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Volume 34, No 244
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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 14 醫療行業: 快速生產優質醫療零件 17 Flexible Packaging – The sector, having dealt with a backlash on pollution, is seeing brand owners and packaging firms adopt sustainability and inculcate developments in terms of better solutions, with downgauging, recyclability and the use of biobased materials
22 Extrusion – The “911” for feedscrew removal by Davis-Standard’s blog team: Solutions are provided by Davis-Standard on what to do when your feedscrew is stuck
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The global machinery production revenue will reach US$1.6 trillion in 2022, coming mainly from machine tools, but growth will decline this year due to weaker global trends, with China and Germany on the downtrend, according to IHS Markit. Meanwhile, IHS says the global market for integrated motors and machinemounted drives is expected to reach US$1.4 billion by 2022 A summary of UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering’s white paper to showcase its proprietary, patent-pending innovations in carbon composites and the benefits they offer to the automotive industry: the 223 and Racetrak technologies In a project that had a short time frame and a tight budget, Polyfluor Plastics appointed Flexan, a US contract manufacturer, to produce high precision silicone components for in-vitro fertilisation at its facility in China In a bid to detract from end-of-life-tyres (ELTs) contribution to the build-up of environmental pollution, new developments are coming about to put to good use the ELTs and to deter them from being landfilled DIGITAL+PRINT www.plasticsandrubberasia.com
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On the Cover To keep plastic packaging out of the oceans, brand majors are instituting new developments for biobased, recyclable and sustainable packaging
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MARCH / APRIL 2019
M&As/Tie-ups/Investments • UK’s packaging giant RPC Group is to be bought by US-based packaging firm Berry Global Group for US$4.37 billion. After private equity firm Apollo agreed to acquire RPC, Berry upped the offer to outbid the US$4.3 billion bid from Apollo. RPC, Europe’s largest packaging group, has confirmed Berry Global’s higher offer and said its directors would recommend shareholders to vote in favour of the new offer. • German chemical giant BASF is looking at selling its pigments business, as it continues to divest lowermargin businesses. The business unit, which posts sales of about EUR1 billion, has been carved out into a separate legal entity. It is expected to be sold by the end of 2020, according to BASF. Meanwhile, Swiss competitor Clariant has also put its pigments business up for sale, due to intense competition and price pressure from Asian companies. • French automotive parts maker Novares Group has acquired
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all the shares of its joint venture company in Wuhan, China, buying the final 30% stake from partner Yazhong via its Chinese subsidiary Noveastern. Additionally, the company has relocated its Wuhan production plant to a new site, which houses both the production facility and the Wuhan Technical Centre. • DowDuPont, a holding company comprised of Dow Chemical Company and DuPont, is to separate DowDuPont’s Materials Science Division, which will become the new Dow on 1 April. After the separation, Dow will be an independent, publicly traded company. • German speciality chemicals firm Evonik is to sell its methacrylates business to Advent International for EUR3 billion. The methacrylates business has 18 production sites and 3,900 employees worldwide, with an average annual EBITDA of EUR350 million and sales of about EUR1.8 billion/year. The transaction
comprises the methacrylates, acrylic products and CyPlus business lines, and some of the methacrylate resins activities.
and two related sales offices in Guangzhou and Shanghai. The nameplate capacity of each site is 200,000 tonnes/year.
• State-owned oil/ gas giant Saudi Aramco is to form a joint venture with Chinese defence firm Norinco Group and Panjin Sincen to develop a fully integrated refining and petrochemical complex, in Panjin, China, in a deal worth US$10 billion, said to be the largest Sino-foreign joint venture. Aramco will hold 35%, with Norinco and Panjin holding 36% and 29% respectively of Huajin Aramco Petrochemical, as part of a project that will include a 300,000 barrel/ day refinery with a 1.5 million year ethylene cracker and a 1.3 million tonnes/ year PX unit. Saudi Aramco will supply up to 70% of the crude feedstock for the complex, which is expected to start operations in 2024.
• Bangkokheadquartered chemical firm Indorama Ventures Public Company has completed its acquisition of M&G Fibras Brasil in Brazil. The Cabo plant manufactures and supplies polyester staple fibre, with total polymerisation capacity of 75,000 tonnes/year.
• Styrenics specialist Ineos Styrolution has completed the acquisition of the PS sites from Total SA. It includes the Foshan site in Guangdong, South China, and the Ningbo site in Eastern China,
• Swedish engineered polymers firm Trelleborg has formed a joint venture with Wellcall Holdings in Malaysia to manufacture and sell composite industrial hoses. The joint venture will establish a production site in Malaysia, with the first hose deliveries scheduled to begin in 2020. • Plastics processor Ensinger has taken over medical technology manufacturer Moll Engineering. Based in Lübeck, it manufactures products from carbon fibrereinforced highperformance plastics, stainless steel and titanium.
INDUSTRY NEWS The acquisition also includes manufacturing company Wenglon GmbH, which makes products on Moll’s behalf in Poland. • An affiliate of investment firm One Rock Capital Partners has bought Nexeo Plastics, a US distributor of polymer products and engineering resins, for US$640 million. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2019; and net proceeds will be used to pay down debt. The deal follows Nexeo’s pending acquisition by chemical firm
Univar Inc. for US$2 billion, which was announced last year. • Specialty colour and additive concentrate supplier Chroma Color Corporation has acquired Polymer Concentrates, based in Clinton, MA. With this latest acquisition, Chroma says it continues to grow its manufacturing footprint along with its suite of colourant and additive technologies. • Turkey-based Kordsa, a subsidiary of Turkish conglomerate
Sabancı Holding, is to purchase a 96% stake in US-based Axiom Materials Acquisition for US$175 million. The American company, which is owned by Axiom Materials Holdings, provides advanced composite materials for the aerospace industry as well as next generation transportation vehicles. • French oil/petrochemical giant Total has acquired Synova, a French manufacturer of high-performance recycled polypropylene (rPP) for the automotive sector.
Plant Expansions/Set-ups/Openings • Germany’s Röchling Engineering Plastics has inaugurated its second plant in Vadodara, India, with a building of more than 5,000 sq m adding new product lines and additional production capacity and an investment of around EUR2.5 million. The first factory was inaugurated in 2014 in Vadodara, a fast growing hub of German companies in India. The company plans to invest another EUR5 million into further product lines and capacity expansion in India in the near future.
• Japan’s Asahi Kasei will expand production capacity for PP spunbond nonwovens in Thailand through the addition of a new production line. Together with the two existing lines, the third line of 15,000 tonnes/ year will raise total capacity for spunbond in Thailand to 50,000 tonnes/ year by 2021. • US polymer company Invista, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, is to set up a
400,000-tonne adiponitrile (ADN) plant at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP) in Shanghai. Engineering for the US$1 billion plant is underway, with construction to start in 2020, and start-up expected by 2022. • UAE-based polymer firm Borouge, a joint venture between Austria’s Borealis and UAE’s ADNOC, has awarded TechnipFMC, Maire Tecnimont and WorleyParsons three major
Synova produces 20,000 tonnes/year of PP. • US chemical firm HB Fuller Company has established HB Fuller Japan to strengthen its Engineering Adhesive (EA) businesses in Japan by focusing on high-performance adhesives, including reactive adhesive chemistries and applications. This business has a turnover of US$478 million with double-digit annual growth rates, contributing to 19% of the company's operating income in 2018. contracts for the fourth phase of the Ruwais, UAE, petrochemicals complex, which will include the world’s largest mixed feed cracker. The latter will be the 4th cracker in the Borouge complex and will be the world’s largest with 1.8 million tonnes ethylene output, and an overall capacity to produce 3.3 million tonnes of olefins and aromatics using a variety of feedstocks such as ethane, butane and naphtha from ADNOC’s refinery and gas processing facilities. MARCH / APRIL 2019
• BASF has inaugurated a new, world-scale antioxidants manufacturing plant at its Caojing site in Shanghai, China. With a capacity of 42,000 tonnes/year, the plant will produce antioxidants and associated forms and blends for the plastic additives market. BASF has also opened a 5,000sq-m facility at its Innovation Campus in Shanghai. With an investment of EUR34 million, the new centre includes the Automotive Application Centre and the Process Catalysis Research & Development (R&D) Centre. • US chemical company Celanese Corporation is reconfiguring its global acetic acid production network by acquiring the carbon monoxide production unit from Linde PLC, located at the company’s Clear Lake, Texas site. In addition, its Clear Lake acetic acid facility will be expanded from 1.3 million to 2 million tonnes/ year by late 2021; with a platform easily expandable by an additional 600,000 tonnes/year.
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Celanese has also expanded its Pibiflex and Riteflex TPC (thermoplastic co-polyester) production unit at the Donegani facility in Ferrara, Italy.
• DuPont Electronics & Imaging is investing US$220 million to build a new plant in the US to expand production of its Kapton polyimide film and Pyralux flexible circuit materials as well as investing in resources in Taiwan, to meet growing market demand in automotive, consumer electronics, telecom and defence. DuPont anticipates that the new assets will be operational by 2021. • Nouryon (formerly AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals) has selected a location in the US for a world-scale polymerisation plant for its Expancel expandable microspheres. Advanced engineering is underway, with the project scheduled for completion in late 2020.
• Composites suppliers Hexcel and Arkema are to set up a joint R&D laboratory in Les Avenières (Isère), France, in April. This follows the companies’ previous announcement in March 2018 that they were forming a strategic alliance to develop TPC solutions for the aerospace sector, combining the expertise of Hexcel in carbon fibre and Arkema in PEKK. The companies expect to start supplying carbon/ thermoplastic UD tapes from this pilot line to customers for evaluation beginning in Q3 2019. • South Korea’s Lotte Chemical has started up production at its 700,000 tonne/ year-ethylene glycol (EG) plant in Lake Charles in the US. The company says it is the first South Korean petrochemical firm to have a project in the US. The US$3.1 billion project broke ground in 2016 and will also include an ethane cracker plant. • Socar Polymer, a subsidiary of stateowned State Oil
Co. of Azerbaijan Republic, has started up a HDPE plant in the Sumgait Chemical Industrial Park, about 30 km north of Baku. The 120,000-tonne/ year HDPE plant will produce four varieties of HDPE to meet Azerbaijan’s demand, with the remaining 75% of the product to be exported to Turkey and Europe. • Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals has opened a 2,700 sq m-design & solutions centre in Sanjo, Niigata Prefecture, as a new base to offer the firm’s development capabilities, ranging from design to analysis, moulding, prototyping and evaluation. • US supplier of packaging, compounds and tubing to medical manufacturing OEMs Tekni-Plex has installed an additional silicone tubing extrusion line in its Suzhou, China, plant that will increase capacity and enable the addition of smaller sizes of tubing. • US release agents and purging compounds firm
INDUSTRY NEWS Chem-Trend has opened an R&D laboratory in Maisach, Germany. Chem-Trend’s parent company, Freudenberg Chemical Specialities (FCS), has invested EUR40 million into the facility that will be used by FCS’s Klüber Lubrication and OKS business units, too. • Chemical/oil firm Ineos is to invest up to £1 billion in the UK, including £150 million in Hull to construct a
new 300,000 tonne/ year-vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) plant. The biggest investment, £500 million, is in the Forties Pipeline System (FPS), to extend the life of the pipeline by at least 20 years, into the 2040s. Ineos is also investing £350 million in its Grangemouth site to allow for the development of a new steam and power plant. • German speciality chemicals company Lanxess
has completed a debottlenecking project resulting in a 15% increase in global production capacity of its Additin RC 4xxx series of corrosion inhibition additives. • US oil/gas company ExxonMobil is constructing a new PP production unit at its Baton Rouge complex in Louisiana that will expand capacity along the Gulf Coast by up to 450,000 tonnes/ year. Construction will begin in 2019
and start-up is anticipated by 2021. • Pan-Asia PET Resin (Guangzhou) is to set up a 1.25 million tonnes/year PTA plant in Jizan Economic City, Saudi Arabia. It will utilise Invista’s P8 PTA technology. Part of Guangzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone, Pan-Asia produces 300,000 tonnes/ year of PET resin generating an annual value of over RMB3 billion.
