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AIPMA Office Breares 2012-2013 AIPMA Fast track Finance AIPMA Plastic Parks AIPMA MOU with SIDBI Save through AIPMA Insurance MOU 9th Plastivision India 2013. AIPMA WFO Never mind carrier bags, if it wasn't for plastic... It’s alive! Researchers reverse engineer jellyfish using silicone and rat cells Does your machine have a secret screw recovery timer? Fuel from plastic waste to power long-distance flight MSME Ministry to set up Rs 100 cr Innovation Fund Self-healing Elastomers stop microcracks
Coke recycling plant uses Sortex equipment
InVivo may use 463D printers to make spinal scaffolds
BPF says the world has plentiful oil reserves Agency approves recycling processes for food-contact
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Ferry designs 5-axis CNC Speedmill EC ranks countries by waste management skills Illinois governor vetoes plastic bag law Made in America: clothesline pulleys
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China continues to rein in plastic recycling with new policies libratone portable wireless speaker series How to make money from plastic recycling Artificial corneas rely on specially developed plastics Continuing bans, bashing and trashing of plastic, has SPE’s CEO speaking out Army tests new stethoscope using Doppler—not sound
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Never mind carrier bags, if it wasn't for plastic... Apropos of nothing, the concept of plastics as a replacement for other materials has been around for years. Decades. Centuries, perhaps. I once read a novel where the main character was described appreciatively running his fingers along the interior of a car he’d just hired, only to find that it wasn’t leather, as he had thought, but plastic. The novel’s author had the character utter an expletive – which I won’t repeat here – to underline the contempt he felt for one of the leading cons of the modern era. I expect there are lots of people who feel the same way: they’d rather have wood window frames rather than plastic ones; leather car upholstery instead of the plastic variety; metallic parts in their motorbikes rather than plastic; the rucksacks they carry when they go camping to be made of redoubtable canvas, etc, ad nauseum. But the world is changing. Environmental considerations and demand from sectors such as aerospace, medical, automotive and so on mean technological advances in materials are gathering pace and resulting in what only a few short years ago would have seemed impossible. Better, cheaper products whose core ingredient is, effectively, plastic. Then there’s the really high-end stuff, the carbon fibre parts, the composites, the technologies that are pushing the boundaries of what designers and manufacturers are capable of offering to the wider world. For many the use of plastic is the price we pay for living with declining resources. We want lighter cars and more economical aircraft and medical products that not only save lives but make day-to-day living for those with treatable conditions more bearable, more enjoyable.
We want household and leisure products that stand the test of time. The list is endless. Plastics can cater for all these things and more. Which is why the debate about plastic bags sometimes seems to me so… inconsequential. I’ve banged on about this before and I’ll bang on about it again. It’s all about the message. Maybe we should have a day, like St George's or St Patrick's, dedicated to the wonderment that is brought into our lives by our favourite material. What do you reckon? Many people don’t want to listen and don’t want to know that plastics give us the opportunities and the potential to make the world a better place, because in their minds plastic simply equates to the nasty, polluting, supermarket carrier bag. But I think they should be told, over and over again, what else it brings, until the message eventually sinks in. Don’t you?
Itâ€™s alive! Researchers reverse engineer jellyfish using silicone and rat cells Could a reverse-engineered jellyfish, fabricated from silicone and rat cardiac cells, signify the emergence of a new class engineered organs and organisms? A team of researchers at Harvard University and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) aligned rat muscle cells to a silicone substrate in a defined surface pattern as part of a successful bid to reverse engineer a medusa jellyfish. Their goal? Creating a design that mimics muscular pumps in nature, with the jellyfish's contraction and movement closely mirroring another muscular pump, the human heart. Dubbed the Medusoid, the researchers called the artificial organism a "test tube jellyfish" and described their methodology in a paper published in Nature Biotechnology on July 22. The team went through four design iterations, utilizing what it called a "fabrication mold", to form the Medusoid. Ultimately, the design consisted of a sheet of cultured rat heart muscle tissue that would contract when electrically stimulated in a liquid environment, in addition to a silicone polymer that forms the body of the artificial creature. The result is a thin membrane that resembles a small jellyfish, with eight arm-like appendages. Measuring 1 centimeter in diameter, the Medusoid was able to simulate the "slow recoil" of muscular pumps in nature, by aligning the rat cells in a specific pattern on the silicone membrane.
