Saturday, December 29, 2012

French Senate Imposes Law Restricting the Use of BPA in Food Contact Materials

The French Senate recently adopted a law imposing a use restriction for products intended to come into direct contact with foodstuffs containing BPA. The members of the PC/BPA and ERC groups express severe disappointment and concern upon this decision; it fails to respect EU and global authority risk assessments that repeatedly confirmed the safety of use for BPA in food contact materials, including products for newborns and small children. A new full reassessment of BPA by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is expected in May 2013. No unilateral national measures should be taken before EFSA releases its opinion on the safety of the substance. Industry is deeply disappointed to see the French government not respecting the existing EU rules for food safety, and will be considering all options as reaction to this decision.
The French decision may result in a reduction, and not an enhancement, of French consumer safety, and will create a significant distortion of the internal and international market for food contact goods in the EU.

Too many open questions
The law has been adopted without addressing practical questions for its actual implementation in France or for global trade. No sufficient consideration has been given to the evidence of safety of alternative materials, the management of products currently in the shelves, the practicability and legality of health warning labels on products that are legally marketed, the drafting of measuring and compliance guidelines, the control of imported goods containing BPA which will be legal in the EU and beyond the EU, but illegal in France, potential impact on processing and transporting food etc.
France is now to notify the planned law to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Sanitary or Phytosanitary Measures (SPS). This process allows other countries to assess and respond to the intended ban within a period of 60 days. During that time, the law is not allowed to be promulgated in France. Industry is of the opinion that the law is likely to be incompatible with WTO SPS rules which are based on scientific principles.
Once the law is promulgated, food packaging for children up to the age of three will be banned from the first day of the month following the promulgation, whilst all BPA-based food contact applications will be restricted from January 2015. Industry urges all stakeholders to notify the European Commission and the WTO of their views and potentially harmful implications of the French law. The "reversing" of the roles between EU and Member States regarding decisions on food safety sets a dangerous precedent whereby established EU risk management processes are ignored, the integrity and credibility of EFSA and other EU risk assessment bodies are undermined and the functioning of the internal and international market is severely threatened.
Open questions regarding the practical implementation of the French law:
  • Timing and applicability: By 1.7.2014, the government has to present to the French National Assembly a report assessing the safety/potential toxicity of alternative materials used to replace BPA. Six months later (1.1.2015) all BPA-based direct food contact materials will no longer be allowed in France.
    • What will be the data base for this report?
    • Will the report assess alternatives on a general level, like the previous ANSES report on alternative substances? -> Replacement of materials will have to take place on a food-by-food and product-by-product basis and there will not be a "one-for-all" solution, as is the current situation with BPA-based materials.
    • Will a report raising doubts on the safety of alternative materials delay the date of the law to be enforced? -> It will not be feasible to replace a material in food processing with another one within less than 6 months.
    • What will be the criteria upon which to decide about safety for alternative materials? -> The currently valid criteria have been ignored for BPA.
Each food contact product is to have a label warning of its use by pregnant and breastfeeding women and for children under the age of three years.
    • There is as yet no decree that defines the application of this rule to legally marketed products
    • Would this also apply to products already in the shelves?
    • How will practical implementation be managed and controlled?
    Enforcement and control:
    • What will be measured: food, direct food contact material, whole packaging?
    • What will be the limit level and the analytical method used?
    • Who will control?
    • How will imported products be controlled?
Safety of alternative materials must be proven
The members of the PC/BPA and epoxy resin groups welcome the National Assembly decision to request the government to submit a report evaluating possible alternatives to BPA with respect to their potential toxicity before 1 July 2014. In fact, certain claims regarding the availability of appropriate alternative materials for use in all food contact applications are non-substantiated. For the vast majority of products there are currently no adequate alternative substances or materials available, which are sufficiently tested, shelf-life-proven, and matching BPA's performance characteristics. However, in this context it appears astonishing that France invites the use of potential alternatives for products for small children as soon as possible, while in the same law it requests a report on the potential toxicity of alternatives only by July 2014 - this would mean a specially vulnerable part of the population could be exposed to products with an unknown toxicity profile during that period. A science-based assessment of alternative materials will be crucial to consumer safety in France.

Labelling discredits legally approved products
The request to label food packaging containing BPA with a health warning against its use by pregnant women, breastfeeding women and children below three is a paradox in itself. Products on the European market are tested and approved for their uses; if compliant with existing legislation, the sole effect of such a label will therefore be to discredit and question the suitability of a product that is safe for use and fulfills all legal and regulatory requirements. This decision:
  • substantially increases consumer concern about what they can rely on
  • adds little to consumer choice
  • will not contribute to increased safety of consumers
  • will cause incalculable added costs and complexity for business operators, the practical consequences for the French market will have to be observed.
BPA has repeatedly been assessed and confirmed safe for its intended uses:
♦ BPA-based materials in food contact comply with strict EU safety rules. There is no evidence that the exposure of consumers or workers to products made from materials based on BPA could cause a safety risk to human health. There is no scientific reason to replace a well-tested, authority-assessed and confirmed as safe product.
♦ EFSA assessed BPA safety in food contact materials in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011 - on each occasion it was concluded that BPA can be safely used in its current food contact applications, including products for newborns and small children.
♦ After review of the 2011 French Food Safety Agency (ANSES) report on BPA, EFSA and the European Commission concluded there was no need for any risk reduction measures further to those already in place.
♦ In September 2012, Health Canada released its updated "Assessment of BPA Exposure from Food Sources" and once again confirmed that BPA is safe for use in food contact materials. The experts conclude: 'that current dietary exposure to BPA through food packaging uses is not expected to pose a health risk to the general population, including newborns and young children'.

Source: European Information Center on Bisphenol A

Friday, December 21, 2012

Putnam Plastics Introduces Taper-Tie™ Variable Flexibility Tubing for Medical Catheter Shafts

Putnam Plastics Corporation, a leader in advanced extrusion for minimally invasive medical devices, introduces Taper-Tie™ variable flexibility tubing for catheter shafts that require maximum flexibility on one end for forward navigation and rigidity on the other end for directional control by physicians. Taper-Tie is a proprietary continuous extrusion technology designed to replace traditional manual assembly of segmented shafts and eliminate associated labor costs.