Machinery News • German extrusion machinery manufacturer W&H (Windmoeller & Hoelscher) has opened fully owned subsidiaries with local service and support teams in Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and will soon open in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Furthermore, customers in South Korea and the Philippines will be supported by branch offices managed by W&H. • Nordson Corporation has opened a new global hub for the company’s BKG pelletisers and melt delivery
components in Germany. The 14,380 sq m facility more than triples the amount of manufacturing, R&D, and office space and combines operations that previously were spread across four separate sites in the Münster area. • Germany-based machinery maker Reifenhäuser Group has acquired Plamex Maschinenbau, a specialised supplier of blown film lines and extrusion components specialising in water-cooled and biaxially oriented films for the
medical and food packaging industry. • Austrian recycling machine supplier Erema Group has acquired 60% of Italian recycling machine manufacturer Plasmac. The remaining 40% is owned by Syncro Group, a manufacturer in Italy that makes equipment for the blown film industry. • Germany machinery maker Hennecke has acquired the assets of Polyurethane Process Industries (PPI) of the US. PPI was the exclusive US distributor for equipment
and systems manufactured by the OMS Group. Hennecke purchased OMS Group in 2017, bringing into its portfolio the world’s largest range of plants for producing insulated sandwich panels and metering machines. • German machinery firm KraussMaffei is to purchase UK-based Pultrex to strengthen its system competence in pultrusion. Pultrex specialises in pultrusion, pullwinding and filament winding systems, and also makes pultrusion profiles. MARCH / APRIL 2019
Finding a middle ground for pollution and resource security Bioplastics developments are attempting to solve the waste plastics overgrowth without causing further harm to the environment, says Angelica Buan in this article.
he plastic waste pollution is an issue that seems to refuse to die. The amount of plastics that is generated globally runs at 300 mega-tonnes/year. At this rate, some experts claim that our use of plastics, a ubiquitous material in the modern world, has become incessant and that it is accelerating the world’s journey towards Anthropocene. The industry, however, has remained optimistic that is not quite the case. In fact, initiatives are being rolled out to heighten awareness to waste segregation, recycling, and reuse. To top it all, the circularity model is being integrated across various industries to recover waste plastics and to turn them into high value products. Biobased plastics or bioplastics, derived from renewable feedstocks such as corn, sugarcane, and cellulose, are making inroads in various applications in end-user industries that favour plastics, including rigid and flexible packaging, agriculture, consumer goods, automotive, electronic, building & construction, and others. While development of bioplastics has certainly gone a long way from its 19th century cellulose-based Parkesine and casein-based antecessors, adoption has been hampered by high production costs and limited performance compared to traditional plastics. Furthermore, feedstock used for bioplastic has raised the concern about food security, land conversion, and usage of water. Is bioplastics production taking away resources that are already scarce? It is unlikely, especially since food wastes that are unrecovered and landfilled are developed as bases for producing bioplastics. Rooting for agro waste-turned-plastics Renewable feedstock also comes from food wastes. Approximately a third of all food produced globally is lost in the supply chain between the producer and the market; or goes to waste, as a result of spoilage or discarding of edible food parts, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Technology plays an important role in lessening food wastage by turning it into feedstock for bioplastics. Thus, collaborations among industry stakeholders a n d a c a d e mi c e x p e r t s a r e o n t h e r i s e to develop technologies.
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The MIPLASCOE project aims to produce biopolyesters from the waste of Spain’s orange juice industry
Orange peel waste is being put to good use as durable and biodegradable plastic material through the MIPLASCOE project, formed by Spanish companies including wine maker J. Garcia Carrion; Agrocode Bioscience; industrial laboratory Canagrosa and plastic packaging and recycling firm Plastipak. It also involves plastic extrusion company Lisanplast; construction group AZVI; as well as research organisations, namely, AIMPLAS, Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), and the University of Sevilla. Orange peels are common agricultural wastes in Spain, the country being Europe’s top orange producer, accounting for over half the region’s total production, according to EUROSTAT. MIPLASCOE aims to produce biopolyesters, by means of fermentation from the waste of Spain’s orange juice industry, for the transportation and bottle packaging sectors. According to Dr Pilar Villanueva of AIMPLAS, the fruit sector has generated considerable volumes of wastage that is coursed to the manufacturing of pellets for animal feed or is landfilled. The first solution is costly from the energy point of view on an industrial scale and in both cases problems arise for the environment. Thus, the consortium has been working on the synthesis of polybutylene succinate (PBS) from succinic acid and butanodiol, by polycondensation, achieving at laboratory scale a molecular weight (MW) from 15.00050.000.
Materials News Citruspack project aims to turn citrus side-streams into natural additives for the reinforcement of 100% biodegradable plastic bottles and containers
The development of MIPLASCOE, from July 2016 to December 2018, is framed within the policies of the European Union (EU) for circular economy and environmental sustainability via green technologies. From this also the Citruspack project was launched in 2017 at the Aitiip Technology Centre headquarters in Zaragoza, Spain. It aims to turn citrus side-streams into natural additives for the reinforcement of 100% biodegradable plastic bottles and containers. Besides Aitiip, Citruspack is comprised of Slovenian tool makers association Tecos; Spanish fruit producer AMC Innova; French plastic cluster Plastipolis; Belgian biogas supplier OWS; and Spanish retail chain Eroski. M e a n w h i l e , t h e Va l e n c i a - h e a d q u a r t e r e d A I M P L A S h a s a l s o collaborated with companies Alhรณndiga La Uniรณn, Torres Morente, Domca, Neo, Ecoplas y Morera y Vallejo, as well as three other research centres Tecnalia, Cidaf, and Las Palmillas Fundaciรณn Cajamar for the BIOVEGE project. Launched in 2016, the project draws on fruit and vegetable waste, such as cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumber, zucchini or peppers, to produce bioplastics with new properties for sustainable packaging as well as bioactive compounds and food preservatives.
BIOVEGE derives bioplastics and bioactive compounds from fruit and vegetable wastes
The sugars from watermelon and melon, for exam p l e, are u t i l i s e d t o p r o d u c e 2 3 m icr on-thick biodegradable films to be used as shrink film for packaging. As well, bioplastics ingredients are being extracted from cucumber, zucchini, and other likely by-products. Last year, the project was awarded for its innovation of new biodegradable mesh nets for green beans by means of reactive extrusion from a combination of biopolymers and additives, with the same properties as conventional PE nets. Plenty more resources in the sea Biodegradable bioplastics had been hailed as an antidote to stave off marine litter that is until the United Nations Environmental Protection (UNEP) reported that biodegradable plastics are currently “not a solution to marine litter”. It reasons that “plastics, which biodegrade on land under favourable conditions, also biodegrade in the marine environment”, as well, there are no clear standards for biodegradation in the marine environment. Nevertheless, for lack of other viable options to immediately address marine litter bioplastics are making the case to mitigate this environmental fluke. New developments utilising compounds obtained from crustaceans, algae, and sea organisms are making headlines. Too, recent breakthroughs are improving the processes of obtaining biopolymers from these sea species, with the least to zero impact to the environment.
The protein found in the squid’s ringed teeth can be processed into fibres and films for varied fields of applications
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One such new development hones on protei ns from squid as the vital ingredient for a bioplastic. The protein found in the squid’s ringed teeth (SRT), can be processed into fibres and films for varied fields of applications ranging from biomedicine and energy to security and defence, according to researchers from Penn State University.
Penn State University shows an example of the thread made from biosynthetic squid ring-teeth proteins called Squitex
SRT-based materials exhibit elasticity, flexibility and strength, as well as self-healing, optical, and thermal and electrical conducting properties, according to the researchers. For textiles, a source of microplastics in the oceans, SRT protein provides an abrasion-resistant coating that reduces microfibre erosion in washing machines. The self-healing property of SRT protein coating enables longevity and safety of biochemical implants and protective garments; while SRT-based flexible photonic devices used for LED displays, and the like, are also in development. The SRT proteins are produced without catching a squid, but by using genetically modified bacteria. The process is based on fermentation and uses sugar, water, and oxygen to produce biopolymers. Elsewhere, Israeli researchers at the University of Tel Aviv are working on algae and ocean microbes for producing biocompatible and degradable plastics. The study, led by Dr Alexander Golberg and Professor Michael Gozin, was recently published in the Bioresource Technology journal. W i t h o u t r e q u i r i n g l a n d o r f r e s h w a t e r, t h e polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biopolymer is derived from microorganisms that feed on multicellular seaweed and that completely recycles into organic waste.
Materials News The team built a custom small-scale extractor as well as three custom manufacturing machines: the Dippy, a heated dip moulder to create 3D forms; the Vaccy, a steam-heated vacuum former for making moulded packaging; and the Sheety, a sheet-forming machine for creating controlled flat sheets. Chitin from crab shells and cellulose from tree fibres are also being harnessed by researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology to create a film as a substitute for flexible packaging.
A new Tel Aviv University study has developed a process that produces plastic from marine microorganisms that completely recycle into organic waste