Article coauthor Kevin Kit Parker described the reach of the project in a video posted on the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) web site. "As engineers, we are very comfortable with building things out of steel, copper, concrete," Parker said. "I think of cells as another kind of building substrate, but we need rigorous quantitative design specs to move tissue engineering to a reproducible type of engineering." Parker collaborated on the project with Janna Nawroth, a doctoral student in biology at Caltech and lead author of the study, as well as Nawroth's adviser, John Dabiri, a professor of aeronautics and bioengineering at Caltech, who is an expert in biological propulsion.
Does your machine have a secret screw recovery timer? Since my last article reviewed a subject covering a fundamental of a robust process, I decided to continue with that theme and cover screw-recovery time. You might think screw-recovery time should be rather simple to set. We could throw out general statements such as "screw-recovery time should be set to finish recovering moments before the mold opens" and leave it at that. Most of the time this would probably work, but this doesn't always hold true. Unless you have performed studies on the recovery time, you might not be aware of the following: Some machine manufacturers have a built-in timer that delays the mold opening for up to three seconds after the screw has recovered. Want to know why? So do I! To top it off, those same manufacturers don't always inform us of this delay. But regardless of why, as long as processors are aware of it, we can deal with it. There is a simple study that can be done to ensure that the cooling time is not bound by the screw-recovery time. This study should be completed at the start of process development. Once you have a mold cycling, and you have identified a cooling time long enough to eject parts without distortion, screw RPMs should be set so the dosage is completed 0.50 second before the end cooling time.
Back pressure should be set to mimic where you intend to run it in production; I recommend a good starting point to be the low end of the material manufacturer's recommendation. At this RPM setting, record the cycle time, typically giving the process three to four shots to ensure it stays consistent. Then increase the RPMs by 10%, and once again record the cycle time. Repeat these steps until the cycle time stops decreasing. If your cycle time does not change after the two data points, there is no need to continue, because your machine does not have any built-in delays. If you see a change in cycle time, complete the study to determine the delay time. Based on this example, the processor knows that there is a three-second delay programmed into the machine. To ensure that our process remains repeatable, screw-recovery must be completed three second before mold opening. The reason we want to perform this study is because of the normal variation we see in screw-recovery times.
Allowing the cooling time to be dependent on the screw-recovery time is not ideal because of the recovery variation, which will ultimately result in shot-to-shot cooling time variation. This example of screw-recovery time shows how much variation can exist shot-toshot. If this variation is not identified, you might struggle to keep part dimensions consistent. After the study is complete, you will want to review the parts once again to ensure that no distortion is present, and the parts are ejecting freely. You will also want to review the material manufacturer's RPM recommendations to ensure you are still within the range recommended. Unfortunately machine manufacturers don't always inform the processor of all the hidden settings in an injection molding machine. But understanding them is absolutely key to a robust, repeatable process. About the Author: Robert P. Gattshall has worked 17 years in the automotive and medical injection molding industries, including 12 years in process engineering and process development. Certified in John Bozzelli's Scientific Injection Moldingfor more than 10 years, Gattshall has developed more than 600 processes using scientific injection molding principles. Certified in Lean 5S and SMED, Gattshall has also trained more than 50 process technicians and engineers on the principles of decoupled molding. No secret screw recovery here ************************
Fuel from plastic waste to power long-distance flight SYDNEY -- A light aircraft powered by fuel made from waste plastic will attempt to enter the record books. Pilot Jeremy Rowsell will fly from Sydney to London in a single-engine plane, a Cessna 182; the first time such a journey has been completed by an aircraft of its type. He will also be the first pilot to fly an aircraft using a biofuel derived from plastic waste as a single source of power. The “On Wings of Waste” project will use fuel produced by Portlaoise, Irelandbased Cynar plc. “Flying is critical to the economy, vital for saving lives and is the best way to experience the planet we live on. We can’t stop flying but how can we do that and do it sustainably?” Rowsell said. “Our objective is to prove that this synthetic fuel made from plastic waste is viable for a number of practical solutions and by doing so replace the need to use fossil fuels from conventional sources. The Sydney-to-London flight will require 400 liters of diesel fuel. According to Cynar, that much fuel will be created from about 5 metric tons of plastic waste.