Diagnostic and interventional catheter devices can be over 100 cm (39 in.) in length to reach vascular sites deep within the body. The forward, or distal, end of the catheter must be soft and flexible to navigate complex vascular pathways while minimizing trauma. The end held by the physician, or proximal end, must be more rigid to allow the physician to advance and steer the catheter shaft. Variable stiffness properties can be achieved by changing materials, wall thicknesses or shaft diameters along the length of the shaft. Traditionally, medical device manufacturers have accomplished this by manually assembling and bonding segments along the length. However, this approach is labor intensive increasing costs and quality considerations.

Putnam's Taper-Tie proprietary technology is a continuous manufacturing method that produces a catheter shaft with variable properties along the length, and eliminates the need for manual assembly of discrete segments. Putnam's proprietary extrusion process can quickly change from rigid to soft grades for a designated polymer along the shaft length, while simultaneously reducing wall thickness of the shaft. The result is a highly flexible distal end and more rigid proximal end in a single extruded tube.

"Taper-Tie technology is a continuous, lean manufacturing process," said Larry Alpert, Putnam's Engineering Services Manager. "Variable flexibility of the catheter shaft is optimized with less manufacturing steps resulting in lower overall production costs."

Source: Putnam Plastics

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Eastman Explores Novel Ways to Use Tenite™ Cellulosic Plastics for Innovative Applications

In a world that is constantly changing due to technological advancements and rapid innovation, it's rare that a product line can remain relatively unchanged yet continue to be relevant, decade after decade. But that's exactly the case with Eastman Chemical Company's Tenite™ cellulosics, a family of compounded cellulosic plastics introduced in 1932.
"Although we have developed approximately 200,000 different formulations, colors and patterns over the last 80 years, we're fundamentally using the same process as when we began compounding Tenite™ cellulosic plastics," said Lucian Boldea, Ph.D., vice president and general manager, specialty plastics, Eastman. Working with customers and external partners, Eastman continues to look for new and inventive uses for Tenite cellulosics. "We are currently exploring new ways to use Tenite cellulosics and are beginning work with a new generation of university design students to experiment with the plastics to create new and innovative applications."
Since their introduction, Tenite™ cellulosic plastics have been used in a variety of applications across numerous markets, including appliances, medical and visual merchandising. The compounded plastics have been used for telephones, automotive interiors, toys, playing cards, casino dice and musical instruments. Tenite cellulosics also continue to be used for face shields, tool handles, shopping cart handles, outdoor sign letters and ballpoint pens.
Historically, the primary use of Tenite™ cellulosics has been for eyeglass frames. Today, Eastman continues to be a world leader as a compounded cellulosics supplier for the eyewear market. In the past, the primary market for Tenite cellulosics was in North America, so the products were manufactured in Kingsport, Tenn. Although this tradition continues, in recent years, the plastics have been available globally from Eastman's U.S. and global operations. Usage is increasing in Asia, as there is a growing market for name-brand eyewear, high-performance tools, appliances and other applications that use Tenite cellulosics.
Tenite™ cellulosic plastics are made from renewable softwood materials, a substantial portion of which are derived from suppliers conforming to certified sustainable forestry management practices. These types of plastics are often called natural polymers, and they exemplify Eastman's efforts to provide its customers and consumers with an innovative, sustainable solution. Tenite cellulosics process at lower temperatures with faster drying times than competitive materials, improving energy consumption without forgoing performance.
"Although sustainability was not at the forefront of consumers' and customers' minds when Tenite™ cellulosics first came on the market, Tenite has served as an example of Eastman's sustainable material offering throughout the years," Boldea said. "Today, with an increasing interest in using sustainable materials, Tenite cellulosics continue to be a pertinent option for customers."
Tenite™ cellulosic plastics have a balance of properties, including toughness, hardness, strength, surface gloss, clarity and chemical resistance. These plastics are also easily molded, extruded or fabricated, and they are available in a variety of transparent and opaque colors and patterns. They're UV-resistant and can be used for products that are often used outdoors. One of the most unique attributes of Tenite cellulosics is that they are warm to the touch, making them ideal for hands-on applications.

Source: Eastman Chemical Company

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Altuglas International & NatureWorks Design Novel Alloys Based on PMMA & Ingeo™ Bioploymers

Altuglas International, a subsidiary of Arkema group, with its Plexiglas® and Altuglas® acrylic resins (Americas and Rest of World, respectively) and NatureWorks, a leader in the bio-plastics market with its Ingeo™ biopolymers derived from plants, have signed a global co-marketing agreement. The agreement is designed to deliver a range of newly formulated bio-based, high performance alloys based onpolymethylmethacrylate and Ingeo™.
The new materials will be marketed by Altuglas International as Plexiglas®/Altuglas® Rnew biopolymer alloys. Primary co-marketing efforts for these materials will be for durable goods applications, where the Plexiglas®/Altuglas® brand is synonymous with high performance, durability and clarity.

The agreement grew out of the overwhelming response the two companies experienced during the US National Plastics Exposition (NPE) last April, during which they jointly displayed examples of molded and thermoformed products made with their collaborative technologies for the durable goods market.
This unique range of resins affords customizable formulating latitude providing exceptional impact- and chemical-resistance properties. In addition, the resins offer a significantly reduced carbon footprint due to the Ingeo™ biopolymer content. These biopolymer alloys also feature lower processing temperatures and greater melt flow properties without compromising the optics, scratch resistance, color acceptance or surface aesthetics for which the Plexiglas® and Altuglas® brands are known.

The collaboration offers a compelling combination of properties designed to open new doors in the market, including significant opportunities for durable applications such as signage, lighting, consumer products, transportation, cosmetic packaging and large and small appliances.
"What makes this agreement so exciting is that two renowned, pioneering organizations are joining forces to combine some of the best in technology and market knowledge to foster new, high performing, yet sustainable, bio-based products," said Christophe Villain, Altuglas International president. "The agreement between these two leading companies will provide transparent, sustainable materials that meet durable application performance requirements. Altuglas International will compound and sell the Plexiglas®/Altuglas® Rnew portfolio, incorporating Ingeo™, directly into the market."
Marc Verbruggen, NatureWorks president and chief executive officer said, "By combining our respective reputations and strengths in biopolymers and acrylics, NatureWorks and Altuglas International will co-market clear materials that offer a complete package of innovative product performance. This is exactly what Ingeo™ was designed to offer."
Through the collaboration, Altuglas International and NatureWorks will pool resources to accelerate the introduction of these new high performance biopolymer alloys into the market.
Plexiglas® is the registered brand of Arkema for the Americas and Altuglas® for the rest of the word.
Ingeo™ and the Ingeo™ logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of NatureWorks LLC in the USA and other countries.

