Wednesday, January 29, 2014

ANSI & SPI Announce New Standards ANSI/SPI B151.20, ANSI/SPI B151.27 for Plastic Machinery Safety

The Plastics Industry Trade Association and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) announced the publication of two recently revised and approved American National Standards on plastics machinery safety. ANSI/SPI B151.20 - 2013 Safety Requirements for Plastics Sheet Production Machinery, and ANSI/SPI B151.27 - 2013 Safety Requirements for the Integration of Robots with Injection Molding Machines, both of which address detailed safety requirements for the specific machine or group of machines.
Both standards represent significant and substantive changes from the previous editions and both are considered Type-C standards according to the ISO Type A-B-C standard level structure. ISO Type A standards (basis standards) provide basic concepts, principles for design, and general aspects that can be applied to machinery. ISO Type B (generic safety standards) addresses one or more safety aspects or one or more types of safeguards that can be used across a range of machinery.
B151.20 specifies the requirements for the manufacture, care, and use of plastics sheet production machinery to minimize hazards to personnel associated with machine activity. The newly revised standard includes updates to reflect changes in technology and provides additional explanatory materials, illustrations, and definitions.
B151.27 addresses the integration, care, and use of robots used with injection molding machines to minimize hazards to personnel associated with robot and machine activity. Complicated by the variety and sizes of machines and robots manufactured, the standard approaches the problem of integration safety from three different areas: to eliminate recognized hazards by design criteria, establish standard approaches to design, and safeguard the point of operation to protect the operator from recognized hazards.
To assist in the interpretation of these requirements in both standards, responsibilities have been assigned to the supplier, the remanufacturer, the modifier, and the user.
Other SPI/ANSI Standards address the safety requirements for injection molding machines, extrusion machines, and blow molding machines.

Source: SPI

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

CSIR-CSMCRI Receives EU Patent to Produce PHA from Biodiesel Residue of the Jatropha Plant

Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are biodegradable polyesters produced and stored intracellularly by bacteria as energyand carbon storage material. In the last decade globally various organizations including CSIR-CSMCRI are actively engaged in R&D activities on different aspects of PHA. Owing to the diversity in PHA structural properties and amenability to produce in sufficient quantity various applications have been sought e.g. in packaging films, disposable items, biocompatible implants, bone replacements, blood vessel replacements, scaffold material in tissue, engineering of heart valve, etc.

Further, due to biodegradability and biocompatible nature of PHAs they have been recognized by FDA (Chen etal 2009) for the above listed uses. Global bioplastic packaging demand alone has been projected to reach 884,000 tons by 2020. According to a new study by Pira International, a new breed of bioplastics will be major drivers as packaging market demand gradually shifts from biodegradable and compostable polymers towards biopackaging based on renewable and sustainable materials. The basic cost involved in the production of such biopolymers is the raw material being used for fermentation process. To this end the innovative step taken by CSIR-CSMCRI is the use of crude glycerol as raw material, which is obtained as byproduct from the waste stream during biodiesel production.
Through this intervention a waste which is otherwise required to be treated before disposal is converted to a highly valuable and environment friendly product- PHAs. There the main objective of CSIR-CSMCRI on this issue is to examine the use of Jatropha biodiesel byproducts for production of PHA that can replace expensive carbon sources (raw material). (an European patent has been already granted).

"We filed for the patent in 2009, after we successfully made biodegradable plastic from a residue of Jatropha called glycerol. We isolated and used microbes from soil and ocean environments to turn this glycerol into plastic, through a 96-hour-long fermentation process," says Ghosh narrating the work conducted by the scientists at the institute located in neigbhouring Bhavnagar district.
The European patent comes a year after the institute received the CIPET (Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology) National Award from the Ministry of Chemicals and fertilizers for this innovation in 2012. CSIR-CSMCRI have produced bioplastics at gram scale in our laboratories. When this plastic is put in soil, it degrades within six-months. Now the next step is to produce this plastic on kilogram scale and make the entire process commercially viable. The CSMCRI director also said the scientists are also working on "getting the right properties of plastic like tensile strength, etc.".


Friday, January 10, 2014

Goodfellow Offers Mitsui Chemicals' Transparent TPX® Polymethylpentene-based Film, Sheets & more

TPX® polymethylpentene is a lightweight, transparentsemi-crystalline material with outstanding resistance to both steam sterilization and a wide range of chemicals. Unlike some polymeric materials that discolor or embrittle after just a few cycles in an autoclave, TPX® remains transparent and strong. Items made with this exceptional polymer can be reused many times, promoting reuse rather than recycling and contributing to greater sustainability.

Characteristics of TPX® include:
  • Low density
  • Resistance to steam and chemicals
  • Does not absorb water
  • Visible light transmission ~92-94%
  • Low refractive index
  • Nonstick properties
  • The numerous benefits of TPX® make it ideal for use in food containers, sterilization cases, laboratory equipment, LED molds, etc. TPX® also has excellent UV transmission characteristics, making it useful in UV sterilization equipment.
    TPX® is available in film, sheet, rod and granule form from Goodfellow, one among the leading suppliers of polymers, metals, ceramics and composites for research and industry.
    TPX® is manufactured solely by Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.

    Source: Goodfellow

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

    Iranian Researcher Investigates Effect of Non-straight Form of CNTs on Nanocomposite Properties

    An Iranian researcher from University of Tehran used multi-scaled modeling and investigated the effect of non-straight form of carbon nanotubes on nanocomposite properties at the final material scale.

