Friday, November 28, 2014

DSM’s PA-based Tech. Results in Pressure Vessels Ideal for Lightweight Auto Fuel Tanks

Royal DSM, the global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, says a combination of two of its most innovative thermoplastics technologies has resulted in high performance pressure vessels that are ideally suited for use as lightweight fuel tanks for automobiles running on compressed natural gas (CNG) or hydrogen. With a solution for both the inner liner and the outer tape reinforcement, DSM is able to reduce the weight of the tank by up to 70%. 

Hydrogen and natural gas are claiming their place in the field of cost-effective and low carbon-footprint fuels for use in automobiles. Countries with major natural gas reserves are looking at the advantages of using CNG as an alternative fuel which reduces the CO2 emission by 15% compared to current solutions in petrol or diesel. 

A traditional steel tank of 40L weighs around 60 kg, while a composite ‘Type IV’ tank with Akulon® Fuel Lock liner can weigh down to 20 kg. Every 10 kg removed from a vehicle translates roughly into a reduction in CO2 emissions from the vehicle on the road of one gram per km.

Type IV pressure vessels are based on plastics and continuous fiber reinforcements, unlike Type I, II and III pressure vessels, which contain metal components. DSM demonstrated a tank with a liner blow molded in its Akulon Fuel Lock, a polyamide 6-based engineering plastic with very high barrier to hydrocarbons, at the Fakuma plastics processing exhibition in Friedrichshafen, Germany, in mid-October. The tank can be wrapped in a tape based on thermoset or thermoplastic resins, including its EcoPaXX® polyamide 410. 

Liner material for the CNG tank

Akulon Fuel Lock contains an additive formulation that further improves the already strong gas barrier of polyamide 6, and also provides it with extremely high impact resistance at low temperatures (down to -60°C). The permeation of HDPE liners is too high to allow the installation of composite Type IV tanks incorporating such liners inside a vehicle. However, Akulon Fuel Lock liner material reduces emissions by a factor of at least 150 compared to HDPE and therefore enables the use of Type IV tanks inside the car.

The Akulon Fuel Lock portfolio has been expanded with a grade that is suitable for blow molding of liners for large pressure vessels for heavy duty vehicles such as buses and trucks. It is normally difficult to make large blow moldings in polyamide 6, owing to the polymer’s relatively low melt strength, but this grade has sufficient melt strength to create a stable parison for tanks beyond a length of 2m, enabling high precision in control of the wall thickness.

Tape material for CNG tank

In current Type IV pressure vessels, the tape reinforcement comprises either glass or carbon fibers in a thermosetting polymer, such as an epoxy or unsaturated polyester. DSM is cooperating in the development of next-generation Type V pressure vessels. These are made by winding a tape, developed by DSM, of continuous fiber reinforced with a thermoplastic, such as the company’s EcoPaXX polyamide 410, or another grade of Akulon.

Type V pressure vessels weigh around 70% less than steel tanks and can be lighter than Type IV pressure vessels too. They are more durable than steel, they have better chemical resistance (no corrosion), and they are also fully recyclable. EcoPaXX has the additional advantage that it has a zero carbon footprint from cradle to gate, owing to the fact that the polymer is made entirely from renewable resources.

“In the process developed by Covess for making Type V pressure vessels, you can balance weight, performance, and economics by using glass, carbon or even hybrid fibers,” says Tony Vanswijgenhoven, Director of Covess, a specialist in advanced thermoplastic composite vessels for a wide range of applications, who is working closely with DSM. “Whatever choice you make, it always works out lighter than the existing comparable type IV tanks.”

Source: DSM 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Parx Plastics Grabs World Technology Award for Creating Biocompatible Antibacterial Plastic

At the TIME Conference Center in New York, Parx Plastics wins the World Technology Award for Materials. The Parx technology was identified as an innovation with the likely long-term significance.
  