Source: Arkema

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wageningen Develops Green Industrial Platform Using Microalgae to Produce Renewable Polymers

The 4-year SPLASH project will develop a new biobased industrial platform using microalgae as a renewable raw material for the sustainable production and recovery of hydrocarbons and (exo)polysaccharides from the species Botryococcus braunii and further conversion to renewable polymers. The project comprises of 20 partners of which 40% SME and several large corporates plus universities and research institutes.

Two bioproduction platforms will be explored: (1) green alga Botryococcus braunii on its own and (2) the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, to which the unique hydrocarbon and polysaccharides producing genes from Botryococcus will be transferred.
SPLASH will deliver knowledge, tools and technologies needed for the establishment of a new industry sector: Industrial Biotechnology with algae and/or algal genes for the manufacture of polyesters and polyolefins. The building blocks for these polymers will be derived from the sugars (polyesters) and hydrocarbons (polyolefins) exuded by the algae: adipic acid from galactose, 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid from glucose, rhamnose and fucose, 1,4-pentanediol from rhamnose and fucose, ethylene from 'green naphtha', propylene from 'green naphtha'.
The conversion of ethylene and propylene to polyolefins is common technology, and will not be included in the project. The sugar-derived building blocks will be converted to new condensation polymers, including poly(ethylene 2,5-furandioate) (PEF) and poly(1,4-pentylene adipate-co-2,5-furandioate). End-use applications include food packaging materials and fibers for yarns, ropes and nets.
The project encompasses
    1. Development of Botryococcus as an industrial production platform
    2. Systems biology analysis
    3. Development of procedures for production, in situ extraction and isolation
    4. Product development

Source: Wageningen UR

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lubrizol Corp Introduces Estane® Soft Plasticizer-free TPUs for Athletic Footwear Applications

The Lubrizol Corporation offers Estane® soft plasticizer-free thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) for athletic footwear applications. An alternative to conventional plasticized TPUs, Lubrizol's plasticizer-free TPUs provide an option for manufacturers sensitive to today's more stringent environmental requirements.
Conventional soft TPUs contain a phthalate-type plasticizer that may be subject to regulation by environmental agencies. In addition, such plasticizers can gradually migrate to the surface of the molded product, creating poor aesthetics and altering the bonding strength.
Lubrizol's line of plasticizer-free TPUs exhibit the performance attributes for which the company's engineered polymers are well known, including excellent flexibility, softness, abrasion resistance and moldability. Lubrizol's soft plasticizer-free Estane TPUs are available in both a polyester series (Estane T460AH, Estane T460A, Estane T465A and Estane T470A) and a polyether series (Estane T365A and Estane T370A). The Estane soft plasticizer-free TPUs range between 60A to 77A Shore hardness and offer high transparency and outstanding UV stability versus plasticizer-containing TPUs, qualities which best fit various accessory shoe components. These products are also ideal as replacements for rubber and PVC in various molding applications.
"The footwear industry is facing significant challenges in a fast-moving competitive environment," explains Justin Park, Lubrizol's global marketing manager for footwear. "Our soft plasticizer-free portfolio is just one of the ways Lubrizol is positioning itself as a global solutions provider for the athletic footwear industry."

Source: Lubrizol Corporation

Friday, December 7, 2012

VTT Develops Tech that Enables Production of Biobased PGA Plastic for Eco-friendly Packaging

VTT Technical Research Center of Finland has developed a technique to significantly improve the quality of bio-based plastic packaging. The new generation of bio-based plastic packaging is not only eco-friendly but also has several superior qualities compared to traditional plastic packaging. The plastic packaging industry is moving towards completely bio-based products. The volume of oil used every year in the production of plastics equates to approximately five per cent of the world's total oil consumption. Approximately 40 per cent of all plastics are used in packaging, which puts special pressure on the packaging industry to reduce dependence on oil.The use of renewable natural resources in industrial applications reduces dependence on oil and the carbon footprint attributable to consumption. A transition to bio-based economy nevertheless requires products that are not only ecologically sustainable but also competitive in terms of quality. VTT has developed a technique that enables the production of the PGA monomer glycolic acid from bio-based materials more efficiently than before.

"Bio-based plastics are a tangible step closer to a bio-based economy. This new generation of plastic packaging not only reduces our dependence on oil but also offers superior quality compared to traditional plastic packaging", explains Research Professor Ali Harlin from VTT.Bio-based PGA plastic has excellent barrier properties. Adding PGA into the structure of traditional plastic packaging significantly improves its quality. In addition to strength and heat resistance, plastic packaging also needs to be airtight, vapour-proof and grease-resistant. Bio-based PGA plastic is between 20 and 30 per cent stronger than PLA — the most popular biodegradable plastic on the market - and able to withstand temperatures 20 degrees Celsius higher. It also breaks down more quickly than PLA, but its biodegradability can be regulated if necessary.

Growing Market:Bio-based plastic opens up new business opportunities for the forest industry: The estimated total volume of the global packaging market is approximately EUR 500 billion. The Chinese and Indian markets, for example, are growing rapidly. Ethical consumption principles and legislative changes are steering the packaging industry towards sustainable development. At the moment, bio-based plastic accounts for approximately one per cent of global plastic production.The volume of oil used every year in the production of plastics equates to approximately five per cent of the world's total oil consumption. Approximately 40 per cent of all plastics are used in packaging, which puts special pressure on the packaging industry to reduce dependence on oil. According to lifecycle analyses, carbon dioxide emissions from bio-based plastics can be as much as 70 per cent lower than from oil-based plastics.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

ECO Plastics & Coca Cola Enterprises' JV Picks up Green Business Award for Domestic Recycling

Continuum Recycling, ECO Plastics' groundbreaking joint venture with Coca Cola Enterprises (CCE) has been recognized at the Green Business Awards 2012. Sam Richardson, representing ECO Plastics, and CCE's Patrick McGuirk accepted the Partnership Award at a ceremony at Lords Cricket Ground on Monday 12th November.
The award was given in recognition of Continuum's impact on the domestic recycling sector, as well as for the partnership's ongoing engagement with supply chains, customers and employees.

An important milestone for both the drinks manufacturing and recycling industries, Continuum reprocesses used plastic bottles in its purpose built facility in Hemswell which are then transformed into new Coca Cola bottles. The joint venture has also provided an economic boost and created skilled jobs in rural Lincolnshire.
The award is the latest in a string of prizes and short listings for the Lincolnshire business. These include listings on the Hiscox Tech Track 100 and Cleantech Connect Top 30 wins at the New Energy Awards and Fbe East Midlands Awards, and Jonathan Short's appointment as an Industry Champion for BIS' Make it in Great Britain Campaign, which aims to promote British manufacturing and encourage investment in domestic markets.

