INNOVATIONS BLOG

More Signs of China Struggling...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Jun 16, 2016 1:00:00 PM

Banned fluorinated blowing agents and highly toxic flame retardants found in Chinese imports.

 Joe Webster, president of consulting firm Stabilization Technologies, a long-time industry friend and well-known technical expert in plastics additives, alerted me to “Chinese Boards Fail Further Tests”, a recent news item that appeared in UK’s Builders Merchants Journal. It appears that the investigation on imported XPS cored tilebacker boards began in March, when three global leading brands provided test information to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the chemicals incorporated in Chinese XPS boards. The brands are Germany’s Wedi (U.S. headquarters in Carol Stream, Ill.) and Jackoboard (sold in North America by Schluter Systems, Plattsburgh, N.Y.), and New Zealand’s Marmox (sold through distributors in U.S., Europe, and Australia). That information showed that the imported boards contained fluorinated blowing agents (e.g., CFCs, HCFCs) banned in Europe and North America due to their harmful effects on the environment. Moreover, the tested boards also incorporated a highly toxic flame retardant at quantities also banned in Europe.

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Topics: Industry News

Recycling of Plastic Auto Parts Gains Attention...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Jun 15, 2016 9:30:00 AM

There is a buzz about automotive plastics recycling these days, and I’ll bet that in the not-so-distant future we will hear about some of the advances being made. Last week I blogged about MBA Polymers starting up what appears to be the first production of PC/ABS pellets derived from shredded WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment). But the company’s claim-to-fame is its now five-year-old Workshop, U.K. plant, which is reportedly the world’s largest (annual production capacity of up to 176 million lb) and most advanced facility for recovering plastics and rubber from automotive shredder residue. Its proprietary processes reportedly use less than 20% of the energy needed to produce virgin resins. In a bit of serendipity, other news on this front emerged last week: SPI released its new report, Automotive Recycling: Devalued is now Revalued, which highlights innovative use of recycled content and achievements in zero waste in manufacturing, as well as promoting increased recycling of plastic automotive parts. At the same time, SPI noted the while automotive recycling is leading other industries—with 95% of automobiles recycled at the end of their practical life, the recycling of plastic materials in automobiles, is in its infancy.

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Topics: Automotive

World's Lightest PET Bottle for Edible Oil...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Jun 13, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Sidel, the French-headquartered PET bottle maker has produced what is claimed to be the world’s lightest 900 milliliter PET bottle for edible oil. Working with Brazilian oil producer Algar Agro, Sidel reduced the weight of the bottle by 22 percent to 14 grams. The resulting lightweighting has cut the cost of production, packaging and transportation of the finished article, and lowered the total cost of ownership of the production equipment. Sidel said it was chosen as the preferred supplier because of its experience and expertise, “as well as the actual proposals presented to Algar Agro during the initial discussions to lightweight the bottle.”

Click Here to read more about this new innovative use of materials within plastic injection molding.

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Topics: Specialty Packaging

3-D Printers are Poised to Disrupt the Economy...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Jun 11, 2016 9:00:00 AM

It's Monday morning. Your alarm goes off, and you slowly spill out of bed. You shuffle along to the kitchen and pour a fresh cup of coffee in your favorite mug — all set to start a new work week. But as you reach for some sweetener to add in, your arm knocks the mug off the counter, shattering it on the floor. How do you replace it? Not long ago, the only solution would be to go back to the store where you bought it and hope they have another one. That mug from your vacation eight years ago is out of stock? You're out of luck. Today, you can search online at any number of retail websites type "coffee mug" into Amazon, and you get 4.6 million results but you still have to wait at least a couple of days for it to be delivered. Ten years from now, you may simply fire up your 3-D printer, download an electronic file and make a new coffee mug in your home. While this may seem like a simple transition in the delivery of a product, 3-D printing (aka additive manufacturing) is actually poised to create a tectonic shift in the manufacturing and retail industries in the near future.