MSME Ministry to set up Rs 100 cr Innovation Fund To encourage innovation in small and medium industries, the MSME Ministry has taken an initiative to set up a dedicated fund called India Inclusive Innovation Fund, with initial contribution of Rs 100 crore. “The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has taken the initiative in consultation with National Innovation Council to set up a dedicated fund — India Inclusive Innovation Fund,” Vayalar Ravi, who has been given additional charge of MSME Ministry, said in a written reply to Lok Sabha. The amount allocated for the scheme for the current fiscal is Rs 100 crore, he added. The scheme, which is at the approval stage, is likely to promote innovation which would improve the competitiveness and efficiency of small and medium enterprises, Ravi said. Replying to another query, the minister said as on July 31, 2012, cumulatively 8.7 lakh proposals have been approved for guarantee cover for total sanctioned loan amount of Rs 41,794 crore under the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE). The scheme provides a guarantee cover in respect of the credit facility extended to new and existing micro and small units (both in manufacturing and services sectors). ************************
Self-healing Elastomers stop microcracks A rubber tree has inspired researchers to develop a class of self-healing elastomers that can repair themselves autonomously. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT; Oberhausen, Germany) loaded microcapsules with a onecomponent adhesive of polyisobutylene and placed it inside elastomers made from synthetic rubber. The result is plastics that stop the growth of microcracks that can propagate and lead to spontaneous material failure. Over 30 minutes, the microcrack in the self-healing elastomer starts sealing. In the rubber tree and other plants that produce latex, such as the Weeping Benjamin, the latex contains capsules filled with the protein hevein. If the tree is damaged, latex is emitted and the capsules break open to release the protein, which acts to bond the latex and heal the wound. Fraunhofer researcher Anke Nellesen said that in the polymer version they produced, if pressure is put on the capsules, they break open and separate this viscous material, which then mixes with the elastomers' polymer chains and closes the cracks. Nellesen said her team achieved better results by putting the polyisobutylene selfhealing component into the elastomer in a non-encapsulated format. Testing of different synthetic rubbers indicated "clear self-healing properties," with a restored tension expansion of 40% after a healing period of 24 hours.
The technology was further improved by charging the elastomers with ions, which ensured that the wound closure would remain stable, as the healing process can take place as often as needed. In the rubber tree, the hevein proteins that are released when there is damage link up to each other through ions and remain connected in this process so that the crack closes. Likewise, by charging the elastomers, if the material is damaged, the particles with opposite charges will find new bonding partners. A self-repairing muffler suspension featuring the technology will be on display at the Hannover Fair (Hannover, Germany; April 4-8) at the joint Biokon/Fraunhofer stand in Hall 2. â€”PlasticsToday Staff ************************
Coke recycling plant uses Sortex equipment BĂźhler AG supplied its Sortex optical sorting equipment to the Continuum Recycling Ltd. plant in Hemswell, England, a joint venture between Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. and Eco Plastics. The partners say the plant is the worldâ€™s largest plastics recycling facility, able to reprocess 150,000 metric tons of mixed plastics a year. Coke wants its bottles to use 25 percent recycled PET by the end of 2012. To reach this goal, the recycling plant must sort greater volumes of PET. Continuum Recycling first invested in the Sortex Z+ in 2008. Now, the recycling operation has added a five-chute model, capable of sorting up to six metric tons an hour. Both machines remove unwanted color, glued flakes and foreign material, such as wood, aluminum and other metals, from clear and blue PET. Buhler Sortex Ltd. is based in London. ************************
