Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Umeco’s Structural materials operations in Derby and Manchester – UK have been awarded certification to AS9100C.

David Bernard, Managing Director Umeco Structural Materials – Europe, said: “The overall objective of AS9100C, the aerospace best practice standard, is to maintain and improve product quality and on-time delivery, and recommends following the quality tools routinely used for the automotive standard ISO TS 16949.”

Compliance to AS9100 Rev C confirms strong management and commitment to quality improvement within Umeco while serving its Aviation, Space and Defence customers. Customers in other sectors are guaranteed comparable quality assurance through accreditation to associated standards and certification.  AS9100 Rev C introduces additional requirements, including: addressing project management; ensuring the product realisation process is planned and managed in a structured and controlled way; formally addressing risk management process; documenting process control to identify and address special requirements, critical items, and key characteristics; measuring on-time delivery and product quality; and ensuring appropriate actions are taken if the planned objectives are not achieved.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Global PVC Market to Boost Steadily in Upcoming Years, Forecast Ceresana Research

Ceresana Research expects the global PVC market to reach revenues of more than US$65 billion in 2019. Now that the global recession has ended, the construction industry will again boost demand for PVC. The average annual growth rate of 3.3% seen in the past eight years is likely to be surpassed in future. Ceresana Research forecasts PVC demand to increase at an average annual rate of 3.9% over the next years.

With a roughly 53% share of global consumption, Asia-Pacific is the largest PVC outlet, followed by North America and Western Europe. Shares in demand of the individual world regions will shift significantly over the next eight years. The analysts from Ceresana forecast countries in Asia-Pacific to increase their shares in the global PVC market — mainly at the expense of industrial countries. In contrast, emerging and developing countries will benefit from an increasing per-capita consumption of plastic products. In addition, the construction industry is boosting in these countries, where many PVC products are used in civil and structural engineering.

Changes in regional demand will also have an effect on the production structure of manufacturers. The global PVC capacity of approximately 50 million tones is anticipated to be expanded by 13 million tons by 2019. Almost 80% of these new capacities will be built in the Asia-Pacific region.

The most comprehensive report worldwide analyzes how PVC use will develop in individual markets. Most important buyers include manufacturers of pipes and con-duits; they accounted for 39% of global PVC demand in 2011. PVC plastic profiles accounted for just less than 20%. Films and sheets had an 18% share. Cables and cable sheathing made up 7% of global PVC demand in 2011. Flooring had a 4% share during that year. Other industrial applications, such as coatings for the automotive industry, medical products like infusion bags as well as shoes, accounted for approximately 13% of worldwide demand.
All application areas will see similar development in demand over the upcoming eight years. As a result, shares of the individual application areas will hardly shift by 2019. Pipes and conduits will see the smallest increase in demand of 3.7% per year. However, this sector will remain the largest PVC market by 2019.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Siemens Develops Green Composite Material as an Alternate to ABS Used for Consumer Products

In cooperation with various project partners, Siemens researchers have developed a new recipe for plastic made primarily of renewable resources and CO2. The new material is an alternative to standard polystyrene-based acrylonitrite-butadiene-styrene (ABS) polymer. The new polymer is much "greener" than ABS even though the physical properties of the two materials are similar. In order to demonstrate how practical the new polymer is, scientists used it to create a vacuum cleaner cover. The new material is the result of a three-year project on research into CO2 as an ingredient for polymers. The project, which was recently completed, was funded by the German Research Ministry.

Until now, plastic has mostly been made from fossil fuels such as natural gas or oil. However, according to experts, plastic will increasingly be made of renewable raw materials in order to improve its environmental performance and conserve resources. Many of these organic polymers are already available on the market, where they are used for food packaging, for example. Their properties do not fully match those of technical polymers, which is why they sometimes have to be optimized in line with the application in question.

In cooperation with project partners from BASF, Munich Technical University, and the University of Hamburg, scientists at Siemens' global research unit Corporate Technology developed an alternative for the standard polymer ABS, which is frequently used for consumer products. The new composite material is a competitive alternative to ABS. It is a mixture containing poly-hydroxybutyrate (PHB), which is made from renewable raw materials such as palm oil and starch. Since PHB is brittle, polypropylene carbonate (PPC) from BASF is added to make it softer. PPC consists of 43 percent carbon dioxide (by weight), which is obtained from power plant emissions using a separation process. In addition to being transparent, biodegradable, and resistant to light, PPC can be easily processed.

