Friday, February 25, 2011

Recyclable Plastic Fishing Nets Clean up Marine Litter

To address the issue of rising marine pollution, the European Plastics Converters Association (EuPC) has initiated a pilot project entitled ‘European Waste Free Oceans’ (EWFO). The aim of this project is to collect floating plastics marine debris and further to recycle this waste. For this purpose, the association has signed an agreement with Thomsea according to which they would use Thomsea’s trawling net for carrying out the clean up. In return, EuPC will help promote its use by EU’s fishermen.
The new trawling net, originally designed for use in controlling oil spills, is made of plastics and is 100% recyclable. A live display on the technique for gathering marine debris using the trawling nets will be presented by EuPC at their annual meeting on 20th May 2011. The project will be launched later this year post collection of required funds from the industry and will last for a maximum of 3 years.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Polyurethane composite used in timber trailer

As part of its Transformative Technology programme – which aims to transform Canada’s forest operations industry – forest research insitute FPInnovations wanted to conserve fuel and reduce the weight of traditional timber trailers.
FPInnovations identified the potential to reduce the weight of traditional timber trailers by replacing steel stakes (the part that holds the timber inside the trailer) and bunks (the transversal part of the trailer’s main frame that joins the stakes) with a composite material. It contacted Serge Pagé of Mat-Comp, Canada, an expert in composite structural analysis, to help design the parts.
"Originally, a filament winding process with glass fibre and epoxy resin was chosen, but the product couldn’t be produced within the target cost using that process," explains Pagé. "The focus then shifted to pultrusion, since its continuous process makes it a more cost-efficient option."

Putrusion process

The decision to use pultrusion led to Bayer MaterialScience LLC joining the project and the choice of its Baydur® PUL 2500 polyurethane pultrusion resin for the parts.
Baydur PUL 2500 resin is a two-component, liquid polyurethane system specifically designed for pultrusion applications.
To pultrude the trailer components, the group turned to Canadian pultrusion specialist Pultrall Inc.
Two pultruded profiles were created: one for the stake  and one for the bunk. The stakes are 4 x 4.5 inches, while the bunks are 4 x 8 inches. They are assembled together with steel adaptors to form a set (two stakes and one bunk). For example, a log trailer could have up to 20 stakes and 10 bunks. The overall dimensions are 102 inches (width) by approximately 120 inches (height).
Both the stakes and bunks are pultruded using more than 70% unidirectional and triaxial glass fibre in the Baydur PUL 2500 resin system. A dark grey colour was chosen to minimise the ultraviolet (UV) degradation of the parts. Overall weight for a set (two stakes and one bunk with steel adaptors) is approximately 200 lbs, a reduction of 40% compared with the steel equivalent.

Benefits of composite over steel

The use of pultruded polyurethane composites makes it possible to dramatically reduce trailer weight.
“By reducing the weight of the timber trailer, more material can be carried," reports Frederic Boutin, a researcher at FPInnovations. "A lighter timber trailer also requires less fuel to run, reducing operations costs."
The new design saves approximately one half ton of weight on the trailer.
The new timber trailer also has better impact resistance than an equivalent steel product. Where a steel picket deforms permanently, the composite equivalent retains its shape very well. If the composite parts crack when being abused, they can still safely hold the load.
Extensive testing, both static and dynamic, was performed on the new design in order to assure its safety.

Trailer prototype

The project is now in its final phase.
Deloupe, a Canadian manufacturer of road transport equipment, has made a prototype of the trailer, which hit the road in January It will be in operation for six months and will then be evaluated for potential commercial production.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Borealis to Present LDPE-based Transparent Ampoules at Pharmapack 2011

Borealis will present a polyethylene solution for self-administered easy-to-use ampoules to converters and brand owners at Pharmapack 2011 from February 23-24, 2011.
Bormed™ LE6601-PH is the latest addition to Borealis' range of healthcare application-dedicated Bormed polyolefins combining end-user and manufacturing benefits, set to take the spotlight during the annual pharmaceutical industry event.