Once a year The World Technology Network brings together many of the world’s most innovative individuals and organizations in science, technology, and related fields to present, discuss and celebrate innovations and accomplishments. In this year’s edition Parx Plastics was awarded for its inventions creating a biocompatible antibacterial plastic. The technology developed by Parx Plastics is unique in its kind as it is fully biocompatible, ecofriendly, non-toxic and without substances leaching from the plastic. These characteristics make this solution the only antibacterial technology that without limitations can be used in food packaging materials to improve the shelf life of food, and can be used for medical applications such as implants where it will reduce the chances on infections.

Other winners of this year’s edition are Elon Musk (Tesla/SpaceX), Nick Woodman (CEO of GoPro), Palmer Luckey (Founder, Oculus), Walter Isaacson (former CEO CNN, author of “Steve Jobs”).

Earlier this year the European Commission announced Parx Plastics as one of the top tech startups of Europe.


Source: Parx Plastics

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dassault Systèmes and Solar Impulse define a new chapter in the future of solar-powered aviation

The Solar Impulse 2 airplane, revealed on April 9 and successfully test flown in June of this year, is designed using Dassault Systèmes’ 3DExperience platform.

Solar Impulse uses Dassault Systèmes’ 3DExperience platform, including its Catia and Enovia applications, to design, build, and validate this second solar airplane. Solar Impulse 1 was a test bed for the incredibly complex new technologies required to fly day and night using solar energy alone. Solar Impulse 2 will carry the mission forward and fly around the world in 2015.

The team faced new challenges and trade-offs in designing such an innovative plane, including a new design for the fuselage and wings, and using new materials to achieve strict weight objectives. Designing a cockpit providing safety, comfort, and command accessibility for a pilot on an around-the-world flight required sophisticated design and management tools. Dassault Systèmes applications, in use by the team since 2006, helped ensure smooth execution of the ongoing development process and milestones.

“For over a century, pioneers have been pushing the limits of aviation and transforming ideas into ‘firsts,’ from the first human flight to balloon flights and space missions once thought to be impossible,” said André Borschberg, Co-founder CEO and Pilot, Solar Impulse.  “We continue to apply this entrepreneurial spirit to engineering and research programs that blend 21st century technologies like the 3DExperience platform with a mission to improve mankind’s impact on the environment.”

More information: www.3ds.com

Monday, November 24, 2014

Verdezyne & Bio-XCell to Set-up First Biobased DDDA Production Facility in Malaysia

Verdezyne, Inc., a privately-held industrial biotechnology company focused on producing renewable chemicals, recently announced it has reached an agreement with Bio-XCell Malaysia to construct Verdezyne’s first commercial-scale renewable chemicals manufacturing facility in Bio-XCell’s premier biotechnology and ecosystem park in Nusajaya, Iskandar, in southern Malaysia. With construction scheduled to commence in 2015, the plant will be capable of producing approximately 30 million pounds per year of diacids, including dodecanedioic acid (DDDA), and will be the world’s first bio-based plant for the production of DDDA. 

The exchange of agreement ceremony took place during the official opening ceremony of “BioMalaysia: Bioeconomy Asia Pacific 2014 Conference & Exhibition,” and was attended by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. 

“This agreement is part of our comprehensive strategy of expansion into Asia, and represents a huge step toward our goal of replacing petroleum-derived chemicals with renewable drop-in replacements,” commented E. William Radany, Ph.D., President and CEO of Verdezyne. “We are thrilled, and are eagerly anticipating breaking ground in the near future on this major new manufacturing plant for the production of renewable diacids.” 

The multi-faceted agreement includes: 
• Leasing a 6.9-acre site owned by Bio-XCell in Malaysia’s premier biotechnology park located in Nusajaya, Iskandar, Malaysia, 30 minutes’ north of Singapore. The 13-year, renewable lease provides for expansion options on other adjacent lots, and all major utilities will be supplied by Bio-XCell. 
• A loan of approximately $75 Million (approximately RM 250 Million) from Bio-XCell. 

