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Home   Membership   Technical Resources   Events   Technical Groups   Online Store Oct. 27, 2010

Molecular mimicry: Plastic, steel line up like kin
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Frank Bates didn't start out expecting to find a fundamental property of nature, but that's what he may have done. Bates is a chemical engineer and materials scientist at the University of Minnesota. He makes block copolymers — a kind of plastic. Copolymer means they're made from two different plastics, the end product having the best properties of both. "We had synthesized these molecules and wanted to know how they were organized down at the molecule scale," says Bates. More


SPE invites young professionals to "virtual" career forum
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Utilizing online event technology, SPE will present its first-ever Young Professionals Career Forum on Feb. 2, 2011. Students and young professionals seeking careers in the plastics industry are invited to participate in this online, full-day event. Webinars on practical skills, such as interviewing and the art of negotiation, will be presented. Companies are sought as sponsors and participants in the online job fair.

SPE will follow up this forum with a series of activities for students and young professionals during ANTEC 2011 in Boston.

Questions? Interested in attending as a participant or sponsor? Contact Elizabeth Reagan at

SPE extends Member-Get-A-Member campaign through Dec. 31
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SPE members still have time to recruit or refer their colleagues for SPE membership as part of the 2010 Member-Get-A-Member Campaign (MGAM). The Society is asking all current members to encourage at least one colleague to join SPE by Dec. 31. By referring potential new members, you'll receive your choice of rewards, including up to one full year of SPE membership. Your SPE Section or Division can also benefit. When a new member joins SPE through MGAM, the Section and Division they join receive $25 bonuses. More

Affiliated with SPE but interested in more? Become a member! Join SPE today!

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Consolidation and fracture of self-reinforced polypropylene composites
SPE Plastics Research Online    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Polypropylene is one of the most widely used polymers in the automotive industry. It is tough and flexible but has to be filled and reinforced to compete with engineering plastics. To improve its properties, glass fiber is commonly used. Nevertheless, recycling of PP-GF composites is difficult, especially when energetic recycling is targeted. Reprocessing through melt compounding is accompanied by substantial property losses because of breakage of the reinforcing GF. Therefore, development of recycling-friendly thermoplastic composites is receiving top priority. Self-reinforced PP composites (SRPPCs)—or ‘all-PP’ composites—are an easy-to-recycle alternative, because both reinforcement and matrix are made from the same polymer, so they have identical chemical structures but different melting temperatures. More


Dickten Masch is breaking the plastics mold
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If everyone was rebounding like Dickten Masch Plastics LLC, the economy would be springing back smartly. Led by a CEO one industry observer describes as aggressive and willing to turn off the beaten path, the Nashotah-based molder has increased employment by nearly 50 percent in less than two years. Revenue growth is strong too. The firm expects to finish 2010 at $50 million, up a healthy $10 million over 2009. More

MBA Polymers raises $25 million for recycling plastics
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Recycling engineering plastics company MBA Polymers announced it has raised $25 million in equity funding, which includes the $6.6 million it had raised as of September. The money will go towards funding the company's existing operations and supporting its new factories in Europe and Asia. The company recovers plastics from recycled materials. It squeezes recyclable plastic out of just about every imaginable thing — cars, cell phones, computers, household appliances and plastic-rich shredded materials from durable goods. More

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American moldmakers still sound optimistic
Plastics Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The fall 2010 Business Forecast Survey of the American Mold Builders Association reveals that the economic recovery has been sustained over the past three months as business continues getting better for a majority of respondents. The quarterly survey revealed that current business conditions improved significantly over the previous three months, with 15 percent of the respondents saying that business is "excellent"—up six percentage points from 9 percent of the respondents in the summer 2010 survey. More

Microorganisms present renewable path to nylon forerunners
Modern Plastics Worldwide    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With two additional patents in hand, Genomatica says it's securing the intellectual property around a greener path to nylon. The first patent, awarded from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, described microorganisms for the production of adipic acid and other compounds, creating a renewable path to key intermediate chemicals used to produce nylon. More
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Rising crude oil prices inflate plastic makers' production costs
Business Daily Africa    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Plastic manufacturers in Africa are digging deeper into their pockets to buy raw materials due to a sustained rally in the price of crude oil. Crude has been on a 12 percent upswing over the last four months, from $74 per barrel in June to $83 per barrel now. "More than 75 percent of our raw materials are based on petroleum hence we have seen a significant rise in our cost of inputs," said Satish Shah, director Eslon Plastics of Kenya Ltd. More

A. Schulman to acquire Brazilian plastics maker
The Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A. Schulman Inc., which makes plastic compounds and resins for consumer and automotive markets, said it has agreed to acquire Brazilian plastics maker Mash Compostos Plasticos. Akron-based A. Schulman did not disclose terms of the transaction, which is expected to close on Nov. 3. More

Now plastic from milk protein and clay
Sify    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Scientists have reported development of a new ultra-light bio-degradable foam plastic material made from two unlikely ingredients — the protein in milk and ordinary clay. The American Chemical Society said the news comes amid ongoing concern about plastic waste accumulating in municipal landfills causing environmental pollution and reliance on imported oil to make plastics. More

Positive outlook for southern African plastic packaging sector
Food Production Daily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Increasing demand from the emerging middle class and the growing food and beverage sectors will drive growth for plastic packaging in southern Africa, according to a report from Frost & Sullivan. Growing affluence among the region's population has "significantly spurred" growth in the plastics packaging sector, said the research from the market analysts. The study - Southern African Plastics Packaging Market - covers linear low-density polyethylene, high-density polyethylene, polystyrene, polypropylene and polyethylene terephthalate for the period 2006-2016 in South Africa, Botswana and Zambia. More

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North American polystyrene prices rising, but PET bottle resin falling
Plastics News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
North American market prices for solid polystyrene and PET bottle resin are moving in different directions. Soild PS prices in the region bumped up an average of 2 cents in September, while regional prices for PET bottle resin have slid an average of 5 cents per pounds since July 1, according to buyers contacted recently by Plastics News. More

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