Goldberg said that plant-based plastic is not novel, because already these are being produced in commercial quantities. But the bioplastic spin-offs offer much more, he said, as it does not require agricultural land and fresh water as typical bioplastic production does. â€œThe process we propose will enable countries with a shortage of fresh water, such as Israel, China and India, to switch from petroleum-derived plastics to biodegradable plastics," he adds. Optimistic with the outcome of the study, the team has further research in tow to find the most suitable bacteria and algae that would produce bioplastics with different properties. In the meantime, the Shellworks initiative, pioneered by design students from The Royal College of Art and Imperial College, has developed new machines to manufacture bioplastic alternatives to single-use plastics. The bioplastic, derived from chitin that is found in the exoskeletons of crustaceans and insects, is versatile and can be adjusted in thickness, transparency, flexibility and stiffness to create a variety of biodegradable objects, they said. Shellworks has developed new machines to manufacture bioplastics for moulded packaging
Chitin from crab shells and cellulose from tree fibres are developed into flexible films
The new material is made by spraying multiple layers of chitin from crab shells and cellulose from trees to form a flexible film. The resulting film, when fully dried, is found to be flexible, strong, transparent and compostable. The team compared the material with petroleumbased PET and said that the new material showed up to a 67% reduction in oxygen permeability over some forms of PET, which means, in theory, it could keep food fresher longer. Showing promise for sustainable packaging, the material is yet to be cost competitive with flexible packaging film, and it needs a manufacturing process that maximises economies of scale. In other words, more research is needed to improve the materialâ€™s ability to block water vapour, one of the challenges chitin technology, currently at its infancy, has to overcome. As it can be seen, scores of bioplastics advancements are emerging, and further R&D is required to be initiated to perfect bioplastics technology and to prove that bioplastics is a solution and not part of a problem. MARCH / APRIL 2019
• 美国的包装公司 Berry Global Group 将斥资 43.7 亿美元收购 英国的包装巨头RPC Group。 在私募股权公司 Apollo同意收 购 RPC 后，Berry 将收购价调 高至高于 Apollo 的 43 亿美元。 RPC是欧洲最大的包装集团， 已经确认BerryGlobal 的更高报 价，并表示其董事会建议股东 投票支持新报价。 • 配合公司继续分拆低利润业务 行动，德国的化学巨头BASF 正在考虑脱售其颜料业务。该 业务部门的销售额约为10 亿欧 元，已被划分为一个独立的法 定实体公司。根据 BASF，预计 到 2020 年底它将被脱售。与此 同时，由于面对激烈的竞争和 来自亚洲公司的价格压力，瑞 士竞争对手 Clariant 也计划脱 售其颜料业务。 • 法 国 的 汽 车 零 部 件 制 造 商 Novares Group已经收购其 在中国武汉的合资公司的全部 股份。它是通过其中国子公 司Noveastern，从合作伙伴 Yazhong 的手中收购最终的 30 ％股权。此外，该公司已将其 武汉的生产工厂迁至新工厂， 该工厂同时设有生产设施和武 汉技术中心。 • DowDuPont 是 由 Dow Chemical Company 和 DuPont 组 成的控股 公司，它将分拆 D owDuPont 的 材料科学部门，该部门将于4月1 日成为新的 Dow。分拆后，Dow 将成为一家独立的上市公司。 • 德国的特殊化学品公司 Evonik 将以 30亿欧元的价格脱售其 甲基丙烯酸酯业务予 Advent International。该甲基丙烯酸 酯业务在全球拥有 18 个生产基 地和 3,900 名员工，年平均税 息折旧及摊销前利润为 3.5 亿 欧元，销售额约为18 亿欧元／ 年。该交易包括甲基丙烯酸 酯、丙烯酸产品和 CyPlus 业务 线，以及一些甲基丙烯酸酯树 脂业务。 MARCH / APRIL 2019
• 国营石油／天然气巨头Saudi Aramco将与中国国防公司 NorincoGroup 和 Panjin Sincen 成 立合资企业，在中国盘锦开发一 个全面综合的炼油和石化工厂， 交易价值100 亿美元。据称它将 是最大的中外合资企业。Aramco 将持有 35%，Norinco 和 Panjin 则分别持有HuajinAramco Petrochemical 的 36% 和 29% 股权。作为项目的一部分，它 将包括一个 30 万桶／天的炼油 厂，150 万吨／年的乙烯裂解装 置和130万吨／年的PX 装置。 SaudiAramco 将为该综合企业提 供高达 70% 的原油原料，预计将 于 2024 年开始运营。 • 苯乙烯专家 Ineos Styrolution 已 经完成对 Total SA 的 PS 厂点的 收购。它包括位于广东华南的佛 山工厂，中国东部的宁波工厂， 以及在广州和上海的两个相关销 售办事处。每个厂点的额定产能 为 200,000 吨／年。 • 总 部 位 于 曼 谷 的 化 学 公 司 Indorama Ventures Public Company已经完成在巴西收购 M&G Fibras Brasil 的行动。 Cabo 工 厂 生 产 和 供 应 聚 酯 短 纤 维 ， 总 聚 合 产 能 为 75,000 吨／年。 • 瑞 典 工 程 聚 合 物 公 司 Trelleborg 与马来西亚 Wellcall Holdings 成立合资 企业，生 产 并 销 售 复 合 工 业 软 管。该合资企业将在马来西亚 建立一个生产基地，首批软管 交 付 预 计 于 2020 年开始。 • 塑料加工商 Ensinger 已经 接管医疗技术制造商Moll Engineering。这家坐落在吕 贝克的公司，生 产 碳 纤 维 增 强 高性能塑料、不锈钢和钛制 品。此次收购还包括制造公司 Wenglon GmbH，该公司代表 Moll 在波兰生产产品。 • 投资公司 One Rock Capital Partners的一家附属公司以 6.4亿美元收购了美国聚合物 产品和工程树脂分销商Nexeo Plastics。该项交易预计将于
2019 年上半年完成；所得款项 净额将用于偿还债务。该交易 是在 Nexeo 去年宣布，等待化 学公司 Univar Inc. 以 20 亿美 元收购后达成的。 特殊色素和添加剂浓缩物供应 商Chroma Color Corporation 已经收购位于马萨诸塞州克林 顿的 Polymer Concentrates。 通 过 这 项 新 的 收购，C h ro m a 表 示，随着其着色剂套件和添加 剂技术不断扩大，其制造业务 将继续取得增长。 土耳其企业集团 Sabancı Holding的子公司，土耳其 Kordsa 将以1.75亿美元收购美国 Axiom Materials Acquisition 的 96% 股权。由AxiomMaterials Holdings 持有的这家美国公司， 为航空航天业和新一代运输车辆 提供先进的复合材料。 法国石油／石化巨头 Total 收购 了法国汽车行业高性能再生聚 丙烯（rPP）制造商 Synova。 Synova 每年生产 20,000 吨 PP。 美国的化学公司HB Fuller Company 已经成立 HB Fuller Japan，专注于高性能粘合剂， 包括反应性粘合剂化学品和应 用系统，以强化其在日本的工 程粘合剂（EA）业务。该业务 的营业额为 4.78 亿美元，年增 长率达到两位数，占公司 2018 年营业收入的 19%。
工厂扩建／设置／开设 • 德 国 的 R öc h l i n g E n g i n e e r i n g Plastics 在印度瓦多达拉开设第 二家工厂，工厂建筑面积超过 5, 000 平 方 米 ， 增 加了新产品线 和额外产能，投资额约 250 万 欧元。该公司在瓦都达拉的第 一家工厂于 2014 年落成，瓦都 达拉是印度德国公司快速发展 的中心。该公司计划在不久的 将来再投资 500 万欧元，以进 一步扩张印度的产品线和产能。 • 日本的 Asahi Kasei 将通过增 加新的生产线来扩大其在泰国
業界新聞 的 PP 纺粘非织造布的产能。连 同现有的两条生产线，第三条 的 15,000 吨／年生产线将于 2021 年提高其泰国纺粘无纺布 的总产能至 50,000 吨／年。 • 坐落在阿联酋的聚合物公司 Borouge 是奥地利 Borealis与 阿联酋 ADNOC 的合资企业， 已授予 TechnipFMC、Maire Tecnimont 和 WorleyParsons 三个主要合同，用于阿联酋 Ruwais 石化工厂的第四期工 程，其中包括世界最大的混 合原料裂解炉。后者将成为 B o r o u g e 综 合 工 厂 中 的 第 四 个 裂解炉，并且是世界最大的， 拥有 180 万吨乙烯产量，以 及生产 330 万吨烯烃和芳烃的 总产能，采用来自 ADNOC 的 炼油和天然气加工厂的各种原 料，如乙烷、丁烷和石脑油。 • BASF 在中国上海的漕泾工厂 开设了一家新的世界级抗氧 化剂生产厂。该工厂年产能为 42,000 吨，将为塑料添加剂市 场 生 产 抗 氧 化 剂 及 相 关 形 式 和 混合物。BASF 也在上海的创新 园区开设了 5,000 平方米的工 厂。新中心的投资为 3 千 400 万欧元，包括汽车应用中心和 过程催化研发（R&D）中心。 • 美国的化学公司 Celanese Corporation 正在重新配置其 全球的醋酸生产网络，收购 Linde PLC 位于德克萨斯州 Clear Lake 的一氧化碳生产装 置。此外，其 Clear Lake 的醋酸 工厂将在 2021 年底从每年130 万扩大至 200 万吨；平台可轻易 地额外扩建 600,000吨／年。 另外，Celanese 在意大利 费拉拉的 Donegani 工厂也扩建 Pibiflex 和 Riteflex TPC（热塑 性共聚酯）生产装置。 • DuPont Electronics & Imaging 投资 2.2 亿美元，在美国建设 新工厂，扩大其 Kapton 聚酰亚 胺薄膜和Pyralux 柔性电路材料 的生产，并在台湾投资资源， 以满足汽车、消费电子产品、 电信和国防不断增长的市场需
求。DuPont预计新的资产将于 2021 年投入运营。 Nouryon (前 AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals）在美国选 择了一个地点，用于其 Expancel 可膨胀微球的世界级聚合工厂。 高级工程正在进行中，该项目计 划于 2020 年底完成。 复合材料供应商Hexcel和 Arkema将于4月在法国Les Avenières（伊泽尔省）建 立一个联合研发实验室。这是 继2018 年 3 月公司前宣布， 他们正在组成策略联盟，结合 Hexcel 在碳纤维和 Arkema 在 PEKK 的专业知识，为航空航天 领域开发 TPC 解决方案。公司 预计将从 2019 年第三季开始向 客户提供该试验线的碳／热塑性 UD 胶带供评估。 韩国的 Lotte Chemical 已 经展开其在美国查尔斯湖的 700,000 吨／年乙二醇（EG） 工厂的生产。该公司表示，它是 第一家在美国开展项目的韩国石 化公司。这个耗资 31 亿美元的 项目是于 2016 年破土动工，并 将包括一个乙烷裂解装置。 Socar Polymer 是阿塞拜疆共 和国国营企业State Oil Co.的 子公司，它已在巴库以北约 30 公里的 Sumgait 化学工业园区 启动一座高密度聚乙烯工厂。这 个 12 万吨／年的 HDPE 工厂将 生产四种 HDPE，以满足阿塞拜 疆 的 需 求 ， 其 余 7 5 % 的 产 品 将 出口到土耳其和欧洲。 日本的 Mitsui Chemicals 在新 泻县三条市开设了一个 2,700 平方米的设计和解决方案中心， 作为提供公司开发能力的新基 地，涵括设计到分析、成型、原 型设计和评估。 美国医疗制造业原始设备制造商 的包装、化合物和管材供应商 Tekni-Plex，为其中国苏州的 工厂安装了额外的矽胶管挤出生 产线，它将提高产能和增产更小 尺寸的管材。 美国的脱模剂和清洗化合物 公司 Chem-Trend 已在德
国的 Maisach 开设研发实验 室。Chem-Trend 的母公 司Freudenberg Chemical Specialties（FCS）已投资 4000 万欧元在该设施。该设 施也将用于 FCS 的 Klüber Lubrication 和 OKS 业务单位。 化学／石油公司 Ineos 将在英 国投资高达 10 亿英镑，其中包 括 1.5 亿英镑在赫尔建造一座新 的 30 万吨／年产能乙酸乙烯酯 单体（VAM）工厂。最大的投 资，5 亿英镑，用于 Forties 管 道系统（FPS），将管道寿命延 长至少 20 年，直至本世纪 40 年代。Ineos 也在投资 3.5 亿英 镑在其 Grangemouth 工厂，以 便开发新的蒸汽和发电厂。 德 国 的 特 殊 化 学 品 公 司 Lanxess 已完成一项消除瓶颈 项目，提高了 Additin RC 4xxx 系列缓蚀添加剂在全球的产能 15%。 美 国 的 石 油 ／ 天 然 气 公 司 ExxonMobil 正在其位于路易斯 安那州的 Baton Rouge 综合工 厂建造一座新的 PP 生产装置。 该装置将使其墨西哥湾沿岸的 产能扩大至 450,000 吨／年。 工程将于 2019 年开始，预计在 2021 年开始启动。 Pan-Asia PET Resin (Guangzhou) 将在沙特阿拉伯的吉赞经济城 建立一座 125 万吨／年的PTA 工厂。它将采用 Invista 的 P8 PTA 技术。作为广州经济技术 开发区的一部分，Pan-Asia 生 产 30 万吨／年的 PET 树脂，年 产值超过 30 亿元人民币。
机械新闻 • 德国的挤出机械制造商 W&H (Windmoeller & Hoelscher) 在印尼雅加达，马来西亚吉隆 坡，开设了全资子公司，拥有当 地的服务和支援团队；并将很快 在越南胡志明市展开相同的行 动。此外，韩国和菲律宾的客户 将获得由W&H管理的分行给予 支援。 MARCH / APRIL 2019
新聞 業 界
• Nordson Corporation 在德国 为该公司的BKG造粒机和熔体 输送组件开设了一个新的全球枢 纽。这个占地 14,380 平 方 米 的 设施使制造，研发和办公空间 增加逾三倍，并将以前分布在 明斯特地区四个不同地点的业 务结合起来。 • 德 国 的 机 械 制 造 商 Reifenhäuser Group 已经收购 Plamex Maschinenbau，后者 是一家专为医疗和食品包装行 业提供水冷及双轴取向薄膜的 吹膜生产线及挤出部件的专业 供应商。 • 奥 地 利 的 回 收 机 械 供 应 商 Erema Group 已经收购意大利 的回收机械制造商 Plasmac 的 60% 股权。其余 40% 股权是由 意大利制造商 Syncro Group 所 持有，该集团为吹膜行业生产 设备。 • 德国机械制造商 Hennecke 已 经收购美国的 Polyurethane Process Industries (PPI) 的 资产。PPI 是 OMS Group 生产 的设备和系统的独家美国分销 商。Hennecke 于 2017 年收购 了 OMS Group，引进了世界最 大，生产绝缘夹芯板和计量机的 工厂组合。 • 德 国 的 机 械 公 司 KraussMaffei 将收购英国的 Pultrex，进一步加强其在拉挤 成型领域的系统能力。Pultrex 专业于拉挤成型、拉伸缠绕和 纤维缠绕系统，同时也生产拉 挤成型型材。
RJA 业界新闻 • 法 国 轮 胎 制 造 商 M i c h e l i n 和 汽车零部件供应商 Faurecia 成立了一家合资企业，汇集 Michelin 的所有燃料电池 相关业务 - 包括其子公司 Symbio - 与 Faurecia 的业 务。Michelin 和 Faurecia 将在 新的合资企业 Symbio 中持有 相等的股权，该合资企业将负 责研发氢燃料电池系统。 12
MARCH / APRIL 2019
另外，Michelin 也与韩国 汽车制造商 Hyundai Motors 合作，为 Hyundai 的 Genesis G80 豪华轿车开发新一代轮 胎。它将有助在受控制的实验 室环境和德国的纽伯格林赛道 中确定高速下的轮胎振动特性。 • 汽 车 零 部 件 制 造 商 S h a n g h a i Baolong Automotive C o r p o r a t i o n 和德国汽车锁定 系统供应商 Huf Hülsbeck & Fürst 已在中国、欧洲和美国 成立合资公司 BHSens。它将 成为商用车、越野车及轿车的 原始配备（OE）和独立售后市 场（IAM）轮胎压力监测系统 （TPMS）解决方案的供应商。 据悉，BHSens 计划在 2020 年 于墨西哥建立 TPMS 生产设施。 • 美 国 科 技 公 司 U n i t e d American Health Corporation (UAHC) 已成立一家全资子公 司 - American Sustainable Rubber Company (ASR)，利 用专有技术，通过改良的TK蒲 公英植物，在商业层面上生产 美国首个可持续的 NR 供应链。 该公司说，仅在2017年，美国 就进口了 16 亿美元的天然橡 胶，其目的是提供当地的天然 橡胶来源。 • T r e l l e b o r g 已 经 收 购 了 加 拿 大 蒙特利尔的第二大工业轮胎经 销商 Pneus ICM。在 Pneus ICM 的年销售额 339 万加元带 动下，Trelleborg 表示，现可 通过扩大其分销网络，处于进 入更多市场领域的有利位置。 • 总 部 位 于 意 大 利 的 复 新 解 决 方 案专家 Marangoni Group 正 在增持其南非的胎面制造商 Leader Rubber Company 的 股权，从25%增加到 51%。 Leader 和 Marangoni 之间的伙 伴关系已经持续逾十年，最近 更愈加巩固，其目标是与当地 的复新者达成协议，并增加对 撒哈拉以南非洲地区市场的出 口。Leader 是 Marangoni 在南 非市场的 Ringtread 系统的独 家经销商，也是预固化胎面胶
条、OTR 未固化橡胶以及复新 工艺所需之耗材和机械的制 造商。 TPE 供应商 Ravago Holdings A m e r i c a 已 经 收 购 H B Chemical，该公司是北美橡胶 工业的分销商，代表橡胶和弹 性体产品制造商所需要的合成 橡胶、促进剂、增塑剂、抗氧 化剂、蜡和其他特殊化学品。 此次收购包括 HB 在美国、加拿 大和墨西哥的业务，以及在亚 洲的附属业务。 泰国的橡胶公司 Sri Trang Agro-Industry 将在泰国收购 一家手套工厂，并将于 2020 年 完成两座新工厂，以增加其医 用手套的生产。该公司计划在 今年生产 210 亿只手套，以在 2020 年达到 300 亿手套产量 的目标。2018 - 19 年的医疗手 套需求增长 7%，预计未来 15 年增长步伐将加速。然而，NR 价格持续下跌使到出口利润减 少。因此，Sri Trang 说 它 需 要 增加医用手套的生产以应对风 险。 意大利公司 TRM 受委为德国公 司 Carl Zeiss Optotechnik 的 剪切成像系统的授权经销商。 作为交换，Zeiss 将培训 TRM 的轮胎检测系统技术人员。 Carl Zeiss 供应检测技术和光学 测量解决方案，而 TRM 则专注 于轮胎复新机械。双方也将在 俄罗斯、南美和欧洲、中东和 非洲地区开展非独家合作。 到了 2019 年底，德国的特殊化学 品公司 Evonik Industries 计划将 其位于土耳其 Adapazari 工厂的 二氧化矽产能提高40,000 吨。目 前，巴西和查尔斯顿的两个新工 厂，以及美国的切斯特工厂负责 生产去年推出的 Ultrasil 7800 GR SUV 轮胎。 俄罗斯的石化公司 Sibur 计划提 高其位于俄罗斯沃罗涅日市工厂 的聚丁二烯橡胶（Nd-BR）的产 能。该公司将增加另外 13千吨／ 年的产量，于 2021 年达到48千 吨／年的工厂产能。
業界新聞 • Bridgestone Americas 将在俄 亥俄州阿克伦市为 Firestone 赛 车轮胎建造一座工厂，作为延 伸 Firestone 与美国 Indy Racing League 的 NTT IndyCar 系列之 五年合作伙伴关系的一部分。 预计它生产的首批 Firestone Firehawk 赛车轮胎，将于 2020 年底在 NTT IndyCar 系列赛车上 供测试。在即将到来的 2019 年 赛程中，该 公 司 计 划 生 产 并 交 付 超过 26,000 条 Firehawk 赛车 轮胎。 • 荷 兰 的 轮 胎 制 造 机 械 生 产 商 VMI，已在泰国春武里府开设一 个新的服务中心，这是其第九 个服务中心。它全面配备了维 修VMI机械鼓所需的专用工具。 • 瑞 典 的 科 技 公 司 E n v i r o 将 在 丹 麦设立一个设施，用于废旧轮 胎（ELT）的材料回收。这座 价值 4 千 500 万美元的工厂将 于2019 年开始建造，并将于
2021 年完成。Enviro 利用专利 技术研发出一项热解工艺，可在 没有氧气的情况下加热轮胎以产 生油。 在北美洲，Enviro目 前 与 三 个 不 同 的 轮 胎 回 收 商，Treadcraft Ltd 和 EETDF Cleveland，以及加拿大的 ArticCan 进行了积极的谅解备 忘录。该公司也与纽约州和德克 萨斯州的其他有关方面进行了持 续的讨论，计划在那里建造回收 工厂。 • 继 去 年 取 得 一 项 为 纽 约 市 地 铁 供应通路系统的主要订单后， 德国的汽车和工业零件供应商 Huebner Group 正在美国田纳 西州的邓拉普建造一座用于生产 弹性体产品的新工厂。从 2020 年起，它将为公共交通部门制造 配备传感器的橡胶型材，以及为 美国石油和天然气行业制造矽胶 密封件和密封系统。