LDPE Bormed LE6601-PH enables the development of transparent, simple to squeeze ampoules that allow users of all ages to dispense their eye, ear and nose drop treatments without professional assistance. The LDPE grade is intended for flexible, disposable ampoules that do not require post-steam sterilization.
For packaging converters, Bormed LE6601-PH allows trouble-free conversion on standard blow molding machines as well as blow, fill and seal (BFS) machines. Wall thickness and ampoule weight are easy to control thanks to its optimised molecular weight distribution that produces material with low swell. This allows difficult shapes to be formed and ensures straightforward dosing of material quantity to altogether simplify production of consistent, high quality ampoules.
From an environmental and production efficiency perspective, the easy processing creates less waste and a low energy requirement during extrusion.
The balanced properties of Bormed LE6601-PH make it suitable for use in dip-tubes in pharmaceutical sprays in addition to flexible ampoules. Packaging based on Bormed LE6601-PH can be sterilized using ethylene oxide (EtO) or gamma radiation up to 50 kGy.

Bormed products are manufactured under strict quality conditions on dedicated production lines with change control processes installed. Bormed LE6601-PH complies with European Pharmacopeia (EP) and United States Pharmacopeia (USP) standards and is Drug Master File registered.
"In response to strong market demand, we have introduced a new version of Bormed LE6601-PH which supports Borealis' commitment to broaden its Bormed line with a special focus on BFS applications," comments Thierry Chevrier, Borealis Vice President for the Business Unit Moulding. "Bormed LE6601-PH supports the growing interest in solutions for the self-administered medication market. We are pleased to present our product which delivers both end-user and manufacturing benefits to the Pharmapack 2011 audience."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Antimicrobial Silver Additive Gives Ultra Protection to Ultrasonic Medical Equipment

Ultrawave, a UK-based manufacturer of ultrasonic cleaning equipment, has added SteriTouch® antimicrobial silver additive to its Hygea 2 benchtop ultrasonic model. The intention of the company was to meet specific guidelines for the sterilization of surgical instruments in the dental and primary care settings. The fine particles of the additive powder allow polyethylene casing of the ultrasonic bath mix in a better manner even during the rotational molding process.
Incorporating SteriTouch® into the medical equipment reduced MRSA levels by 99.93% (according to an independent lab testing). Addition of this antimicrobial additive significantly increased protection against black mould and other bacteria. Ultrawave has recently launched an updated model with a white case, replacing the previous grey model.

Aircraft Seat Designed Using PPS from TenCate Wins 2011 JEC Composite Innovation Award

TenCate Advanced Composites USA in Morgan Hill has announced that a composite design utilizing TenCate thermoplastic prepregs is the recipient of a 2011 JEC Composite Innovation Award. TenCate Cetex® brand of PPS-based thermoplastic composite unitape is utilized in Cutting Dynamics award winning composite aircraft seat design.
The 2011 JEC Thermoplastic Composite Innovation Award will be awarded to Cutting Dynamics Inc., with TenCate Advanced Composites, A&P Technology and Ticona Engineering Polymers, which teamed to develop a thermoplastic modular composite seat frame used in passenger seat assemblies on lighter, more fuel-efficient aircraft.
The award will be presented during the 2011 JEC Awards ceremony at 5 p.m. Tuesday 29 March, during the JEC Show in Paris, France. The 2011 JEC award winning modular composite seat frame from Cutting Dynamics consists of a match molded seat back and seat pan that supports the seat cushion. The frames depend on TenCate Cetex® TC 1100, a PPS / carbon fiber unitape that is braided into a pre-form by A&P Technology, then shaped by Cutting Dynamics into a complex tube using a process that is capable of achieving high volumes unique in the aerospace industry.
Jim Mondo, TenCate Advanced Composites Vice President of Thermoplastic Technology notes: "This is truly a team award made possible by the innovations of each of the recipients with a special recognition to Cutting Dynamics who developed the process and optimized the material form that allowed this new composite seat design. We find it especially significant that several companies including TenCate Advanced Composites, A&P Technology and Ticona Engineering Polymers contributed in their areas of expertise to make this innovation possible."
A&P Technology designed and engineered a braided preform from the TenCate Cetex® TC1100 unitape that exactly meets the geometry and mechanical requirements of the seat frame. This collaboration allowed Cutting Dynamics to reduce process cost, increase process volume, and improve both product aesthetics and overall quality.