“We are happy to welcome Verdezyne to the Park. The investments related to building Verdezyne's new factory here will bring the total investment into Bio-XCell to RM250 million, and with a couple more companies in the pipeline, we expect to have secured RM1.86 billion [approximately $555 Million] in investment by year-end. The investments will further augur and strengthen the value proposition of the Bio-XCell ecosystem as a regional hub for industrial biomanufacturing and bioprocessing,” said Rizatuddin Ramli, Chief Executive Officer of Bio-XCell Malaysia. 

“We are proud of our successes with our Malaysian partners, who recognize the strong value proposition we bring to the table,” added Dr. Radany. “To review, in June of last year we reached a collaboration agreement with Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation, and in September of last year we were awarded BioNexus Status by the Malaysian government. In April of this year we secured $30 Million in financing from Malaysian conglomerate Sime Darby, and our signing ceremony was attended by none other than President Barack Obama. As rewarding as our projects in Malaysia have been thus far, though, we feel that the best is yet to come.” 

The manufacturing facility will leverage Verdezyne’s yeast fermentation technology with the abundant supplies of non-food, plant-based feedstocks in Malaysia to produce a variety of commercial diacids, including DDDA. These diacids may in turn be used to produce nylon or other polymers for use in a variety of applications including: engineering resins, automotive parts, athletic apparel, carpeting and toothbrush bristles, at lower cost than traditional, petroleum-derived nylons. 


Source: Verdezyne

KRAIBURG's Medically-compliant TPE Finds Application in Single-use Membrane Valve

Cross-contamination must be eliminated in valves used for sensitive pharmaceutical process technology. The safest method is to use one-way valves, which until now has meant replacing the entire valve. With its controlled single-use membrane valve GEMÜ SUMONDO®, with a special TPE membrane from KRAIBURG TPE, GEMÜ is introducing a safe and cost-effective system. With it, only the valve unit has to be replaced, because thanks to the interior membrane, it is the only part that comes into contact with the pharmaceutical media. The actuator itself remains in the system for re-use. The valve unit, which is manufactured in a cleanroom out of sterilized polypropylene, is equipped with a TPE membrane. The ultrasonically heat-sealed membrane hermetically separates the media from the environment and from the valve's actuator. Moreover, it also regulates the volume flow in the valve during operation. 

"Using THERMOLAST® M, the medically-compliant TPE from KRAIBURG TPE, represents a fundamental contribution to our new development. The elastic properties, together with the extensive chemical stability in conjunction with the Medical Service Package, are contributing to this progress," says Valentin RÜttimann, Product Engineer for single-use systems at GEMÜ, on the first collaboration between the two companies. 

A microbe-proof barrier with THERMOLAST® M

THERMOLAST® M has also generated interest thanks to its simple, time-saving, and cost-effective manufacturing process with polypropylene. This processing method enables short cycle times and makes post-processing the component unnecessary. In addition, the procedure makes it possible to create a microbe-proof barrier. THERMOLAST® M allows direct contact with a pharmaceutical medium or blood. It has comprehensive medical certifications (USP Class VI, USP 661, DIN ISO 10993-4 "Haemolysis, Indirect in Human Blood", ISO 10993-5 "Cytotoxicity", ISO 10993-10 "Intracutaneous Irritation", ISO 10993-11 "Acute Systemic Toxicity"). 

The Medical Service Package

KRAIBURG TPE ensures product reliability and safety for all of its THERMOLAST® M materials as part of its Medical Service Package. The compounds from the medically-compliant portfolio are manufactured on a separate production system. There, only materials that correspond to the requirements of the medical industry are used, and contamination with other products or parts, such as raw materials of animal origin, is eliminated. For this quality assurance in the medical and pharmaceutical technology industry, KRAIBURG TPE guarantees composition consistency and security of supply for two years. 


Source: KRAIBURG TPE 

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