InVivo may use 46 3D printers to make spinal scaffolds Use of plastic scaffolds to treat human spinal cord injuries is moving close to reality. InVivo Therapeutics (Cambridge, MA) has developed a treatment based on a biocompatible polymer scaffold to provide structural support to a damaged spinal cord in order to stop tissue from scarring following a serious spinal cord injury. Each plastic unit will be custom produced for a specific location using 3D printers. The company is now building cGMP (current good manufacturing practices) facilities to commercialize its technology. Proprietary manufacturing processes at a new plant in Cambridge, MA will include 46 3D printing machines and batch processes to create the scaffolds, according to a document on the comany's Web site. In Vivo Therapeutics currently only operates one 3D printer, and is still in the process of evaluating how to manufacture the scaffolds, CEO Frank Reynolds told Plastics Today. "Our technology is a true platform that can be leveraged to create many products, including treatments for peripheral nerve injury and other conditions. We're currently under review at FDA for our first spinal cord injury treatment, and we look forward to receiving approval to begin those human studies," said Reynolds. The porous biopolymer scaffold is made of polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) and polylysine. PLGA is already approved by the FDA for applications such as surgical sutures, drug delivery, and tissue engineering. It degrades naturally inside the body without requiring removal. In a news conference at the annual meeting of the American
Chemical Society, MIT Professor Robert Langer, one of the developers of the technology, said: "You see dramatic differences in the abilities of test animals (rats and monkeys) to walk. We hope to begin clinical trials in the next year." The completion of the human clinical studies and FDA approval could take between three to five years. The company expects that the product will be regulated under the Humanitarian Use Device/Humanitarian Device Exemption (HUD/HDE) pathway in an effort to accelerate commercialization. There currently is no effective treatment for paralysis caused by spinal cord injuries. The market potential is estimated to be in excess of $10 billion. Only a very small percentage of patients ever regain full functionality and the cost of care can be more than $1 million in the first year alone, depending on severity of injury. Invivo Therapeutics says that its unit is expected to cost $60,000, but it could exceed $100,000 per unit. Technology will be rolled out in phases: First is the scaffolding device to treat acute spinal cord injuries. Next is a biocompatible hydrogel for local controlled release of methylprednisolone to treat acute spinal cord injuries and peripheral nerve injuries. Third is a biocompatible polymer scaffolding device seeded with autologous human neural stem cells to treat acute and chronic spinal cord injuries. The proprietary technology was co-invented by Langer and Joseph P. Vacanti, MD, who is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital. The intellectual property rights are licensed exclsuviely from Children's Medical Center Corp. and MIT. InVivo Therapeutics also has partnerships with Harvard Medical School, Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, and the New England Baptist Hospital. ************************
BPF says the world has plentiful oil reserves Peter Davis, the director general of the British Plastics Federation (BPF), told the Global Polymer Innovation Expo (GPIE) in Columbus, Ohio, that the world has enough oil and gas reserves and global polyolefins capacity to meet demand growth for plastics through to 2017. But speaking at yesterday's event Davis warned that "politicians are avoiding debate on world population growth and the strain on our planetâ€™s resources". He outlined the many ways in which plastics can help cope with a booming population. "Plastics production accounts for only 4% of oil and gas use. The world has plentiful reserves of both," he told his audience, adding that shale gas discoveries in Canada and Venezuela could provide enough oil for 200 years. "The US Congressional Budget Office estimates there are 175bn barrels of oil equivalent in oil and gas reserves on federal lands. Iran and Iraq have huge reserves, much unexploited, he added. However, the "higher costs of extraction and political turbulence can mean higher costs for oil and gas", he cautioned. Polyolefin Supply Davis said in 2011 worldwide plastics demand was 205 million tonnes. Polyethylene's average annual growth rate is forecast to be 4.7% 2012-17 and capacity around the world is rising to meet demand from 147m tonnes in 2011 to 170m tonnes in 2017 and 200m tonnes by 2020. China's polyethylene capacity will rise from 21.6 million tonnes in 2012 to 30.5m tonnes in 2017. Only in Western Europe will it decline â€“ from 14.9 million tonnes to 13.6 million tonnes in the same period.
A similar pattern is predicted for polypropylene, where China's capacity will rise from 23 million tonnes in 2012 to 34.2 million tonnes in 2017. In Western Europe there will be a small decline. PET demand growth is seen as fairly flat up to 2017, Davis told delegates, but there will be a huge amount of excess capacity particularly in the Middle East. "Globally it looks as if plastics supply can meet demand looking forward, but in Europe it is worrying that plastics raw material production will decline. "This is a strategic issue and the reason why the BPF supports industry calls for our government to create an Office of Resource Management."