Monday, February 7, 2011

BASF Signs a License Agreement with Metabolix to Produce & Market PLA Blends under Ecovio®

BASF Corporation has announced that it has received a license from Metabolix under U.S. Patent No. 5,883,199, titled "Polylactic Acid-Based Blends," to produce and market PLA and PBAT compounds under the BASF trade name Ecovio®. Ecovio biodegradable polymer is a blend of Ecoflex® biodegradable aliphatic-aromatic copolyester and polylactic acid on the basis of corn.

The University of Massachusetts is the owner of the '199 patent, and Metabolix, Inc. is its exclusive licensee in the relevant field. U.S. Patent 5,883,199 is directed at PLA:polyester blends in the ratio 9:1 to 1:9 wherein the polyester forms a continuous or co-continuous phase in the blend. Metabolix, Inc. is a leader in the use of bioscience to provide biobased, sustainable, solutions for the world's needs for plastics, fuels and chemicals.
Ecovio can be used to extrude biodegradable films without any further admixtures or preparation and is used to create tailor-made blends to meet customer needs.
BASF SE owns intellectual property for Ecoflex biodegradable aliphatic-aromatic copolyester in all regions of the world. Further details of the patent agreement are undisclosed.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ticona's Vectra® LCP Grades Receive UL 94 V-O Classification for All Colors at 0.15 mm

Ticona Engineering Polymers announced that two Vectra® liquid crystal polymer (LCP) specialty grades E488i and E471i have received an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) V-O classification, according to the global independent safety science company's UL 94 plastic flammability standard for all colors and at wall thicknesses of 0.15 millimeters.
Both the Vectra E488i and E471i specialty grades will be showcased at the Ticona Booth, #627, during the two-day DesignCon 2011 exhibition on Feb. 1 and 2 in the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, California. These glass and mineral filled specialty grades offer very low warp characteristics, which is important for injection molded, lead-free solderable electrical components with ultra-thin wall thicknesses.
Designed for use in eco-friendly electrical and electronic components and available in different colors for quality and assembly purposes, these specialty grades offer unique property profiles that can help E/E customers meet demanding lead-free soldering and halogen-free requirements," said Ed Hallahan, Technical Marketing Manager Ticona High Performance Polymers. "Now, the Vectra E488i and E471i specialty grades from Ticona provide a UL 94 V-0 classification for thin-walled parts in all colors."
The Vectra LCP ultra-low warpage E488i grade from Ticona is specifically designed for use in flatter molded parts such as CPU sockets and DIMM connectors that must maintain extremely tight dimensional tolerances after lead free reflow soldering temperatures of 260 Celsius. Formulated with enhanced mechanical properties for design flexibility, the 45 percent glass-fiber and mineral filled Vectra E488i grade offers:
  • Improved flatness
  • Heat deflection temperature (HDT) at 260 degrees Celsius (500 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • High flow characteristics to fill thin, complex flow paths at faster cycle times
The 35 percent glass-fiber and mineral filled Vectra E471i grade is designed as a low warpage LCP with excellent properties for use in long type connectors. It offers a good balance of:
  • Mechanical properties
  • HDT at 265 degrees Celsius (509 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Improved flow
  • Improved flatness
Vectra LCP is widely used by customers to make eco-friendly connectors, bobbins, switches and relays that meet Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (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.