• 全 球 最 大 的 高 岭 土 矿 产 供 应 商 Active Minerals International， 为玻璃纤维、橡胶、粘合剂和陶 瓷行业提供服务。它将提高其位 于美国佐治亚州的工厂产能。主 要涉及增加第五个工厂和收购相 关设备。工厂扩建行动将分两个 阶段进行，第一阶段已于 2018 年完成。目前的建设属于扩建的 第二阶段。 • 坐 落 在 美 国 堪 萨 斯 州 的 定 制 工业配件和阀门制造商 MidAmerica Fittings（MAF）， 已 被 总 部 位 于 芝 加 哥 的 中 间 市 场 私 募 股 权 投 资 公 司 Wynnchurch Capital 收 购。后者的公司包括在美国的 Anderson Metals 和 Midland Metal Manufacturing，以 及PE管材生产商 Infra Pipe Solutions 和去年收购的加拿 大橡胶产品分销商 Buchanan Rubber。
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Industry commits to unpacking sustainability In recent years, flexible packaging has dealt with a backlash on pollution, until the call for sustainability by industry majors started to lead the way to better solutions for the segment to thrive, with downgauging, recyclability and the use of biobased materials, says Angelica Buan in this report.
RPC Promentâ€™s containers are around 50% lighter than other large plastic containers, allowing for the use of less material and boosting sustainability
ore than a protective medium, packaging connects the consumer to a product. It also has evolved as a platform for brands to convey their advocacies to certain causes like health, safety, or ecological awareness. Multi-conglomerate Unilever, in a 2017 international study it did, says that 33% of consumers are now choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good. Although sustainability is increasingly becoming a priority for consumers when making purchasing decisions, many businesses have not sufficiently prioritised sustainability and circularity when considering the design, use and disposal of packaging, with the majority of packaging still being of single-use and non-recyclable, says a report by the World Economic Forum. Still, in keeping with the trends, more circular packaging solutions are being developed through biobased materials, downgauging and recyclability. Recyclability lift for PET The European Commissionâ€™s circular economy strategy for plastics, which targets 50% to 55% recycling rates of all plastic packaging waste by 2025 and 2030, respectively, and other similar initiatives elsewhere, is changing the landscape for the PET segment. While PET material by itself is recyclable and an energy-efficient packaging material (owing to its exceptional capacity-to-weight ratio), further improving on end products adds to the sustainability factor of PET. To this end, UK-based packaging firm RPC Promens Industrialâ€™s commitment to sustainability comes in the form of its new 20 and 25 l PET containers, which are around 50% lighter than other large plastic containers and have been designed to provide maximum pallet utilisation, offering improved transportation efficiencies that deliver a reduced carbon footprint. They are UN Packing Group II, SG1.7 (20 l) and SG1.8 (25 l) approved for the carriage of hazardous goods, and are strong enough to withstand the rigours of the distribution process with no additional outer pack, says RPC. The ergonomic design makes them light and easy to handle and a central neck provides easy pouring with no glugging. The containers are also stackable. For individual branding, they can be specified in a variety of colours, and there is a large labelling area. In addition, the barrier PET is fully recyclable, meaning the containers have the potential to be used in second-life applications as part of circular economy principles. MARCH / APRIL 2019
Flexible Packaging Shrink film innovations reduce carbon footprint In the realm of shrink-labelled PET packaging US-based specialty materials company Eastman is dishing out its three new solutions under the Eastman Smart Recycle portfolio, which offer increased recyclability. From the Embrace resins range, Encore copolyester forms a versatile, clear shrink label that can be recycled with PET; and Embrace Float copolyester forms an opaque, low-density shrink label that floats in water and can be separated from PET in the recycling process. Eastman has also introduced an adhesive, in collaboration with DIC Chemical’s Sun Chemical. It replaces a traditional solvent seam, enabling label removal in the wet recycling process when used with labels made with Embrace resins.
The company says it is also developing and testing a number of additional products such as the Multipack Sleever sister product, used for smaller products like bottled beer and canned goods that will be added to its shrink film multipack portfolio soon. Meanwhile, UK-based RPC bpi protec is providing spring water and beverage producer Radnor Hills’s shrink wrapping of bottled water a sustainable makeover. The X-EnviroShrink film utilises up to 51% Sustane recycled polymer, from RPC, which enables it to combine recycled content with full recyclability. It has a minimum of 31% PCR, and is 100% recyclable. RPC bpi’s recycling plants reprocess over 135,000 tonnes of waste from industrial, commercial, agricultural and domestic sources. Downgauging for BIB films Bag-in-box (BIB) film maker Mondi is resorting to downgauging to introduce sustainability. The Austrian firm, claiming it’s the first to offer this innovation, says that it is possible to replace the usual 66 or 70 micron coextruded barrier film structures with a 50-micron coextruded barrier film. Introduced last year, Mondi says a current customer is already running trials of the new product, adding, “it has experienced no negative impact on machine performance and no equipment changes have been needed to run the film”. Also, since the film is thinner, it is said to yield more running metres per reel.
Eastman’s Embrace family of resins allow for recycling of shrink films
Elsewhere, packaging major Smurfit Kappa says it has seen a marked increase in the number of companies seeking sustainable replacements for shrink film for multipacks. Thus, it has innovated the Nor-Grip solution. Assembled in an automated packing line, Nor-Grip is a corrugated solution that securely bundles products, such as large bottles, together into consumer units eliminating the need for shrink film. The recyclable material is assembled by the Nor-Grip Applicator, a machine created by Smurfit Kappa. Smurfit Kappa has innovated the Nor-Grip corrugated solution in place of shrink film
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Mondi says it continues to innovate with sustainable solutions with its next generation of Bag-in-Box technical films
In addition, Mondi says it has also found a way to combine a two-ply BIB construction, comprising a 70-micron coextruded barrier layer plus a 40-micron PE layer into one film of 90 microns, a reduction of 20% material usage. Going beyond convenience for on-the-go packaging Increasing consumer preferences for portability, easy usage, reusability, and reclosable of packaging is driving the global on the go packaging market forward. However, factors such as product contamination, especially of processed foods are, in lieu of convenience
Flexible Packaging packaging, staggering the market growth. This challenge used to be a main focus in the development of packaging but now sustainability figures as an important benchmark. Biodegradable coffee bean packaging has been produced by South Korea’s Softpack using Plantic, a product manufactured and sold by Australiaheadquartered Plantic Technologies. A key feature in the package is the biodegradable barrier layer made by Plantic, with high oxygen impermeability, maintaining food freshness and supporting environmental conservation. Softpack is utilising Plantic Similarly, Koepala, biodegradable material for a Helsinki-based takeits coffee bean packaging out food packaging development company, and chemistry expertise company Kemira have formed a partnership to seek out the commercialisation of new packaging concepts aimed at reducing the use of single-use plastics in food packaging. One of the unique elements of Koepala's solution is that the packaging is engineered to be flat. It flexes in to a bowl shape to allow ease-of-use. The testing is still undergoing with both organisations stating that they are committed to finding a viable solution. Bringing on recyclable PE laminates Polyethylene (PE) is a popular packaging material, but also among the most afflicted with the growing environmental movement against plastics. Thus, introduction of new technologies are expected to improve the product performance. Packaging giant Amcor, which has pledged to develop all its products to be recyclable or reusable by 2025, is leaping past existing flexible packaging for a variety of consumer goods with its new all-PE laminate that is said to offer true, in-store recyclability. Amcor’s Genesis is an all-PE laminate that looks and feels like traditional oPP/PE and oPET/PE laminates
Known as Genesis, it is an all laminate that looks and feels like traditional oriented polypropylene (oPP)/PE and oriented polyester (oPET)/PE laminates, with new levels of clarity, gloss and stiffness close to the latter. The introduction of Genesis follows the company’s announcement in September 2018 that it had created a polyolefin-based, flexible film for use in a range of ambient medium and high-barrier, and retort high-barrier applications. Genesis overcomes challenges with production, ease-of-use, durability and aesthetics that have been associated with other packages intended for in-store recycling. Targeting a wide range of segments, including fresh produce, frozen food, dried fruits, nuts, confectionery, chilled goods and pet food, Genesis is adaptable to a variety of packaging types and is appropriate for certain medical, home and personal care markets. Genesis is pre-approved by How2Recycle for in-store recycling with other PE Constantia Flexibles has film products across North introduced its Ecolutions line America. Amcor expects of sustainable packaging the Genesis product will be popular among brand owners and retailers. Meanwhile, Austrian flexible packaging manufacturer Constantia Flexibles has developed the Ecolution range that includes EcoLam mono-PE laminate, EcoCover lid and EcoTrainerAlu. With an OPE/PE structure, EcoLam is fully recyclable due to its mono-material structure, and with carbon footprint that is approximately 32% less than that of comparable products. Mondi also has a laminate constructed using two layers of PE film, making it fully recyclable where a suitable recycling infrastructure exists. The firm says that CeDo Recycling, a pioneer in recycling technologies, proved the material’s compatibility via validation trials. Mondi says its Barrier Pack Recyclable is suitable for mechanical recycling where existing recycling systems are in place MARCH / APRIL 2019
Bemis offers clear, recyclable stand-up pouch packaging
Elsewhere, US packaging giant Berry Global says it is pushing the limits of PCR content in a variety of consumer packaging under the Verdant packaging brand. It is available now in both stock and custom tubes, bottles, jars, and closures and in a range of resins like PET, HDPE and PP. In the Verdant range, laminate tubes contain with up to 75% PCR; bottles are made from 25% to 100% RPET and jars are available in single, double- and heavy wall varieties, in up to 100% PCR. Berry’s Verdant range also includes continuous thread closures/non-flip tops with up to 100% PCR content and flip top closures with up to 50% PCR content. However, it says that colours are limited where PCR content is greater than 10% PCR.
