INNOVATIONS BLOG

This is just too cool...!

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Nov 9, 2016 10:05:41 AM

A team of researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and Humboldt University in Berlin showcased a thin layer of plastic material in the Nature Communications journal, which has the capacity to move spontaneously under the influence of daylight. The researchers feel that this flexible plastic is appropriate as a self-cleaning surface, for example it can be used in solar cells. The process in which materials move entirely by themselves under the impact of light is a familiar process known for many years. However, the required intensity of ultraviolet light can damage the material. Discovering a material that has the ability to behave in the same way even under the influence of visible light such as unprocessed sunlight was the challenge.

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Topics: Industry News

Increased Use of Composite Materials for Golf Goods...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Oct 14, 2016 7:00:00 AM

A. Schulman’s Engineered Composites business has developed a next generation composite material, Forged Preg in collaboration with one of the world’s largest makers of premium, performance golf goods and the Company’s fiber supplier.  A. Schulman’s long-term customer approached the Company’s R&D team to find a lightweight material with superior surface appearance. The performance characteristics of the new composite material developed by the Company include higher strength and stiffness. The material is much thinner and allows the molding in fabric form. Forged Preg is also suitable for use in automotive applications requiring a lightweight material with high-end look and feel. “Once again our R&D team has addressed the customer needs and developed a next generation material which helps our customers to succeed in the marketplace,” says Frank Roederer, senior vice president and general manager Engineered Composites. “This development shows our firm commitment to long-term customer partnerships and joint product development across the composites value chain.”

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Topics: Industry News

Researchers Study Composites for Fixing Bone Fractures...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Aug 20, 2016 1:00:00 PM

Evonik Industries AG researchers are using biodegradable high-strength composites to fix broken bones. The materials could replace metal implants, which remain in patients’ bodies or require surgery for removal. Devices made with Evonik’s new composites will be gradually absorbed by the body as the healing process takes place. The materials consist of polymers and of substances that naturally occur in bones. The project is being studied at Evonik’s Medical Devices Project House in Birmingham, Ala. “In the long term, our focus is regenerative medicine. We want to create bioabsorbable implants to replace damaged tissues with healthy tissues. Our current work on biodegradable composites is a first step in this direction,” said Dr. Andreas Karau, head of the Project House, in a news release. “Our leading position in polylactic acid-based polymers is an excellent foundation for the development of materials and solutions for regenerative medicine,” Karau said. The polymers break down into carbon dioxide and water. Degradation time depends on the molecular composition, chain length, and crystallinity.

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Topics: Industry News

Study: BPA alternative BPS 'more harmful'...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Aug 19, 2016 9:30:00 AM

Washington — A new study on bisphenol-S shows the polycarbonate component could be considerably more harmful than the controversial chemical it is meant to replace. Published in the journal PLOS Genetics, findings in “Exposure to the BPA Substitute Bisphenol-S Causes Unique Alterations of Germline Function” indicate BPS harms eggs at even lower concentrations than bisphenol-A. UCLA researchers exposed nematodes to both BPA and BPS in concentrations similar to those commonly found in humans. The exposed worms showed lower fertility rates than control worms, the study says, and worms dosed with BPS had negative effects on their fertility at concentrations lower than those with BPA. “These results therefore suggest that BPS may not represent a safe alternative to BPA with regards to reproductive and germline toxicity,” the study says, also suggesting that BPS is more damaging to the endocrine system than BPA. Products containing BPS are frequently labeled “BPA-free,” in theory to allay consumer concerns about the much-maligned chemical. BPA remains controversial in spite of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s declaration in 2014 that BPA exposure is safe for humans. Some groups continue to pressure the plastics industry to find alternatives...

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Topics: Industry News

How Plastics Help the Environment...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Aug 18, 2016 9:46:34 AM

In late July, the American Chemistry Council released one of the most important studies that I can remember related to plastics. But I’m afraid that the one thing people will remember is that plastics packaging is great for sirloin steak. The report is called “Plastics and Sustainability: A Valuation of Environmental Benefits, Costs and Opportunities for Continuous Improvement,” and it was prepared by a London-based firm called Trucost. Trucost is a data-driven organization that specializes in estimating the hidden costs of the unsustainable use of natural resources. The firm did a high-profile study for the United Nations Environment Program in 2014. The study for ACC uses the same methodology and natural capital accounting metrics as the UN report. This isn’t your typical lifecycle analysis that you remember with from the 1990s, where it seemed like the criteria could be adjusted to amplify the benefits of any material and denigrate the competition. This is respected work, that’s worth citing — and repeating.