    The researcher assumed the non-straight form of carbon nanotube as a random parameter in his modeling, and he took into account all possible formations during the process of producing the nanocomposite object. Results of the research can be used in different industries such as aerospace, automobile manufacturing, transportation, and energy because all these industries enjoy the advantages of polymeric composites.
    The aim of this research was to estimate the mechanical properties of a nanocomposite containing multi-walled carbon nanotube. In this part of the research, the focus was on the effect of non-straight form of the nanotube in resin bed.

    The purpose was to study the amount of effect of non-straight form of carbon nanotube in resin media on the mechanical properties. In most of the previous researchers, either the nanotube was assumed to be completely straight, or the non-straight form was assumed to have a specific known shape. In this research, the nanotube was assumed to have an unknown shape.
    It was turned out that the non-straight form of carbon nanotube is the most effective parameter in the drop of mechanical properties in the nanocomposite containing carbon nanotube in comparison with other parameters. Non-straight form of carbon nanotube decreases the nanocomposite properties 25-50% in comparison to ideal condition. The decrease in the properties becomes larger in higher volume ratios. It was also turned out that non-straight form has less effect on resins with higher elastic modules.

    Results also showed that the non-straight form of carbon nanotube slightly increased Poisson's ratio in the material environment. The non-linear trend and dependency of the nanocomposite modules on volume ratio of the nanotube, confirmed that there was no simple micromechanical correlations to predict mechanical properties of nanocomposites.
    One of the results of the research has been published in Composite Structures, vol. 97, March 2013, pp. 304-309.

    Source: INIC

    Friday, January 3, 2014

    Teijin's Technology for Chemical Recycling of Polyester to be Used for Uniforms in China

     Teijin Limited, Onward Holdings Co., Ltd. and Fuji Xerox Co, Ltd. announced that they will launch a closed-loop recycling system for uniforms in China. The system is based on Teijin's ECO CIRCLE*1 that incorporates the world's first technology for the chemical recycling of polyester.
    Nantong Teijin Co., Ltd. , the Teijin group's polyester textile manufacturing and processing company, weaves and dyes recyclable polyester textiles, which are then used for the uniforms designed and produced by Onward Trading (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., a Shanghai-based Onwardgroup company engaged in the design, manufacturing and sales of uniforms. From January 2014, the uniform will be worn by 500 customer engineers*2 at Fuji Xerox (China) Limited, a Beijing-based Fuji Xerox sales company, and 200 production line workers at Fuji Xerox Eco-Manufacturing (Suzhou) Co., Ltd., which recycles used copiers, printers and cartridges.

    The uniforms will be collected after their useful lives and sent to the recycling plant of Zhejiang Jiaren New Materials Co., Ltd., a joint venture between Teijin and Jinggong Holding Group in Shaoxing that chemically recycles polyester products as well as produces and sells recycled polyester fibers.
    After chemical decomposition, the uniforms will be converted into polyester raw material offering purity comparable to polyester derived directly from petroleum. The raw material then will be turned into high-quality polyester, which Onward Trading (Shanghai) will use to produce new uniforms for Fuji Xerox in China, thereby minimizing the consumption of natural resources.

    "We are delighted to collaborate with Fuji Xerox's Chinese subsidiaries and Onward Trading (Shanghai) in a mutual commitment to sustainability through recycling," said Hiroaki Mimori, president of Nantong Teijin. "The Teijin Group has been operating its ECO CIRCLE recycling program in China since 2009. Beginning with the startup of Zhejiang Jiaren New Materials' recycling plant next year, we intend to steadily expand our environmental initiatives in this fast-growing market."
    The collaborative initiative of Teijin, Onward and Fuji Xerox represents their commitment to reducing environmental burden in China through the development, manufacturing, usage and recycling of uniforms that are functional, comfortable and safety-conscious realizing antistatic.
    Yasuaki Nakagawa, president of Onward Trading (Shanghai) said, "By combining Teijin's world's-first closed-loop recycling system and Onward's clothing design, production and merchandising capabilities, our collaborative scheme will facilitate Fuji Xerox's belief that used products are valuable resources, not waste. We would like for our initiative to lower environmental impact while raising environmental consciousness in China."
    Masataka Jo, president and CEO of Fuji Xerox (China) and the chief representative of Fuji Xerox in China said, "The three companies all commit to helping reduce environmental loads with our technologies, which led us to establishing this uniform recycling scheme. I expect that this system will raise our employees' awareness to protect environment. Fuji Xerox continues such initiatives, also by offering energy-saving products and solutions, aiming to contributing to growth and reduction of environmental loads in China."

    Positioning China as an important market, the three firms continue their efforts to contribute to building a sustainable society in China by expanding the closed-loop recycling system.
    *1 ECO CIRCLE is a closed-loop recycling system developed by the Teijin Group. The system employs the world's first technology for chemical recycling, which chemically decomposes polyester for conversion into new polyester raw materials that offer quality and purity comparable to those derived directly from petroleum. Repeated recycling achieved with the ECO CIRCLE system significantly reduces both energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions compared to conventional petroleum-based processes for polyester production. Teijin works with over 150 registered apparel, sportswear and uniform manufacturers worldwide to develop and manufacture products made from recyclable materials, as well as to collect and recycle these products at the end of their useful lives.

    *2 Fuji Xerox (China) engineers will only wear pants.

    Source: Teijin Group