PRA June/July 2017 Issue

Page 1


A S l A ’ S L E A D l N G m aga z l ne f o r t h e p las t l c s and r u b b e r l nd u s t r y

業 界新聞 材 料 : 利用多層阻隔技術釋放PET包裝的潛力

In this issue

Volume 32, No 230

publlshed slnce 1985

A S l A’ S L E A D l N G m aga z l ne f o r the plastlcs and rubber lndustry

Features 焦 點 內 容

Publisher Arthur Schavemaker Tel: +31 547 275005 Email:

14 材料: 利用多層阻隔技術釋放 PET包裝的潛力 18 Agriculture Industry – The “thin line” between maintaining quality of crops and ensuring sufficient yield for food security is plasticulture

21 Country Focus – At Chinaplas 2017, companies showcased new materials and discussed growth opportunities in China

24 Blow Moulding – New developments in blow moulding technology are firming up the potential of packaging 26 Cosmetics – Sustainable cosmetics/packaging are being developed with reduced environmental footprint to match today’s ethically-conscious market

Associate Publisher/Editor Tej Fernandez Tel: +60 3 4260 4575 Email: Editorial/Production Coordinator Angelica Buan Email: Chinese Editor Koh Bee Ling Admin & Finance Manager Tean Arul Email:


Regulars 概 要

ISSN 1360-1245

MCI (P) 127/08/2016

2 Industry News

KDN PP 18785/08/2015 (034280)

6 Materials News

Printer United Mission Press

10 業界新聞

is published 8 times a year in Mandarin and English by Kenter & Co Publishers’ Representatives BV.

Supplements 副 刊 Extending barrier properties of PET packaging to improve product protection is made possible with Husky’s new layer barrier technology The biocompatibility of medical silicones fits patient need for comfort when using surgical components and medical devices


Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this publication is correct, the publisher makes no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the nature or accuracy of such material to the extent permitted by applicable law. © 2016 Kenter & Co Publishers’ Representatives BV No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or used in any form, or by any means, without specific prior permission from the publisher. PRA is circulated free to trade readers in the plastics and rubber industry. Airmail subscriptions are available at US$160 within Asia and US$250 to all other countries outside Asia.

On the Cover


The cosmetics industry is formulating zero-waste, sustainable solutions for beauty and personal care products 業界新 聞 材料: 利用多層阻隔技術釋放PET包裝的潛力

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Industry News

M&As • Swiss chemicals company Clariant and US-based Huntsman Corporation are to merge in a merger of equals through an allstock transaction, with Clariant owning 52% of the new entity and equal board representation from both companies. The merged company will be named HuntsmanClariant, with sales of US$13.2 billion, and a combined enterprise value of US$20 billion. The global Headquarters will be in Switzerland and operational headquarters in Texas, with dual stock exchange direct listing on the Swiss Exchange and New York Stock Exchange. The transaction is targeted to close by year end 2017, subject to Clariant and Huntsman shareholder approvals, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. • US labelling solutions provider Avery Dennison has acquired Irish firm Finesse


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Medical that is involved in the manufacture of healthcare products used in the management of wound care and skin conditions. Terms were not disclosed. Its revenue last year was EUR15 million. Avery Dennison posted sales of US$6.1 billion in 2016. • US compounder PolyOne Corporation has acquired Rutland Holding Company, expanding the company's portfolio of speciality colour, additives and inks solutions. North Carolinabased Rutland specialises in customised formulations for consumer applications and is widely recognised as an industry leader in screen printing inks for the apparel market. Polyone said that the recent investment is a natural extension of its colour business from InVisiO design services to additive technologies.

• Composites firm Hexcel Corporation is acquiring all of the shares of Structil SA, a French producer and supplier of highperformance composites to the aerospace, defence and industrial markets. Structil is a joint venture between Safran Ceramics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Safran, and Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (formerly Mitsubishi Rayon Corporation). The company’s product lines include prepregs, structural adhesives and pultruded profiles used in engine nacelles, aerospace interiors, military jets and more. • Luxembourgheadquartered cap/closure maker United Caps is acquiring from Belgiumbased Dewit Plastics its caps, closures and handles business. This includes screw, tamperevident and child-resistant

closures as well as handles for large containers. Dewit will continue operation of its remaining injection moulding and thermoforming businesses. • German speciality chemicals firm Lanxess has a new shareholder: billionaire Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate that has acquired a 3% stake in the firm. Lanxess, which had formed a joint venture in last year with Saudi Aramco for its rubber operations now known as Arlanxeo, has recently completed acquisition of US flame retardant and lubricant additives supplier Chemtura Corp. Meanwhile, the company is also driving forward organic growth and plans, for example, to invest some EUR100 million through 2020 in its network of production facilities for chemical intermediates, particularly at its German sites.


Plant Set-ups/Capacity expansions • Calgary-based Pembina Pipeline Corporation and Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC) of Kuwait are forming a joint venture, the Canada Kuwait Petrochemical Corporation (CKPC), for an integrated propylene and PP production facility in Alberta. The facility is expected to consume 22,000 barrels/day of Alberta-produced propane, which is expected to be sourced from Pembina's Redwater Complex. It is anticipated to produce around 544,000 tonnes/year of PP for the North American and global markets. The preliminary cost estimate of the project is C$3.8 to C$4.2 billion, with an updated construction schedule due to be completed by late 2018. • Ibn Sina, a joint venture between US speciality materials firm Celanese and Saudi-headquartered materials firm Sabic, is expected to open a 50,000-tonne polyacetal (POM) manufacturing facility in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia, by the third quarter of 2017. It is currently in the testing phase. Upon start-up, Celanese’s interest in Ibn Sina will increase from 25% to 32.5%. • Tekni-Plex has invested US$15 million in a manufacturing facility in Suzhou, China, its single largest investment for the pharmaceutical and medical device market. Initially, the 13,000-sq m facility will manufacture products for Tekni-Plex’s Natvar, Colorite and Action Technology business units as well as silicone extrusion tubing for catheters, feeding tubes, drug delivery and peristaltic pump applications, and microextrusion tubing. • US chemicals firm Lubrizol Corporation’s LifeSciences business is investing US$60 million on new product solutions, capacity expansion and additional cGMP manufacturing. Meanwhile, commercial drug product manufacturing will be added at the company's facility in Bethlehem, PA, adjacent to the existing development and clinical trial manufacturing site, to be operational by 2017. • US-based materials company Eastman Chemical Company is planning to expand its Performance Films manufacturing capacity in Virginia by late 2017. It will increase capacity for both paint protection films and window films. This project is in addition to the US$40 million investment that was announced in 2013. • Germany-based seal company Freudenberg is constructing a EUR15 million new production facility on a 56,000 sq m-site for sealing solution products in Chennai, India. Freudenberg’s sales in India grew in 2016 to about EUR200 million, up 15% largely due to the acquisition of Vibracoustic.

Industry News

• French robots manufacturer Sepro Group is conducting a EUR11 million expansion where it will upsize its production facility from 13,00020,000 sq m at its La Roche-sur-Yon headquarters, as well as up its capacity for three, five and six-axis robots from 3,000-5,000 units/year. It will also relocate its training centre from the current headquarters site to a new 800-sq m facility. Meanwhile, in the fourth quarter of 2017, Sepro will be expanding its US facility from 9002,000 sq m, to allow assembly of large robots. • US-headquartered Dow Chemical has completed the construction of its new 400,000tonne/year Elite enhanced PE production facility in Freeport, Texas, the first of four new investments in Texas and Louisiana and part of its US$6 billion Gulf Coast expansion. It is expected to be fully operational later this year, in line with the start-up of a massive new ethylene monomer unit in Freeport. Along with planned debottlenecking, Dow’s three other derivative units,


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expected to come online throughout 2017 and 2018, are also underway. • Austria’s materials firm Borealis, together with Borouge, its joint venture with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), is building a dedicated automotive PP compounding plant in the US by early 2019. It will initially produce Daplen PP thermoplastic olefins (TPOs) and Fibremod PP short glass fibre (SGF) reinforced materials. • Dutch chemical firm AkzoNobel has opened a new EUR31 million Performance Coatings production facility in Chonburi, Thailand. The plant uses technology pioneered in the US and Europe, with later-phase investments for expansion. This site currently employs about 100 people and may grow to 200 employees later. • Finland’s piping specialist Uponor Corporation has opened its first manufacturing facility in Taicang, China, which is its 14th facility globally. It is producing plumbing solutions and heating and cooling

systems for new residential and commercial building markets in China. • Austrian manufacturer of recycling systems Erema has opened a new assembly shop at its Ansfelden location, allowing for reduced production lead times for melt filters and pelletisers, while at the same time increasing product quality, it says. • The European Union has granted EUR25 million funding to PEFerence, a consortium of 11 companies for polyethylenefuranoate (PEF). It includes the construction of a 50,000-tonne furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) plant, the main chemical building block for the production of PEF, by Dutch firm Synvina, a joint venture of Avantium and BASF. • Swiss fertiliser company EuroChem Group and China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina), the largest chemical corporation in China, are studying the feasibility to jointly produce propylene oxide (propylene glycol and polyols) and isocyanate (MDI/

TDI) in Russia. If it goes ahead, the project will be implemented at EuroChem’s Novomoskovskiy Azot plant in the Tula region, Russia. ChemChina will deliver the necessary production technology. The project may cost US$500 million and might also attract other potential investors, with the prospect of additional financing from Russia and China. • Privately owned petrochemicals firm Ineos plans to construct a worldscale propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit in Europe, able to produce 750,000 tonnes/year of propylene. It is considering several possible locations, including Antwerp in Belgium, where it already has propylene operations. It is also planning to increase the capacity of its crackers at Grangemouth in Scotland and Rafnes in Norway to over 1 million tonnes each. Both rely on fracked shale gas that is shipped across to Europe from the US. With these cracker expansions, Ineos will have added up to 900,000 tonnes of ethylene to its

INDUSTRY NEWS overall production capacity. Ineos currently produces nearly 4.5 million tonnes of ethylene and propylene in Europe. • Japanese companies Kuraray and Sumitomo Corporation as well as Thailand’s PTT Global Chemical Public Company (PTTGC), PTT Group's chemical flagship company, have entered into a joint venture to build a facility for Super Engineering Plastic (high-heat resistant polyamide9T or PA9T) and hydrogenated

styrenic block copolymer (HSBC) products in Thailand. The new plant will be located in Hemaraj Eastern Industrial Estate in Rayong province and will produce 13,000 tonnes/ year of PA9T and 16,000 tonnes/year of HSBC. Kuraray will also conduct a feasibility study on producing 5,000 tonnes/ year of 3-Methyl1,5-Pentanediol (MPD), one of the company’s isobutene derivatives. PTTGC will supply butadiene and isobutene as key

raw materials for the new plant. • Japanese materials firm Sumitomo Chemical is establishing a new manufacturing and sales base for PP compounds in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, as well as providing manufacturing capabilities for TPE at its existing facility in Dalian, Liaoning Province. For PP compounds, the company set up a new marketing base in Mexico and a manufacturing plant in India last year. Its global production capacity

of PP compounds is 260,000 tonnes/year. • German speciality chemicals group Lanxess has increased the capacity of its Emerald Innovation 3000 flame retardant production through debottlenecking from 10,00014,000 tonnes/year. Polystyrene insulating foam makers are switching from using HBCD (hexabromcyclododecan) flame retardants to more sustainable alternatives such as Emerald. The business was taken over by Lanxess when it acquired Chemtura.

Materials News

Food fills the appetite of biobased solutions Food need not go to waste. Today, with technology getting more sophisticated, even common food sources and scraps can be turned into plastic material! Considering the prevalence of food shortages, repurposing it into something practical, yet highly valuable, is a virtuous move.


ew technologies on bioplastics, materials that are derived from renewable biomass, are lifting the burden on petroleum as the chief resource for producing plastics. When landfilled, food wastes release greenhouse gases, alleged to be 25 times more harmful than carbon dioxide. Thus, bioplastics not only lend the opportunity to tap into food to develop a high-value raw material but also to produce material with lower carbon footprint and lower toxicity.