More than 70 percent of the new mixture is made of green polymers. The new material is a suitable alternative for ABS in practice, as demonstrated by Bosch-Siemens-Hausgeräte (BSH), which used it to make a vacuum cleaner cover under series-production conditions. In cooperation with BSH and BASF, the Siemens researchers now want to examine whether they can replace other types of plastic used by BSH with CO2-based composite materials.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bio-on & FLOS Present their First Product Composed of Water-biodegradable PHA

Bio-on and FLOS present the world's first product made with PHAs, the 100% naturally water-biodegradable bioplastic. The first design object to be made in this initial test of the revolutionary material is Miss Sissi, the FLOS lamp designed in 1991 by Philippe Starck and now an icon in lighting design. The creativity, experience and global presence of FLOS are thus teamed with the innovation of bio-on, the sole owner of the technology to produce PHAs bioplastic.

Made so far of polycarbonate, one of the most widely used plastics in industry, Miss Sissi passed the test with the new bioplastic developed over the last 5 years in Italy by bio-on (using Co.Pro.B by-products). The PHAs biopolymer is revolutionary because it is made from the waste materials of sugar beet and cane production (so it has zero impact on the food cycle), it requires no organic solvents, it is completely biodegradable in soil and water and it provides exceptional performance.

"We are proud to be presenting the world's very first design product made with our biopolymer PHAs together with such a prestigious and well-known brand as FLOS. Thanks to this collaboration," explains bio-on Managing Director Marco Astorri, "We can really launch a new era. The technology is available at a global level and, with the range of biopolymers developed by bio-on, it is now possible to create a vast range of objects in all of the sectors currently using plastic".
"We are pleased to be entering this new challenge for the future," says Piero Gandini, Chairman and Managing Director of FLOS S.p.A., "which represents the non-stop Italian innovative spirit, splendidly exemplified by bio-on. We cannot wait to continue the tests on other products and materials, so that there can soon be a turning point in environmentally-friendly production, already encapsulated by our 'Cradle to Cradle' Soft Architecture material. These bio-on polymers - although we cannot really call them polymers and a new name should be coined - are a total revolution in the relationship between mass production and environment. We are pleased and honoured to work with such a gifted and enthusiastic team as bio-on."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Zyvex & ENVE Team up to Produce First Nano-Enhanced Carbon Fiber Downhill Bike Rim

The world's first molecular nanotechnology company, Zyvex Technologies, and ENVE Composites announced an exclusive partnership to provide a bicycle rim specifically for downhill mountain biking that uses the latest advanced materials comprised of Nano-enhanced carbon fiber. This new bicycle rim gives a significant competitive advantage to the downhill cycling market as proven during the last year in development and testing. The ENVE DH rim provides performance benefits to all downhill cyclists including those that compete at the highest levels of World Cup racing.
ENVE used Zyvex Technologies' Nano-enhanced carbon fiber technology called Arovex, which is a carbon nanotube and graphene engineered composite material that uses the proprietary Kentera technology to create chemical bonds on the carbon nanotubes. It provides an advantage in toughness without compromising strength. It also protects from fracture damage. ENVE has an exclusive license for this advanced technology for cycling applications.ENVE developed the first Nano-enhanced carbon fiber downhill bike with the intention of its riders winning a World Cup. After being in development for over a year, the rim carried ENVE sponsored rider Greg Minnaar to victory at the 2012 World Cup opener in South Africa."The ENVE-Zyvex partnership introduces the first carbon fiber rim specifically designed for the downhill cyclist. During development and testing the wheels have won over 50 podiums in competitions around the world. These results validate ENVE's success using Zyvex's Arovex. Downhill racing is extreme in nature. The fact that these new rims have survived the most challenging tracks in the world makes them truly one-of-a-kind," noted Jason Schiers, founder of ENVE Composites.Most notable is an unprecedented increase in durability, strength, and stiffness over traditional alloy offerings on the market. Often, top level teams will need to change rims more than 180 times during a season. World Cup downhill racing champion Steve Peat raced on one pair of the ENVE DH wheels during the entire 2011 season. Traditional aluminum rims historically lasted him a mere one to three runs."Nano-enhanced carbon fiber wheels are changing what people expect from a bike's ride quality. Being the first Nano-enhanced carbon fiber downhill clincher to win a World Cup is difficult. We are changing the game. The new DH rims are the best riding and the most durable rims on the market today," concluded Schiers.The new rim design shows significant technical and competitive advantages in this demanding market. Some scientists believe the ability to move and combine individual atoms and molecules will revolutionize the production of every human-made object leading to a potential new technology revolution."The use of carbon atoms in the 21st century will be as significant as the use of silicon in the 20th century. Zyvex Technologies is the first company to globally commercialize Nano-enhanced products from carbon atoms," said Lance Criscuolo, president of Zyvex Technologies. "The value of building a $40-billion supply chain in less than four years means that partners like Composites One convey these advances to companies like ENVE that are constantly innovating products. Our advanced materials weigh less and have increased strength. We are changing the way products are manufactured and perform," said Criscuolo.