Jonathan Short, Managing Director of ECO Plastics, commented: "The Green Business Awards is one of the most prestigious awards in the environmental sector so ECO Plastics are honored to have been recognized. It's fantastic to see the industry acknowledge the dedication and hard work put into this project. UK sustainable packaging has huge growth potential and we hope Continuum will provide a blueprint for similar projects in this sector."
Patrick McGuirk, Recycling Director at Coca Cola Enterprises, said: "We were absolutely delighted to accept this prestigious accolade alongside ECO Plastics. Continuum Recycling is a first for the industry and the award underlines the significant achievement in bringing this initiative together. At CCE we are serious about setting the industry standard for sustainable packaging, and Continuum represents a crucial part of our ongoing efforts to build a low carbon, zero waste business here in Great Britain."

Source: Coca Cola Enterprises Ltd

Friday, November 16, 2012

Direvo Commercializes BluCon™ Platform for Production of Chemicals from Non-food Biomass

Direvo Industrial Biotechnology GmbH is commercializing its BluCon™ — platform for complete, one-step conversion of non-food feedstocks to carbohydrates used in the production of fuels and chemicals. In the recent years Direvo has undertaken a huge research program identifying a portfolio of proprietary microorganisms, which enable the lowest cost production of valuable chemicals from non-food biomass. The BluCon™ platform is extremely flexible both for the type of feedstock and the resultant high value fuels and chemicals produced. BluCon™ converts various non-food biomass ranging from grasses and straw to agricultural and wood residues and can therefore be applied around the globe. From an end product perspective, BluCon™ delivers transportation fuels like ethanol or chemical building blocks like lactic acid.
"After two years of extremely hard work, we are very excited to use our BluCon™ platform in solving global raw material supply and environmental concerns. Our technology will capture a significant share of the developing bio-based economy", CEO Jorg Riesmeier explains. BluCon™ technology platform is a so-called second generation biomass conversion technology. Contrary to first generation technology there is no need to use food feedstocks. The switch from a fossil-based to a bio-based economy is driven by global warming and by the finite nature of fossil fuels and sustainability. The gradual switch requires many new technologies at various levels. On a global basis, the demand for transportation fuels and chemical building blocks will continue to increase for foreseeable future. By 2050 the World Energy Council (WEC) forecasts that global fuel demand could increase as much as 82% compared to 2010 levels. In combination with dwindling public acceptance of fossil-based raw materials, this will lead to a high need for biofuels and bioplastics.
Direvo Industrial Biotechnology GmbH is the only German company and one of very few in Europe developing such a technology. With decades of experience in "directed evolution" Direvo is perfectly positioned for the final steps of process development along with a network of commercialization partners. These are being carried out partly in house and partly in collaboration with global partners from industry and academia.

About Direvo Industrial Biotechnology GmbH

Direvo is a biotechnology company with focus on the biomass conversion industry. Direvo identifies bottlenecks and weaknesses in current industrial processes in this sector and develops and implements biology-based solutions together with large and small industrial partners. Direvo's products are newly designed enzymes and microorganisms of the highest quality that provide easy-to-implement, cost-effective solutions. Direvo's contribution assures that partners stay competitive and profitable while supporting them to make the future cleaner, greener and safer.

Source: Direvo Industrial Biotechnology GmbH

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bayer's Bayflex® Lightweight PU System for Construction Earns MATERIALICA Award 2012

The Bayflex® Lightweight polyurethane system from Bayer MaterialScience was honored with the "10th MATERIALICA Design + Technology Award 2012" at the MATERIALICA trade fair in Munich, Germany. A top-rank jury presented the "Best of" Award in the category "Material" for the high-performance and tough-elastic polyurethane construction material, which even floats on water due to its low density.
"We are delighted with this recognition of our commitment to sustainable material solutions," said Dr. Birgit Meyer zu Berstenhorst, project manager for this development. "Our new material weighs up to 30 percent less than the standard material and is thus a perfect fit for future drive concepts such as electric mobility."
This solution's light weight is attributable to the high-performance polyurethane system Bayflex® Lightweight together with a sophisticated combination of fillers instead of the mineral fibers used previously. "The excellent mechanical properties of the system are thus retained," added Meyer zu Berstenhorst. The compact material also offers great design freedom in vehicle construction.
The potential for innovation offered by this lightweight design concept can also be applied to other areas of application in mobility, such as trucks and buses. Bayer experts believe it is also suitable for use in the leisure and furniture sector, the construction industry and the IT segment.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Indian Company Jindal Poly Films to Acquire ExxonMobil's BOPP Global Films Business in US & EU

Jindal Poly Films Ltd (JPFL), a leading flexible packaging films producer, has entered into an agreement with ExxonMobil Chemical (ExxonMobil) to purchase ExxonMobil's Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP) Global Films business. The agreement was signed on 26th October, 2012. The transaction remains subject to necessary approvals from regulatory authorities.
Mr. Hemant Sharma, CEO, JPFL said "We are excited to buy this business due to its excellent portfolio of premium products along with industry leading technology and R&D. We are equally excited to be acquiring an experienced and capable workforce. We are confident that, in combination with our existing Indian operations, we will be able to deliver effective long-term solutions to our customers globally."
The agreement covers five BOPP production locations in the U.S. and Europe. The manufacturing sites are in Georgia and Oklahoma in the U.S. and in Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium in Europe. The transaction also includes a technology center and sales office in Rochester, New York, and an office in Luxembourg. Approximately 1500 people work in those operations.

Source: Jindal Poly Films Ltd.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

LANXESS' GF-filled PA 66 Durethan AKV 35 H2.0 Replaces Metal in Audi's Engine Oil Pans

Compared with steel sheet or die cast aluminum, polyamides provide tremendous opportunities for reducing weight in the production of automotive engine oil pans. This is demonstrated by the 1.8 and 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engines used in the Audi A3, A4 and A6 as well as in the Volkswagen Passat for example. Their engine oil pans are made of Durethan AKV 35 H2.0, a polyamide 66 from LANXESS, and weigh roughly one kilogram less than a steel component solution. They are around 50 percent lighter than an oil pan made of aluminum. "Not only do weight savings of this magnitude appreciably reduce the vehicles' fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, they also improve the handling because this weight is saved in the area of the front axle," said Frank Krause, an expert for oil-bearing polyamide engine parts at LANXESS. The oil pans are manufactured by POLYTEC PLASTICS Germany GmbH & Co KG based in Lohne, Germany.