Agency approves recycling processes for food-contact
PARMA, ITALY -- The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has declared safe the use of recycled plastics in food-contact applications where the recycled resin has been sourced from 10 recycling processes, the first time it has released such a formal opinion. These processes include four based on Vacurema Prime technology – LuxPET, Jayplas, PolyQuest and CIER; five based on Starlinger IV+ technology – namely the Preformia, STF, MPTS, PET to PET and Eco Plastic systems; and the recycling process PETUK SSP. In all cases, these technologies grind waste plastics into small flakes, which are decontaminated and then reprocessed into plastics for use in food packaging. EFSA has declared these to be safe where the resulting plastic is not made up of more than 5 percent PET collected from non-food consumer products “and these processes are operated under well-defined conditions,” it said. The agency is continuing to assess other plastics recycling practices and will insist that after its work is done, “recycled plastics used in food packaging, food containers and other food contact materials should only be obtained from processes which have been assessed for safety by EFSA and authorized by risk managers.” ************************
Ferry designs 5-axis CNC Speedmill STOW, OHIOâ€” Ferry Industries Inc. has introduced the Quintax E5 Speedmill Series of five-axis computer numerically controlled machining centers. The E5 Speedmill equipment is designed for plastics, composites and non-ferrous metals. Ferry said the series is ideal for high- to low-volume production trimming and machining of rotomolded and thermoformed plastic parts, precision composites machining, aluminum mold manufacturing and model/pattern production. Ferry makes the machines at its headquarters plant in Stow. Quintax E5 Speedmill centers are available in four sizes, with a machining area ranging from 5 feet by 5 feet by 48 inches up to 6 feet by 15 feet by 48 inches. The machines are fully enclosed for operator safety, improved chip and dust containment. Features include liquid- cooled, high-speed spindles, a travel rate of up to 3,000 inches per minute, volumetric compensation, absolute encoding, harmonic drives on the B and C axis and digital part probe systems. ************************
EC ranks countries by waste management skills The European Commission hopes that a new report, which ranks countries according to the effectiveness of their waste management systems, will improve efficiency across the continent. The report grades 27 member states on municipal waste management using 18 criteria, such as total waste recycled, rate of landfilling and access to facilities. “The study is designed to create a more resourceful and efficient Europe, so points out what work and what doesn’t,” an EU source told European Plastics News. Austria and Netherlands top the table with 39 points each, with both countries doing well in all categories. Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Sweden also ranked highly, sending less than 5% of their total waste to landfill. At the other end of the scale is the worst performing country – Greece (with 3 points), Bulgaria (8 points) and Malta (9 points). “A lot needs to be done for the countries at the bottom,” said the EU source. “It’s partly about a mentality change, so we need to educate the populations, but we also need to get the right infrastructure in place.” The Commission is using the report to prepare roadmaps for the ten worst performing countries, which will then be discussed with national authorities in the autumn. In addition, it will only invest in waste management projects if certain conditions are met, including the development of plans in accordance with the Waste Framework Directive. Trade body Plastics Europe this week welcomed the report, saying it is important to learn from the example of the countries at the top of the table. “With the challenges we are facing today in Europe, it makes no environmental or economic sense that seven EU Member States are diverting over 90% of plastics waste from landfill, while 15 others still bury over 60%,” Wilfried Haensel, executive director of PlasticsEurope, said in a statement. According to the organisation, the potential value of plastics lost to landfills in Europe is roughly €8bn per year. ************************
Illinois governor vetoes plastic bag law CHICAGO -- Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has vetoed a plastic bag recycling bill that would have made it more difficult for most communities in the state to ban singleuse plastic bags. Quinn vetoed the bill on Aug. 26. The legislation had been supported by some plastic bag manufacturers. “While well-intentioned, this legislation is a roadblock to innovation that would do little to boost recycling in Illinois. We can do better,” Quinn said in a statement. “Let’s not tie the hands of innovative Illinois municipalities that are laboratories of reform for Illinois." The bill would have prevented all communities in Illinois except Chicago from banning single-use plastic bags. The bill had attracted nationwide attention, with environmentalists lining up against it, even though it would have aimed to increase recycling of plastic bags and other plastic films. The veto is a victory for Abby Goldberg, a 13-year-old from Grayslake, Ill., who had launched a petition drive against the bill. Goldberg wanted her community to ban plastic bags, and in July she personally delivered a petition with more than 150,000 signatures urging the veto. On Aug. 26, Goldberg sent a message to her Twitter followers that the battle is not over. "OK, thanks are done, time to role up our sleeves again!" she wrote to backers who were congratulating her on the victory. "Encourage [Illinois] legislators to not override veto!!!!!!" she wrote.
The veto is a loss for the plastics industry, which had supported the bill. David Asselin, executive director of the American Progressive Bag Alliance, recently said the bill was "good for our environment and good for Illinois’ economy," in a letter to the Springfield, Ill., Journal Register. "What’s more, it was based on the optimistic notion that middle ground can be found, that compromises in legislation are still possible, and that they work. Policy can work to the benefit of all involved when entrepreneurs and government work together. This is how policy should be made," Asselin wrote. The bill would have forced bag manufacturers to register with the state, pay a $500 registration fee and develop a plan to recycle the bags. According to the bill, at least 75 percent of the state’s population would be required to live within 10 miles of a plastic bag recycling drop-off area by 2014. That number rises to 80 percent in 2015. Also, the percentage of recycled plastic bags would have increased by 12 percent between 2014 and 2015. If the recycling increase fell short, manufacturers would have had to detail why it was not met.