The advantage of PHA is that it naturally degrades in marine and terrestrial ecosystems, unlike petroleum-based plastics like PE and PP, plus it caters to broad commercial application potential, including commercial food-grade packaging and agriculture films. FCB, which works with waste producers and licenses its technology, is seeking partners with experience compounding PHA and other bioplastics such as PBS, PBAT, PLA and starches.

Cost-effective process for producing PHAs Cost is also another factor. Full Cycle Bioplastics (FCB), collaborating with California-based Fresno State University, has successfully been able to upcycle organic and cellulosic waste, including food, agricultural by-products, as well as cardboard and waste paper, into fully compostable polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), in a cost-effective process.

Nourishing biobased goals with milk-derived feedstock Founded in 2014, French start-up Lactips has been making plastic out of casein, the main type of protein found in milk, on an idea that started as a research project at the University of Saint-Etienne and was under development for seven years.

Mixed medium of wild-type bacteria containing intracellular PHA inclusions. Photo taken at FCB’s laboratory (photo courtesy of FCB)

In its patented process, waste is broken down and becomes feedstock for PHA. Once the feedstock is perfectly adjusted, it is dosed into a tank of naturally occurring bacteria, where it is consumed and converted into PHA. FCB says no Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are used in the process, thus significantly lowering production costs and eliminating the need for expensive laboratory-grade sterility or containment, unlike PHAs produced by other processes. In the last step, the PHA is dried and processed into a finished resin product, ready for compounding.


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Lactips’s bioplastic is targeted at the detergent industry for dishwasher or washing machine tabs and chlorine tablets for swimming pools, since it is able to dissolve in hot or cold water

Using similar machinery available in the market, Lactips’s thermoplastic pellets can be extruded into compostable biodegradable films, said to biodegrade within 18 days. The Lyon-based firm currently uses milk powder produced in Eastern Europe, but is looking into using milk waste. The bioplastic will make its commercial debut later this year as wrapping for dishwasher detergent. Because it’s soluble in water, the wrapping disappears during washing and degrades naturally in the environment. Besides water soluble films, the edible plastic, which also has oxygenbarrier properties, is targeted at novel edible packaging applications.

Materials News A year after receiving funding of EUR1.2 million from European private equity fund Demeter and Emertec, Lactips has recently received a European subsidy of EUR1.5 million over two years. It expects to set up a facility by 2018, to tackle the international market. The sea’s answer to green materials Adhesives that work even when submerged in water are underway. In a project funded by the US Office of Naval Research, scientists from Purdue University have found a clue from mussels for adhesive material, inspired by shellfish’s ability to stick to surfaces under water. Citing current commercial adhesives poor at wet bonding, the researchers say that mussels, barnacles, and oysters can attach to rocks with apparent ease. In order to develop new materials able to bind in harsh environments, the team made a biomimetic polymer that is modelled after the adhesive proteins of mussels. The findings, published in the ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces journal, showed that the biobased glue performed better than ten commercial adhesives. Compared with the five strongest commercial glues, the new adhesive performed better when bonded with wood, Teflon and polished aluminium. How mussels do their sticking stunt is by extending hairlike fibres that attach to surfaces using plaques of adhesive. Proteins in the glue contain the amino acid, DOPA, which harbours the chemistry needed to provide strength and adhesion. The researchers incorporated this chemistry of mussel proteins into a biomimetic polymer called poly(catecholstyrene), creating an adhesive by harnessing the chemistry of compounds called catechols, which are contained in DOPA. While most adhesives interact with water instead of sticking to surfaces, the catechol groups may have a special talent for “drilling down” through surface waters in order to bind onto surfaces.

An adhesive that works under water is modelled after shellfish sticking to surfaces

The new adhesive is about 17 times stronger than the natural adhesive produced by mussels, and this discrepancy is not unusual in biomimetics, when mimicking natural materials and compounds, with future research to include work to test the adhesive under real-world conditions. Bioplastics from crustaceans are also making ripples in the research facility of Egypt’s Nile University. The researchers, in collaboration with UK’s University of Nottingham, are looking at the viability of chitosan, a fibre found in a substance called chitin that develops in the hard outer shells of crustaceans. Egypt imports around 3,500 tonnes of shrimp, which produce 1,000 tonnes of shells as waste, making it a lucrative feedstock for bioplastics. The shells are cleaned, chemically treated, ground and the dried chitosan flakes dissolved into a solution that can be turned into polymer film by conventional processing techniques.

Shrimp shells are being studied to make biodegradable shopping bags

The technology has potential for large-scale industrial production, say the researchers, but having only produced small samples, the project is not yet ready to go into commercial production, since properties like thermal stability and durability need to be further improved. Chitosan was chosen because it is a promising biodegradable polymer already used in pharmaceutical packaging due to its antimicrobial, antibacterial and biocompatible properties. The second phase of the project is to develop an active polymer film that absorbs oxygen. If successful, the UK university plans to approach UK packaging manufacturers with the product. Additionally, the research aims to identify a production route by which the degradable biopolymer material for shopping bags and food packaging could be manufactured. Diapers/packaging made from cornstarch Disposable diapers are among the top waste proliferators and in the US alone, an estimated 20 billion disposable diapers or 3.5 million tonnes/year of waste go to landfills, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The diapers, especially the lining made of plastic, take 500 years to degrade, releasing methane and other toxic gasses as they break down. In view of this, US-based start-up Tethis has developed a biodegradable material made from corn starch for the diaper industry, as well as for other applications like feminine JUNE / JULY 2017


Materials News

Cornstarch-based Tethex SAP is targeted at the diaper market

hygiene, wipes, for personal care products, and others. Tethex is a super absorbent polymer (SAP), based on a patent-pending technology platform, that boasts superior performance in highly ionic fluids such as seawater, hard water, divalents, oil, and blood, says the firm. Tethis, which began in 2013 as a spinout of novel technology discovered at NC State University aimed at the water treatment market, is able to produce about 700 tonnes/ year of the biorenewable polymer at its facility in North Carolina. It expects to increase production to 10,000 tonnes by 2018. Meanwhile, in a similar effort, the Department of Energy and Environmental Engineering of the Ghana-based University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), has also developed biodegradable plastics from corn starch that come in a variety of soft, semi-soft and hard textures. The polymer degrades within one month, is edible, and may be used for packaging. Further research to improve the innovation for utilisation in industry-scale is being undertaken by the university. Ghana has developed cornstarchbased plastics that can be used for films

Sweet prospects for bioplastics from sugar India-based cutlery maker Pappco is “greening” India with its take on biodegradable disposable plates, cups and glasses manufactured using bagasse from sugarcane, bamboo and wheat straw as well as corn and potato starch. Set up in 2011, the company says while costing slightly higher, the products are also comparatively firmer and more durable than plastic counterparts. Another “sugary” innovation has been developed by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, producing furan dicarbonic acid (FDCA) from plant sugars for the production of drinking bottles, paints and industrial resins. VTT has patented the method for producing FDCA, a monomer for PEF polymers, from sugar or sugar waste. Thanks to the


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solid acid catalyst and biobased solvent with short reaction time, the method provides a considerable reduction of toxic waste compared to traditional methods, VTT said. The project, which is funded partly by Tekes, the Finnish funding agency for technology and innovation of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, is aimed to provide a renewable option for making bottles, which to-date is still dominated by oil-based PET. The method can be scaled-up to industrial purposes without substantial investments, and it has already raised a lot of interest in industry, according to VTT. Following the trend for biobased, albeit non-food, PET bottles are bottled water companies Danone and Nestlé Waters, who have teamed up with California-based startup Origin Materials, to launch the NaturALL Bottle Alliance. The R&D partnership will be developing and launching at commercial scale a PET bottle made from 100% renewable, biobased material, such as used cardboard, sawdust and wood chips, so it does not divert resources or land from food production. Danone and Nestlé Waters are providing expertise and teams, as well as financial support, to enable Origin Materials to make this technology available to the market. There are already 30% bioPET bottles in the market and Origin Materials has already produced samples of 80% biobased PET in its California pilot plant. Construction of a pioneer plant is commencing this year, with production of the first samples of 60+% biobased PET to start in 2018. The Alliance plans to have an initial volume of 5,000 tonnes of bioPET. By 2020, it aims to develop the process for producing at least 75% biobased PET bottles at commercial scale, scaling up to 95% in 2022. The partners also said they will continue to conduct research to increase the level of biobased content, with the objective of reaching 100%.

A partnership between leading bottlers is set to develop a 100% bioPET bottle

Materials News Films take the cake European experts are taking a crack at discarded bread crust, sponge cake and stale bread to obtain a 100% biodegradable PLA film from bakery waste, as opposed to PLA from cornstarch. The research consortium is coordinated by Spain’s Research Association of Plastics and Related Materials (AIMPLAS), with the Technological Centre of Cereals (Spain), the Institute of Agriculture (Germany), and the Biocomposites Centre of the University of Bangor (UK). The study called Bread4PLA is looking at a new way of treating bakery waste to allow for new packaging for bakery products and to close the life cycle loop. The PLA material can be made into bags/trays for the packaging of different bakery products. The production of PLA is via a low-energy process that uses water-based enzymes on a large pilot-plant scale. The study also found that the new Bread4PLA is a European project that is studying the use of bread scraps to whip up PLA packaging will be compostable and recyclable; while environmental impacts of PLA packaging from bakery waste would be similar to cornstarch-PLA packaging. The packaging also fulfils specific legislation for the use of plastics in food contact applications and is compliant to current European environmental policies. Magic mushroom as biopolymers US-based Ecovative has developed a biodegradable plastic called Mushroom Materials, made from agricultural by-products and mushroom mycelium, which is the vegetative part of a mushroom fungus and a natural glue. The material binds with crop waste like seed husks and corn stalks to form the fully biodegradable bioplastic. Its product range includes MycoFoam to replace plastic foams like Styrofoam. In its range is Mushroom Packaging — a protective packaging product used by companies like Dell and Stanhope Seta; as well as Mushroom Insulation, acoustics, core materials, and aquatic products. It’s most recent development is MycoFlex, made entirely of mycelium. The firm says it is developing it through grant funding as a replacement for all cushioning like shoe soles, seat cushions, yoga mats, lightweight core materials, and a variety of other uses. As it can be seen there are a chockfull of renewable food (as well as non-food) feedstocks currently being explored by the industry that is relentless to serve up eco-friendly solutions to consumers with an insatiable appetite for sustainable innovations. Ecovative has developed a biopolymer material made entirely of mycelium





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Agriculture Industry

Aiding an agricultural economy with plasticulture The adoption of plastic films in agriculture ensures better yield and food security, says Angelica Buan in this report.

Plasticulture, which is the use of plastic films in agriculture, serves various purposes to improve farm yields


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he agricultural sector, the backbone of an economy, especially of developing countries, contends with various challenges, including climate change, rising population, food waste, agricultural sustainability, and more. A population increase to 9 billion by 2050 requires 60% increase in production yield, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has predicted. Climate change has been recognised to impact crop yields. The Paris Agreement on climate, adopted in December 2015, is a global initiative to dispatch measures against climate change. It also takes into account the importance of food security in the “international response to climate change, as reflected by many countries focusing prominently on the agriculture sector in their planned contributions to adaptation and mitigation”, FAO stated. Food security or access to sufficient and nutritious food is a major pursuit for the world’s population. UK’s AMI Consulting, in its 2014 report on the agricultural film market in Europe, hints that food security for an expanding population calls for curbing food waste and improving food production, to cite a few recommendations. Better yields and more profits for farmers with films Environmental issues not only hound climate change, they also impact soil where crops are grown. Pollution and erosion, as well as the use of fertilisers are found to contribute to the degrading of soil, thus shrinking the size of the world’s arable land. A study by the University of Sheffield’s Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures showed that in the past 40 years the world has lost more than 30% of its arable land due to the above factors. Better farming techniques, combined with the use of plastic films, are seen as a practical means to improving farm production and rendering cost-cutting, time-saving and efficient production. Plasticulture, which is the use of plastic films in agriculture, serves various purposes to improve farm yields. For example, plastics conserve natural resources needed by crops, such as water, nutrients, fossil fuels, and even sunlight as well as protecting crops from weeds and insects. The use of plastic films also ensures that vegetables and fruits are grown regardless of the season, and yet, yielding better quality. Plasticulture is a billion dollar industry. The agricultural films market is anticipated to exceed US$12 billion by 2022, as underscored in a report by Global Market Insights (GMI). The linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) films, cited in the report, exhibit properties like moisture blocking and flexibility and are favourable for use during harsh climate conditions and scarce water supply. Priced affordably, the agriculture films are expected to garner significant demand from the growing agricultural sectors and agro-businesses in Indonesia, India, Thailand and Malaysia. Meanwhile, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) films are widely adopted in fumigation and mulching applications. The market application includes the horticulture and floriculture industries of the Middle East region, GMI cited.

