Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Evonik’s PA 12 for High-pressure Gas Pipelines Earns European Plastics Innovation Award

The Resource Efficiency Segment of the Essen-based Evonik Group received the European Plastics Innovation Award in the “Material Innovation” category for its use of polyamide 12 (PA 12) VESTAMID® NRG in high-pressure gas pipelines. PlasticsEurope, the Association of Plastics Manufacturers in Europe, and the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) had organized the joint award for the first time in eight different categories. It recognizes companies that have attracted public attention with particularly innovative developments in plastics Technology.

ESTAMID® NRG offers an outstanding property profile for high-pressure pipelines and enables gas utilities to effectively build up their subterranean pipeline networks without any concern about losses in throughput performance. A number of installations, including in the U.S., Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia, have demonstrated that pipes made of PA 12 allow for significant savings in labor and installation cost compared to steel.

In its rationale for the award, the jury, made up of representatives from universities, politics, NGOs and the media, highlighted Evonik’s decade-long intensive research that resulted in gas pipe materials for the high-pressure segment up to 18 bar and their installation, along with the company’s efforts to support the requisite approvals. The most recent step in the safety-relevant authorization of the material is its inclusion in the test specification by the German Association of Gas and Water (DVGW) of December 2015, entitled “Plastic piping systems in gas and water distribution; GW335-A6: Pipes made of PA-U 160 and PA-U 180 and associated fittings and joints.”

Source: Evonik 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Polymeric Formulations COMPOUNDED for High-Performance, JUNE 7-9, NY City Area

We are pleased to announce our 6th Conference on Polymer Compounding with the following highlights:

(1) *Brand-Owners & OEM’s*: Meet world-class brand-owners and OEM’s such as BOEING, VOLVO, GENERAL CABLE and more

(2) *Symposium on Flammability*: 40% of the content is on “Latest
Developments in Polymer Flammability Advances”

(3) *Case-Histories of $MM Impact*: 60-minutes presentation on $MM
Case-Histories related to “Cost-of-Poor Quality” arising from Compounding Processes

(4) *Differentiated Value*: Coming from a highly TECHNICAL & BUSINESS
driven environment enables us to develop BEST-in-CLASS conferences that are rated exceptionally high from the global participants

More Details @ *

Friday, February 19, 2016

3D Printed Manufacturing in MEDICAL, AEROSPACE, MACHINERY and more, MiamiBeach, March 22-24*

Below are the compelling reasons to participate in our upcoming 3D-Conference:

(1) *Game-Changing Technologies*: Witness how the future of manufacturing
is Re-Shaping major industries such as MEDICAL, AEROSPACE, and MACHINERY/EQUIPMENT.

(2) *Differentiated Value*: Coming from a highly TECHNICAL & BUSINESS
driven environment enables us to develop BEST-in-CLASS conferences that are rated exceptionally high from the global participants. Our conference chairman, John Hornick's book "3D Printing Will Rock the World" just got released and he will share his insights on this dynamic field along with leaders from Multi-Industries. 

More details at

Versalis & Genomatica Co-produce bio-BDE for bio-BR from Renewable Feedstock

Versalis (Eni), a European producer in the polymers and elastomers industry, and Genomatica, one of the leaders in bioengineering solutions, announced that they have successfully advanced to pilot-scale production of bio-butadiene (bio-BDE) from fully renewable feedstock. Versalis used this bio-BDE to make bio-rubber, specifically, bio-polybutadiene (bio-BR). These accomplishments represent a remarkable milestone for the rubber industry, by enabling an improved technological and sustainability footprint; and to the broader industry for butadiene, one of the most widely-used chemicals in the world, with over ten million tons produced per year.

The success of this innovative undertaking results from a newly-developed process for the on-purpose production of butadiene which uses various types of sugars as feedstock, rather than the traditional use of hydrocarbon feedstocks. The project started with the establishment of a technology joint venture between Versalis and Genomatica in early 2013. The joint venture – with Versalis having the majority stake – has developed a complete process to make bio-BDE and plans to license the resulting technology.