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Topics: 3D Printing

Silicone Reshaping Wearable Medical Devices...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Jun 9, 2016 1:00:00 PM

Silicone is changing the medical device world, one step at a time. As more and more consumers flock toward Fitbits and iWatches, devices that can monitor fitness on a rudimentary level, more advanced wearable medical devices gradually are becoming increasingly prevalent in clinical settings. In time these devices could allow hospitals to monitor patients remotely, reducing costs and increasing outpatient services. “Wearable technology is huge,” said Luis Tissone, Life Sciences director for Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, North America. “Algorithms and sensors are so evolved at this point, but still in the very early stages of what we can achieve. These devices are going to be so intelligent that we're going to be able to proactively cure things rather than treating diseases. “Wearable technology is evolving so fast, it just goes in line with the trends of smaller, more portable devices. It's definitely going to be one of the leading type of the devices and keep bringing the highest innovations in the industry in the years to come.” And silicone is a big factor in pushing these devices to the next level. It is already a prevalent technology in wearable devices used for wound treatments because of its selective adhesion properties compared to other commonly used adhesives. Acrylic adhesives dominate the market primarily because they're the most cost-effective. Hydrogels and hydrocolloids are used in certain applications.

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Topics: Industry News

Your Blog Post Title Here...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Jun 7, 2016 10:17:15 AM

For the Lima, Ohio, Carters, family ownership encompasses “Made in the USA” ownership. 50 Strong boasts it makes its water bottles and other bicycle accessories in the United States, which it believes gives it a marketing edge over most competitors who mold plastic bottles offshore. 50 Strong blow molds recreational water bottles and related products in Lima. The firm made nearly 3 million bottles last year from polypropylene and Tritan copolyester supplied by Eastman Chemical Co. 50 Strong is a division of Precision Thermoplastic Components Inc., a custom injection molder and extruder. 50 Strong was formed in 2012 when Ashley Thompson, daughter of PTC founder Randy Carter, and her husband Brendan Thompson launched the business. The company sells its products through more than 3,000 U.S. Wal-Mart Stores locations and other retailers. 50 Strong and PTC together employ about 100, some personnel working for both companies. 50 Strong CEO Ashley Thompson said her company heavily promotes its U.S. manufacturing at trade shows and other venues, where they are well received. The company’s name is a nod to the 50 states. She said Wal-Mart’s “Made in the USA” program has been a boon to 50 Strong’s fortunes.

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Topics: Industry News

LSR Developments in LEDs for Automotive and Street Lighting...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Jun 3, 2016 12:00:00 PM

The materials feature in our upcoming June issue discusses the latest developments in LED lighting materials and how savvy material suppliers have been adapting to this rapidly evolving technology. Since I could not fit everything I wanted to into the article, I’m taking the opportunity here to share some of the interesting things that didn’t make the cut in three blog installments. The first two involve case studies: this one on Momentives’s clear LSR lens and optics developments, and the next one on PolyOne’s ThermaTech thermally conductive compounds in LED heat sink applications. A third will highlight new materials for the LED lighting sector from Trinseo and Wacker. Momentive Performance Materials Inc., Waterford, N.Y., is among the leading suppliers of LSR that have seen the potential for their materials to play a major role in the ever-expanding LED lighting sector where applications now range from interior and exterior illumination; automotive and transportation lighting; backlighting for TVs, computers, phone displays; and signs and billboards.

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Topics: Industry News

Carbon Fiber Reinforced Squash Tennis Racquets...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Jun 2, 2016 9:00:00 AM

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Topics: Innovative Ideas

3D Printed Prototypes Help with Custom Designed Sport Shoes...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Jun 1, 2016 9:34:52 AM

In 200- and 400-meter sprints, an athlete’s control through the track’s curve can add or subtract crucial milliseconds — the difference between being crowned champion and taking second place. For gold-medal-winning American sprinter Allyson Felix, commanding this variable is just one of the many challenges integral to repeating her 2012 success. To address the challenge ahead of Rio, Felix entered into an unprecedented collaboration with Nike, comprising design and engineering research, with the aim of creating a new spike built specifically for the races’ requirements. The Nike Zoom Superfly Flyknit unites extensive scientific analysis from Nike’s Sports Research Lab (NSRL) with computational design by the company’s designers and pixel-level stitch placement by its Flyknit engineers. Combining this data with perception testing by Felix and additional feedback from her coaches, the collective team precisely adapted the spike’s key elements of strength, fit and flex to Felix’s specifications and biomechanics — exemplified by a long, graceful, powerful stride. To tailor the fit to the unique contours of Felix’s foot, a custom last was created specifically for Felix’s size 9.5, AA-width feet. The spike’s plate was also developed to align with Felix’s stiffness preference, a balance of flexibility and pop made possible through 3D print prototyping.

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Topics: 3D Printing