Agriculture Industry Other plasticulture films that cover applications such as silage, mulching and greenhouse are made from ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA)/ethylene buthyl acetate (EBA), lowdensity polyethylene (LDPE), polyolefin, polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polycarbonate (PC), and polymethyl-methacrylate (PMMA). Geographical adoption for plasticulture is wide and steady. The Asia Pacific region is forecast to propel the global films market through 2020, finds a recent market research by Technavio. It reveals that the global plastic films market could reach over US$125 billion by 2020. The demand is accounted to the presence of highly cultivated areas, including India, Myanmar and Vietnam. Case of India: adoption of plastic films to boost output Agriculture is pivotal to the Indian economy and is a leading contributor to its GDP. Nearly 60% of the country’s rural households depend on agriculture as their livelihood, according to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF). Plasticulture is adopted as an effective way to boost farm output, and therefore help increase farmers earnings. India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh, speaking during an agricultural summit in Haryana late last year, said that farmers could expect a double income by 2022. This can be attributed to the adoption of plasticulture to facilitate water handling and other farming logistics, such as storage, conservation and transportation. Meanwhile, high production costs are also affecting yields. The world’s leading producer and consumer of spices, India’s chili farmers are turning to plasticulture’s economic value to save water and on pesticide costs, and thus enabling them to triple their profits. The farmers, when employing plasticulture in drip irrigation, mulching, or greenhouses, for example, are able to reduce electricity; use of water by 40%; and fertilisers by as much as 40%. Plastic films also help ward off insects, as well as protect fruit crops from extreme weather conditions. Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), the Mumbaiheadquartered conglomerate engaged in energy, petrochemicals, textiles, natural resources, retail, and telecommunications is also a proponent of Vadodarabased Plasticulture Development Centre (PDC).

The foundation of Reliance Industries Limited already has benefited a number of Indian farmers, such as the beneficiary in the photo

RIL says that PDC has “played a key role in ushering a Second Green Revolution for farmers in the country”. PDC promotes plasticulture to improve yield in agriculture and water management. With the support of Reliance Foundation Information Services (RFIS), PDC creates awareness and trains farmers in plasticulture applications, such as drip irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, mulching, greenhouses, nursery bags and plant protection nets, for increased productivity and value addition. PDC and RFIS train around 15,000 farmers a year across India. PDC also conducts free demonstrations and training sessions on plasticulture applications for farmers and NGOs and also works with Indian state and central government agencies to improve agricultural productivity through plasticulture. Weeding out crop threats with biodegradable mulch films Weed-free and healthy crops need mulching, which involves covering the soil around the crop with any material such as PE film for protection, describes Zion Market Research. It projects the global mulch film market size to bloom to US$4.2 billion by 2021, growing at a CAGR of 6.3% from 2016 to the forecast year. Mulch films are mostly blends of LDPE and LLDPE, both of which are economical polymers that demonstrate favourable chemical and mechanical resistance properties. Aside from mulching’s function to inhibit weedgrowth, its use also enables conservation of soil moisture by reducing water evaporation losses and lowering irrigation need, and this is what is driving the market, Zion Research said. Providing higher profit potential for growers, mulching helps increase yields that are of better quality, at the same time enhances insect management and early maturity of crops. German chemical company BASF’s Ecovio M for mulch films is a biodegradable compound for film extrusion based on its biodegradable copolyester Ecoflex F blend. It offers farmers the benefit of not having to take the pains of collecting the mulch films after harvest. Instead, they can plough it in directly; thus saving time, money and also extra labour, says the firm. Earlier on, BASF had embarked on improving the Ecovio mulch films. In 2002, it started the Farm Network together with initiative partners like Czech Republic’s Crop Research Institute; UK’s Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust; France’s Forum of Environmentally Responsible Farmers; and Italy’s Ortosole Farm. Following feedback from an Italian farming family, after several uses of the earlier versions of the biodegradable films, BASF says it was able to improve the biodegradability of its Ecovio mulch film. Staying in the shade with greenhouse film Another additive from BASF, Tinuvin XT 100 light stabiliser, allows for long lasting protection against strong solar radiation, and high resistance to agrochemicals, says the German firm. It also increases the service life of greenhouse film to achieve stable crop yields. JUNE / JULY 2017


Agriculture Industry

BASF’s Tinuvin XT 100 light stabiliser, allows for long lasting protection against strong solar radiation, and high resistance to agrochemicals, thus increasing service life of greenhouse films

Tinuvin XT 100 has been adopted by China-based greenhouse film manufacturer Yuxi Xuri Plastics Production to make LDPE film, which is used to cover a greenhouse for growing grapes in Yunnan. According to BASF, the requirements for greenhouse films are highly demanding. This is because, greenhouse film manufacturers must allow for solar irradiance, expected film durability, type of cultivation as well as type and frequency of agrochemicals used. Yuxi Xuri Plastics wanted to ensure that the greenhouse film did not prematurely break down in the presence of high agrochemicals. Premature failure of the films could result in compensation pay-outs as well as decreased grape yields and reduced income as well as additional costs to reinstall the film. Using Tinuvin XT 100 to stabilise the film, the Chinese company said that it was able to make LDPE films that were able to withstand even high agricultural chemical levels and assure a service life of up to two years, even under intense sunlight. Meanwhile, US petrochemicals firm ExxonMobil offers its Exceed XP Performance polymer grades for greenhouses, as well as large tunnel films. Introduced at the

ExxonMobil offers its Exceed XP Performance polymer grades for greenhouses, as well as large tunnel films


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K2016 show, held in Germany last year, the two grades, Exceed XP 6026 and Exceed XP 6056, are described to offer extreme performance to withstand the rigours of installation and harsh weather. New additions to the Exceed XP line, the new grades are said to provide processability with enhanced toughness, flex-crack resistance, sealability, balanced shrink performance, and good optical properties. For converters, the high melt strength of these polymers promotes greater bubble stability and improved output, says ExxonMobil. Another advantage to converters is that Exceed XP allows for films, which are typically 80-220 micron thick and up to 20 m wide. The EVA and non-EVA film formulations can be easily tailored for seasonal requirements and for special applications and climate conditions. Meanwhile, polyolefin manufacturer Borouge’s diffused-light Borstar-based greenhouse film solution augurs increased profit and efficient greenhouse farming, it says. Its Borstar bimodal process technology enables Borouge to create a broad range of PE suited for producing films required by the industrial and agriculture sectors. The joint venture company between UAEheadquartered Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and Borealis of Austria, says its Borstar-enhanced PE grades find application in agricultural films used for greenhouse tunnels, mulching and silage, flexible and stiff geomembranes for thick liners and covers for landfills, canals, ponds and tough terrain conditions. With the Borstar bimodal process technology, Borouge is able to produce a broad range of PE films required by the industrial and agriculture segments

The grades offer boast a combination of high impact and seal strength; tear resistance; increased stiffness; matte surface; toughness; shorter production cycle; and reduced transportation costs. More importantly, use of the Borstar PE grades for plasticulture result in material savings and lower costs, Borouge said. In other words, plasticulture ensures food security. It also provides a win-win solution for farmers, who are the driving force behind the agriculture sector. Thereby, plasticulture allows the sector to remain the backbone of an economy.

Country Focus

China still a focus market for manufacturers The recent Chinaplas show in Guangzhou exceeded its visitorship with a total of 155,000 visitors over the four days from 16-19 May. The organiser, Adsale Exhibition Services, said the additional 16,000 plus visitors on the last day propped up the number. In fact, compared to last year’s event in Shanghai, Chinaplas 2017 had 4.5% more visitors and 21% more than the previous edition (2015) in Guangzhou.

Visitors to Chinaplas this year jumped by 4.5%, compared to last year


ext year, Chinaplas will be held from 24-27 April, but instead of the Shanghai New International Exhibition Centre in Pudong, it will be located at the new National Exhibition and Convention Centre, less than 2 km from Hongqiao Airport and Hongqiao Railway Station. Stanley Chu, Founder/Chairman of Adsale, said the new convention centre, will allow the show to have a space of 320,000 sq m, “which means it will become the largest plastics fair in the world in terms of space.” But Chu credited the growth to Messe Düsseldorf, organiser of the triennial K fair, which has held the largest exhibition title for quite a while. Materials companies express allegiance to China Meanwhile, expressing its confidence in Chinaplas was Kraiburg TPE, which had 50% more leads, compared to last year. Roland Ritter, Director Asia Pacific, said, “We’re a well known solutions provider and visitors come to our booth to seek assistance for their production.” In terms of market strength in China, Kraiburg has witnessed 20% growth just in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the same period last year. The Germanyheadquartered TPE maker is also expanding its production capacity at its facility in Malaysia. “Due to the increasing demand of our TPE compounds, we will be adding on one more production line, which will be ready in 2018,” said Roland. It already has four lines in operation and increased the size of the facility last year to add on another 5,000 tonnes output, bringing the total Kraiburg’s Roland Ritter was pleased output to 15,000 tonnes/year with the leads generated at the booth of TPEs. US firm DuPont Performance Materials (DPM)’s sales volume in China has grown by 8% over a period of four years from 2012-2016, said Tina Wu, Business Director of the unit in Asia Pacific. “In 2016, China’s business represented 55% of the Asia Pacific market and 23% of global in volume.” Wu also said the firm experienced “exponential” growth in the automotive and electronics sectors, with the business for the automotive sector growing by 37% in 2016. As for the consumer JUNE / JULY 2017


Country Focus electronics market in China, it is also expected to boom, with major brands like Samsung and Apple and the likes of emerging key local OEMs, such as Huawei, Oppo and Vivo, witnessing rising activity in the country. To cater to its Chinese customers, DuPont started up its Shenzhen compounding site last year, and it has grown to be the largest in its network. It produces Crastin PBTs, Zytel HTN PPA, Rynite PET and Zytel nylons. Italy’s PA and polyester maker Radici Group, which has a production unit in Suzhou, said over the last two years it has further strengthened and developed its sales network in Southeast China, yielding an increase in the number of customers in the area. Meanwhile Swiss speciality chemicals firm Clariant, is investing in its additives business in China, adding its first two fully-owned production facilities, in line with the estimated growth of US$15 billion in 2015 to US$19 billion by 2020 expected for water-based coatings in Asia Pacific region. The new facilities at Clariant’s site in Zhenjiang are expected to come on stream in 2018, and will focus on offering additive solutions for packaging, agro-films, automotive and other applications, as well as micronised waxes for various coatings/inks applications. Another company expanding its business in China is Covestro, which shortly after doubling its polycarbonate (PC) production capacity at its Shanghai site to 400,000 tonnes/year will expand it further to 600,000 tonnes/year by 2019. New additives/materials for the Asian market Malaysia-headquartered speciality chemicals maker Emery Oleochemicals launched a portfolio of additives for chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (C-PVC). LOXIOl 2307, an external lubricant, has a high dropping point of 80°C to 90°C, which improves the handling of products and is also thermal stable in a wide temperature range. It is suited for extrusion of rigid PVC and C-PVC pipes, window profiles and fittings in tin, calcium/zinc, and calcium-organic stabilised formulations. Another new additive, LOXIOL 2308, a neutral ester wax, improves the flow properties of the polymer melt and prevents it from sticking to the mould surface. It has food contact approval making it suited for

Emery celebrated its brand LOXIOL’s 60th birthday at the show


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residential water supply systems. LOXIOL 2310 is a lubricant developed to prevent plate-out tendency and to reduce the adhesiveness of the polymer melt. Also, even at small dosages of 0.2 to 0.3 phr, it reduces the time for cleaning cycles, which leads to cost savings. In combination with LOXIOL 2307, it has best results for an optimal rheological behaviour and minimal plate out can be achieved. US firm Addivant launched its Naugard Foamplus LE solutions, a next generation liquid antioxidant for the polyurethane (PU) industry. Developed to meet the challenges faced in automotive applications, the portfolio comprises ultra-low emissive stabilisation packages for compliance with legislations on vehicle indoor air quality (VIAQ). UK’s Colloids Plastic also announced that its facility in Changshu City, Jiangsu Province, had been awarded ISO/TS 16949 accreditation for the manufacture of masterbatches for use in the automotive industry, following its certification of ISO 9001-2008. Meanwhile, US firm Ascend introduced three environmentally-friendly flame-retardant (FR) grades that are said to feature similar mechanical and processing properties as standard grades. One of the grades, Vydyne ECO366H, is an unreinforced PA66 that meets V0 rating down to 0.40 mm and exhibits best in class RTI of 150°C. Dow Corning, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical, launched the 43-821 additive, a new silicone technology designed to resolve mechanical performance degradation and corrosivity issues caused by high loadings of traditional FR additives, such as organic phosphorous, in PA compounds. Applications for Eastman’s new bioplastic include perfume bottles

US-based materials company Eastman Chemical launched TREVA engineering bioplastic, comprising 50% cellulose, sourced from trees derived from sustainably managed forests that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The new material is BPA-free and phthalate-free, with the company also working towards increasing the bio-content in the future.