Made in America: clothesline pulleys I'm frequently surprised by some of the unusual products that are still made in America. Today's example: clothesline pulleys. Maybe it's because no one in my neighborhood has a clothesline, so I tend to forget that they're still around. But Portland, Conn.-based injection molder Penn Products still makes clothesline pulleys, and the company was recently featured in a Connecticut Post story about the business, "The humble clothesline gets a second look." It turns out that Penn Products is hoping the sustainability trend will spark a resurgence in the clothesline sector, and their line of Everlast Pulleys. According to an outfit called Project Laundry List, in just in the six New England states, the amount of money expended to dry clothes comes to $1 billion a year. But U.S. consumers aren't big on air-drying their clothes; only about 5 percent currently use clotheslines. Congratulations to Penn Products for continuing to serve this niche sector. Categories: Marketing, Sustainability
China continues to rein in plastic recycling with new policies BEIJING -- For years, China has shown an insatiable appetite of waste plastic imports. With low-cost labor sorting and lax regulatory controls, the recycling business thrived. But the government has been taking actions to rein in the industry, first by imposing policies last year to tighten up the control of import and trade of scrap materials, and now, by enacting a new regulation that bans improper recycling practices that may pollute the environment. According to the announcement jointly made by the country’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce, the new rules will take effect Oct. 1 and ban irresponsible handling of scrap materials, including: • Recycling activities in residential areas; • Using recycled plastic to make ultrathin bags (shopping bags less than 0.025mm thick and other bags less than 0.015mm in thickness) that have been banned since 2007; • Using recycled plastic to make food-contact bags; • Handling of hazardous waste (with chemical residues, pesticide or disposable medical packaging) without special operating license; • Processing activities without sufficient water treatment facilities, such as granulation of woven bags, washing of plated scrap, stripping of plating or coating, etc.; • Improper handling of waste from the recycling process;
• Outdoor incineration of plastic scrap and waste from the recycling process. The new regulation applies to the recycling of plastic scrap collected within China as well as imports. Specifically for imported waste, the industry is ordered to comply with all related policies and prohibited from these activities: • Importing unwashed, post-consumer scrap; • Transferring imported waste to a company other than what is allowed by the import license, including sending the materials to vendors for washing services; • Selling unwashed leftover plastic materials after sorting and processing imported plastic scrap; • Selling unwashed leftover plastic materials after sorting and processing imported scrap paper. The policy asks recycling companies to report to government agencies plastic waste that is banned or violates environmental protection rules. It also encourages regions with concentrated plastic scrap distribution and processing businesses to establish treatment facilities for post-recycling waste water, gas emissions, and solid waste. The central government asks provincial-level environmental protection and commerce administration agencies to inspect local recyclers and publish the list of qualified recyclers as well as companies that fail the inspection and follow-up actions. Starting Jan. 1, only companies that have passed the inspection will be allowed to import waste plastics. ************************
libratone portable wireless speaker series
libratone 'zipp' series in wool copenhagen-based audio company libratone has developed a series of airplay-enabled speakers. Available in three different configurations â€“ the 'zipp', 'live' and 'lounge' model range are designed to work seamlessly through a wireless network which is activated via the libratone app. Featuring a voicing feature, the device enables users to change the equalizer settings to match the type of music you're listening to, as well as adjust the volume controls. each of the speakers integrate 'fullroom sound', where rather than using two speakers to deliver high-quality audibles, it projects music like acoustic instruments, dispersing sound waves in multiple directions, reflecting them off the walls for a 360 degree listening experience.
Available in wool or cashmere, the collection is conceived to be fully customizable, with a variety of options for swapping covers to match interior spaces or moods.
libratone 'zipp' series in wool
libratone 'zipp' series auxiliary detail in wool
libratone 'zipp' series control details in wool
libratone 'live' series in wool
libratone 'lounge' series in wool
libratone 'live' series in wool
libratone 'lounge' series detail in wool
'live and lounge' speaker video ************************
How to make money from plastic recycling Making a profit from plastics recycling isn’t easy – feedstock quality is an issue and end markets can be fickle, so how can a recycler make a return on its investment? Ian Porter, managing director of Regain Polymers, has an answer. “It’s being focussed on your input and output materials,” he explained. “You need to focus on the yield and ensure you have a secure feedstock. Also, a lot of people invest without enough knowledge of the end market.