The joint venture uses the proven and complementary strengths of both companies. Versalis and Genomatica together determined that 1,3-butanediol (1,3-BDO) was the most suitable intermediate to produce bio-BDE. Genomatica applied its ‘whole-process’ systems approach to bioengineering to develop a microorganism that produces 1,3-BDO in a way that enables cost-efficient, scalable fermentation, recovery and subsequent process operations. Versalis leverages its industrial process engineering and catalysis capabilities, plus expertise in overall polymer production, to purify the 1,3-BDO, dehydrate it and then purify the resulting butadiene. Versalis has produced several kilograms of butadiene from 1,3-BDO made in 200 liter fermenters at their research centers at Novara and Mantova, and then made bio-polybutadiene, at the Ravenna R&D centre, using both anionic and Ziegler-Natta catalysis.

Initial testing of the bio-BDE and bio-BR demonstrates good compatibility with industry standards. Versalis is continuing to test the bio-BDE within its other proprietary rubber and plastics downstream technologies such as SBR (Styrene-Butadiene Rubber), SBS (Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene Rubber) and ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene-Styrene).

The accomplishments demonstrate the common vision of the partners on the potential of this project: access to on-purpose butadiene from renewables will establish a competitive advantage and will ensure a strategic raw material from alternative feedstock, contributing at the same time to drive a greater sustainability profile for downstream applications in the plastics and rubber businesses.

Source: Genomatica

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

FKuR & Partners Promote Braskem’s Green PE for Sustainable Foodstuffs Packaging

The compounder and plastics distributor FKuR Kunststoff GmbH, Willich, Germany, the film manufacturer Oerlemans Plastics BV, Genderen, the Netherlands, and the specialist foodstuffs packaging distributor BK Pac AB, Kristianstad, Sweden, are closely working together on expanding the possibilities for using bio-based plastics for sustainable foodstuffs film packaging.

In this transnational cooperation project, bioplastics specialist FKuR is the distributor for the Green PE from the world-leading, Brazilian biopolymer manufacturer Braskem which is used to produce the film. This 100% recyclable, sugar cane-based polyethylene helps to reduce the environmental impact caused by greenhouse gases because using renewable raw materials binds up to 2.15 tons of atmospheric CO2 for each ton of Green PE. And since the plastic is not biodegradable, this CO2 remains bound in the plastic over the entire product life cycle.

In the next step, Oerlemans Plastics uses the Braskem bio-based PE supplied by FKuR in its two production sites in Genderen and Giessen in the Netherlands to produce high-quality flexible films. Thanks to its extensive, modern extrusion, printing and conversion facilities, the company can respond flexibly to changing requirements and supply customized solutions. The printed and perforated films produced from Green PE are sent to the Scandinavian distributor BK Pac, which specializes in packaging materials such as films, trays, bags, carton boxes etc. for vegetables, fruit, meat and other foodstuffs. Being a local company, BK is highly familiar with the requirements of its customers and the market and can therefore feed valuable information back into the value chain which can be used for further development and innovation.

Using Bio-based Green PE to Produce Sustainable Film Packaging for Fresh Vegetables
Since the introduction of the product line based on Braskem's Green PE, the three companies have been continuously working together on extending and further developing the line with the aim of promoting this bio-based plastic as a sustainable alternative on the Scandinavian market. As Patrick Zimmermann, Marketing & Distribution Manager at FKuR Kunststoff, says: "Our successful collaboration with Oerlemans Plastics and BK Pac is typical of our continuous search for ways of increasing product sustainability by using renewable resources. It is also a model for many further possible national and multinational cooperative projects. It clearly demonstrates the potential of such projects to conserve resources and help to maintain an environmental balance while at the same time generating economic benefits along the entire value chain by using Green PE."

Bioplastics are a unique class of materials which are based on renewable resources and/or enable the biodegradation of products made from these polymers. 