Country Focus

Andy Postlethwaite of BASF and Stanley Chu, Chairman of Adsale, at the launch of Design x Innovation

At the Design x Innovation event, German firm BASF showcased innovations that were co-created with Chinese companies like Battle Fushida, Midea, Putao Technology, Siasun Robot and Yanfeng using its materials solutions. According to Andy Postlethwaite, Senior Vice President, Performance Materials Asia Pacific, BASF, “Designs that support the artisan spirit are defining China as a global creative power and transforming it into an innovation-oriented society.” Machine makers laud growth in China Extrusion systems manufacturer and supplier DavisStandard displayed its HPE-H extruder. “We had around 100 enquiries and even though the number of enquiries would have been higher at the event in Shanghai, these were of quality,” said Sekaran Murugaiah, VicePresident of Business Development Asia, adding that a number of the enquiries were for cast CPP and extrusion coating lines as well as extruders. Sekaran also admitted that the firm has to contend with Chinese firms that have improved their machinery in terms of sophistication and performance. Nevertheless, the US-headquartered company, which has a full-scale R&D laboratory in Suzhou with a medical tubing line for customers to test new resins and processes, plans to build its capabilities and increase the product portfolio from Suzhou, to meet growing demand. “This would require us to consider expansion in terms of space and resources in the short to mid-term,” said Sekaran. German machinery maker KraussMaffei Group, which covers brands of KraussMaffei, KraussMaffei Berstorff and Netstal, is currently taking over management responsibility for the rubber sites of ChemChina, which acquired the company last year, said CEO Frank Stieler, adding that According to Davisthe integration process should Standard’s Sekaran be undertaken by 2018. Murugaiah, the medical “We see a common tubing sector is one of ground for our machinery the strongest markets for because the group is both an the company in China

extruder supplier and tyre maker (through French tyre maker Pirelli, which is also owned by ChemChina),” said Stieler. Meanwhile, through improved access to the Chinese market under ChemChina, KraussMaffei is prepared to attain double-digit growth in the country, said Xiaojun Cui, CEO KraussMaffei Group China. “We have more than ten footprints that serve our customers. Our main factory in Haiyan covers from injection moulding, extrusion to reaction moulding. The machinery made in China is not only for the domestic market but is also exported, even to the US,” explained Cui, adding that KraussMaffei is planning for a 20% increase in technical support and sales/service operations to meet the additional demand. Chinese extrusion machinery maker Jinming Machinery envisages two directions for growth in the future: R&D and automation, said Marketing Director Roy Chen. “We have already started a “smart” factory for film making in Shantou,” he said, touting it as the first of its kind in the blown film sector in Asia Pacific. Besides producing commercial-grade film, the facility allows for testing, catering not just to potential customers but also materials makers such as BASF, ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, Basell, Borouge, DuPont and DSM, Chen added. It has six lines, with a capability of three, five, seven and nine layer films, as well as non-barrier films, and Jinming’s Roy Chen expects the an output of 20,000 markets in Asia to grow tonnes/year. “In the three-phase expansion, we plan to expand output to 60,000 tonnes/year by 2020.” When asked why it was termed as “smart”, Chen replied, “It has downstream equipment that allow for high output and low energy consumption, in line with Industry 4.0, as an example to customers.” The firm’s second direction for expansion will be to establish a “mega data” platform to provide remote analysis for machine/process diagnostics. “We expect to have agreements with customers to do this in the future,” said Chen, adding that Jinming was seeking automation/software equipment suppliers to tie up with. Meanwhile, last year, its sales in Asia grew by 14%, compared to 2015. While its current export sales represents 30% of its turnover, the public-listed company expects to increase it to 50%. “We are putting more effort in the South Asian and South American markets, as well as in countries like Indonesia, where the packaging market is growing,” said Chen. JUNE / JULY 2017


Blow Moulding

PET containers/dairy alternatives converge to market growth New developments in the blow moulding sector, from the growth of the alternative drinks market to recycling challenges of PET bottles and launches of machinery for processing new materials as well as improving productivity and savings, are featured in this report.

China market to lead alternative drinks market The global market for dairy alternative drinks is expected to reach US$16.3 billion in 2018, up dramatically from US$7.4 billion in 2010, and growing at a CAGR of 20% over the 20122016 period. Meat substitutes had a CAGR of 14% over this period, while the use of vegan substitutes tripled from 2012-2016. China is enjoying particularly strong growth for dairy alternative drinks, with a CAGR of 18.7% forecast between 2010 and 2018, reaching a market value of US$6.7 billion, compared with a more modest, if still impressive, CAGR of 10% in the US. Significant developments in this area include the acquisition of WhiteWave recently by French food supplier Danone, allowing it to expand in both North America and Europe. In another key region, Want Want, Danone is a main market player in the one of Taiwan’s leading food processing alternative dairy sector companies, recently announced its expansion into soy and other plant-based beverages. Dairy alternative drinks accounted for 7% of global dairy launches recorded by Innova Market Insights in 2016, up from 6% in 2015. Actual global launch numbers more than doubled over a five-year period. Just over half of these launches were positioned as lactose free, nearly 40% as vegan and just under a quarter as GMO-free. Meeting demands of dairy market with FDA-approved machinery French machine supplier Sidel having received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its Predis FMa PET blow fill seal filler, following tests run at a dairy customer in North America, says it is validated for low-acid manufacturing and commercial distribution in the US market. It is also the world’s first aseptic equipment with dry preform sterilisation approved by FDA. The process authority for the filler was Dover Brook Associates. According to Sidel, there are 100 Combi Predis lines running worldwide and the patented technology is used to package shelf-stable products like UHT milk, soymilk, coconut water and teas in PET bottles. The Combi Predis merges dry preform sterilisation with aseptic blowing, filling and sealing functions in a single production, allowing for a commercially sterile product, filled in a sterile zone, in a previously sterilised package. It differs from traditional aseptic technology because the package sterilisation takes place at the preform rather than at the bottle phase.

Sidel’s Aspetic Combi has received FDA approval in the US


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PET bottle recycling; colour/label challenges There is no doubt that the use of PET for packaging has grown tremendously due to the material’s ability to offer lightweighting options, improved container designs, clarity, long shelf life and recyclability.

Blow Moulding But unfortunately, only non-coloured and lightlytinted blue PET bottles can be recycled, says Plastic Technologies (PTI), a firm that provides design, development and engineering services to bottle manufacturers. Furthermore, PTI says the use of oxygen scavengers in PET bottles/containers to improve barrier properties means that rPET materials turn to yellow after melt reprocessing. PTI’s study points to If the volume of PET used challenges of recycling PET, for amber carbonated soft both coloured and nondrink, beer and pharmaceutical coloured PET packaging usage increases, items returned for recycling may reach a level significant enough to warrant their own stream. This would also be spurred by brand owners under pressure to allow for material to be reused in bottles. The US firm says that it is possible that yellowing can be offset by blending them with amber coloured bottles to yield an acceptable amber colour for reuse. Meanwhile, the most common strategy deployed by many water bottlers to meet sustainability initiatives has been to significantly lightweight their PET containers. Since the early 2000s, the weight of a 0.5 l water bottle has been reduced by half, enabling cost reduction and contributing to the environment. Many assume that lighter weight only has positive benefits, but is that the reality? PTI undertook a study and found a wide variation in performance, weight and recyclability in the bottles it examined, which it procured from retail store shelves in the US, Europe and India. It discovered that lighter weight, design and label choices have an impact on post-consumer recovery. It, thus, says that designs not only have to meet physical performance requirements but also should not negatively impact current recycling systems. While weight reduction results in a lower carbon footprint, ultra-lightweight bottles can negatively impact post-consumer waste sorting and recycling systems. The study showed that many of the samples did not factor in generally-accepted recyclability guidelines during the design process, such as the colour, label, glue or ink components used that have a significant impact on recyclability. Catering to new materials; reducing material costs Making its debut is a newly developed, fully transparent EPET IV material, recommended for handle containers, boasting an improved class IV, higher than the 1.0 PET recycling stream. Other benefits include high resistance to wear, since the material can be melted in the extrusion unit. To cater to the processing of EPET, German firm Bekum is offering its Hyblow 407D extrusion blow moulding, in a three-layer operation, with flash removal

and directed bottle transfer integrated into the machine. Meanwhile, processors are also increasingly looking at reducing the cost of materials. Two methods are available: the use of calcium carbonate (chalk) and recycled material as a substitute in the middle layer. The use of calcium carbonate is to improve barrier and UV protection properties, but cost is a main factor.

The high transparency of glassclear EPET IV container

Bekum says that with a 20 l canister for the packaging of cooking oil, 24% of the HDPE, based on a weight of 900 g, could be replaced by chalk at a far lower price. The cost difference between HDPE and chalk in is about US$1,000 per tonne. “At a machine output of 210 items/ hour and 6,000 production hours/year, this results in possible savings of more than US$270,000/year.� The use of PCR (post-consumer recycled) material as a substitute in the middle layer was presented by Bekum as part of the launch of the new Eblow37electric blowmoulding machine at the K2016. A three-layer 20 l canister with a combined material layer made of chalk and PCR was shown. An output of 240 20 l canisters/hour has a flash waste of 23%. The flash waste generated during the process can be 100% reused in the production. In addition, 20% of the HDPE material can be replaced by the less expensive combination with chalk. There are also advantages when adding colour. The 2% proportion of colour pigments in a single-layer design can be reduced to 0.5%. The more expensive colour pigments/ masterbatches only need to be applied to the outer layers. The hidden core no longer needs to be coloured. On the back of Industry 4.0 Meanwhile, with Industry 4.0 all the rage at the moment, Kautex Maschinenbau has introduced Intelligate integration system, which made its debut at the K2016 last year. Intelligate is used to integrate downstream processes such as quality control processes into the machines. Individual modules can be incorporated with machines in the KBB series by Kautex and connected via the Connext interface using plug and play. The solution gives users flexibility to respond to changes in the production sequence, for example by allowing them to exchange the modules of existing Kautex machines. It also eliminates the need for additional power supply or compressed air connections. With this industry 4.0 application, Kautex says its machines can be developed into a self-contained manufacturing plant. JUNE / JULY 2017


Cosmetics Industry

Cosmetics get a “sustainability” makeover The beauty products industry is making a statement that beauty is indeed skin-deep by addressing sustainability first-hand, says Angelica Buan in this report.

