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New metals are moldable like plastic
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New forms of metal can be turned into complex shapes easily and inexpensively like plastic but retain the metals' strength and durability, U.S. researchers say. Materials scientists as Yale University say some recently developed bulk metallic glasses — alloys with randomly arranged atoms rather than ordinary metals' rigid, orderly structure — can be blow molded like plastics into complex shapes that can't be achieved using regular metal but without sacrificing any of the metals' characteristic strength. More



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An improved approach to simulating resin-transfer molding
SPE Plastics Research Online    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Resin-transfer molding is one of the most efficient and attractive techniques for manufacturing advanced, fiber-reinforced composite materials ranging from small and simple to large and highly structurally complex objects. Experimental RTM optimization is costly and time consuming, so computer simulations have become a cost-effective tool. Nevertheless, a major barrier impeding applications of RTM simulations is the significant computation times required. Thus, methods that speed up computation time are urgently needed and may potentially even facilitate 3D RTM simulations. More


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PLASTICS INDUSTRY NEWS


Dow Chemical repackages plastics in new division
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Dow Chemical Co. will fold its plastics business into a new unit that will also oversee sales to packaging and cable customers. The new Performance Plastics unit will focus on customers in the personal hygiene, food, telecommunications and other highly profitable sectors, Dow said recently. More

Plastic is the fastest-growing pipe material through 2015
Plastics Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Plastic pipe will be the fastest-growing pipe material through 2015, continuing to steadily take share from competing materials in a range of markets, according to a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm. More

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Higher oil slippery slope for consumer goods market
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The uphill climb for consumer goods makers to improve sales and profits is getting more slippery, as higher oil prices add to costs and also cut into budgets people have for shopping. The surge in oil prices is the latest blow for businesses that are already being hit by soaring ingredient costs, as consumer spending on everyday items remains weak, executives said. More

RTD in Denver to try out recycled-plastic railroad ties on light-rail line
The Denver Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
RTD is dropping a little bit of "green" into 12 miles of gray on its $710 million West Corridor light-rail line. The Regional Transportation District is using about 40,000 concrete railroad ties on the train line that will serve Lakewood and Golden from downtown Denver. The transit agency also is putting about 200 ties made from recycled plastic in the area of the track bed immediately before and after bridges on the West line. More
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Global demand for plastics rises
PR Newswire    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Demand for plastics in South Africa is rising, but imports from Asia and the Middle East could satisfy much of the growth in this market. A report from Frost & Sullivan, "Production and Investment Forecasts in the South African Chemicals Industry," estimates that the country's chemical industry generated sales of $21.67 billion in 2009. The report attributes growing demand for chemicals, particularly plastics, to the nation's mining, automotive, agricultural and construction industries. More

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The truth about US manufacturing
The Wall Street Journal via the American Enterprise Institute    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Is American manufacturing dead? You might think so reading most of the nation's editorial pages or watching the endless laments in the news that "nothing is made in America anymore," and that our manufacturing jobs have vanished to China, Mexico and South Korea. Yet, the empirical evidence tells a different story — of a thriving and growing U.S. manufacturing sector, and a country that remains by far the world's largest manufacturer. More

US film and bag recycling rate slowly on the increase
Plastics News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Plastic bag and film recycling is still increasing, but very slowly. The rate of growth in plastic bag and film recycling in 2009 was 2.64 percent, according to data released Feb. 28 by the plastics division of the American Chemistry Council. That’s a higher increase than in 2008 when the growth rate was virtually stagnant at more than 0.25 percent, but just marginally higher than in 2007 when the amount of material collected increased by 2.24 percent. More



UK environmental study backs PE carrier bags
European Plastics News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.K. government's Environment Agency has released a long-awaited report that says single-use polyethylene grocery bags have a lower carbon footprint than alternative paper or reusable bags in most usage scenarios. The report was released last week after a Feb. 20 article in a U.K. newspaper alleged that the U.K. government was suppressing its findings. More


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