Great design freedom

There is a general trend toward compact engines with increasingly smaller and more complex installation spaces. This results in oil pans with geometries that could only be produced with great effort in steel sheet. With deep parts, in particular, steel bumps up against its limits due to the unfavorable draw ratios. Polyamide can shine in these cases with great design freedom. In addition to the potential weight savings, its primary advantage over aluminum is that it can be used to produce ready-to-assemble injection-molded parts. Oil pans made of die cast aluminum, on the other hand, must undergo post-molding treatment, such as deburring or machining of the flanges to make them plane. This work quickly adds up to a large portion of the production costs.
Engine oil pan
Audi's engine oil pan made of LANXESS's PA 66

Integrated functionality reduces component costs

Other advantages of polyamide over metal are the opportunities that injection molding offers for reducing costs by the integration of functions. In the case of the engine oil pan for turbocharged engines, for example, the sockets for the oil level sensor and the oil drain plug are molded directly into the component. "It is precisely when many functions can be integrated that significant costs savings over aluminum construction can be achieved because separate welding and mechanical work steps and the associated logistical workflows can be eliminated," explained Krause. Possible candidates for integrated functionality in engine oil pans include sockets for oil cooling and filtration, cheeks for expanding the volume of oil, oil return lines or reinforcing elements in the area of the transmission support.

Tailored high-tech plastic

Durethan AKV 35 H2.0 is filled with 35 percent glass fibers. Despite this reinforcement, it can be used to produce low-warpage oil pans whose flanges remain tight. The plastic's high toughness, stiffness and strength contribute to the ability of the oil pans to safely withstand stone impacts and bottoming out on a high curb. The thermal stabilization of the polyamide ensures the high dimensional stability of the components under typical sustained thermal loads.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Applied CleanTech's Sewage Recycling System Transforms Human Waste into Consumer Plastics

Applied CleanTech transforms human fecal matter into a variety of end products. Applied CleanTech's Sewage Recycling System turns the solids in sewage streams into a fertile source of energy and other consumer end products such as paper, envelopes and plastics.
Because ACT extracts — rather than digests — the bio-solids in raw sewage, its process reduces total sludge formation by up to 50%. Other advantages of ACT's Sewage Recycling System include a 30% reduction in wastewater treatment plant costs(and such costs, in turn, represent 30% of sewage processors' operating costs) and a 15% increase in plant capacity.

ACT's automatic recycling process also enables a reduction of accompanying odor problems during the treatment process, improves general plant maintenance and results in cleaner water. The company monetizes the 30% reduction in energy costs borne by the sewage operator by selling carbon credits.
The immediate product that comes out of ACT's recycling efforts is Recyllose™, which is a feedstock that has high cellulose content and low moisture. Recyllose is low in lignin, a tough substance that binds the cell walls in plants and is a hurdle in the race to create an efficient cellulosic ethanol because it's so difficult to degrade. These properties make it economical for sewage facilities that serve populations as small as 10,000 people to produce Recyllose.
ACT's sewage recycling system is already in commercial use as it serves some 100,000 people with facilities in Israel and the United States. Just since the beginning of 2012, ACT has received contracts worth roughly $3.5 million. This is just scratching the surface as we calculate the addressable market to be at least $10 billion annually.
Competitors will have to tread carefully in emulating ACT's recycling process. Management has protected the intellectual property that arose throughout nine years of research by filing some 35 patents which are categorized in seven patent families.

Source:Applied Clean Tech

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bioplastic Production Capacity to Reach 5.6 Mn Tons by 2016, Expects European Bioplastics

An above-average positive development in bioplastics production capacity has made past projections obsolete. The market of around 1.2 million tons in 2011 will see a fivefold increase in production volumes by 2016 — to an anticipated almost 6 million tons. This is the result of the current market forecast, which the industry association European Bioplastics publishes annually in cooperation with the Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites from the University of Hannover.

The worldwide production capacity for bioplastics will increase from around 1.2 million tons in 2011 to approximately 5.8 million tons by 2016. By far the strongest growth will be in the biobased, non-biodegradable bioplastics group. Especially the so-called 'drop-in' solutions, i.e. biobased versions of bulk plastics like PE and PET that merely differ from their conventional counterparts in terms of their renewable raw material base are building up large capacities. Leading the field is partially biobased PET, which is already accounting for approximately 40 percent of the global bioplastics production capacity. Partially biobased PET will continue to extend this lead to more than 4.6 million tons by 2016. That would correspond to 80 percent of the total bioplastics production capacity. Following PET is biobased PE with 250,000 tons, constituting more than 4 percent of the total production capacity.

"But also biodegradable plastics are demonstrating impressive growth rates. Their production capacity will increase by two-thirds by 2016,"states Hasso von Pogrell, Managing Director of European Bioplastics. Leading contributors to this growth will be PLA and PHA, each of them accounting for 298,000 tons (+60 percent) and 142,000 tons (+700 percent) respectively.
"The enormous growth makes allowance for the constantly increasing demand for sustainable solutions in the plastics market. Eventually, bioplastics have achieved an established position in numerous application areas, from the packaging market to the electronics sector and the automotive industry", says von Pogrell.
A disturbing trend to be observed is the geographic distribution of production capacities. Europe and North America remain interesting as locations for research and development and also important as sales markets. However, establishment of new production capacities is favored in South America and Asia. "European Bioplastics invites European policy makers to convert their declared interest into concrete measures. "We are seeing many general supportive statements at EU level and in the Member States", says Andy Sweetman, Chairman of European Bioplastics. "There is, however, a lack of concrete measures. If Europe wants to profit from growth at all levels of the value chain in our industry, it is high time the corresponding decisions are made."
For a more in-depth impression of the world of bioplastics, visit the 7th European Bioplastics Conference on 6 and 7 November in Berlin. With over 400 experts on hand, the European Bioplastics Conference is the leading industry event in Europe.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bangkok Metro to Use ICCO's Fire-resistant Pultruded Profiles as Third Rail Covers

One of the European leaders in pultruded composite material profiles is going to provide 20 kilometers of the Thailand capital with third rail covers. ICCO COMPOSITES produces top contact third rails up to 4 and 6 meters long which comply with safety and resistance requirements. Delivery is planned for early 2013 and should be open to the public on 2015.