BarrierPack Recyclable is ideal for a range of packaging formats and said to be stiffer, stronger and lighter than conventional PET/PE laminate of the same thickness and can be formed directly on FFS machines. US packaging major Bemis Company’s Encore ultraclear recyclable film is made of PE and is available across multiple markets, including dish detergent pods, pet food and treats, confection items and more. The firm says its technology combines readily recyclable material with shelf-appealing transparency. Fresh perspective for PCR materials Post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials are gaining acceptance among consumers, owing to the improvements on recycling infrastructure as well as material processing technologies. Cincinnati-based flexible packaging company ProAmpac has developed a tier of sustainable flexible packaging solutions, including one that contains PCR. The suite comprises ProActive PCR; ProActive Recyclable, which includes stand-up pouches, quad seal pouches, rollstock for form/fill/seal applications, sandwich wrap, and more. Others are ProActive Compostable, products that biodegrade in industrial composting facilities per conditions set by ASTM D6400; and, ProActive Renewable, products such as large format bags that are made from a biobased feedstock, such as corn or sugarcane.
Flexible packaging firm ProAmpac has four new sustainable packaging products
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Berry’s Verdant range contains up to 100% PCR content in some applications
The end game While packaging firms are racing ahead to ensure sustainability, at the end of a product’s life cycle the main criteria is recycling. Collecting packaging at the end of a product’s useful life for the recycling process is one of the biggest barriers for consumer goods companies whose products are used by millions of people globally. Consumers are often unaware how to take the extra steps needed to recycle or return packaging products and/or not willing to change behaviours to support recycling. Furthermore, systems are often not in place to support the recycling process, with the logistical cost in reclaiming used products being the second biggest barrier to implementation of circular economy strategies. It is hoped that all of these barriers will be ironed out in the near future, to enable plastic packaging to remain relevant in the sector.
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The “911” for feedscrew removal by Davis-Standard’s blog team
our feedscrew is stuck…now what? Never fear! First thing’s first, follow the instructions in your extruder manual. Secondly, we recommend using a feedscrew jack to safely aid in this process. This jack employs a long, grooved bar between two hydraulic cylinders actuated by a lever or via push-button operation. A latch engages and pushes the bar forward the distance between the grooves. The latch is then retracted until it picks up the next groove. To give you an idea of what to expect, here are ten steps applicable to feedscrew removal for most Davis-Standard extruders using a feedscrew jack. 1.
3. 4. 5.
Shut down the extruder. Shut off water and remove the rotary union and cooling pipe assemblies from the feedscrew. Be sure any pressure is relieved. Loosen the head clamp and swing or lift the head free of the barrel flange. Remove the breaker plate, screen pack, etc. Insert a push rod in the bore of the thrust shaft and against the feedscrew end. Place the jack bracket in the groove of the thrust shaft and above the two supporting lugs on the rear face of the bearing retainer. These lugs prevent rotation of the jack bracket. Using the pump handle, increase the jack pressure. This puts pressure on the feedscrew through the push rod and forces the feedscrew forward and out of the keyways. Turn the knob to release pressure in the pump. Insert additional spacers between the piston rod of the jack and the push rod to get more sliding movement of the feedscrew. Carefully withdraw the feedscrew from the barrel. Using a wire brush, clean the flights, channels, and mixing pins or grooves as the feedscrew is being withdrawn. Make certain MARCH / APRIL 2019
not to drop the feedscrew as the shoulder of the feedscrew clears the barrel. 9. Remove spacers, jack assembly, and push rod from the extruder. The push rod may be pushed through the delivery end of the barrel. 10. Place the feedscrew on a wooden bench or V-blocks and thoroughly clean and inspect. Refer to the instruction manual for details.
When installing or removing the feedscrew, be careful not to let the feedscrew drop as the shank diameter changes. This will nick or damage the breaker plate recess, and typically causes irreparable damage. Protect the sealing face by machining a simple ring and inserting that ring into the recess before pulling the screw. Make the ring 0.25 mm greater than the nominal barrel inside diameter, approximately 0.13 mm less than the breaker plate recess inside diameter and 1.5 times the thickness of the breaker plate. What happens when traditional feedscrew removal fails? Unfortunately, there are situations when typical feedscrew removal procedures fail. Thus, extra
Extrusion shank is visible. Give the block of wood a few sharp blows with a sledgehammer. Rotate the feedscrew and repeat the hammering until it loosens. Then perform alternate procedure #1.
work is involved. Due to the challenging nature of these situations, do not hesitate to contact us with questions if you have to employ any of the alternative procedures below. Weâ€™d be happy to walk you through the steps or provide on-site assistance. Alternative #1 Oxidation or corrosion can cause the screw to be jammed in the taper. When this happens, we suggest using a steel rod (not a pipe) slightly smaller than the hole through the thrust sleeve. Ensure the rod is long enough so that it protrudes 45 cm from the thrust sleeve. Once the rod is inserted into the thrust sleeve, cautiously hit the rod with a sledgehammer. If the rod does not move after a few tries, rotate the feedscrew slightly by turning the input sheave by hand. Repeat the hammering. Once the screw is knocked free, repeat the normal procedure for feedscrew removal. Alternative #2 In some cases, the oxidation is so severe that using the method above will not loosen the feedscrew. In this case, penetrating oil must be applied. To do so, mask off the bottom half of the hole found at the rear of the thrust shaft. Pour penetrating oil over the top of the masking until it is Âź-inch (6mm) deep. Then, mask off the entire hole. With oil in the bore, rotate the shaft by turning the input shaft by hand. If there is a clear passage, the oil will find it and run out the shank of the feedscrew. Allow the oil to set overnight. Make a block of wood 10 x 10 x 91 cm. Place the block of wood against the side of the feedscrew behind the feed section where the
Alternative #3 If the first two procedures to do not work, there is a third alternative. However, try the above procedures repeatedly before engaging this option. With this procedure, there is a good chance the barrel and feedscrew will be ruined. Loosen the bolts on the barrel support casing on the front of the machine. Using a pry bar, lift the casing up about 6 to 9.5 mm. While it is lifted, rotate the feedscrew by turning the reducer input shaft by hand. This tends to bend the feedscrew, causing strain on the taper. It may help to strike the feedscrew at a side angle while it is bent. If this fails to loosen the screw, it will probably be necessary to disassemble the machine and remove the feedscrew from the feed end of the barrel. If this fails, the entire feedscrew/ barrel unit must be put in a large hydraulic press where it may require up to 100 tons to remove the feedscrew. Hopefully, you will never need to use these alternative procedures. For additional questions about this or any other feedscrew maintenance topic, please e-mail marketing@davis-standard. com. About Davis-Standard, LLC Davis-Standard, LLC (www.davis-standard. com), headquartered in Pawcatuck, Conn., is a global leader in the design, development and distribution of extrusion and converting technology. Davis-Standard systems encompass over 10 product lines to support manufacturing applications and customers within every major industry. This includes the agriculture, automotive, construction, healthcare, energy, electronics, food and beverage packaging, and retail industries, among others. With more than 1,350 employees worldwide and a network of independent sales agents and suppliers in nearly every country, Davis-Standard is committed to engineering systems that are cost effective, environmentally friendly, and offer a high return on investment. The company has manufacturing and technical facilities in the US, Canada, China, Germany, Finland, Switzerland and the UK.
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Injection Moulding Asia Machinery
Machine tooling to decline; motors/drives on the uptrend The global machinery production revenue will
Machine tooling, driven by market economics The market performance of the machine tool sector is highly dependent on commodity prices, macroeconomic conditions and sector performance (e.g., automotive, construction, aerospace, and ship building). According to IHS Markit Economy and Country Risk (ECR) information, a global recession is highly unlikely to occur in 2019. However, due to weaker global trade, political uncertainties, and other headwinds, global machine tools production revenue will only begin to improve late in 2020 or early in 2021.
reach US$1.6 trillion in 2022, coming mainly
from machine tools, but growth will decline this year due to weaker global trends, with China
and Germany on the downtrend, according to IHS Markit’s Machinery Production Market Tracker. Meanwhile, the global market for
integrated motors and machine-mounted drives
Automotive and consumer electronics lead the market The poor sales of automobiles in late 2018, and the downwardtrending market for smartphones and PCs, is reflected in the latest sales and production revenue estimates from IHS Markit. Other broad, underlying factors for the downturn include a weaker global trade environment, increased geopolitical tensions, lower investor confidence and declining global vehicle sales. Furthermore, the top producing and consuming countries for this type of machinery – namely, Germany and China – have been hit especially hard by the industry downturn.
is expected to reach US$1.4 billion by 2022,
according to a report titled Integrated Motors & Machine-Mounted Drives 2018 by IHS Markit.
2019: tough market for machine builders This year will be a tough year for machine builders, with overall global machine production revenue growing at a CAGR of 2.1% from 2017 and reaching US$1.6 trillion in 2022, says IHS Markit. Year-over-year eurozone machine production revenues are expected to contract slightly by 0.4% in 2019. The AsiaPacific region will grow by low single digits, as growth in China – the largest contributor in the machine tools market – is expected to remain in the single digits, at least until 2020. The machine tools category will comprise 5.7% of all global machinery production revenue in 2019. After the global economic downturn in 2015, a short 5.5% year-over-year growth spurt in 2017 helped revenues climb to their highest level. However, the year-over-year growth rate fell to 3.4% in 2018. It is expected to decline by 0.4% in 2019. The largest downstream industries in the machine tool sector are automotive, with 25% of revenues, and consumer electronics, with 16%.
Bleak near-term signs for machine tools production in Germany and China In the fourth quarter of 2018, Germany’s manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) slipped to a 31-month low. The country’s total machinery production revenue is forecast to contract by 0.3% in 2019, with machine tools revenue growing at just 0.7%, year over year. Germany’s poor performance was caused by the global decline in automotive manufacturing. While it is difficult to isolate the main reason for the declining growth in this industry, changes in the way new vehicles are regulated is an obvious candidate. The tedious and long approval time for regulatory compliance has proven costly to automakers. Especially in Europe, consumers are also more conscious about making new vehicle purchases, in the face of these ever-changing regulations. Although the automobile manufacturing industry has made strides in implementing new technologies, market conditions will continue to push near-term machinery investment rate to an all-time low. Machinery production in China is also facing tremendous downward pressure, due to slowing investment, sluggish growth in downstream industries and the Sino-US trade war. China is also dealing with many of the same problems Germany is facing, including contracting automotive sales and weaker global trade. Although national stimulus policies have been enacted, and industrial upgrades have been implemented gradually, they have not done enough to offset the economic headwinds in China. In fact, IHS Markit forecasts that China’s machinery production revenue will grow only 1.4% in 2019, the 1
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Injection Moulding Asia Machinery lowest rate since 2015. Machine tools production revenue will also suffer, contracting by 3.7% in 2019.
