creates interests and confidence in the versatility and value of considering used plastics packaging as a material option for products. For all, we hope that more and more, used plastic packaging is seen as a valuable resource and not waste. We thank everyone for supporting the competition and look forward to seeing what's new in 2011" commented Eirik Oland, Head of EPRO Communication.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

India: CNG supply to be extended

The Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Jitin Prasada, recently assured that Indian government is committed to providing all the support to the utilization of natural gas in transportation and that it has already sanctioned 6,335 km of pipeline, while the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) is in the process of authorizing another 5,000 km to connect various parts of the country.
The government plans to cover several cities where pipelines and CNG facilities would be rolled out in the coming years. The gaseous fuel is expected to be available in 86 cities in the next three years, 200 in the next five years, while the goal is to reach 330 cities by 2020. “India will see explosive growth in the use of natural gas driven vehicles in the next years. We are going to more than double the existing pipeline network from 11,000 km,” said PNGRB’s chairman Lalit Mansingh.

Regarding the automotive industry, manufactures are optimistic about growth thanks to the growing network of fuelling stations and pipelines. “We have launched five CNG models in limited markets of Delhi, Mumbai and Gujarat. If the volumes of natural gas supplies improve, we would like to reduce the imports of our CNG components and manufacture them here, which would reduce the cost for vehicles,” said Maruti Suzuki’s managing director and CEO, Shinzo Nakanishi, to the local newspaper The Hindu.

During the opening of NGV India 2010, at Bombay Exhibiton Centre, Jitin Prasada also said that CNG-driven two wheelers would soon see the light of day. “This along with CNG driven taxis and three wheelers would create a revolution on our roads to provide affordable, comfortable travel to the middle class, the office workers and factory employees,” he added.

It is worth mentioning that Pune has also committed to clean-burning fuels as its district administration is planning to make it “a pollution-free city,” according to the district supply officer, Pradeep Patil. In turn, Maharashtra Natural Gas Limited (MNGL) will install three more CNG stations in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) area, while they want to set up 20 facilities by March.