“We’re in a good position here because we’re supplying the moulders who are supplying into the end markets. We are not focused down one channel so we’re not reliant on food-grade material, we’re not reliant on automotive and we’re not reliant on construction. Flexibility also has to be part of the process, said Porter. “Our business operates in such as way that most of our materials can be moved around from one sector to another to meet the specifications required for that business. “So if the automotive industry collapses we can move some of that material into some of the other markets. You won’t always make the same sorts of margins but it’s about being flexible and light on your feet. “If we were focused down particular channel you’d have some peaks but you also have some pretty deep troughs as well.” The big question, however, remains about who uses recycled plastics.
“You’ve still got the people who are using it instead of prime and that’s a very competitive market,” said Porter. “But in some of the other areas where we supply it’s being driven top-down. “You’ve got some of these automotive companies, for example, who at board level have statements for their corporate social responsibility – they’re challenged to get recycled content into the end product. “That’s easy for us – especially when it’s being driven from the top. Packaging developers and the people making the products are being directed to do it because it’s already got support from management. “So long as we’ve got the feedstocks and the wherewithal to be flexible we’ll be able to supply a range of markets.” ************************
Artificial corneas rely on specially developed plastics Two research institutions are actively developing artificial corneas made of highwater-content plastics in an effort to restore sight in patients where other implant approaches have failed or are prone to infection. Stanford University Chemical Engineering Professor Curtis Frank and his students have produced blended polymer hydrogels with water content of 60% to 90% that are extremely resistant to wear and fracture and possess tensile strengths up to 20 times stronger than their component single networks on their own. Importantly, the materials are optically clear and highly permeable to glucose, the primary nutrient for the cells of the cornea. Plastic cornea implant developed at Fraunhofer.
Hydrogels are obtained by interpenetrating a tightly cross-linked polyethylene glycol (PEG) network with a loosely cross-linked
polyacrylic acid network. Researchers at Germany's Fraunhofer Society, working in collaboration with the Aachen Center of Technology Transfer, are also developing artificial corneas using highly water absorbent polymers. "We are in the process of developing two different types of artificial corneas. One of them can be used as an alternative to a donor cornea in cases where the patient would not tolerate a donor cornea, let alone the issue of donor material shortage," said Dr. Joachim Storsberg, project manager at the Franhofer Institute of Applied Polymer Research in Potsdam, Germany.
"A great many patients suffering from a range of conditions will be able to benefit from our new implant, which we've named ArtCornea." One of the specific goals of the Fraunhofer project is to enlarge the optical surface area of the implant in an effort to improve light penetration beyond what had previously been possible. In one of two approaches under development, a chemically and biologically inert base material is achieved by selectively altering polyvinylidene difluoride by coating it with a reactive molecule. According to Storsberg, this allows the patient's cornea to bond together naturally with the edge of the implant, while the implant's inner optics, made of silicon, remain free of cells and maintain clarity. About 40,000 Americans receive cornea transplants annually due to a variety of medical conditions and injuries, and the great majority receives human donor implants. The outcomes of those surgeries have been improving, particularly for transplants due to a disease called Fuchs Dystrophy because of pioneering work down by Oregon surgeon Mark Terry. But some conditions cannot be treated with donor tissue, and in other cases patients reject implanted organic tissue. They are candidates for artificial corneas, as are scores of thousands of patients in Third World countries who don't have access to safe donor tissue. Use of corneas made from plastics is not new, and two are already approved for use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration. They have limitations, however.
One, for example, requires significant treatment with antibiotics because of the potential for infections. The cornea is the transparent, outermost part of the eye that functions in an eye in a similar fashion to a windshield in a car. It has three major layers: a protective epithelium, stroma made mostly of highly organized collagen, and an endothelium that maintains water balance and transparency. Clinical trials will soon commence at the Eye Clinic Cologne-Merheim on the Fraunhofer technology. Clinical trials have also been conducted on biosynthetic corneas developed by Dr. May Griffith of Linkรถping University in Sweden, who began her research in Ottawa, Canada using collagen produced in the laboratory and molded into the shape of a cornea. ************************
Continuing bans, bashing and trashing of plastic, has SPE’s CEO speaking out In spite of what the general masses believe, Willem DeVos, CEO of the Society of Plastics Engineers, is a defender of what he says is the “best choice an OEM can make.” DeVos gave the keynote at the recent SPE Thermoforming Conference in Grand Rapids, MI. While we in the industry understand the benefits of the many uses of plastic in our everyday life, people generally underestimate – or are not even aware of – the benefits of this valuable material. “Plastics will contribute to the prevention of food shortages by keeping food safe, maximizing crop yields, enabling logistics of ‘right portions’ as demand increases for one-person portions, and provide innovative possibilities such as floating greenhouses,” said DeVos. “Plastics help combat the shortage of drinking water by creating drinking water through various devices, and replacing old piping systems or putting in new plastic pipe grids to get water to placed that don’t have it.” DeVos noted that in spite of what the general population believes, plastics are quite eco-friendly, with only about 4% of the petroleum produced used for plastic. “That small 4% is helping to reduce number of barrels we need for transportation and energy,” he noted. “Mahindra in India is producing a thermoformed car from ABS and ABS/PC and PMMA. Samsonite makes a thermoformed ‘Cosmolite’ luggage that is 30% lighter than typical luggage made from other materials. Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner has increased the use of plastics by 50% and will realize a 20% fuel savings.”