For the materials handling sector, integrated motors are commonly used in conveying applications, where the machines are comparatively long and benefit from cable reductions that can be achieved by daisy-chaining integrated motors. Conveying applications typically require speed control, rather than position control, and materials handling is the largest industry sector for the AC-induction and DC-brushless product types. Meanwhile, the demand for high efficiency, along with the need to reduce energy consumption in these markets, will attract investments in drive solutions. Manufacturers tend to prefer machine-mounted drives over stand-alone drives over the long-term, depending on the anticipated functional technological advancements and the availability of affordable technology.
Integrated motors/machine-mounted drives market With the global market for integrated motors and machinemounted drives projected to reach US$1.4 billion by 2022, the growth will come from machinery production and additional market revenues from AC brushless servo and AC induction motors and drives. Total market revenue is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8% through 2022. Integrated motors comprised 65.6% of the market revenue in 2017, and 75.3% of all unit shipments. Machine-mounted drives made up 34.4% of revenue and 24.7% of unit shipments. The material-handling equipment and packaging sectors were the fastest growing sectors in the machine-mounted drive market in 2017, with an estimated value of US$57.5 million and US$45.1 million, respectively, in 2017. These two sectors are predicted to grow at a CAGR of 8.8% and 8.9%, respectively, from 2017 to 2022. Integrated motors vs machine-mounted drives The highest revenues and total unit shipments in the global integrated-motor market came from materials handling equipment and packaging machinery industries, comprising 16.6% of the market in 2017. This was due to the increased demand in conveying applications tied to postal sorting, baggage handling and other consumer sectors. Meanwhile, packaging continues to lead all machinery sectors. It has the highest adoption rate for integrated motors, due to the prevalence of high axes machines requiring only low to moderately powered motors. High axes machines are common, because packaging machines often perform multiple tasks and require the flexibility to adapt to new package shapes and materials. The need for flexibility also contributes to the trend towards modular machine building in this sector, which benefits the integrated-motor market. Furthermore, the packaging machinery sector relies on the performance of the food, beverage and tobacco market, which is largest market for packaging machinery. IHS Markit forecasts the food, beverage and tobacco sector will grow at a CAGR of 7.7%, from 2017 through 2022. This growth is caused by increasing integrated motor requirements in the packaged food sector, as processed food consumption is associated with urbanization and higher income levels. AC-brushless-servo and AC-induction are the most common integrated-motor types used in the food, beverage and tobacco industry. Machines for these industries have many of the same attributes that make packaging machines well suited for integrated motors. However, the adoption rate has been hindered by the need for the machinery to withstand wash-down conditions.
The ideal compatibility of the variable frequency drive with the motor in an integrated motor and drive ensures efficient performance, with efficiency levels exceeding 90%. This compatibility also makes drive units easier to deploy than procuring the motor and the drive as two separate components, and then combining them to achieve the desired performance, which consequently helps to reduce lag time and increase productivity. The market will continue to benefit from product replacement, as motor suppliers continue to expand their machine-mounted drive product offerings. Challenges in the near future While the growth numbers are positive signs for the industry, the immediate challenge for machine-mounted drive manufacturers will be to scale down high initial costs and communicate product benefits more clearly to end-users. Another issue has been the technical inability to develop machine-mounted drives for higher power ratings. Customers expect perfect solutions, in terms of technology: they need the product type most suited to their applications, and they want the exact features and performance required for each application. 2
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Injection Moulding Asia Automotive
Two new CFRP technologies for the automotive industry The technology division of Williams Formula
Now, Williams has developed 223 and Racetrak technologies that offer comparable performance to existing composites solutions, but with a range of benefits, and at a cost that brings them within reach of mainstream applications.
1 team, UK-based Williams Advanced
Engineering, has published a white paper
to showcase its proprietary, patent-pending
223: for 3D composite structures from 2D The 223 process was conceived as a cost-effective means of creating 3D composite structures from a 2D form. It is ideal for box-like geometries, such as battery containers for electric vehicles, or potentially even complete vehicle monocoques. The name is derived from one of the processâ€™s defining features: while composite components generally have to be laid up in their final geometry, 223 allows the part to be created initially as a 2D component before being folded into a 3D structure. Thus, it lends itself to a wide array of applications. In particular, 223 suits structures that are currently assembled from many separate components, and where access for fitting-out adds time and cost. For example, an automotive body-in-white, which typically consists of around 300 metal pressings, made with some 600 different tools; a vehicle bonnet may require four different press operations. Using 223, the number of pressings could be reduced to around 50, all created on a single machine with a significant reduction in the capital expenditure for tooling. An estimated weight saving of 25-30% could also be achieved on a carâ€™s body-in-white, compared to an equivalent aluminium alloy structure. With 223, this could be delivered in higher volumes and at a lower cost than a traditional composite solution. Where less strength is required, further cost savings could be made by specifying lower cost materials, for example glass fibres, while alternative resins can be specified to increase toughness and heat resistance. According to Williams, the 223 is a radically different (and therefore confidential) process for the integration of woven, dry fibre reinforcement sheet with a separately-prepared resin matrix. The technique provides freedom to optimise both elements to the specific requirements of a design across the component. For example, a design may employ high-strength carbon fibres as the reinforcement in structurally critical areas, while low cost glass fibres could be used in others.
innovations in carbon composites and the
benefits they offer to the automotive industry. PRA takes a look at the groundbreaking technologies: 223 and Racetrak.
he automotive industry, where lightweighting is key to meeting increasingly stringent fuel economy and emissions targets, as well as support the range required from electric vehicles, has leveraged the advantages of carbon fibre-reinforced polymers (CFRPs). Nonetheless, several factors, including cost, are impeding mass adoption of CFRPs. Traditional composite production methods involve expensive materials and lengthy process times; and they also incur a relatively high scrap rate of around 30%, compounded by the challenges of recovering the carbon from pre-impregnated off-cuts, and of finding value from the material at the end of the product life. These challenges have confined CRFP to niche applications, for instance, a body-in-white structure produced with traditional composite techniques that is 60% lighter than a steel one, yet is around 20 times the cost. This has limited its application to vehicles that are low volume/high cost, or where the vehicle manufacturer subsidises it as part of its learning process.
Williams has developed a pair of innovative technologies that promise a step-change in the affordability of composite materials in the automotive sector
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Injection Moulding Asia Automotive Costly materials are used only where their benefit is required, and local strength can be provided without the cost of additional reinforcing components. The process enables the full benefits of the anisotropy of the material to be exploited, as opposed to a ‘black metal’ approach. The process begins with an automated cutter trimming the flat sheet of woven fibre into nearnet shape. The excess material from this process is dry, untreated fibre, which is substantially easier and more cost effective to recycle than traditional pre-impregnated materials. At this stage, other A new approach to the components can be easily embedded, such as printed. manufacture, Next, the matrixapplication is applied using an recovery automated of and process that allows the composition of the resin to be specified locally across the part, allowing properties such as toughness and thermal conductivity to be varied across the component. At this stage, the preform is still a flat, 2D sheet, like a cardboard box that has yet to be folded.
adversely affecting the operational efficiency. This is a further benefit of the process. Once removed from the press, the cured areas have sufficient structural strength for additional manufacturing steps to be performed. 223 has been designed to allow transportation of the product to an external facility in this intermediate ‘flat pack’ form, reducing the cost of logistics. In a defence vehicle application, for example, vehicle bodies could be kept flat in storage, with the correct body for the requirement selected and dispatched quickly and efficiently for assembly in the field. Components can be held in this intermediate ‘flat pack’ form for relatively extended periods (up to 12 months) – currently days, with extended times in development – allowing complex tasks to be performed before the final curing stage is carried out. For instance, on an automotive body-in-white, it could potentially provide scope to fit trim, run electrical/electronic harnesses and install heating ventilation and cooling (HVAC) components with easier, faster access and fewer additional tools. Finally, the part is placed in a jig, where it is folded into its finished 3D form. It then undergoes a final curing stage, which solidifies the hinges and seamlessly joins the edges of the adjacent panels to create a perfect 3D shape.
Carbon Composite Structures
Racetrak: high stress composites made affordable Racetrak is a novel process for creating very high strength structural members that link two or more points, such as automotive wishbones or the link arms of aircraft landing gear. It takes its name from the continuous loop of unidirectional material — in this case carbon fibre — that provides extremely high hoop strength. This localisation of very The new approaches tackle the manufacture, application and high embedded strength allows substantial cost recovery of carbon composite structures and can be applied not reduction which, when combined with high levels of only in automotive, but aerospace, off-shore, rail, renewable energy automation, allows an affordable component that is sectors dramatically lighter than traditional alternatives. Innovations for Williams estimates fibre deposition rates of In the case of a wishbone for an automotive strength, weight reduction, ease manufacture application, the finished part could be around 40% up to 500 kg/hour. Overall, 223 is up toofaround 50 times faster than traditional aerospace-grade lighter than the equivalent forged aluminium item automotive, aerospace, off-shore, renewable methods, which lay down materialrail, at roughly 10 energy and up to 60% lighter than steel, making it costto 20 kg/hour. competitive with a premium aluminium forging; The preform is then fed into an industrial press, and thus aligning with the automotive industry’s where a carefully-controlled force and temperature target for weight saving technologies, estimated www.wae.com | #AdvantageEngineered is applied. This cures the sections that are destined at EUR5-7/kg. to form the faces of the box, while leaving the Furthermore, up to 80% of the material can be hinge areas between them flexible. drawn from recycled sources, helping to solve the Thanks to snap curing resins, the pressing challenge presented by end-of-life carbon 1 |growing Page process Published March 2019 can be accomplished in around 3 minutes composite components. and with a high degree of automation. Energy, cost Racetrak parts consist of three main components: and time savings are also evident from the ability a core of low cost, non-woven bulk material, a loop to maintain the press at a constant temperature, of unidirectional carbon fibre and on both sides of where otherwise the autoclave or press would this, a protective shell made from die-cut woven traditionally go through a temperature cycle, fibre sheet. Manufacturing is fully automated, 4 MARCH / APRIL 2019
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Injection Moulding Asia Automotive with the unidirectional loop robotically wound to create precise, repeatable tailored fibre placement. This reinforced material preform is then placed dry into a tool, which applies a light shaping pressure to create a removable cartridge. This placed into an industrial press, where a vacuum is applied, and the resin is injected into the heated mould. Under these conditions, the resin takes approximately 90 seconds to cure. It is then ejected from the machine and a fresh cartridge loaded. With a cycle time currently at just 120 seconds, a single press using this process can produce more than 500,000 units/year. The composition of the system also contributes to an attractive price/ performance ratio as the costliest materials – notably the unidirectional carbon fibre — are used only where their unique mechanical properties are required to deliver high local strength, for example to link anchorage points. The woven shell increases load distribution across the component and enhances both sheer strength and damage tolerance. As with the new 223 process, automation ensures repeatability, removes the need for skilled labour, reduces cycle times and minimises the quantity of premium material that is required for unidirectional lay-up. Each tool costs around one tenth the cost of a steel tool, making smaller production runs more affordable. The same tool can also make similar shaped components of different specifications, simply by changing the composition of the cartridge.
Racetrak has been used in Williams’s new lightweight electric vehicle platform concept known as the FW-EVX
It can also use a high proportion of ground material created from end-of-life recyclate, helping to solve the current challenge of how to recover and re-use carbon components from end-of-life vehicles as required by legislation, such as the European End-of-Life Directive.
Uptake in emerging automotive trends Racetrak and 223 are both application-agnostic, but particularly bring benefits to three sectors, namely: • Automotive, including commercial & off-highway vehicles, where weight reduction is a major benefit when using 223 process in the vehicle’s body-inwhite. Williams estimates that a vehicle monocoque produced in carbon composite using the 223 process could be 25% lighter than an aluminium structure. The company has already employed this process in the production of the battery case for its FW-EVX Electric Vehicle Platform concept. Racetrak was also used in FW-EVX to manufacture the suspension wishbones with a weight saving of approximately 40% compared with aluminium and 60% compared with steel. Williams has designed and manufactured composite wishbones for its Formula 1 cars for more than 25 years, giving it considerable experience in this application. • Automated driving: turning wishbones and other CFRP components into calibrated load cells that could transfer road load data back to the vehicle via wireless electronics. This would not only allow a vehicle manufacturer to capture anonymised usage data, it will also have practical applications at a vehicle level, measuring real-time loads applied to a component. An example is a wishbone providing data that can be used to infer lateral grip, for use by the stability control input.