Maximum underground safety

ICCO COMPOSITES pultruded profiles (especially designed for the top contact third rail) comply with all local security requirements and provide fire-resistant solutions for an even better safety.
Totally insulating, these profiles show many fire-resistant features and benefits: fire-resistant, low smoke emission, UV resistant, etc.
"The fact that one quarter of our activity is dedicated to the railway industry enables us to have a perfect knowledge of the market and business demand as regards safety issues. We can comply with our customers' most important safety requirements and have been able to develop the main of our activity to answer to our customer needs. To date, one customer out of three is using the whole range of our methods of production (pultrusion, machining and finishing, molding), from design to finishing" says ICCO COMPOSITES Sales Manager Bertrand VIEILLE.

Up to 200kms of third rail for ICCO COMPOSITES

ICCO COMPOSITES has already worked on Alger, Athens, Taipei, Almaty and Milan projects and will soon cross the 200 km border line with this third rail order. Bertrand Vieille says "ICCO COMPOSITES establishes a partnership rather than a customer/supplier relationship with its customers. Our work experience in the railway industry together with our wide and global know-how (pultrusion, machining and finishing, molding) enable our customers to have one single partner who is experienced with their range of activity. We perfectly know the railway industry requirements and can comply with them to deliver a competitive finished product".

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

SABIC's Novel LEXAN™ FST3403 PC Copolymer Meets Fire Safety Standard for Rail Seat Backs

SABIC's Innovative Plastics business recently announced new LEXAN™ FST3403 (flame-smoke-toxicity) polycarbonate (PC) copolymer, the first thermoplastic solution for rail seating applications to meet the strictest fire safety requirements under the CEN/TS 45445 standard. Now commercial a full two years before this European standard goes into effect, new high-performance.

LEXAN FST3403 copolymer — developed specifically for seat back shells and side covers — achieved the highest possible hazard level rating (HL3) under CEN/TS 45445-2 R5. In addition to its exceptional heat release, smoke density and toxicity performance, documented by independent laboratory testing, the LEXAN FST copolymer delivers high flow properties for injection molding large parts with excellent aesthetics and impact strength. Today's new product launch demonstrates SABIC's commitment to meeting evolving public safety standards with tailored thermoplastic solutions that support the needs of transportation industry customers.

"SABIC's proactive focus on developing advanced materials technology for rail industry customers will give them a significant head start in developing compliant seating components for a first-to-market competitive advantage," said Ilknur Gur, general manager, Specialty Business in Europe, Innovative Plastics. "Our new LEXAN FST3403 copolymer enables customers to continue using thermoplastics in their seat back shells and side covers instead of having to revert to traditional metal or thermosets that can inhibit design flexibility and potentially add weight and costs from secondary operations. This industry-leading technology greatly simplifies and accelerates compliance with the new European standard."

Combining High Performance and Attractive Aesthetics:

LEXAN FST3403 copolymer was tested by the Currenta Institute in Germany according to the requirements of CEN/TS 45445-2 R5 for seat back shells and side covers. This independent facility certified that LEXAN FST3403 copolymer complies with the requirements of HL3, the most challenging hazard level to achieve. Currenta tested the material for heat release under ISO 5660-1 and for smoke density and toxicity under ISO 5659-2.

The material also provides high flow capabilities that enable large parts, such as seat back shells, to be injection molded without marks, texture defaults, flow lines and other surface defects. It can also be molded in tooling that is typically used for PC/acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) materials. Another aesthetic benefit of LEXAN FST3403 copolymer is its ability to be custom colored, which avoids the need for secondary painting.
LEXAN FST3403 copolymer provides the sufficient impact performance and chemical resistance that are hallmarks of LEXAN PC resin. These properties help protect railcar, bus and tram seating from wear and tear.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Solvay Boosts PEEK & PAEK Production Capacity in India for Auto, Aero, Medical Sectors and more

Solvay announced recently a capacity increase of 70% at its Panoli plant, India, for the production of its high performance polymers KetaSpirepolyetheretherketone (PEEK)® and AvaSpire® polyaryletherketones (PAEK). Panoli is Solvay's largest plant worldwide for these two innovative ultra performance polymers that tower at the top of the plastics performance pyramid. Nearly half of this capacity increase has already been implemented and successfully brought on-line. The second phase of the project will be completed by mid 2013 and will allow the plant to continue to satisfy growth in demand.

The ultra-high performance of KetaSpire® polyetheretherketone (PEEK) and AvaSpire® polyaryletherketones (PAEK) along with their ease of processing provide substantial value for design engineers. The products are used in a diverse range of applications spanning many industries including aeronautic, automotive (e.g. mechanical components in cars), healthcare (medical equipment and reusable medical devices), electronics, oil & gas exploration and production, and process industries such as semiconductor manufacturing (chip testing and wafer processing).

"Solvay is delighted with the growth of its line of polyketone materials and we are very excited to be adding capacity for this business that we launched just a few years ago," commented Augusto Di Donfrancesco, General Manager of the Global Business Unit Specialty Polymers. "Our focus from the start was to deliver products with consistently high quality and performance and we believe this has been a key driver in the rapid market acceptance of our KetaSpire® PEEK resins. With AvaSpire® PAEK, we are impressed with how innovative design engineers are capitalizing on the entirely new performance dimensions offered by these materials", added Chris Wilson, Vice President for the Spire Ultra Polymers business.
With this investment, the Group reaches a new milestone in realizing its ambition to double its sales in India by 2015. Last week Solvay announced it is acquiring a controlling stake in Sunshield Chemicals, an Indian company specializing in surfactants, and some months ago it opened a major innovation centre in Savli (Gujarat State). The Group has been doing business in India since 2000 through its Novecare, Engineering Plastics and Specialty Polymers activities. With seven production sites and about 900 employees, the Group generated net sales of EUR 180 million in India in 2011.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Novamont's Bioplastic Container Aids Airline Caterer to Retain Eco Sustainability of In-fligh Meals

Swedish airline Malmö Aviation recently introduced a new catering container on its flights aimed at significantly reducing the problem of disposing of waste from their on-board catering service.
It was the airline caterer Picknick served by Omikron, packaging manufacturer, who was searching for a new sustainable solution.
The Swedish manufacturer Iggesund Paperboard supported them with suitable material for the purpose. Iggesund, specialized in coated paperboard for the premium packaging market, is a long-standing partner of Novamont.