Source: FKuR Kunststoff GmbH 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

NASA’s ICESat-2 Satellite Carries 3D Printed PEKK Bracket

NASA’s follow-on to the successful ICESat mission will employ a never-before-flown technique for determining the topography of ice sheets and the thickness of sea ice, but that won’t be the only first for this mission.

Slated for launch in 2018, NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) also will carry a 3-D printed part made of polyetherketoneketone (PEKK), a material that has never been used in 3-D manufacturing, let alone flown in space.

“This is a first for this material,” said Craig Auletti, lead production engineer on ICESat-2’s only instrument, the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) now being built at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The part is a bracket that supports the instrument’s fiber-optic cables.

PEKK Offers Advantages

Instrument developers chose PEKK because it’s strong, but perhaps more important, it’s electrostatically dissipative — that is, it reduces the build up of static electricity to protect electrostatically sensitive devices.

It also produces very little outgassing, a chemical process similar to what happens when plastics and other materials release gas, producing, for example, the “new car smell” in vehicles. In a vacuum or under heated conditions, these outgassed contaminants can condense on and harm optical devices and thermal radiators, significantly degrading instrument performance.

Although 3-D or additive manufacturing is used to create a variety of products, so far, it remains a rare occurrence in spaceflight applications. In fact, the PEKK bracket is believed to be only the second 3-D manufactured part to be flown in a spaceflight instrument, said Oren Sheinman, the ATLAS mechanical systems engineer NASA Goddard.

Three-dimensional parts printed of Ultem 9085 were produced and flown on the International Space Station by the NASA Ames Research Center’s Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) program.

Additive or 3-D manufacturing is attractive because it offers a fast, low-cost alternative to traditional manufacturing. With additive manufacturing, a computer-operated device literally prints a solid object, layer by layer, using a high-power optic laser that melts and fuses powdered materials in precise locations using a 3-D CAD model. “Had we manufactured this part classically, it would have taken six to eight weeks. We got it in two days,” Sheinman said, adding that costs to the project were up to four times less than with a traditionally machined part.

ATLAS: A Technical Marvel

The bracket, however is just one of the mission’s firsts. ATLAS, itself, is a technical marvel, said ATLAS Instrument Scientist Tony Martino. It will be NASA’s first space-borne, photon-counting laser altimeter and is expected to usher in a new, more precise method for measuring surface elevations.

As with its predecessor, ICESat-2 is designed to measure changes in ice-sheet elevations in Greenland and the Antarctic, sea-ice thicknesses, and global vegetation. However, it will execute its mission using a never-before-flown technique.

ICESat, which ended operations in 2009, employed a single laser, which made it more difficult to measure changes in the elevation of an ice sheet. With a single beam, researchers couldn’t tell if the snowpack had melted or if the laser was slightly off and pointed down a hill. ICESat-2 overcomes those challenges by splitting the green-light laser into six beams, arranged in three pairs, firing continuously at a rapid 10,000 pulses per second toward Earth.

Unlike analog-laser altimetry, which uses analog detectors and digitizes the return signal, ICESat-2 will employ a technique called photon counting. Used in aircraft instruments, photon counting has not yet been used for altimetry in a spaceflight instrument. It more precisely records the time-of-flight of individual photons as they travel from the instrument, reflect off Earth’s surface, and then are detected as they return to the instrument’s detectors — measurements that scientists use to calculate Earth’s surface elevation.

Perhaps more important to scientists who want to know how the ice sheets change over time, the multiple beams will give scientists dense cross-track samples that will help them determine a surface’s slope, while the high-pulse rate will allow ATLAS to take measurements every 2.3 feet along the satellite’s ground path — all at a higher resolution due to the photon counting.

“This is one of the new capabilities,” Martino said. “We’re getting cross track slope every time the satellite passes over.” Furthermore, the satellite will pass over the same area every 90 days during ICESat-2’s three-year mission, giving scientists a very detailed multi-year snapshot of how the ice is changing.

“It’s almost completely built,” Martino said, adding that the spacecraft will fly on the last Delta II launch vehicle. “All functional parts are there and our first comprehensive testing starts in February. We’re on track.”

Source: NASA