Choice of resins makes a difference The Racetrak system allows a choice of resins, for example polyurethane (PU) instead of the more conventional epoxy resin, increasing the toughness of the system as well as reducing the cost, with the option to further increase energy absorption by adding ductile materials such as ground end-oflife CFRP. PU resin is also an effective adhesive, allowing in-mould integration of fixings and other components. For increased resistance to high temperatures, a phenolic resin could be specified. With savings in process time, skilled labour, materials and capital investment, Racetrak will allow high strength, light weight composite components to be used in applications where CFRP was previously too costly. Like 223, Racetrak also brings additional benefits, such as ability to embed components such as thin film sensors (which can be just 6 microns thick) and bearings, effectively removing another step from the current production process; and being environmentally attractive because it requires very little energy, and because the bulk material used in the core can be created from the multidirectional carbon created from the 223 and Racetrak manufacturing scrap.
• Increasing efficiency of heavy-duty and off-highway vehicles translates into revenue from additional payload, and savings from improved fuel economy. Engineers can save weight where it will make the biggest difference in efficiency; for example in reciprocating components like stacker forks, or where it compromises stability such as high on crane masts. 5
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Injection Moulding Asia Medical Industry
Producing quality medical parts in short lead time In a project that had a short time frame and a tight budget, Polyfluor Plastics appointed Flexan, a US contract manufacturer, to
produce high precision silicone components for in-vitro fertilisation at its facility in China.
or a medical device for in-vitro fertilisation, a European OEM required a special injection moulding component made of silicone, which alongside high quality should also have very precise dimensions, and special surface characteristics. As the component also had to be manufactured within a short timeframe and on a low budget, with a volume of 400,000 units, polymer supplier Polyfluor Plastics decided to appoint the Chinese branch of US contract manufacturer Flexan.
Western production sites are currently so stretched, that there are long waiting times for tools and products, not so in China
“We were appointed by an OEM, to manufacture components for a product for in-vitro fertilisation,” explained Eric Wetzels, Managing Director of Polyfluor Plastics. This also included a special silicone injection moulded part, which is not very complex in itself, but the manufacture in a clean room according to the strict specifications of the customer posed a challenge.
Polyfluor Plastics contracted the project to Flexan Suzhou
The Suzhou-based branch, closely affiliated with the Chicago head office and managed according to the strictest Western quality standards, was able to rely on the parent company’s more than 70 years of expertise, says Flexan. However, at the same time, it offers clients the cost advantages of the Chinese site. In addition, Polyfluor says it was able to drastically reduce the time to market with this decision. While there are frequently waiting times of up to six months at American and European production sites industry wide, the project with Flexan Suzhou progressed significantly faster: the plant produced the injection moulding tools within five weeks and provided the first samples just five days later.
The plant in Suzhou combines the cost and capacity advantages of the Chinese site with US-American company standards
“On the one hand, there were very small tolerances for the dimensions, but on the other hand it is required that its surface feels pleasant and smooth. This requires extensive knowledge, as for example the original material must be injected into the tools and cooled correctly.” Polyfluor’s customer initially needed this component in a volume of 400,000 units, but subsequently an increase to up to 3 million would be possible.
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Injection Moulding Asia Medical Industry “We asked several manufacturers: with the requirements for the components and the specified time and cost restraints. The quote from Flexan for production in Suzhou offered the best conditions, for example in terms of tool costs and delivery time,” continues Wetzels.
Flexan has knowledge of manufacturing industrial and high precision medical silicone components
Production in China The advantage of the Chinese branch “Due to our collaboration with with regards to time to market can Flexan Suzhou, we be attributed to an industry-wide received our components development. Western production very quickly, in the sites are currently so stretched, that correct quality, in a there are long waiting times for tools high volume and at a and products. competitive price“, says Eric Wetzels, Managing “With other manufacturers, it Director of Polyfluor would have taken 4-6 months until the injection moulding tool had been Plastics built,” confirms Wetzels. In contrast, he says Flexan was able to agree a time of two months. “In Europe and the US, for example in our factory in Chicago, express tool manufacture is of course still possible – but with additional costs,” explains Werner Karau, European Commercial Leader at Flexan, who is responsible for the project with Polyfluor. “Here, the client has to think carefully, particularly if the same quality can be provided in China.”
silicone rubber, which is used as the raw material, is a twocomponent paste mixture, with short curing times, which is good for use in the temperature range of -55 to +210°C. The two components are poured directly from the original containers into the injection moulding machine. After curing, the moulded parts are removed from the cores, a defined random sample is sent for inspection in the measurement laboratory, and after preparation of the tools, they will be refilled. If the random samples of the measurement inspection are fine, the production quantity is checked in the visual inspection. All inspections will be documented, and if everything corresponds to the specifications, the parts are packaged in the clean room and stored. The challenge with the silicone components for Polyfluor was that on the one hand there were strict tolerances in the dimensions, and on the other hand, the achievement of certain haptic and visual characteristics had to be considered. “Even if all the dimensions are within the tolerance limits, a part may feel different to what the customer wishes. This can be determined after the first prototypes,” says Karau. “If the moulded part feels too firm, we can change the tool; for example, by getting closer to the lower tolerance limit, to have less material in the affected places.” Ultimately, the surface is influenced by the tool, but also by temperatures, cooling and other parameters. A slightly finer surface was required with initial sampling, to achieve this haptic, the process parameters were adjusted, and the tool was fine polished.
Injection moulds finished after five weeks However, the particularly short delivery time in Suzhou can also be attributed to the fact that the “The only difference factory has many different injection between the American moulding tools, and therefore has Flexan sites and China is fixed capacity commitments with that Suzhou is more set a large number of qualified tool up to manufacture many manufacturers. different tools and parts in high quantities, while “These reserves generally the US factories specialise allow us quick tool manufacture,” in the manufacture says Karau. At the same time, the of even more complex Chinese branch can also rely on parts, and services for the knowledge of high precision the end product such as medical silicone components, assembly and secondary which has been accumulated since operations,” explains Werner Karau, European 1946. Due to these various factors, Commercial Leader at the injection moulding tools were Flexan able to be completed within five weeks, and the first samples were sent to Polyfluor around five days later. “The component for Polyfluor will be manufactured by us in a hybrid LSR process,” explains Karau. The liquid
Adherence to Western quality standards “Due to our collaboration with Flexan Suzhou, we received our components very quickly, in the correct quality, in a high volume and at a competitive price,” says Wetzels. The Suzhou facility offered the best conditions, with regards to tool costs and delivery time
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Injection Moulding Asia Medical Industry “As a wholly owned subsidiary of Flexan, the plant combines the cost and capacity advantages of the Chinese site with US-American company standards. Western structures prevail in the management, all procedures are identical throughout the whole group, as far as possible,” confirms Karau. Production and development management and quality management for example are internationally integrated. As with all other Flexan factories, Suzhou also adheres to the quality standards in accordance with ISO9001/13485 and undergoes the audits that inspect this conformity.
“We had a case where a Chinese partner assured us of a certain procedure. It was carried out that way a few times, but by the third or fourth delivery, the processes had been changed in secret, and produced cheaper, to their own advantage. That would not have happened with a German supplier for example.” Wetzels doesn’t want to generalise, as even in the West you can never completely rule out black sheep, but he admits: “We check Chinese suppliers slightly differently to Western ones. Before sending each delivery, they are checked by an auditor, even more closely than is usual for the sector anyway.” After the successful manufacture of the silicon components, Polyfluor is planning another collaboration with Flexan and the factory in China.
Production and development management and quality management in Suzhou are internationally integrated
“The only difference between the American sites and China is that Suzhou is more set up to manufacture many different tools and parts in high quantities, while the US factories specialise in the manufacture of even more complex parts, and services for the end product such as assembly and secondary operations,” adds Karau. Polyfluor says the project with Flexan Suzhou is another positive experience with the production of medical components in China. However, Wetzels knows from experience, that with manufacturers in the country who are not foreign-owned and/or subject to strict Western standards, you have to tread more carefully.
Netherlands-headquartered Polyfluor Plastics bv has been a supplier of products made of quality technical plastics, and solutions for the manufacturing industry for 35 years. The focus of the company activity is fluoroplastics such as PTFE, FEP, PFA, PEEK, PVDF, PCTFE and ECTFE. (Fluoro) plastic, high pressure, shrink and clean room hoses and PTFE fibreglass tapes are available from Polyfluor from stock. Furthermore, the company can also provide semi-finished products, customer-specific processed parts or a coating for a special customer product. Plastics from Polyfluor can be found in the chemical industry, medical, pharmaceuticals, automotive, aviation and supply industry, petrochemistry and the oil & gas industry, and the packaging and food industry. Founded in 1946, Flexan LLC is a global manufacturer of high-precision elastomer parts for a wide range of industry applications. It operates out of four manufacturing facilities with about 800 employees. Its Flexan unit focuses as on custom moulding while its FMI business delivers clean room manufactured silicone rubber components for use in Class II disposable and Class III implantable medical devices. High volume custom moulded elastomer and also cleanroom silicone rubber is offered from the Flexan-Suzhou factory. Flexan’s MEDRON division serves a wide range of outsourcing capabilities, including high volume manufacturing, customer private label capability, design engineering, product development, and prototyping. MEDRON’s expertise comprises a wide range of materials, including medical grade urethanes and engineering thermoplastics. In April 2018 Flexan acquired IntroMed, a contract manufacturer of patent-protected sheath introducers based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Flexan group is owned by Linden Capital Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm focused exclusively on leveraged buyouts in the health care and life sciences industries.
As with all other Flexan factories, the Chinese site also adheres to the quality standards in accordance with ISO9001/13485
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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News • French tyre maker Michelin and automotive parts supplier Faurecia have set up a joint venture bringing together all of Michelin’s fuel cell related activities – including its subsidiary Symbio – with those of Faurecia. Both Michelin and Faurecia will have equal stakes in the new joint venture Symbio, which will deal with the development of hydrogen fuel cell systems. Michelin has also tied up with South Korean car maker Hyundai Motors to develop next generation tyres for Hyundai’s Genesis G80 luxury sedan. It will help determine tyre vibration characteristics at high speeds both in a controlled laboratory setting and the Nürburgring circuit in Germany. • Automotive parts maker Shanghai Baolong Automotive Corporation and German automotive locking system supplier Huf Hülsbeck & Fürst have launched a joint venture, BH Sens, in China, Europe and the US. It will be a supplier of original equipped (OE) and independent aftermarket (IAM) tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) solutions, for commercial vehicle, off–the-road and passenger vehicles. BH Sens is said to be planning for a TPMS production facility in Mexico by 2020. • American technology company United American Health Corporation (UAHC) has established a whollyowned subsidiary American Sustainable Rubber Company (ASR), to utilise proprietary technology to produce the first ever sustainable NR supply chain in the US at a commercial level, through a genetically modified TK
dandelion plant. The firm says the US imported US$1.6 billion worth of NR in 2017 alone, and it aims to supply a local source of NR. • The second largest industrial tyre dealer in Montreal, Canada, Pneus ICM, has been acquired by Trelleborg. With Pneus ICM’s annual sales of C$3.39 million, Trelleborg says it has the advantage to reach further market segments by enlarging its distribution network. • Italy-headquartered retread solutions expert Marangoni Group is increasing its shareholding in South African tread maker Leader Rubber Company from 25 to 51%. The partnership between Leader and Marangoni has been ongoing for more than ten years and recently has been reinforced with the objective of further developing agreements with local retreaders and growing exports to markets in SubSaharan Africa. Leader is the exclusive distributor of Marangoni’s Ringtread system in the South African market and a manufacturer of pre-cured tread strips, OTR uncured rubber as well as consumables and machinery required for the retreading process. • TPE supplier Ravago Holdings America has acquired HB Chemical, a distributor for the North American rubber industry representing categories of synthetic rubber, accelerators, plasticisers, antioxidants, waxes and other specialty chemicals required by manufacturers of rubber and elastomer products. The acquisition includes HB’s businesses in the US,
Canada, and Mexico in addition to their affiliated business in Asia. • Thailand’s rubber firm Sri Trang Agro-Industry will acquire a glove factory in Thailand, in addition to the two new factories, which will be completed by 2020, to increase its medical gloves production. It is planning to produce 21 billion gloves this year to reach the target of 30 billion gloves by 2020. A growth of 7% over 2018-19 is recorded for the medical gloves demand and is expected to grow faster for the next 15 years. However, the continued drop of NR prices makes exporting less profitable. Thus, Sri Trang says it needs to increase its medical gloves production to counter the risk. • Italian firm TRM has been appointed the authorised dealer for German company Carl Zeiss Optotechnik’s shearography systems. In exchange, Zeiss will train TRM’s technical staff on tyre inspection systems. Carl Zeiss supplies solutions in inspection technology and optical measuring while TRM specialises in tyre retreading machinery. The two companies will also have a non-exclusive cooperation in Russia, South America and the EMEA region. • German specialty chemicals firm Evonik Industries is increasing its capacity for silica by 40,000 tonnes at its plant in Adapazari, Turkey, by late 2019. Currently, two new sites in Brazil and Charleston as well as Chester in the US manufacture the Ultrasil 7800 GR for SUV tyres, which was launched last year.