Microbeads are found in cosmetics and personal care products such as toothpaste, sunscreen, hair gel and shower gel


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o longer a mere hodgepodge of colours and beauty enhancement tools, the cosmetics industry is also addressing environmental, quality and safety issues that are privy to its consumers. The multi-million dollar cosmetics market covers various products such as skin care, hair care, deodorants, makeup and fragrances. Allied Research estimates that the global cosmetics market may reach US$429.8 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 4.3% from 2016 to 2022. Driving this growth are firms that are investing in technologies for making beauty products safer, with better quality, and are targeting market-specific needs. Given the high sales calibre of cosmetics, the industry is a competitive one, thus wagering on sustainability can boost brand as well as consumer appeal. Eco-friendly cosmetics: no more microbeads The cosmetics industry has been embroiled in the marine litter issue over the use of microplastics or microbeads, especially in personal care products, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Program. Though it may only represent a small percentage in total, the repeated release (into the oceans) of microbeads could increase this amount over time, if unabated. Microplastics/microbeads are spheres of plastic (usually PP and PE) less than 0.5 mm in size that are added to personal care and cleaning products including cosmetics, sunscreens and fillers to give them a smooth texture. However, they are too small to be removed by sewage filtration systems and so end up in rivers and oceans, where they are ingested by birds, fish and other marine life. It is estimated that a single shower can result in 100,000 plastic particles entering the ocean, contributing to the 8 million tonnes/year of plastic that enters the ocean. The role of these microbeads has resulted in the culmination of several initiatives, such as the signing of the US Microbead Free Waters Act, that will ban microbeads in beauty and cleansing products starting this July. European personal care association, Cosmetics Europe, has also urged its members to halt the sales of microbeadscontaining cosmetics by 2020. Following its 2016 survey, Cosmetics Europe found a “substantial 82% reduction in the use of plastic microbeads between 2012 and 2015.” As a result of recent campaigning by environmental groups, the UK government has pledged to ban plastic microbeads in 2017. The ten-member ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), home to some 600 million consumers, is also aiming at reducing microplastics in cosmetics, according to a report published by the Philippine Information Agency, which said that non-government organisations in Southeast Asia are in discussions on this. An online petition at Avaaz, a US-based civic organisation, has made the rounds among member countries of the ASEAN, in line with the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive of the 26th ASEAN Cosmetic Committee Meeting held in Cambodia recently, to effect a regional ban on microplastics. The petition is based on a 2016 UN Environment Assembly resolution underscoring an urgent response against the harmful effects of plastic litter and microplastics in the marine environment. Proponents include Indonesia’s Balifokus, Malaysia’s Consumers’ Association of Penang, Philippines’s EcoWaste Coalition,

Cosmetics Industry Thailand’s Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand, and Vietnam’s Research Centre for Gender, Family and Environment in Development. India, which has a huge market base of 1.3 billion, is also mulling the ban of microbeads in cosmetics. In a recent development, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) labelled microbeads as unsafe for use in cosmetic products. The National Green Tribunal (NGT), a body which governs issues relating to environment, had raised the issue following a petition brought by Delhibased lawyer Ashwini Kumar. Safer and environmentally viable options to microplastics A research team, from the University of Bath's Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies (CSCT), has developed a way of producing a biodegradable renewable alternative to plastic microbeads in a scalable, continuous manufacturing process. The beads are made from cellulose, which is the material that forms the tough fibres found in wood and plants. In this process the scientists dissolve the A microscopic view of cellulose microbeads cellulose to reform it into tiny beads by forming droplets that are then “set”. These microbeads are robust enough to remain stable in a bodywash, but can be broken down by organisms at the sewage treatment works, or even in the environment in a short period of time. The researchers anticipate they could use cellulose from a range of “waste” sources, including from the paper making industry as a renewable source of raw material. The beads are made using a solution of cellulose, which is forced through tiny holes in a tubular membrane creating spherical droplets of the solution that are washed away from the membrane using vegetable oil. The beads are then collected, set and separated from the oil before use. The physical properties of the beads can be tweaked by changing the structure of the cellulose, for example making the beads harder. The research team has also just been awarded funding of over £1 million to develop porous beads, capsules and microsponges. It will work with industrial partners to develop materials that could be used in cosmetics and personal care products. German speciality chemicals company Evonik is offering environmentally-friendly alternatives for microplastics: silica Sipernat 2200 PC and Sipernat 22 PC, which are already being used in shower gels, facial care and body peeling products based on the prototypes released by Evonik in late 2013.

According to Evonik, the materials and the 120 micron-sized Sipernat 22 PC are listed as nature-identical by the International Natural and Organic Cosmetics Association (Natrue), a global association for the promotion of natural skin care. Evonik's Sipernat are environmentally-friendly alternatives

Sustainable packaging scores in market appeal Sustainability, not only of the product but also the packaging, is trailing the sustainability curve. Sustainable, packaging for cosmetics has hoisted sales for cosmetic products and vice versa. Research and Markets in its Global Sustainable Packaging Market report cites that cosmetics packaging is poised to grow at a CAGR of around 7.7% over the next decade to reach approximately US$440 billion by 2025. Drastic changes have taken place in cosmetics packaging, in form and in how they relate to consumers. India-based research firm Wiseguy Reports refers to cosmetic packaging as a “casing or primary packaging of cosmetics in pumps, dispensers, bottles, cans, cases, pouches, tubes, bags, and jars”. Plastic as well as glass or metal are the usual materials. The research group discloses in its 2016-2020 cosmetic packaging report that vendors have begun to adopt recyclable and eco-friendly packaging due to growing environmental concerns. The demand for innovative designs and colours in packaging and focus on brand differentiation are the primary drivers of the market. Plastic is emerging as the material of choice for cosmetic packaging because of its versatile nature. However, the rising price of plastic resins acts as a barrier to growth. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that sustainable cosmetic packaging has become an important component in cosmetic product branding. Companies are rolling out packaging in various formats. PCR dons new packaging trend Terracycle, a US-headquartered company that specialises in selective collection systems for the recycling of waste streams that are not handled by traditional recycling channels, has tied up with mass market companies, brands and municipalities to implement recycling programmes for post-consumer products and packaging. With its activities spread across 20 countries, nearly 60 million collectors are working with the recycling company. For Terracycle’s Personal Care and Beauty Recycling Program, it has partnered with L'Oréal Australia and its brands Garnier, L’Oréal Paris and Maybelline to create a free recycling programme for hair care, skin care, and cosmetic product packaging, as well as a fundraising opportunity for participants. JUNE / JULY 2017


Cosmetics Industry The collected items are sorted by polymer type, cleaned, and extruded into plastic pellets to make new recycled products. Terracycle, to date, has recycled more than 9 million pieces of packaging. Terracycle is also partnering with French waste recycling company, Suez, which acquired 30% of the former’s activities in Europe to develop collection and recycling programmes in Belgium, Finland, France, the Netherlands, the UK, and Sweden. The Terracycle-Suez partnership is also cooperating with American consumer goods manufacturer Procter & Gamble (P&G) for its Head & Terracycle/Suez Shoulders (H&S) shampoo brand. P&G, are cooperating which has been using post-consumer with P&G for its Head recycled (PCR) plastic in packaging for & Shoulders over 25 years now, is also adopting shampoo bottle recyclable bottle packaging containing as much as 25% recycled beach plastic for one of its leading shampoo brands. The project, which requires a supply of 2,600 tonnes/year of recycled plastic, is expected to produce limited-edition H&S shampoo in PCR bottles for French consumers. According to the partners, this will be the world’s largest production run of recyclable bottles made with PCR beach plastic, and a first major step in establishing a unique supply chain that engages thousands of volunteers and hundreds of NGOs to collect plastic wastes on beaches. Furthermore, by end of 2018, more than 500 billion bottles/year used by P&G for the European market will include up to 25% PCR plastic. This represents more than 90% of all the hair care bottles sold in Europe across P&G’s hair care flagship brands. Cosmetics industry does not shy away from bioplastics Meanwhile, bioplastics are also gaining a hold in the cosmetics sector. French start-up manufacturing company Algopack has developed biodegradable natural polymer from brown algae. Together with French seaweed specialist C-Weed Aquaculture (which also recommends cosmetic makers to extract seaweed to create efficient cosmetic products), Algopack breeds and harvests the seaweed plants in the Atlantic Ocean and the French Caribbean Islands. The resulting bioplastics can be used for cosmetics and packaging as well as for other applications, Algopack said. Meanwhile, Dutch chemicals company AkzoNobel’s foray into biobased polymers with speciality chemicals company Itaconix, a US subsidiary of Revolymer, Algopack is working withC-Weed Aquaculture to develop bioplastic from brown algae used for cosmetics and packaging


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will allow the use of its proprietary polymerisation technology to turn sugar-derived itaconic acid into polymers. AkzoNobel will oversee the development and commercialisation of the bioplastics. Both companies will be co-producing polymers from renewable ingredients for personal care applications. Furthermore, AkzoNobel has also partnered with Advanced Biochemical Thailand, and Ernst & Young (EY) to launch a new online tool, which utilises e-certification for monitoring the use of biobased raw AkzoNobel’s polymerisation materials vis-à-vis technology can turn sugar-derived chemicals in products itaconic acid into polymers across the value chain. In 2014, AkzoNobel and EY also collaborated with Belgian chemicals company Solvay to develop a monitoring system that tracks and quantifies the use of renewable raw materials in paints, coatings and other applications. Meanwhile, introducing a twist in PET packaging is Spanish packaging provider Rafesa that has launched a fully recyclable rigid PET bottle line for the cosmetics and pharmaceutical segments. The bio-PET material used for the packaging line is 100% recyclable. For industry consortium Global Bioenergies, a European renewables company, and Swiss chemicals companies Clariant and Ineos, production of isobutene derivatives from straw demonstrates a major renewable development for products in a broad range of markets including cosmetics and packaging. The partners have received European funding of EUR9.8 million to develop the straw-based isobutene derivatives. Global Bioenergies will receive funding amounting to EUR4.4 million for its R&D activities at its pilot plant in France, and for a demonstration plant in Germany. The companies are working with France-headquartered Process Engineering Sugars and Biotechnologies (IPSB); French energy company TechnipFMC and Linz University to convert currently poorly valorised residual wheat straw into second generation renewable isobutene, over a period of two years. Thus, the palette of advancements in beauty and personal care products continues to expand as it caters to an important growth driver of the cosmetic market – the sustainable-conscious beauty consumers.

Rafesa's bioPET material used for its new sustainable packaging line is 100% recyclable

Injection Moulding Asia Country Focus

China’s manufacturing market becomes sophisticated The injection moulding machine market is seeing

Export of Chinese machinery grew marginally by 7.5%, with Asian countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, India and Thailand as the top destinations. In CPMIA’s list of top injection moulding machine makers, Chinese firm Haitian International still holds the reins; followed by Chen Hsong, Borche, Yizumi and FCS Group.

brisk business, with machine makers at the

recently concluded Chinaplas show in Guangzhou boasting growth in their respective businesses. Meanwhile, the Chinese market has come of

age, and is now upping its stakes in technical

Machine makers report higher sales Given its hold on the market, it’s little surprise that Haitian had a record revenue in 2016, growing by 10.4% to over RMB8.1 billion, with domestic sales up 14% year-on-year, compared to a 3% rise in export sales, said Helmar Franz, who is an Advisor to the firm. Meanwhile, Haitian’s all-electric machines scored in 2016, with almost 1,900 all-electric Zhafir machines sold. Sales of large two-platen Jupiter models also increased, from 429 units in 2015 to 595 units last year. In terms of exports, the Southeast Asian market was in second place (29.7%), after Europe. German injection moulding machine maker Arburg also had a record consolidated turnover of EUR630 million in 2016, its third in a row, said Gerhard Böhm Managing Director Sales. In terms of exports, Asia, including China and India, accounted for 20% of group sales. The sales of electric machines rose further to 27%, with Arburg’s new electric entry-level Golden Electric machine series, launched last year, having contributed to this, according to Böhm. Arburg’s hybrid machines, which combine electric speed and precision with hydraulic power, accounted for 16% of the turnover. As for the Allrounder machines, with Arburg showcased its entryclamping forces of more level Allrounder Golden Electric, than 250 tonnes, sales have shown producing Y connectors increased steadily in recent for the medical technology sector, years, to 24% of the total a hydraulic Allrounder 420C turnover last year. Turnkey Golden Edition, producing flexible systems took a share of 17% smartphone covers from LSR, and a Freeformer for industrial additive last year, with Arburg to further build up and expand manufacturing the automation and turnkey solutions on the international front, added Böhm.

solutions, thus, requiring higher technology, as seen with the exhibits on display.