ltimately, DeVos concluded, “plastics enables ground-breaking technology, improves healthcare, revolutionizes the way we live and improves our quality of life. Plastic is the most sustainable solution we have.” Plastic has its cheerleaders, and it behooves those of us who understand the benefits of plastics and the reality vs. The hype, to help our friends and neighbors, our city council people, and the local school children understand all this as well. We have a duty to the industry and to our future to see that correct, scientific information is disseminated to those who would shout the hype about the negatives of plastic and demand a “plastic-free” world. ************************
Army tests new stethoscope using Doppler窶馬ot sound A novel stethoscope using Doppler technology comparable to police radar is under evaluation by the U.S. Army as a way to save soldiers' lives on noisy medical evacuation helicopters. In normal stethoscopes, health care professionals listen to a patient's heart or lungs. They're useless when noise levels exceed 90 dBA. That's a problem for emergency medical personnel on helicopters and ambulances. The U.S. Army's Aeromedical Research Laboratory in Ft. Rucker, AL issued a request for a technical solution in an effort to save soldiers' lives.
Critical component is made of Radel.
A contract research firm in Linthicum Heights, MD, specializing in electromechanical devices went to work on the problem and developed a solution using a combination of sophisticated electronics, sensors, signal conditioning, and 2 MHz Doppler technology to detect physiologic activity.
It is a self-contained handheld unit and can run for days without new batteries. "We're not actually picking up sounds. And that's an important distinction," Arthur Cooke, president of Active Signal Technologies Inc.,told PlasticsToday in an interview. After noise reaches a certain level, the A Scope developed by Cooke's company switches into a Doppler mode that detects motion of the lungs and the heart. It's a dual-mode stethoscope that also has a conventional electronic sound capability.
"In police radar you shoot a beam at a car and it gets reflected back with a high frequency if the car is coming fast towards you or not at such a high frequency if the car is going at the legal speed. We're detecting different frequencies depending on how the organ is moving." One critical component in the device is a piece of engineering plastic that serves as the mounting surface for both the Doppler transceiver and the acoustic sensor. "The working end of both sensors rests on the front end of the device, which is made of Radel polyphenylsulfone resin from Solvay Specialty Polymers," said Cooke. The two-inch wide, 0.10-inch thick part has reinforcing ribs and ultrasonically welded bosses around the circumference. The front face attaches to internal screws in the stethoscope's aluminum housing. Polycarbonate was originally chosen for the part by Active Signal Technologies' design and manufacturing partner,Harbor Designs (Baltimore, MD). "It turned out we could not get polycarbonate with the same biocompatibility certifications that we could get for PPSU," said Cooke in the interview. The stethoscope's injection molded front flat face comes in direct contact with the patient's skin and bodily fluids. A Solvay Specialty Polymers USA spokesman said that Radel PPSU also provides comparable toughness to polycarbonate and its chemical resistance enables the device to withstand harsh medical substances including cleaning agents, alcohol, and chlorinated solvents. The device has passed a comprehensive series of MIL-STD 810F environmental tests; is FDA approved (510(k)窶年umber K103499); and was deployed to Afghanistan for field evaluation in late 2011.
Cooke's company has shipped 100 of the devices to the Army, including 25 that were part of a field evaluation by an Army Field Assistance in Science and Technology, or FAST, team. For the time being the military is expected to be the primary user of the A Scope because of the need to confirm vital signs during aeromedical evacuation in the presence of high background noise. Other uses could follow if civilian users can discover medical applications for the Doppler returns. Its high price and requirement for advanced training may be deterrents, however. Active Signal Technologies was founded in 1996 by the core members of the advanced sensor and solid state actuator group at Lockheed Martin's corporate lab in Baltimore, MD. ************************