Archive for March, 2011
Published: March 25th, 2011
Multimillion-dollar CT scan and MRI equipment play a key role in the world-class healthcare typically enjoyed by citizens residing in developed economies, but when it comes to deploying the same technologies in emerging markets, every little bit of cost that can be saved could make such equipment more accessible to more people. To this end, plastics definitely have a key role to play.
This was highlighted in a presentation by Jayashree Satagopan, general manager of Global Sourcing South Asian at GE Healthcare (Bangalore, India), at the recent Precision Engineering Business Forum held alongside the MTA 2011 show in Singapore.
Initially, efforts at GE Healthcare focused on simplifying metal fabrication processes to reduce costs, for example using sheet fabrication instead of casting for an MRI unit gantry. Another example of cost reduction is the use of turret punching instead of laser cutting for generator covers. But Satagopan noted that plastic materials and technologies such as injection molding and thermoforming are where a lot of cost-cutting opportunities await. “Even at annual production volumes of 3000-4000 units, we can still consider injection and RIM as viable processes,” says Satagopan. (more…)
A nearly 30 cents/lb spread in the price of PET and HDPE blow molding could lead some PET converters to switch to HDPE, several sources said Friday.
“The spread is very wide now, we’ll have to see if switching happens,” a PET producer said.
PET prices were not settled for March but were likely to be around 92-93 cents/lb, and likely would go up again in April due to higher paraxylene prices. PET producers have issued 5 cents/lb price hikes for April on an expected climb in the PX contract.
HDPE blow molding prices for the largest volume converters were heard to be in the low 60′s cents/lb delivered in February. Prices for March were not set with negotiations centering around a possible 2 cents/lb price increase.
Asked if he had seen any converters make the switch a distributor said, “Not yet, but I am sure some will do it.”
LUBBOCK, USA (Commodity Online): India has achieved remarkable growth of 367% in textile non-wovens in the past five years, according to Ian Butler, Director of Market Research of the USA-based Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA). In a telephonic interview Ian Butler said India has witnessed phenomenal growth in the nonwoven sector in recent past. This sector is expected to grow at a rapid rate. Butler estimates India’s nonwoven production to be about 125,000 to 140,000 metric tons. He stated although he has not undertaken the market research, through sources he estimates India’s production to be in the above range. (more…)
McAirlaid’s has announced operations will commence on the first airlaid machine at its Virginia facility in autumn 2011. The company has manufacturing sites in Germany and the US, serving customers in the hygiene, food packaging, medical and filtration markets.
The McAirlaid’s Group is presenting its airlaid fabrics, produced using a patented bonding system that does not require glues or binder fibres, at INDEX 11. According to the manufacturer, this bonding system offers unbeatable absorbency, superior wicking and fluid distribution.
INDEX 11 will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from April 12-15.
Kraton Performance Polymers, a producer of styrenic block copolymers (SBCs), is to present its latest elastic nonwovens, Nexar polymers and C5 resin alternatives for adhesives at INDEX 11, next month.
Developed for single-use disposables and durable fabrics, Kraton Polymers’ elastic nonwovens are engineered to offer softness, bi-axial stretch and solid durability. Suitable for high speed processing, the fabric is drapeable and non-tacky, as the polymers impart the stretch and flexibility needed for personal care products, said Kraton Polymers.
The polymers are intended for scrub suit apparel, medical gown laminates and wound care dressings. They can also be paired with polyester and nylon uniforms, outdoor apparel and furnishings.
Nexar Polymers are nonporous, selectively permeable membranes and coatings intended for high performance, breathable fabrics. They can be used in sports and outdoor apparel, as well as military and industrial uniforms, medical and geotextile applications. The Nexar polymers are engineered to deliver an excellent moisture transmission rate, providing high strength in wet and dry environments, as well as chemical and chlorine resistance. (more…)
By Mike Verespej | PLASTICS NEWS STAFF
NEW ORLEANS (March 10, 1:45 p.m. ET) — Although the plastic recycling industry has only officially put its support the past few years behind expansion of existing bottle deposit laws, more than four out of five plastic reclaimers believe that extended producer responsibility programs — prevalent in Europe and spreading throughout Canada — are beneficial to plastics recycling and should be pursued.
In addition, 76 percent support container deposit legislation and 62 percent support single-stream collection, although the level of support for those two initiatives differs among PET and high density polyethylene reclaimers, according to the fifth annual survey of plastics reclaimers by Plastics Recycling Update, a publication of Resource Recycling Inc.
The survey results were unveiled on the second day of the 2011 Plastics Recycling Conference in New Orleans, held March 1-2.
The high levels of support for initiatives that could increase the amount of supply may reflect the growing concern of reclaimers who continue to see more than half of the recycled PET bottles and almost 25 percent of the HDPE containers exported to China, even as end markets in the U.S. are expanding. (more…)
A Belgium-coordinated research project, part-funded by the European Union, has developed new ways of introducing enzymes into textile materials to give them special biotechnological properties.
Headed by the University of Ghent, the BIOTIC project (biotechnical functionalisation of (bio)polymeric textile surfaces) worked on modifying and functionalising polyethylene terephthalate (PET) textile materials by altering their chemo-enzymatic surfaces and incorporating biocatalysts into the fibres.
A European Commission note said: “BIOTIC has worked on…specific knowledge and technologies to create biotech-modified textile materials with unique properties, such as tissue engineering.”
Swedish manufacturer Innventia has opened the world’s first pilot plant for the large-scale production of nanocellulose.
Located in Stockholm, it is estimated the facility will produce 100kg of nanocellulose per day, a step towards the industrialisation of the process.
Whereas previously the production was found to be too energy-consuming to be commercialised, Innventia has reduced energy consumption by a total of 98%, a saving of 29,000 kWh per tonne.
Derived from wood fibres nanocellulose is a renewable, light weight material said to possess the strength characteristics of Kevlar. (more…)
Teijin has established the technology to mass produce carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) for the automobile industry, which can be moulded in less than a minute.
Conventional CFRP, manufactured using thermosetting resins, requires at least five minutes to be moulded and so has been limited to use in high-end vehicles, said Teijin.
As an alternative to conventional thermosetting resin, Teijin has also developed three new intermediate materials by impregnating carbon fibre with a thermoplastic resin.
These include a unidirectional intermediate, an isotropic intermediate designed to offer shape flexibility and multidirectional strength, and a long-fibre thermoplastic pellet suited for injection moulding of complex parts. (more…)