Processors sourcing equipment domestically With technology improvements and more foreign machinery makers setting up in China, Chinese processors are turning to local machine suppliers for their requirements, according to the China Plastics Manufacturers Industry Association (CPMIA). The processing sector saw a mild rebound of 6.2% last year, with China exporting US$58 billion worth of plastic products. Against this backdrop, domestic consumption of machinery grew by 15.5% in 2016, over 2015. Along the same lines, in 2016, 85% of plastics processing machinery was sourced locally, compared with 82% in the previous year, while injection moulding machinery imports to China have declined from US$872 million to US$533 million in 2016. Japan still leads as the country where most machinery is imported from, followed by Germany, Taiwan, Italy and South Korea. Haitian’s Franz Helmar explaining the company’s growth

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Injection Moulding Asia Country Focus Austrian machinery company Engel has increased its annual revenue for the third time in a row, closing fiscal 2016/2017 at the end of March with sales of EUR1.36 billion, 8.6% up from the previous year. It generated sales of 20% from Asia, along with 55% from Europe, which is still its leading market, and 24% from the US. “Around 90% of machines sold in Asia are produced at our plants in South Korea and Shanghai, that have a turnover of EUR265 million,” said Gero Willmeroth, Sales and Service President at Engel Machinery Shanghai, adding that the markets in Asia have played a big role in the success of Engel. “Asia grew faster than average in the last fiscal year, primarily due to China. On top of this, we are benefiting from the strong momentum in Southeast Asia,” he said. The company has realigned itself completely in Southeast Asia and established a regional hub in Bangkok. Meanwhile, its Chinese subsidiary Wintec, which builds machines for standard applications, has experienced 50% growth, since its launch three years ago, said Mark Feng, President. The company sells 75% of its machinery locally with 25% exported. Its main export markets are Asia and Middle East, and main applications markets are automotive (75%), white goods (20%) and technical moulding (5%). Wintec’s plant in Changzhou was opened in 2014.

quality. We have a huge installed base, with most being repeat orders,” said Schmidt, adding that business in South China, where most of the manufacturing is, is stronger than Central China. It was showcasing the XS 25E, its most popular machine in China for producing technical and sophisticated parts for small-batch volumes. “It is easy to do product changeovers on this model.” Equipped with a servo drive, the 25E eclipses conventional hydraulic drive systems in terms of efficiency, precision and stability, plus, despite the small footprint of 1.8 sq m, it offers sufficient space for large moulds with the free-standing clamping unit. In addition, with four of the seven possible screw diameters, substantially higher injection speeds can be achieved, said Schmidt. At Trillion’s booth it displayed a 10-tonne XS model, producing a HDPE cable organiser in less than 5 seconds. The patented 8 mm-diameter micro-plasticising unit is said to guarantee short dwelling times in the machine, which is an advantage for gentle processing of temperature-sensitive materials. Both exhibits were equipped with the multi-patented multi-language software control Procan Alpha, with 15” fulltouch display, 23 languages in total and a digital auxiliary function for the machine control in the language of use in the country. Taiwanese machine maker FCS was displaying a HB-350RV two-platen two-component machine with a Kuka six-axis robot producing two-component parts for a car sunroof application. The HB-R series, with clamping forces of up to 1,900 tonnes, was developed in 2012, and is said to be one of a few huge two-component machines in the world. It combines the two-platen and two-component structure, with horizontal rotary table, stack mould, and servo powersaving technology. FCS also showed the 16-cavity FB-280RV model producing a two-component drinking water bottle cap. With the servomotor-controlled rotary table, rotary time is shortened by more than 50%, with a more stable speed and precise positioning, says FCS. The machine also has a double servopower system, which is certified as the first grade of national power saving standard (<0.40 kw/hour/kg). FCS was showing the In the dual moulding field, production of caps on a twoFCS says it has been ahead of component model the industry with its closedloop servopower, single-cylinder injection structure and rotary positioning clamping for accuracy, stable actuation and precise positioning.

China not a market for cheap machinery any more Zhao Tong, Managing Director of Arburg China, said the company’s presence in the Chinese market for 25 years, with subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Shanghai, has borne fruit. Arburg has focused on the high-end segment from the onset and this strategy has paid off, said Tong. “Many of our customers have come to rely on Arburg’s comprehensive consulting, service and machine technology,” said Tong, adding that at Chinaplas the display focused on applications for medical technology, consumer industry and the aerospace sector with the entry-level electric and hydraulic machines from the Golden Electric and Golden Edition series, as well as the Freeformer for industrial additive manufacturing. German machine maker Dr. Boy, through its Chinese representative Trillion Machinery, has been in China for four decades. Based on its experience, it has seen the market grow to a more sophisticated level, said Export Manager Wolfgang Schmidt. “China is no longer a market for low-cost production, but more for engineering solutions with higher

Boy’s Wolfgang Schmidt and Andy Wong of Trillion Machinery

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Injection Moulding Asia Machinery

Unlocking PET packaging potential with Multi-Layer Technology for Barrier By Peter Yankov, Team Leader, Advanced Solutioning Process & Technology, Husky Injection Molding Systems


ince the early days of PET adoption in the packaging industry, it has been recognised for its outstanding properties, allowing it to replace glass and aluminium in many food, beverage, home and personal care products. In addition to the functions of containing and dispensing a product, as well as delivering a marketing message to the consumer, a package must provide necessary protection for its content, at least for the duration of the planned shelf life. Some simple examples include the need to keep the carbon dioxide content of a carbonated beverage from escaping, preventing oxygen from reaching sensitive juice and sauce products and limiting exposure to light for dairy applications, including visible, ultra-violet or infra-red. While PET provides a better gas barrier than many other packaging polymers, it is still permeable and some gas exchange takes place between the content of a package and the environment, often becoming the factor that limits product shelf life. The challenge of providing adequate product protection increases as package sizes decrease. The rate of gas ingress (or loss) is proportional to the surface area of a package, while the total amount of gas that can be allowed to enter or leave a package is dictated by the product volume. Surface to volume ratio inevitably increases as package volumes decrease. This requires packages to have improved barrier properties to support the necessary product shelf life. Market trends, driven by a consumer preference for smaller packages (portion control and on-the-go consumption) and the ever-increasing need for brand owners to differentiate their products on store shelves, suggest that smaller volume packages will become increasingly more common. A small volume package also allows brand owners to offer their products in emerging markets at a price point that is accessible to the larger group of potential consumers without eroding the value.

There are multiple approaches to extending the barrier properties of a PET package and the ultimate choice of the technology will be dictated by multiple factors, such as the level of required barrier improvement, the need to maintain production flexibility, constraints placed by the logistics chain and, of course, the total cost to produce. The easiest solution to improving the barrier properties of a traditional PET package is to blend PET at the injection system extruder with one of the many barrier materials available on the market. The resulting blend will have improved resistance to gas permeation (passive barrier) or may even actively trap oxygen molecules (active oxygen scavenger) in the polymer matrix. Not requiring any equipment changes other than the polymer dosing and mixing auxiliaries, this may be an appropriate solution in some situations. At the same time, the simplest solution, as it often happens, has serious limitations or even penalties. The barrier improvement factor is directly proportional to the amount of barrier material added to the blend. As the additive level is increased, the clarity and transparency of a PET bottle typically suffers, placing a limit on how much improvement can be reached while maintaining the desired package appearance. Even more significant is the barrier material cost penalty of a blend solution and its potential impact on recyclability when compared to a multi-layer package.

Bottle coating vs multi-layer technology Bottle coating, with a thin glass-like coating on the internal surface of a bottle, is another available option to improve the resistance of a monolayer PET package to gas permeation. The coating is applied in a plasma treatment following the blow moulding process. Silicon oxide coating is clear and transparent, while amorphous carbon coating imparts a light yellow tint to a clear package. The effectiveness of such coatings may be limited by the bottle creep, which may disrupt its integrity and lower the net improvement of the barrier properties. In contrast, the multi-layer co-injection barrier solution provides a greater package Comparison of CO2 loss – mono-layer versus mono-layer blend versus Multi-Layer Barrier Technology design freedom, since the 3

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Injection Moulding Asia Machinery package creep and deformation levels are less critical or even inconsequential for the barrier performance. It further allows the introduction of active oxygen scavenger materials, preventing oxygen ingress and lowering oxygen content in the headspace. A multi-layer structure providing a barrier to light can also be created when required for the application. On the operational level, coatings are attractive due to a low cost of consumable materials. At the same time, a plasma coating system represents an additional process step between bottle blowing and filling, which can pose a challenge to preform moulders supplying multiple blowing sites.

Multi-Layer Barrier Technology combines the benefits of Husky’s proven HyPET HPP5 system with a revolutionary new hot runner to enable the most precise and controlled dosing of barrier material

PET and the barrier materials flow into the mould cavity through the gate at the same time. The multi-layer melt flow is formed in the nozzle of the co-injection hot runner, while the standard mould cold half can be interchanged between the monolayer and the multi-layer systems, assuming the same hot runner pitch and nozzle interface is maintained. While a co-injection system must be configured with two injection units and a co-injection hot runner, as well as necessary auxiliaries and control system, Husky MultiLayer systems offer complete flexibility to run mono-layers tools (complete mould and hot runner) or to produce monolayer preforms without switching tooling, if this becomes necessary due to changes in demand, season or target markets. Both passive and active barrier materials are more effective when used in a concentrated layer in a multi-layer package, compared to a monolayer blend with PET. The same barrier improvement factor (and the resulting product shelf life) can be achieved in a multi-layer barrier package using approximately 50% or less of the blended barrier material. The effect has been reported with co-injection systems and confirmed in laboratory studies. This holds true for both the oxygen scavenger applications, where oxygen must be prevented from reaching the product, and for passive barrier applications, where carbonation must be kept inside the package, although the mechanism differs. In the case of a passive barrier layer, the gas permeation rate is reduced by creating a denser “fence” for gas molecules. In the case of an active scavenger, the useful capacity of the scavenger material is extended by ensuring only the oxygen molecules that reach the barrier layer are reacting with the scavenger and are trapped. Even though light barrier applications do not involve gas diffusion mechanisms, similar material cost and package performance advantages are derived from a multilayer technology. Shelf life of dairy products (such as UHT milk) processed for long shelf life at ambient temperature is

Multi-Layer Barrier Technology positions the barrier exactly where it is needed. Pictured left is a biased black layer positioned away from the surface towards the core. Pictured right is a fully encapsulated dome

The choice of a system supplier is determined, among other factors, by the type of the coating selected. Quality control of a barrier coating is accomplished through monitoring of the process parameters. The silicon oxide coating itself can only be detected using laboratory grade instruments such as a scanning electron microscope. Quality of the barrier layer distribution in a multi-layer preform can be confirmed by both non-destructive and destructive inspection means. A multi-layer preform is produced in a sequential injection or a simultaneous co-injection process. In both cases, the resulting preform contains a distinct layer of the barrier material sandwiched between the inner and outer layers of PET. Even though barrier materials are typically approved for food and beverage applications, as an added benefit this results in only PET being in direct contact with such products. Preform blowing and filling steps subsequent to injection moulding do not require changes to the existing production lines. This means that, when desirable, a producer is able to maintain the flexibility of operating a central injection moulding facility supplying multiple blowing and filling locations. Multi-layer technology Husky’s Multi-Layer Technology is a complete integrated system solution building on the best-in-class monolayer preform performance and reliability of the company’s HyPET HPP product line. Simultaneous co-injection results in faster cycle times and the ability to inject thinwall preforms, since both 4 NJ O UV NEEM/ BJEURLY / D2 E 01 C 7E M B E R 2 0 1 6

Injection Moulding Asia Machinery limited, among other factors, by the breakdown of riboflavin (vitamin B2) and oxidation of proteins and lipids triggered by exposure to light, leading to a loss in nutritional value and off-flavors. Monolayer preforms containing significantly above 12% of a TiO2 master batch (titanium oxide commonly used to produce a strongly opaque white) are difficult and at some point impossible to stretch blow, thus limiting the extent of light barrier that can be achieved. In contrast, multi-layer preforms containing a black PET layer hidden within an opaque white PET achieve signicantly lower light transmission, blocking up to 99.99% of light up to 650 nm wavelength, while reducing the amount of expensive opaque white additive that is needed. The ability to provide uninterrupted barrier layer coverage through the preform dome improves total package barrier performance and is especially important for oxygen and light sensitive applications. In particular, some food types (for example pasta sauces) do not readily mix inside the package, creating a potential for local oxidisation of the product in segments of the package not covered by the barrier layer, causing spoilage. The Husky hot runner design and control system allow moulding of the multi-layer preforms with either closed or open dome tips (with or without barrier layer in the bottle base), in the former case providing outstanding control over the termination (trailing edge) or the barrier layer. In 2015, Husky began working with select early adopter customers to introduce their Multi-Layer Technology to the market. Customers have since chosen to rely on this solution for a variety of applications, including for carbonated soft drinks, mineral waters, juices, sauces, and now seeing expansion into dairy, beer and personal care products.