In addition to the box, which is made from a virgin fiber-based paperboard called Invercote, the solution also includes a serving tray suitable for fresh food, made of Invercote Bio, extrusion coated with Mater-Bi®, Novamont's biodegradable and compostable bioplastic (according to EN 13432).
Produced in a modified atmosphere to ensure the food remains fresh, the serving tray — thanks to the use of Mater-Bi® — can be disposed of together with food scraps and sent to composting and anaerobic digestion plants, which transform wet waste into compost and biogas
"Using this combination of paperboard and bioplastic, both of which certified compostable to European standards, means the new box is perfect for today's recycling systems and also for future systems," said Jonas Adler, commercial manager of Invercote Bio products at Iggesund.
"This solution not only saves space but also helps protect the environment," added Malin Olin, Inflight and Lounge Manager at Malmo Aviation.
Mater-Bi® — the range of biodegradable and compostable bioplastics produced by Novamont — is rapidly becoming one of the reference materials for food packaging and catering thanks to its biodegradability and compostability. These are features that bring a highly added value when dealing with products contaminated by food scraps that would otherwise be difficult and uneconomical to recycle.
"Increasingly organizations and individuals are thinking about the 'end-of-life' issue of many products in everyday use, and therefore the creation and disposal of waste. We believe bioplastics can provide part of the solution to certain aspects of this issue as they can be composted together with organic waste," said Catia Bastioli, CEO of Novamont.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Purac at Fakuma: To Exhibit PURALACT® Lactide (PLA), Green Alternative for Engineering Plastics

Purac will be presenting biobased solutions for high performance Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) at Fakuma 2012, 16-20 October in Friedrichshafen, Germany [#booth 4207 in Hall B4]. Fakuma 2012 is one of the most important exhibitions for the plastics processing industry worldwide, and will provide the forum for Purac to present its PURALACT® Lactide innovations. These innovations open up new possibilities for producers seeking biobased alternatives to current fossil fuel based engineering plastics.
PLA now offers the possibility to replace PSPP and ABS in those applications where heat resistance is a key requirement. Purac's technology can increase the heat stability of PLA to the range of 80 - 180 degrees Celsius.

Purac's solutions for high performance PLA for the injection molding and thermoforming industries unlock bioplastic potential for high temperature applications, such as microwavable food packaging and hot beverage cups, and also for durable applications in a range of high end markets, such as automotive, carpet, clothing and consumer electronics and appliances. PURALACT L & D based homopolymers — known as PLLA and PDLA - are the key to this improved heat performance and are now commercially available from Purac.
At Fakuma 2012, Purac will demonstrate its capabilities by presenting thin wall, thermoformed hot beverage cups produced from PURALACT based PLA which are able to resist the high temperatures associated with hot beverages like tea or coffee.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Teknor Apex Offers Nylon 6/12, Glass & Carbon Fiber Reinforced Compounds for Auto Fuel Handling

Amidst current automotive industry concerns about nylon 12 supplies, two new injection molding compounds based on nylon 6 /12 provide comparable performance in the fuel-line components that comprise the major application for nylon 12, it was announced recently by the Nylon Division of Teknor Apex Company.
New Chemlon® 813 CI and 830 GHI fiber-reinforced compounds based on nylon 6 /12 polymer provide the excellent chemical resistance and low moisture absorption required in fuel line components, according to Jeff Schmidt, Automotive Market Manager. He noted that the compounds are already in commercial use for one such application.
The 13% loading of carbon fiber in the Chemlon 813 CI product provides antistatic conductivity often called for in fuel line components. Chemlon 830 GHI compound has a 30% loading of glass fiber for enhanced strength and rigidity in applications such as connectors. [Physical properties are outlined in the accompanying table.]

While some nylon polymers present problems in holding to desired part dimensions because of high levels of moisture pickup, the new nylon 6 / 12 compounds gain only slightly more moisture than nylon 12, according to Schmidt. "Finished part dimensions are acceptable in existing tooling used for nylon 12," he said, "with little to no modification needed. At the same time, Chemlon 800 Series materials process in shorter cycles and at higher melt temperatures than nylon 12."
The chemical resistance exhibited by Chemlon 800 Series compounds is very high, Schmidt noted. "Extensive testing has shown the compound to be well suited for fuel handling uses."
Automotive has long been the largest market for Chemlon nylon 6, 6 / 6, 6 / 10, and 6 / 12 compounds. "For manufacturers seeking alternatives to nylon 12, Teknor Apex provides extensive automotive industry experience, expertise in custom compounding, and strong engineering support," said Schmidt. "With nylon operations in the USA, the UK, and Singapore, we have sufficient compounding capacity to meet new demand for nylon 6 /12."

Researchers Develop Bioplastics Made from Waste Cooking Oil for Medical Applications

'Bioplastics' that are naturally synthesized by microbes could be made commercially viable by using waste cooking oil as a starting material. This would reduce environmental contamination and also give high-quality plastics suitable for medical implants, according to scientists presenting their work at the Society for General Microbiology's Autumn Conference at the University of Warwick.
The Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) family of polyesters is synthesized by a wide variety of bacteria as an energy source when their carbon supply is plentiful. Poly 3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) is the most commonly produced polymer in the PHA family. Currently, growing bacteria in large fermenters to produce high quantities of this bioplastic is expensive because glucose is used as a starting material.

Work by a research team at the University of Wolverhampton suggests that using waste cooking oil as a starting material reduces production costs of the plastic. "Our bioplastic-producing bacterium, Ralstonia eutropha H16, grew much better in oil over 48 hours and consequently produced three times more PHB than when it was grown in glucose," explained Victor Irorere who carried out the research. "Electrospinning experiments, performed in collaboration with researchers from the University of Birmingham, showed that nanofibers of the plastic produced from oils were also less crystalline, which means the plastic is more suited to medical applications."

Previous research has shown that PHB is an attractive polymer for use as a microcapsule for effective drug delivery in cancer therapy and also as medical implants, due to its biodegradability and non-toxic properties. Improved quality of PHB combined with low production costs would enable it to be used more widely.
The disposal of used plastics — which are largely non-biodegradable — is a major environmental issue. Plastic waste on UK beaches has been steadily increasing over the past two decades and now accounts for about 60% of marine debris. "The use of biodegradable plastics such as PHB is encouraged to help reduce environmental contamination. Unfortunately the cost of glucose as a starting material has seriously hampered the commercialization of bioplastics," said Dr Iza Radecka who is leading the research. "Using waste cooking oil is a double benefit for the environment as it enables the production of bioplastics but also reduces environmental contamination caused by disposal of waste oil."
The next challenge for the group is to do appropriate scale-up experiments, to enable the manufacture of bioplastics on an industrial level.

