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Solar Energy Trends Pushing Renewable Energy Forward
By Don Rosato
Most people no longer ask whether solar energy will be a success, the question is now rather which forms of photovoltaics, or PV, will be successful. PV will become cost competitive with a significant portion of new total electricity generation worldwide by 2020. In 2015, for the second straight year, solar PV was the leading source of new electricity capacity installed, beating out wind, gas, coal and nuclear. This trend is expected to continue as solar installed costs continue to fall.
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Improved Processability of Linear Low-Density Polyethylene Copolymers
SPE Plastics Research Online
Blown film and cast film extrusion are the two most common techniques used worldwide for producing flexible thin films for packaging applications. However, in these extrusion processes, industrial production rates are limited by flow instabilities that perturb the profile of the extrudate. These arise when a molten polymer is extruded through a die at a throughput exceeding a critical value, and ‘melt fracture’ occurs.
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Date Event More Information
Aug. 31-Sept. 2 SPE Thermoforming Conference® 2015 Information
Sept. 8-11 Foams 2015 and Tutorial Registration
Sept. 9-11 SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition Registration
Sept. 15-17 Plastics Caps & Closures: The Innovation End Game Information
Oct. 4-6 CAD RETEC 2015 Information
Oct. 4-7 Automotive TPO Conference 2015 Information
Oct. 12-14 Blow Molding Conference 2015 Information
Oct. 13-15 Vinyltec 2015 "Enabling Technologies for the Future in the PVC Industry" Registration
Oct. 25-28 FlexPackCon 2015 Registration
Oct. 28-30 GPS2015: The Global Plastics Summit Information



More Must Be Done to Overcome the Challenges to Reshoring
Despite reports that reshoring efforts are bringing manufacturing back to the US, the manufacturing sector is still seeing a net deficit of jobs since the recession. And more must be done to facilitate the reshoring of jobs from places like Mexico and China, according to a blog post on the website of The Rodon Group, a U.S. injection molder.
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Color-Changing Polymer-Based Material Could Help Detect Traumatic Brain Injuries
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a new polymer-based material that is capable of changing colors based on the speed of impact inflicted on it to detect risk of brain damage. It is hoped that these polymers will one day be incorporated into helmets and other head gear so that, when struck, the level of risk of brain damage will be immediately clear.
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Perfect Source for Plastics Additives

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China Responds to US Investigation of Chinese PET Resins
Plastics News
A spokesman from China’s Ministry of Commerce said Beijing is “paying close attention” to the U.S. government’s handling of the antidumping and countervailing duties case of PET resins imported from China. The U.S. Department of Commerce on Aug. 10 announced its preliminary decisions in the countervailing duty investigations of PET resins from China. It posted in the Federal Register calculated subsidy rates for each Chinese exporter, ranging from 4.27 percent to 18.88 percent.
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'Safe' Plastics Leach Toxins When They Break Down
Trace amounts of toxic substances used to make plastics don’t contaminate the food or beverages they contain and pose no immediate threat to consumers, according to new research from Ohio State University. That’s the good news. The bad news is those plastic products may cause health concerns decades after they’ve been used and thrown in the trash bin. Toxic materials such as heavy metals leach out of the plastic as the products decay over a span of years, creating “end-of-life” problems. If the plastics make their way to a landfill or a body of water, for instance, the heavy metals they contain may pollute drinking water.
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A Buying Spree for Moldmakers
Plastics Engineering
Now that the global economy is finally starting to put the financial crisis behind it, confidence is returning to many industrial sectors. The moldmaking industry is no exception — with this renewed confidence predicted to fuel a buying spree. According to a survey conducted last year by Gardner Business Media, a U.S. publishing company, moldmaking companies expect to increase their spending on production equipment by over 30 percent this year compared to 2014, up to $500 million.
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Beer in Plastic Bottles? Mitsubishi Plastics Works to Make it Happen
The Wall Street Journal
A Japanese company has taken a small step forward in solving one long-standing problem for brewers: The inability to sell beer in plastic bottles. Mitsubishi Plastics Inc., said it has reached an agreement to provide 1-liter plastic bottles to Kirin Co. The bottles include a special coating to prevent the quality of their contents from deteriorating.
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Polymer Points: Most Resins Take Summer Vacation
Plastics News
Maybe it was the summer heat or the lure of an exotic vacation. Whatever it was, polypropylene and solid polystyrene were the only two North American commodity resin markets to show any movement in July. Regional PP prices dipped a penny per pound as solid PS prices shot up 6 cents per pound. Prices for polyethylene, PVC and PET bottle resin maintained their June levels, although some PET buyers saw part of the 3-cent June increase take hold in July.
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3-D Printing Makes Inroads In Injection Molding
Plastics Today
3-D printing is an exponential innovation. Regular breakthroughs in 3-D printer speed, resolution, cost and reliability demonstrate the potential not only for scale but also for unlocking new possibilities. Coupled with a fast-evolving range of printable materials, 3-D printing is expanding into traditional manufacturing processes and being used for tools, molds, tool masters and end-use parts.
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NASA Wants to Turn Human Waste into Plastic and Vitamins
When tomorrow’s astronauts feel the call of nature, they may be engaging in an act of creation. NASA recently awarded roughly $200,000 to researchers at Clemson University to figure out how to turn human waste into usable products, including vitamins and plastics.
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Disclaimer: The SPE Industry Update is a digest of the most important news selected for the Society of Plastics Engineers from thousands of sources by the editors of MultiBriefs. Neither MultiBriefs nor the Society of Plastics Engineers is responsible for opinions or statements of facts expressed in the articles referenced in SPE Industry Update. Advertising appearing in SPE Industry Update is not to be taken as an endorsement, expressed or implied, of the respective company's processes, products or services represented in the ad.

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