Multi-Layer Technology for barrier is suitable for a variety of applications, including for carbonated soft drinks, mineral waters, juices, sauces, and now seeing expansion into dairy, beer and personal care products

An important factor to lowering the total cost to produce is the ability to precisely dose and distribute just the right amount of barrier material for a given application while maintaining the robust productivity expected of Husky HyPET HPP systems. It is well known that material cost is a major contributor to the total cost of a package. Barrier materials, while making up a relatively low (typically 2% to 15%) percentage of a package’s weight are substantially more expensive than PET. This makes it critical to ensure the minimum necessary amount of barrier material is delivered to each mould cavity and distributed in the most effective manner within the preform. NJ O UV NEEM/ BJEURLY / D2 E 01 C 7E M B E R 2 0 1 6

Ministry of Industry, Republic of Indonesia

Indonesia Woven Polyolefin Manufacturers Association

Indonesian Packaging Federation

The Indonesian Indonesian Packaging Food and Beverages Development Board Association

Asosiasi Industri Plastik Hilir Indonesia

Association of Plastic Converting Industry


The Soft Drink Industry Association

Indonesia Mould & Dies Industry Association


The Indonesian Olefin Aromatic & Plastic Industry Association

Association of Indonesia Bottled Water Company


Injection Moulding Asia Machinery With Husky’s co-injection hot runner the two material delivery systems are thermally separated and independently controlled by the embedded Altanium control system, ensuring the barrier material is only subjected to the PET processing temperature when the two materials are combined prior to the gate. Injection moulders familiar with co-injection will recognise that in the attempt to improve hot runner balance and ensure melt flow and temperature rates are as uniform as possible across multiple gates, the hot runner may be tuned by lowering and raising temperatures of manifolds and nozzle tips.

of the complete system is facilitated by Husky’s intelligent, preform-centric control system, integrating all aspects of the injection moulding process and auxiliary equipment. Process setup for a new application begins with establishing a mono-layer process for preform quality. When barrier material injection is enabled, the control system automatically adjusts the PET injection profile based on the barrier content and generates the barrier injection profile, which can be further fine-tuned by the operator. Early adopter customer sees success with Husky’s MultiLayer Technology When introducing its new Multi-Layer Technology, Husky partnered with one of Europe’s best known preform and PET bottle manufacturers to test and validate the solution in the field. Having already established a proven track record of working together to validate new technologies, Husky knew this European customer would be a good fit as an early adopter partner. The two companies also shared a common goal of developing solutions that push the PET industry forward, as well as grow the addressable PET market. It was also perfect timing for Husky’s customer, as they were experiencing maintenance, service and stability issues with their existing co-injection barrier systems and were looking to find an upgraded solution. The installation and start-up of the first Multi-Layer system in the customer’s European facility was fully supported by Husky’s regional service engineers, as well as their Multi-Layer Barrier subject matter experts who were present from the company’s headquarters in Bolton, Ontario, Canada. As part of the qualifying process, the system successfully completed uninterrupted production runs for two Multi-Layer preform applications, one being a 28 g preform for a carbonated water bottle application and the other a 14 g preform for a juice application. In fact, when comparing Husky’s new Multi-Layer Technology to their existing co-injection barrier system, the customer saw no change in performance after running the system for several months. In the past when testing alternatives they had typically seen deterioration in barrier performance after several weeks and that was not the case here. They also saw significantly better control of the barrier weight. The accuracy and repeatability to control the barrier content in the preforms produced on the new Husky Multi-Layer Barrier system was significantly better than what they were currently achieving. Both applications were produced with a tolerance on the barrier content within +/-0.5% of the total preform weight. This was achieved while realizing a 40% faster cycle time. When measured against the existing competitor co-injection system running the exact same application Husky’s Multi-Layer system ran more consistently for a longer period of time with no drop in performance and decreased hot runner maintenance. Today, this customer is continuing to work with Husky on future Multi-Layer Barrier projects.

Conventional manifolds split the melt channels many times, which creates shear related imbalance

Husky hot runners provide control flexibility through an increased number of manifold zones and individually temperature controlled tips. Traditional pneumatic actuation of valve gates has been upgraded to an electric servo, plate actuated synchronous valve gate system. At the same time, the high level of balance means that the range of temperatures used in further tuning the performance is significantly reduced, further decreasing the maximum temperature experienced by barrier material. Over millions of cycles of production use in the field, Husky customers have commented on the barrier hot runner’s performance stability, and this is without the need for unplanned maintenance. When running temperature sensitive barrier materials, purging both hot runner melt delivery systems with PET during system shut-down and re-start is a good practice that has been automated. Even the best maintenance practices may leave room for unplanned events, such as contamination of source resin by foreign material. If a contamination particle finds its way into the hot runner, the most likely area for a blockage is the hot runner nozzle, where melt passages are smallest. It has historically been notoriously difficult to clean this area, often requiring complete hot runner disassembly. The HyPET HPP5 barrier system features a front removable nozzle design, which allows the maintenance or replacement of hot runner nozzles while in the press, by latching over the mold cavity plate to expose the tips. While co-injection moulding is still more complex than traditional mono-layer injection moulding, the operation 6 J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 7

Rubber Journal Asia Industry News • US’s Vystar Corp. has formed a strategic partnership with Vietnamese foam producer Lien ‘A for its multi-patented, all-natural, allergenfree Vytex latex. Over the past year, Lien ‘A’s CEO Lam Ngoc Minh has taken up significant equity in Vystar and NHS Holdings, Vystar’s exclusive distributor for Vytex foam, to assist in expanding its supply chain. Vystar investors have invested US$20 million since its inception. Lien ‘A is studying the possibility of usage in mattresses, pillows and other bedding products that will be sold by retailers throughout the Americas. • SaarGummi Group has entered into a technical agreement and is considering a joint venture with South Korean automotive components supplier AIA Corp., to link SaarGummi’s capabilities in sealing systems with AIA’s manufacture of antivibration systems, bumpers and weatherstrips. AIA has significant existing business with Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, including delivering 12% of the weatherstrips for both South Korean car makers. SaarGummi operates in 23 locations in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. AIA was founded in 1988 as Daekyung Chemical and changed its name in 2004. It had sales of US$263 million in 2016. • Malaysian glove manufacturer Top Glove is seeking M&As or joint ventures to grow its market share in China. The company, which accounts

for 13% of Malaysia’s total rubber product exports to China, has acquired two plants in Malaysia to capture 30% market share in China. Exports from these two factories contribute an additional 15% of Malaysia’s total rubber products exports to China. Another reason why Top Glove is seeking M&As in China is that the sole factory it has in China produces PVC gloves, which are being phased out for health reasons. More than 95% of Top Glove’s rubber gloves are exported to 195 countries. It has 29 factories and 499 production lines around the world, with a production capacity of 48 billion pieces/year.

in the Northeast region of Thailand with a capacity of 7,200 tonnes/month and is expanding its existing plant in Indonesia by 5,000 tonnes/month. The company’s 35 plants are in Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar, and together represent production capacity of 2.4 million tonnes/year. It aims to raise its global market share to 20% from last year’s 12%. Sri Trang’s operation spans rubber plantations and rubber processing for medical examination gloves. In the downstream business, its subsidiary Sri Trang Gloves is Thailand’s largest and the world’s fifth maker of medical gloves.

• Another Malaysian glove manufacturer Petropolymer plans to build a US$300 million acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) facility in Pengerang, Johor, since it currently imports its raw material from Taiwan and Thailand. The demand by local glove manufacturers is seen at 600,000 tonnes/ year. The NBR factory will be developed in two phases, with the first US$150 million phase to be built on a 60 ha site, with a capacity of 100,000 tonnes/year of NBR for local rubber manufacturers. It will have the capability of expanding production to 200,000 tonnes by 2025.

• Tyre manufacturer and retreading company Marangoni has sold its solid tyre business to UAE-based conglomerate Onyx Group, which has activities in the construction, manufacturing, real estate, industrial catering and hospitality industries. It acquired 100% of the operations in France, Germany, Italy and Sri Lanka. Marangoni will continue to manufacture tyres at its plant in Rovereto, Italy, which will be sold to Onyx. The latter will also receive rights to the Marangoni brand name related to solid tyres along with the Jumbo, Forza, Eltor and Quickmont trademarks.

• Thailand-based Sri Trang Agro-Industry, the world’s largest fully integrated natural rubber company, is investing 2 billion baht to increase its rubber production capacity to 2.9 million tonnes/year. The company has begun setting up a rubber plant

• Japanese tyre maker Yokohama Rubber Company (YRC) will increase its production capacity in China for passenger car tyres to 13.6 million units/year by 2020, up nearly 50%, as it looks to boost business with local automotive makers. The company operates two

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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News Chinese plants in Suzhou and Hangzhou. The former plant has repeatedly expanded since 2013 and will get the most equipment updates. The upgrades will cost US$241 million, thus making China the largest manufacturing base of YRC outside Japan. • Finnish tyre manufacturer Nokian Tyres will be building its third factory in the US to boost growth outside the European market. The new US$360 million greenfield factory will be located in Tennessee and have a capacity of 4 million tyres/year with an expansion potential in the future. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2018 and the first tyres are to be produced in 2020. • Italian tyre maker Pirelli is suspending its production in crisis-hit Venezuela indefinitely as it cannot get the necessary raw materials. The firm has had the plant in the country for 26 years. But it said it would continue to supply its tyres to the country. The company has halted production once before two weeks last year but this time the suspension is indefinite. This news follows after automotive maker General Motors said it was quitting Venezuela. • German machine manufacturer Troester, as part of its restructuring and optimisation of its Hanover plant, will begin a second construction phase to expand its factory. A 3,200 sq m-production hall was constructed in 2016 and it will expand this to 25,000 sq m this year. The extrusion specialist manufactures machines for

repeated extrusion of tyre components, rubber goods or medium to extra high-voltage cables. • US-based chemicals firm Cabot Corporation is building a new worldclass plant for fumed silica, CAB-O-SIL, in the US, to be operational by 2020. The facility, which is an extension of Cabot’s longterm relationship with Dow Corning, will be adjacent to the latter’s existing silicone monomer plant in Carrollton. Cabot and Dow Corning have been partners for more than 30 years, with current neighbouring operations in the US and UK. • US-based chemicals firm Dow Chemical is to construct a manufacturing facility to produce a range of polymers for coatings and watertreatment applications, and an MOU for a feasibility study related to a proposed investment in the company’s performance silicones franchise in Saudi Arabia. Located in the PlasChem Park in Jubail, the coatings facility will service the needs of the Saudi Arabian market with a range of acrylic-based polymers for industrial and architectural coatings and water-treatment and detergent applications. It will complement Dow’s existing coatings capabilities in the Middle East, which include an existing facility in Dubai. The proposed silicones investment will include a fully integrated, worldscale siloxanes and silicones complex for various markets such as home and personal care, automotive, building and construction, solar energy, medical devices, and oil and gas.

