Saturday, April 30, 2016

DSM Introduces Stanyl HGR1 to Reduce Frictional Torque in Automobile Engine Timing Systems

Royal DSM, one of the global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials, has launched an innovative new high performance material based on Stanyl® polyamide 46. This new material, Stanyl HGR1, reduces frictional torque in automobile engine timing systems and will provide OEMs with a very cost-effective tool for reducing fuel consumption.

Automobile makers are constantly trying to improve the torque they can obtain from their engines, so that they can reduce engine capacity - and hence fuel consumption - without loss of mechanical performance. (Torque is the tendency of a force to rotate an object about an axis, and in engines it is closely related to horsepower.) Their strategy includes reducing frictional torque, which is the negative force caused when a rotating object moves against another surface.

Part of the frictional torque arises in engine timing systems when the timing chain moves over an element that keeps it under tension. This chain tensioner is often injection molded in polyamide 66, but increasingly this material is being replaced by DSM’s Stanyl PA46, owing to its improved performance, both in terms of mechanical properties, as well as its frictional and wear characteristics.

DSM has continued to work on developments to improve the properties of Stanyl PA 46 for use in chain tensioners. Stanyl HGR1 and the next generation Stanyl HGR2, which will be introduced soon, offer further enhancements in friction reduction. Extensive tests have proven that chain tensioners in Stanyl HGR1 produce lower frictional torque than any other material at relatively low engine speeds ranging from idle to 1800 rpm. HGR1 also performed well at vehicle cruise speeds.

Stanyl HGR1 polyamide 46-based material has already made its market debut on the latest version of the Pentastar V6 engine, built by Fiat Chrysler America (FCA) and fitted to numerous vehicles. The new material reduces frictional torque in the Pentastar engine timing system, helping reduce fuel consumption in a highly cost-effective way.

Source: DSM

Saturday, April 23, 2016

NatureWorks & Metalvuoto Launch High Barrier Ingeo-based Flexible Film for Long Shelf Life

 NatureWorks and Metalvuoto announced a new generation of high barrier Ingeo-based flexible substrates designed to keep processed foods fresh on store shelves. While Ingeo film has been used for years in fresh food packaging, this is the first application for longer shelf life foods that are increasingly packaged in flat, stand up, or squared bottom pouches.

The introduction comes in response to a strong interest from the flexible packaging market in packaging simplification, with brands looking to move from complex multilayer laminates to simpler packaging solutions without compromising shelf life. The Metalvuoto film allows using a two-layer pouch with performance matching that of three-layer pouches.

This New Ingeo-based Film from Metalvuoto Provides High Oxygen and Water Vapor Barrier Properties Which are Ideal for Shelf Stable Food Packaging.
Fig. 1:
This New Ingeo-based Film from Metalvuoto Provides High Oxygen and Water Vapor Barrier Properties Which are Ideal for Shelf Stable Food Packaging.

Gianni Costanzo, Metalvuoto Executive Director, explained, “Until now, the flexible packaging industry has grown up around the use of multi-material laminates because no one material was able to provide multiple functionality. For example, brand owners often use an aluminum layer for barrier, a PET layer for external aesthetics, and an internal PE layer for heat-seal ability. Now, we have used the Metalvuoto Oxaqua coating technology with an Ingeo base film to replace two layers of different materials with one layer that simultaneously provides excellent barrier and heat-seal ability.”

The new film, which Metalvuoto terms “Ingeo Propylester©”, has barrier properties of less than 0.75 cc/m2/24hr for oxygen and 2.5 g/m2/24hr for water vapor1. This provides a significantly better oxygen barrier than metallized biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP). Barrier performance is compared in the figure below against a range of materials normally considered for use in flexible packaging markets.

This New Film Allows Using a Two-layer Pouch with Performance Matching That of Three-layer Pouches for Simpler Packaging. These two Layer Pouches are 100 Percent Bio-based.
Fig. 2:
This New Film Allows Using a Two-layer Pouch with Performance Matching That of Three-layer Pouches for Simpler Packaging. These two Layer Pouches are 100 Percent Bio-based.

Metalvuoto’s Ingeo-based film provides good seal strength (>80 g/cm2), eliminating the need for an additional sealant layer and enabling a structural package simplification. Costanzo said that Metalvuoto expects strong interest from the market in two-layer structures in which the Ingeo and Oxaqua biocoating technology are combined with paper to provide a fully biobased performance package at a cost competitive with current three-layer structures.