USM's Prof Develops Novel Plastic Material that Bleeds & Heels like Human Skin

It's the stuff of dreams that became a reality in a University of Southern Mississippi laboratory.
Inspired by his own dream of a technology now considered revolutionary in the world of plastics research, polymer science professor Marek Urban developed a unique type of plastic material that turns red or "bleeds" when damaged.

When the damage occurs, or when stressors mount that portend damage to the material, the molecule links that span along chains of chemicals within the material split and release a color simulating bleeding. After exposure to sunlight or change in temperature, the material begins repairing itself in much the same way human skin does.
"I dreamed of developing this after thinking about how human skin repairs itself when damaged, and how blood coming from the injury works as a sign of that damage," Urban said. "Sometimes, damage to material may not be visible to the human eye, but with the release of the colors that mimic bleeding we have a warning of damage."

The material has the potential to be developed into self-repairing surfaces in a wide variety of commonly used products, including cell phones, laptops and military weapons.
Stuff, a publication of Britain's Haymarket Media Company covering the latest in popular technology, cited the invention as among "5 materials that could change the world" in its May edition. In its assessment the magazine notes, "This plastic, which 'bleeds' red then heals itself with light, is being hailed as the Holy Grail of materials. The plastic could be developed for use in self-healing cars, planes and bridges. Oh, and gadgets. RIP insurance?"

Earlier this year, Urban made a presentation on the invention at the 243rd National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society.
"Dr. Urban is one of the most inventive people I've come across," said his Southern Miss colleague Dr. Robert Lochhead. "He has a valuable talent that is rarely found; that is, to have an original idea that meets human or societal needs, and then to take that idea to an invention and implement it."
Urban is enthusiastic that further research, with the assistance of graduate students and staff in his Urban Research Group, can extend the material to usage in cars, planes and spacecraft, as well as large infrastructure. The development of similar material that can also withstand high temperatures is on the drawing board.
"I believe there are endless possibilities, and we continue our research in hopes of capturing those possibilities that can further enhance our quality of life through the products we access daily," Urban said.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

UL Grants RTI Rating to Arkema's Black Kynar® Film Used for PV Backsheet

Arkema Inc. announces that Underwriters Laboratory (UL) has granted a final Relative Thermal Index (RTI) rating of 150°C mechanical and 140°C dielectric for its black Kynar® film, used in the construction of photovoltaic backsheet. This RTI rating is among the highest that has been granted by UL. The new, black version of Kynar® film will enable solar panel module makers to source black Kynar®-based backsheets to produce modules which can be more visually appealing and consistent in color to the dark silicon cells.

The backsheet provides insulation and protection from electric shock. The Kynar® film typically is the outer layer of the backsheet laminate structure, where PET film is used as the primary dielectric layer. However, PET weathering performance and hydrolysis resistance is poor.
"The primary function of the Kynar® film is to protect the PET such that the backsheet does not degrade over the life of the module," said Ron Partridge, senior business development engineer for Arkema's North American fluoropolymers photovoltaic market. "Kynar® film provides outstanding protection for the PET layer and resists degradation because it is extremely resistant to weathering and provides long-term UV protection for the underlying PET film. Kynar® film also resists moisture and environmental pollutants, Partridge noted. The low surface energy of the film provides excellent dirt shedding properties and is inherently resistant to mold and mildew growth," he added.

Kynar® PVDF polymer has been widely used in architectural coatings for more than 40 years and is an exceptional resin for weather-resistant coatings. Kynar® PVDF coatings showed excellent weathering performance after 42 years of continuous exposure in South Florida, based on Arkema's long-term weathering studies. This same weathering performance can be expected from Kynar® film and is seen in very aggressive and accelerated QUV-B weathering tests.
"The excellent thermal stability, coupled with the long-term weathering protection, will provide extremely durable protection for photovoltaic backsheets," said Partridge.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Quadrant to Design & Manufacture Customized PE Multi-flow Grating for 2014 CWG Pools

Quadrant Engineering Plastic Products (EPP) is riding on a wave of medal-worthy achievements, as it celebrates its part in the success of the 2012 Summer Olympics and in the forthcoming 2014 Royal Commonwealth Games in Scotland.

Chosen to design, manufacture and supply the deck pool grating & channel rail system for the three major pools and circular plunge pool at the London 2012 Olympic Park Aquatics Centre, Quadrant has also been awarded the contract for the development and manufacture of the innovative new pool deck grating used at The Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh. The venue will host the diving events for the Glasgow 2014 Royal Commonwealth Games. The grating provides the cover for the front end of the filtration system and substantially increases the return rate of water in all three major competition swimming pools.

Unlike the new build completed for the 2012 Summer Olympics, the Royal Commonwealth pools have been refurbished, presenting a different set of challenges for the Quadrant UK team to overcome.

The team developed custom multi-flow channel and rail grating designed to maximize the return rate of water for the unique design and construction of each pool. The overall dimension of the grating was slightly smaller than that of the Olympic pools, so the grating format was incorporated to cope with the flow of water back into the filtration system.
Polyethylene (PE) was chosen for the parts because of its strength, good chemical and corrosion resistance, and the fact that it is hygienic and easy to clean. Suitable for creating solid corner and angled sections, Quadrant was able to customize the parts according to the project's requirements. Ease of installation and removal were also important considerations for the customer.

The grating is visible around all three major competition pools adding appearance as an important design element in addition to strength and durability.
Stefan Willing, Commercial Director Quadrant EPP Europe, comments: "The multi-flow grating is an excellent product. The material has an extremely low moisture absorption rate and as a result will not swell or de-laminate. It is strong and keeps its "new look" for years to come. For both the Aquatics Centre and Royal Commonwealth Pool, the team worked closely with all parties involved to help give the end client a spectacular and impressive venue. We were all excited to see our work in place at the Olympic Park Aquatics Centre and are proud to be involved in the next Commonwealth Games."
Winning the contract for the Royal Commonwealth pools marks the second prestigious leisure industry-related project for the company and further establishes Quadrant's growing reputation as the authority in solving complex issues relating to the design, development and manufacturing of polymer solutions for various sectors of this industry, in addition to the many demanding markets using Quadrant products.
The £37m refurbishment program included the complete reconstruction of the largest and longest swimming pool in Edinburgh with an eight lane 50 meter pool, 25 meter dive pool & 25 meter training and warm up pool. The pools were used by the British Swimming squad for training in July 2012, ahead of the London Olympics. Originally opened in January 1970 by Princess Anne, the venue has already hosted two Commonwealth Games. It was closed for major refurbishment in June 2009, and officially reopened by former Olympic swimming champion David Wilkie in April 2012.