• ContiTech, a division of German automotive manufacturing company Continental, is closing its plant in Missouri, US, by end of the year to give way to investing in new technology. It will also move its PVC hose business to Mount Pleasant, Iowa, where it is adding 36,000 sq ft of space as part of a US$12 million project. ContiTech is also investing US$7.2 million to expand its industrial hose plant in Mount Pleasant. • VMI South America has opened its new headquarters in Itatiaia, near São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The firm is the service hub for all VMI equipment users in South America, with direct spare parts supply and the production-assembly hub for its tyre retreading machines in the region. • Malaysia’s state-owned oil company Petronas and its partner in the Rapid (Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development) project in Johor, Saudi Aramco, are studying the feasibility of building other petrochemical plants to make full use of raw materials from the Rapid project. Aramco signed a deal with Petronas early this year taking up a US$7 billion investment in the Rapid project in Pengerang. Projects being studied include speciality chemicals and synthetic rubber. The cracker has a capacity of 600,000 tonnes of butadiene, which could be used to produce either elastomers or synthetic rubber.

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Rubber Journal Asia Medical Industry

Medical devices market in good shape with silicones Evolving from silicon, one of the earth’s most

medical silicones market size would reach US$ 7.2 billion at a CAGR of 9.4% during the forecast period. With current impetus to control infection and its recurrence especially within the healthcare setting, single-use devices are highly viable. The growing demand for the disposable devices is a growth driver for medical silicones. Meanwhile, TMR also attributes the increasing demand to “lifestyle shifts” as well as the “changing concepts of beauty”. These dynamics sustain the demand for cosmetic and plastic surgeries, which for the majority of us always tend to associate medical silicones with. Persistence Market Research, in its 2017-2015 medical applications market forecast, finds that the significant revenue growth rate of this market is attributed to increasing usage for medical devices such as catheters, implants, drainage tubes and others. Aside from demand for disposable devices, growth drivers also include prosthetic implants, medical tapes and catheters. New products containing or making use of silicones are also tapping a wide user base.

common elements, silicones are recognised for their versatile medical application potentials, hence achieving onward market demand, says Angelica Buan in this article.


ince the early days of silicone in the 1940s, pioneers in exploiting the potentials of the material included US firms Dow Corning and General Electric. Since then, silicones in medical manufacturing have come a long way, with technologies able to enhance silicones biocompatibility, among other needed properties, to make the material medical grade. Transparency Market Research (TMR), in its report titled Medical Grade Silicone Market 2016 to 2024 dittos the use of silicones in implantable and disposable medical devices. The biocompatible and hydrophobic properties of today’s medical grade silicone are also suitable for devices with critical functions such as defibrillators, heart pumps, and surgical reconstructive components. These properties are also found to extricate, if not minimise significantly, the risks of toxicity and adverse biological reactions.

Joint efforts support market demand dditionally, Markets and Markets, also attributes the billion dollar growth to agreements and joint ventures between industry players, which means that the product will reach wider markets. Among the recent collaborations, those between German chemical group Wacker and Brazilian silicone compounder STC Silicones; and Control Flo Medical and Degania Silicone, to mention a few, prove this point. Under the recently formed deal, São Paulo-based STC is allowed to promote Wacker’s Elastosil silicone compounds. Since 2003, STC has been getting its supply


With biocompatible and hydrophobic properties, medical-grade silicones are suitable for use in a wide array of medical devices

Silicone has large number of properties like high binding capacity, heat, radiation and water resistance, low intermolecular force, electrical and thermal conductivity, resistance to solvents and oil, gas permeability, tear and tensile strength, transparency and colouring properties. Expanding market size t the current rate, market analysts post bright market prospects for medical silicones; and it is even brighter in the years to come. In a recent forecast by Markets and Markets, it said that by 2021, the


Wacker and STC Silicone have tied up to supply Brazilian customers tailored silicone compounds

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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Market Medical Industry of silicone raw materials and additives from Wacker and uses them to produce ready-to-process silicone compounds for the medical, automotive, electrical and household-product sectors. In a related development, Control Flo Medical, a US-based urological medical device company and developer of the ResQ Catheter System, which is a patented disruptive technology and a first-in-class urinary blockage and drainage catheter, formed a design and supply agreement with Israel-based Degania Silicone. Degania Silicone specialises in the supply of in-dwelling medical catheters, silicone medical products and medical devices for critical care and operating rooms, as well as direct-to-customer products. The company has six facilities located in France, India, Slovakia, and Israel. The partnership is said to expand product offerings and quality of catheters for the markets the companies cover.

G&G Biotechnology’s B-Lite lightweight breast implants is 30% lighter than traditional breast implants in the market

Meanwhile, two companies that recently received the US FDA approval for their breast implant products include Irish pharmaceutical company Allergan. Its Natrelle Inspira SoftTouch breast implants is a medium firmness cohesive silicone gel implant for women undergoing breast reconstruction, augmentation or revision surgery. Mentor’s gel-filled breast implants Medical and are FDA approved pharmaceutical products company, Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Mentor Worldwide, a US surgical aesthetics products supplier, also got the FDA nod for its MemoryGel Xtra silicone gel-filled breast implants. A new addition to the company’s line of global brand of breast implants, the product is said to offer extra fullness and projection for women.

Israeli catheter producer Degania has formed a deal with US-based urological medical device maker Control Flo Medical

Silicones score amid demand for safer implants hile silicones have diverse applications in the medical and healthcare segments, its reputed biocompatibility makes it a preferred choice for cosmetic procedures, such as in breast implants. The global market for breast implants is anticipated to surge to nearly US$1.5 billion by the end of 2024, registering a CAGR of 4.1% during the forecast period of 2016 to 2024, as reported by Persistence Market Research. The domination, in terms of revenue in 2015, is mainly due to the rising disposable income of women, particularly in developing regions, and increased focus on physical appearance. As well, the innovations in cohesive silicone breast implants provide a more novel and fitting variety for clients, depending on their needs. Israel-based G&G Biotechnology has added an advanced twist to silicone breast implant product with the B-Lite lightweight breast implants (LWBI), which it claims is the world’s lightest breast implant. The proprietary B-Lite gel, with microspheres (made from high purity, biocompatible, borosilicates that are fixed physically and chemically into the cohesive gel), has a reduced density, and thus reduces the weight of the implant by up to 30%.


Solidifying demand build-up with LSR he LSR segment is a lucrative medical silicone application, and its global market stands to reach US$3.29 billion by 2025, with an estimated CAGR of 9% over this period from 2016, according to a Grand View Research forecast. It stated that demand is hinged on increasing applications in end-use segment, particularly in medical (in view of rising geriatric population) and electronics industries; as well as development of new materials. What makes LSR ideal for such applications, particularly in implants and devices, are its unique properties, such as chemical inertness, heat resistance, flexibility, and low viscosity, reported Grand View Research. Projected as the fastest growing segment over the forecast period, medical silicone’s biocompatibility properties are harnessed for major applications in medical implants and devices; and equipment parts that include sterilised parts, valves, skin contact devices, infusion pumps and others. Several players in this segment are currently making headlines with their advances in LSRs. US


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Rubber Journal Asia Medical Industry

Avantor offers its next generation NuSil medical-grade LSRs for medical devices

materials manufacturer Avantor (which merged with silicones manufacturer NuSil Technology in May) is pitching its next generation NuSil medical-grade MED-5800 Series LSRs for injection moulded implants. American chemicals manufacturer, Momentive Performance Materials, brings into the market its Silopren LSR portfolio, featuring high thermal stability, high tear strength, and broad range of durometers. The LSRs are suitable for components used in the biopharmaceutical and medical industries, as well as in automotive gaskets, food packing valves, and infant care products. Gains for medical tubing on PVC replacement, invasive surgery he medical tubing market owes its expanding size estimated to reach nearly US$6 billion at a CAGR of 8% from 2016 to 2021, to the rising awareness on healthcare and improving quality of healthcare facilities, according to a Research and Markets report. The global market is likewise driven by minimally invasive surgery, and also factoring into the growth is an increasing ageing population, especially in developing countries, the report said. Given the sterilisation capabilities and microwave property, silicone and other speciality polymers are replacing PVC in this application. Product development is found as a major restraint in the medical tubing market and therefore, it is important that innovative products and technologies are developed to sustain growth for this segment. Global supplier of medical tubing solutions Natvar, a TekniPlex company, has expanded its medical tubing product portfolio by adding on silicone extrusion tubing capability, following its recent launch of thermoplastic microextrusion tubing. Through its manufacturing facility in China, Natvar said that it is able to offer medical tubing at improved economics compared to North American supply options.


Natvar has expanded its medical tubing product portfolio by adding on silicone extrusion tubing capability

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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Market Medical Industry Meanwhile, US-headquartered Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, specialising in single-use components and assemblies for bioprocessing, has introduced the ValPlus range of tubing products, which are USP-validated for particulate and endotoxin; and ISO-certified for Bioburden. It is also available for select sizes and formulations of some of its brands, including C-Flex and Sani-Tech tubings and hoses. Improving wound care technologies with silicones ifestyle diseases that pose risks of wounds, injuries and surgeries are chiefly driving the market for advanced wound care, which is expected to reach more than US$13 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 6.4% from 2017, according to Credence Research. The report points to the development of new products, enhanced technology and rising geriatric population as accelerators for the growth of this market. Swiss wound care specialist Stratpharma has launched a wound care and scar management portfolio, including Strataderm, a rapidly drying, non-sticky, transparent, silicone gel formulation for the treatment of both old and new scars, as well as abnormal scar management. For hypertrophic scars and keloids, Stratacel is developed specifically for sensitive skin areas and for laser resurfacing procedures; while Stratamed film-forming gel-based wound dressing is approved for immediate use on open wounds and compromised skin. Another new ware in the market is the “smart” scar-care pad using LSR, developed by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU). A recent awardee at the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, the pad, designed to treat hypertrophic scars from burns, surgeries and trauma, has the advantages of traditional pressure pads and silicone gel sheets rolled into one, according to PolyU. Citing patient reports, PolyU also stated that the pad is more durable and user-friendly compared to the traditional pad made of polyethylene

(PE) foam. It is because the pad can be easily trimmed to fit to the size of the scar and body contours while the fabrication of the PE foam sheets is time consuming and has to be made by occupational therapists, PolyU added. Moreover, the researchers say it is more durable, and can last for two to three months, compared to PE foam that may last only a few weeks. Providing the benefits of pressure therapy and silicone gel on scar management, the pad is composed of a silicone stiffener, made of LSR, and medical-grade silicone gel sheet. As described by the designer, Professor Cecilia Li-Tsang of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at PolyU, the silicone rubber’s smooth side is attached to the silicone gel sheet, which serves to moisturise the scar. The other side of the silicone stiffener is characterised by the circular silicone studs, which can be adjusted to shape curved or flat skin surfaces to provide even pressure under elastic bandages or pressure garments, she said.


Microbe-free devices with antimicrobial silicones afety and hygiene in terms of bacterial-resistance are key trends for advanced medical devices and are among the harbingers for the development of antimicrobial silicones. Momentive Performance Materials’s StatSil antimicrobial silicone elastomers used in medical device applications reduce the potential for microbial contamination of elastomers; and prevent the growth of microbes that can cause discolouration, strong odours and the formation of mildew, it says. The StatSil antimicrobial silicone elastomers are a custom elastomer platform technology based on the direct incorporation of a silver-based antimicrobial additive into the base silicone elastomer. Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) has developed an antimicrobial silicone that may be used for medical (such as for blood, urinary and respiratory catheters; and applicable for various tubes and implants), and household products; and are beneficial for use in hospitals, healthcare centres and like institutions. The four-year R&D was led by KTU PhD student Aiste Lisauskaite and her supervisor Dr Virginija Jankauskaite. Lisauskaite, who presented her invention at the Lithuania-held Life Sciences Baltics Conference in 2016, explains that since the silicone has “antimicrobial effect both on gram-positive and on gram-negative microbial strains and fungi; its antimicrobial effect can be used in various situations, when there is a risk to acquire bacterial infection”. The commercialisation potential for their antimicrobial silicone invention is huge, the researchers said. Thus, it can be concluded that modern medical devices would not be the same without the ubiquitous silicones.


PolyU researchers led by Professor Cecilia Li-Tsang, developed the “smart” scar pad made of silicone stiffener and medical-grade silicone gel sheet

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