Ingeo Propylester is well suited for food packaging in both horizontal and vertical form-fill-seal applications, and has demonstrated good process ability. In testing on pouch making machines, 30 to 40 units per minute were produced, depending on the type of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper pouch – flat, stand up, or square bottom.

Metalvuoto is giving a presentation on the new possibilities this technology offers for the pouch market at Innovation Takes Root, the global Ingeo users’ forum, March 30 – April 1 in Orlando, Florida.

Source: NatureWorks LLC 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Metabolix Enters into MOU with CJ CheilJedang to Construct PHA Production Unit

Metabolix, one of the advanced biomaterials companies focused on sustainable solutions for the plastics industry, announced that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with CJ CheilJedang Corporation (“CJ”) for a strategic commercial manufacturing arrangement for specialty PHAs, including the Company’s newly launched amorphous PHA (“a-PHA”). Under the non-binding MOU, the companies have agreed to work together toward the successful conclusion of definitive agreements under which CJ will fund, construct and operate a 10 kilo ton PHA production unit at CJ’s Fort Dodge, Iowa facility based on Metabolix’s PHA technology. Under the contemplated definitive agreements, Metabolix will buy the specialty PHAs produced at the Fort Dodge facility from CJ, and market and sell the materials to its commercial customers. The companies also expect to define a framework for longer term expansion of the collaboration for larger scale PHA production and related commercial activities.

In late 2015 and early 2016, Metabolix and CJ undertook a comprehensive feasibility study and assessment of CJ’s Fort Dodge facility as a potential site for specialty PHA production. With the successful conclusion of the feasibility study and engineering plans, CJ is finalizing a detailed budget for the capital investment needed to establish 10 KT of annual PHA capacity on the site and the two companies are turning their attention to the definitive agreements for the project. 

The MOU with CJ provides a path to establishing the first tranche of commercial production capacity for our specialty PHA biopolymer materials,” said Joseph Shaulson, president and CEO of Metabolix. 

Source: Metabolix 

Prince Introduces Oxeon’s TeXtreme® CF-reinforced Squash Racquets

Prince® Global Sports is raising the bar once again with its newest squash collection featuring TeXtreme® technology. Prince practically set the squash world on fire when it entered the squash market for the first time in 1984, and the company has continued to innovate ever since in developing industry-leading racquets with proven game-changing capabilities.

Prince has introduced a completely new line of squash racquets, with five of the new models incorporating groundbreaking TeXtreme® technology into the head of the racquet. TeXtreme® is an innovative, light and ultra-strong carbon fiber material with superior stability that delivers increased power and greater precision control for squash players.
Prince Introduces Oxeon’s TeXtreme® CF-reinforced Squash Racquets
“Prince is excited about the development of the new TeXtreme® collection. We’re confident this line of racquets will help us to continue not only meeting the needs of every squash player at every level, but more importantly helping all players play better squash,” says Jon Ballardie, VP of Global Squash at Prince Global Sports. “Prince is a company built upon pushing the boundaries of innovation for over 40 years, and with each and every technological advancement we have enhanced the performance of players of all ages and abilities. Our new TeXtreme® collection is further proof of our ongoing commitment to innovation.”

TeXtreme® is based on spreading tows (yarns) into tapes that are weaved into a fabric. The fabric produced is much thinner than conventional carbon fiber fabrics, with straighter fibers that optimize and strengthen the composite while delivering lighter weight. Positioned in the upper hoop of the racquet at the 10 and 2 o'clock positions, TeXtreme® reduces racquet head frame deformation. This results in superior torsional stability upon impact, creating a larger sweet spot for unparalleled power, response and accuracy for all squash players.

Source: Oxeon 

3DLI Offers Customized 3D Printed Sitar

You can now get your very own custom 3D printed sitar with genuine strings, frets and bridge from 3DLI. Professionally tested, these sitars provide great tonal quality and resonance characteristics.

The 3DLI team was requested by the Mat Creedon School of Music to 3D print this sitar as an exploration of sound. “We were interested to pursue this challenge to validate that a stringed musical instrument as unique as a sitar could be 3D printed whilst maintaining its distinct sound quality and tonal qualities” 3DLI team.

3D Printed Sitar
The sitar body was reverse engineered and drawn in CAD (computer aided design) software. This model was then 3D printed into individual body parts and welded together to provide the strongest bond, while maintaining the wall thicknesses and hollow cavities of the original sitar. 3DLI also used traditional bridges, frets and strings, required to create the distinct quality of the sitar buzz.

Source: 3DLI