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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News • Russian petrochemical firm Sibur plans to boost its production capacity for polybutadiene rubber (Nd-BR) at its facility in Voronezh City, Russia. Another 13 kilotonnes/year will be added by the firm to reach a 48 kilotonne/year plant capacity by 2021. • Bridgestone Americas will build a plant for Firestone race tyres in Akron, Ohio, as part of the five-year partnership extension between Firestone and American-based Indy Racing League’s NTT IndyCar Series. It is projected to produce the first Firestone Firehawk race tyres due for testing in the NTT IndyCar Series by the end of 2020. More than 26,000 Firehawk race tyres are scheduled to be produced and delivered to teams throughout the upcoming 2019 schedule. • VMI, a Netherlandsbased producer of tyre manufacturing machinery, has opened a new service centre in Chonburi Province, Thailand, its ninth service centre. It is fully equipped with specialised tooling required for servicing VMI mechanical drums. • Swedish technology company Enviro is to set up a facility in Denmark for material recovery of end-of-life tyres (ELT). The US$45 million plant will start construction in 2019 and will be completed in 2021. Enviro has developed a pyrolysis process, based on a patented technology, whereby tyres are heated in absence of oxygen to generate oil. In North America, Enviro also currently has active MOUs with three different tyre recyclers, Treadcraft
Ltd and EE-TDF Cleveland, and one in Canada with ArticCan. It also has ongoing discussions with additional interested parties, in the states of New York and Texas, where recycling plants are planned to be built. • Germany-based automotive and industrial parts supplier Huebner Group is building a new factory for the manufacture of elastomer products in Dunlap, Tennessee, US, after securing a major order to supply the New York City subway with gangway systems last year. It will manufacture sensorequipped rubber profiles for public transport sector as well as silicone seals and sealing systems for the US oil and gas industry from 2020 onwards.
maker Infra Pipe Solutions as well as Canadian rubber products distributor Buchanan Rubber, which was acquired last year. • China’s Qingdao Doublestar Group plans to acquire fellow Chinese tyremaker Shandong Hengyu Technology Group for US$134 million. Financiallytroubled Hengyu produces industrial, passenger, truck, and bus tyres. Hengyu currently has a capacity of 650,000 truck/bus tyres/ year and 6 million passenger tyres/year. Under bankruptcy restructuring, the capacities at the Dongying plant could be raised to 800,000 and 10 million units respectively, when a facility upgrade is completed, according to Doublestar.
• Active Minerals International, the world’s largest supplier of kaolin mineral products serving the fibreglass, rubber, adhesive and ceramic industries, is to increase its capacity at its facility based in Georgia, US. It will involve an addition of a fifth mill and the acquisition of related equipment. The expansion will be done in two phases, the first already completed in 2018. The current construction represents the second phase of the expansion.
• As part of its strategy, Singapore-based agriculture and food major Olam International plans to sell off four of its businesses, including rubber, over the next six years to yield an income of US$1.6 billion. Olam owns a crumb rubber processing facility in Côte d’Ivoire, the largest exporter of natural rubber in Africa. It also undertakes third-party sourcing of natural rubber in various forms, and has a joint venture plantation with Gabon.
• Mid-America Fittings (MAF), a manufacturer of customised, industrial fittings and valves in Kansas, US, has been acquired by Chicago-headquartered middle market private equity investment firm Wynnchurch Capital. The latter’s profile includes US-based Anderson Metals and Midland Metal Manufacturing and PE pipe
• Swedish group Trelleborg has acquired Provana Solutions and Provana Quality Center. Italy-based Provana specialises in the distribution and service of tyres and wheels to tractor dealers and farmers in Italy. The technology centre provides testing of various tyre solutions to OEMs of agricultural machinery.
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Rubber Journal Asia Tyres
A fresh look at recovery solutions for old tyres Tyres that have seen better days may be
Every time tyres are used on the road, TRWPs are produced by the friction between tyres and the road surface. TRWP are a mixture of tyre tread material and elements from the road surface. These tiny particles are readily inhaled, and thus have impact to human health. According to the study: “Samples indicated that TRWP concentrations in the PM2.5 fraction were low, representing an average contribution to total PM2.5 of less than 0.3%. However, the study found significant differences in TRWP contribution to PM2.5 between the three cities, and no significant correlation between TRWP in PM2.5 and traffic count”. For now, the findings are not conclusive. The authors emphasised that further research is needed, starting with additional sampling for TRWP in ambient air that would help establish the extent of how tyre wear contribute to non-exhaust PM emissions to ambient air. As the study indicates that properly checked and inflated tyres not only prevent road mishaps but also air pollution.
imputed as pollution contributors; however, new developments are changing this
notion about end of life tyres (ELTs), says Angelica Buan in this report.
orn-out tyres spell danger for millions of commuters and motorists who are at risk of road accidents. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that nearly 1.4 million people figure in road traffic crash related fatalities each year. Vehicles with worn-out tyres are thrice as likely to end up in a crash, according to US’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). On a macro scale, worn out tyres not only pose traffic hazard, with a study revealing that worn out tyres also contribute to air pollution. A recent Tire Industry Project (TIP) study has investigated the potential contribution of tyre and road wear particles (TRWPs), being non exhaust sources, as well as vehicle exhaust to airborne particular matter (PM or smaller than 2.5 micrometres in diameter) in several major urban centres. Based on the study, which covers analysis of urban roadside air samples from London, Tokyo and Los Angeles, tyre wear comprises a small percentage of total PM2.5 in ambient air.
Waste tyres as source of microplastic pollution In yet another study, car tyres were assessed to contribute to the microplastic onslaught in the UK waterways and soils. The UK study, Reducing Household Contributions to Marine Plastic Pollution, carried out by Eunomia Research & Consulting and Friends of the Earth (FOE) was published in November last year. It estimates that of the four major sources of microplastics, including plastic pellets, paint, and clothing, vehicle tyres release up to 68,000 tonnes/year of microfibres produced from tyre tread abrasion into the environment. Of this volume, between 7,000 and 19,000 tonnes enters surface waters. The Netherlandsheadquartered environmental organisation FOE indicated that vehicle tyres shed plastic particles that are a mixture of natural and synthetic rubber, and well as various additives, during driving; and are believed to be responsible for the greatest proportion of microplastic pollution entering Europe’s waters. Up to 10% of tyre wear is generated as airborne End of life tyres are not only road hazards, but also contribute to air pollution, a study finds particles, which can also
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Rubber Journal Asia Tyres One such new innovation is offered by Danish company, Eldan Recycling. The Twin Shaft Clean-Cut Shredder (TSCC) is developed for the production of clean-cut tyre chips from car or truck tyres. It features two frequency converters to ensure a very flexible operation; and promises up to 50% power saving. The TSCC can produce clean-cut 50 mm chips from car or truck tyres at up to 6,000 kg/hour, or clean-cut 100 mm chips at up to 9,000 kg/hour. Eldan Recycling’s Twin Shaft CleanCut Shredder is developed for the production of clean-cut tyre chips from car or truck tyres
Based on a UK study, vehicle tyres have been found to potentially release up to 19,000 tonnes/year of microfibres into the surface waters
China advances into green recycling China is one of the world’s major producer of rubber products, tyres being the largest product segment due to its rapid motor vehicle production. The growing consumption also translates to increasing wastes. Since China generates approximately 100 million pieces/year of waste tyres, the country takes recycling seriously. Apart from its adoption of internet-based or “smart” recycling hubs, it also has built the 7.5 million sq ft-Central China Rubber Resources Recycling Industrial Park located in Xiangyang, Hubei Province, which can process 400,000 tonnes of ELTs and converts rubber scraps for a variety of applications.
settle in the surrounding areas where their impact is not known. Since the particles vary in size and composition, identifying and tracking exactly where they go can be difficult as they can be widely dispersed around roads and washed away during rain, the study proponents said. Additionally, their buoyancy in water varies and much of the particles would likely settle into river and estuary sediments where they may still interact with river wildlife. To remedy this, FOE suggests a number of measures to tackle tyre car pollution, including car tyre levy, a standardised test to measure tyre tread abrasion rate, and integration into the current tyre labelling scheme. Moreover, the group seeks for an action plan that targets near zero plastic pollution by 2024. Recovering the value of waste rubber with technology At some point, worn out tyres will have to be done away with. Unfortunately, a significant bulk of end of life tyres (ELTs) is either landfilled or incinerated. Furthermore, run of the mill recycling facilities are not accepting tyres because they are not considered household wastes, not to mention their lack of applicable technologies to process them. Globally, an estimated 1 billion/year waste tyres are generated, but only 10% or 100 million are recycled. Because the tyre’s design is made complex by the various materials that go into manufacturing it, it makes it difficult to recycle. Nevertheless, new technologies for tyre recycling are being developed to serve the growing recycling market, poised to cross US$9.5 billion by 2022, according to a forecast by BCC Research.
Doublestar’s smart factory utilises green pyrolysis and carbon black regeneration technologies to recycle waste tyres
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Rubber Journal Asia Tyres Working with Twincon, a Sheffield-based company that develops solutions for the construction industry, the researchers also developed technologies that turn the tyre polymer fibres from waste to usable construction materials, and to ensure that they are dispersed uniformly in concrete. Reportedly, the testing of the material on different ratios and with different types of concrete; as well as on the behaviour of the fibres to heat at the microstructure level, has been successful. In a similar undertaking, German speciality chemicals group Evonik has also developed a new material called New use for old tyres in the construction sector Vestenamer, a process additive for the rubber and Old tyres and rubber scraps also find suitable construction sectors. With Vestenamer, rubber powder applications in major industries. For example, fibres can be processed from scrap tyres to generate asphalt from old tyres can reinforce fire resistance of concrete, with rubber content. The recycled material is mixed into according to a study from University of Sheffield in road construction bitumen or asphalt to improve the the UK. quality of the mixtures and to extend the service life of Using fibres extracted from the tyre’s textile road surfaces. reinforcement, the team added these fibres to the Vestenamer not only enables extended road service concrete mix to reduce the concrete’s proneness to life, but likewise helps to curb traffic noise by using fire spalling. The fibres, under the intense heat of a the powder in porous low-noise asphalt. More fire, would melt, while at the same time help reduce significantly, according to Evonik, is Vestenamer’s the pressure within the concrete to prevent it from capability to reduce the migration of organic breaking out explosively. Moreover, the fibres protect compounds like hyrdocarbons and sulphur that are the steel reinforcements running through the concrete washed out by rain and reach the groundwater; and during a fire. thus its use reduces the overall groundwater burden. The Sheffield study showed that the fibres reclaimed Elsewhere, old tyres are the main ingredient in from used tyres could perform as well as the raw this seismic innovation by a research team from New materials like virgin polypropylene (PP) fibres, but with Zealand’s University of Canterbury. Led by Gabriele less energy than when producing the latter. The results Chiaro, a UC senior engineer lecturer, the team worked are published in the journal Fire Technology. on a project dubbed the “eco-rubber seismic-isolation foundation systems” that will improve the seismic resilience of low-rise buildings across New Zealand. It has been approved for funding of US$1 million by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. The seismic rubber system can be achieved by combining two critical elements, namely, a seismic-dissipative filter made of rubber-gravel mixtures placed underneath the foundation structure; and a flexible raft foundation made of steel fibrereinforced rubberised concrete. These new advancements indicate that while waste tyres are increasing, this should not be inimical to the environment, if recycling and recovery solutions are in place to harness the value of old tyres, which is a cheap Evonik’s Vestenamer rubber powder can be processed from scrap tyres to generate asphalt with rubber resource. content A more recent development in China’s recycling innovation is a smart industry 4.0 factory. It has been built by Chinese tyre manufacturer Doublestar in Runan, in the Henan Province. Utilising a green pyrolysis and carbon black regeneration technologies, the facility is claimed to have the capability to recycle waste tyres without causing pollution. It will have a capacity of 200,000 tonnes/year of scrap rubber; and can process 100,000 tonnes of waste tyres, and produce 45,000 tonnes of pyrolysis oil and 35,000 tonnes of carbon black.
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