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Topics: Industry News

New Resin Made From Disposable Paper Coffee Cups...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Aug 13, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Consultancy and recycling manufacturer may have the answer to turning disposable coffee cups into durable resin.
 
Consulting firm Nextek and recycling manufacturer AShortWalk of the U.K., have partnered in the development of a new resin, NextCupCycle, made from disposable paper coffee cups. It turns out that less than 25% of an estimated 3 billion paper cups used annually in the U.K are currently recycled. Part of the problem is the hot beverage cups themselves, which are made from paper fiber tightly bonded with a PE coating layer. This construction makes them troublesome to recycle, as it would require the painstaking separation of each layer.

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Topics: Industry News

IBM Researchers Discover a New Way to Recycle PC...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Aug 12, 2016 12:30:00 PM

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Topics: Innovative Ideas, Industry News

Seventh Generation Eliminates Oil-based Plastic from laundry packaging...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Aug 6, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Biopolymer producer Braskem (São Paulo, Brazil) has collaborated with Seventh Generation (Burlington, VT), household and personal care company, and Consolidated Container Co. (CCC; Atlanta, GA), a manufacturer of rigid plastic packaging, on the enhancement of Seventh Generation’s 100-oz laundry detergent bottle. CCC now produces the bottle using postconsumer resin and substitutes the fossil-based plastic content with Braskem’s “I’m Green” polyethylene (PE) made from sugarcane. “We believe with each new product we make. We must also build new ways of caring for ourselves, and the world around us. We can use the power of business to start a movement that will change an entire industry,” said Seventh Generation’s Derrick Lawrence, Director of Packaging Development. “Our 100-oz laundry packaging was made of 80% postconsumer resins and 20% conventional petroleum-based plastic. We needed to do something about that.” Biobased PE is plastic made from ethanol—a renewable and sustainable resource produced from Brazilian sugarcane. Cultivation of sugarcane utilizes CO2 and releases O2, which means the material has a negative carbon footprint.

“Our green PE is the perfect solution for Seventh Generation. It has the same technical properties and recyclability as conventional PE; the only difference is the raw material used,” said Joe Jankowski, Commercial Manager for Braskem’s “I’m Green” polyethylene in North America.

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Topics: Industry News

Carbon Fiber Fabrics Improve Durability & Strength of Tennis Paddles...

Posted by NOVATION Staff on Aug 4, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Spanish-based Enebe Padel has launched its 2016 range of paddle tennis paddles featuring its top-of-the-line Spitfire TeXtreme®– manufactured using TeXtreme® carbon fiber fabrics. TeXtreme® is a unique carbon fiber material that differs from conventional carbon fiber materials as a result of its proprietary production processes. The company’s history of contributing to successful product releases – for companies including Bauer Hockey, Prince Tennis, Cobra Puma Golf, Stiga Table Tennis and Bell Helmets – stands proof to the real-world performance improvements achieved using TeXtreme® technology. Pilar Osca, Chief Marketing Officer of Enebe Sports Group, says, “Using TeXtreme® carbon fiber fabrics in our paddles has contributed to increased durability along with improvements in strength while achieving ultra-light weight. This fiber is definitely lighter than the carbon fiber generally used and resulted in a measurable increase in power and shot accuracy. Our technical team has been able to deliver a high performance paddle to players that weren’t possible with other carbon fiber materials.”

“We are excited to have a presence in yet another sport and see that our materials bring value to so many different applications. For producing lightweight composite products, the TeXtreme® Technology again proves to be the best choice in materials,” says Andreas Martsman, VP of Marketing & Sales at Oxeon – the makers of TeXtreme®.

Enebe Padel is a subsidiary of Enebe Sport Group, an international company with over 50 years of experience in the field of sports and a presence in more than 60 countries. The Enebe Padel Team counts among its players Matias Nicoletti, Pitu Losada (three-time world paddle tennis champion), Jake Benzal and Ricky Martinez - all participants in the World Padel Tour.

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Topics: Industry News

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