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Stop press

Coffee kick in furniture

Coffee aficionados who want the enduring aroma of coffee to last throughout the day can now find it in plastic covered furniture that does just that!

UK recycling specialist Axion Polymers developed a unique polymer that has a coffee aroma for London-based industrial design firm Re-worked. Axion mixed WEEE and post-consumer retail waste plastics with used coffee beans that were collected from London city’s offices, cafes and factories to make the aromatic pellets.

Re-worked then used the pellet to product plastic sheet to create Çurface (pronounced Surface) - a versatile hard surfacing product with a faint coffee smell. The material, which is said to be a cross between dark leather and wood, is targeted at catering establishments.

Re-worked is working with Axion on various composite coffee products.

Recycled plastic takes the chair

In another reuse of materials for furniture, Coca-Cola teamed up with a US manufacturer of aluminium chairs, Electric Machine and Equipment or Emeco, to produce a line of chairs made from recycled PET (rPET).

Emeco says it developed a proprietary mix, made of about 60% and a special combination of pigment combined with glass fibre for strength, for its 111 Navy Chair.

The project will have the potential of reusing PET from about 3 million plastic bottles a year that will be sourced from Coca Cola’s recycling plant in Spartanburg.

Emeco says it used the gas assist moulding process to manufacture the chair, giving the chair an internal structure while minimising the amount of material required.

The chair is available in six colours and has a distinctive “velvet” finish that is scratch resistant, says Emeco.

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E-News Update
April 2010
Lapping up laser technology


Lead Feature

Lapping up laser technology

LAP Laser, the German provider of positioning and non-contact measurement equipment that uses laser technology, is excited about its business in Asia, since the region accounts for 20% of its turnover. It is for this reason that the company is taking an active interest in it.

It recently launched into Asia its CALIX sensors for measuring thin strips of material for the rubber industry. The accuracy of the system has been improved to better radiometric systems. The first series of the sensors was delivered to the US early this year and the company is now marketing it in Asia.

PRA spoke to its regional representative based in Singapore, Michael Schwantzer, to find out more about the range of products and the company’s business in Asia.
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Company News

Evonik acquires Arkema’s MMA business
Supplier of methacrylate chemicals Evonik Industries has acquired Arkema’s methacrylate speciality ester business.
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Epoxy and PU systems in the wind in China
BASF has set up a new laboratory for fibre-reinforced composites in epoxy systems, like wind turbines, at its Shanghai Pudong site. It is also building a PU systems house in Chongqing on the same site as its planned 400,000 tonnes/year MDI plant.
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Optimistic financials point to recovery
Chemical majors like Lanxess, Borealis, DSM, Evonik and Nova Chemicals posted positive results for the 2009 year end, with some looking towards Asia for growth this year.
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Middle East jv for acetal
Celanese Corporation and SABIC will cooperate to build a 50,000 tonnes/year acetal plant at the SABIC affiliate, National Methanol Co (Ibn Sina), complex in Jubail Industrial City, at a cost of US$400 million.
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World’s largest CNT plant to start up
Japanese company Showa Denko is expected to start up its new 400 tonnes/year carbon nanotube (CNT) plant by May.
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PET plant sold
Dubai-based Equipolymers, a 50-50 joint venture between Dow Chemical and the Petroleum Industries Company (PIC) of Kuwait, is selling its pure terephthalic acid (PTA) and PET production facilities at Ottana in Sardinia to a company set up by Ottana Energia and Indorama.
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Starring role for Klöckner in Asia
Film producer Klöckner Pentaplast Group will invest EUR27 million to expand its shrink label film capacity in Asia and the US.
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Graham to enter Chinese market
By acquiring container manufacturer China Roots Packaging from its Malaysian owner PCCS Group, US-based Graham Packaging expects to enter the Chinese market.
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BASF to reduce pigment capacity in US/Europe
Following the completion of its acquisition of Ciba Holding, BASF will close six pigment plants in the US and Europe, eliminating around 500 jobs in an exercise to last until 2013.
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Perstorp speeds up capacity schedule
To meet the growing demand for caprolactones, the world’s largest supplier of caprolactones and its derivative, Perstorp is speeding up the exercise to double the capacity at its UK site.
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Materials News

Foam products from unsaturated polyester
French chemical company Arkema and German resin supplier Vosschemie have developed a process for foaming unsaturated polyester, which is said to be less costly and easy.
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Phenolic updated for fuel cells
UK-based Bac2, a clean technology polymer development company, has received patents for its ElectroPhen electrically conductive polymer in Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the UK. The company is waiting applications in Japan, Canada, US, South Korea, India and China.
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Environmentally friendly production of PO
American scientists have identified a new class of silver-based catalysts for the production of propylene oxide (PO) that is both environmentally friendly and less expensive.
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Goggles made lighter
The first use of carbon fibre reinforcement for the frames of swimming goggles has made it possible to cut the weight by 15%, reduce the drag and improve the comfort of wearers.
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Greener PET process

Oman-based Octal says that a recent independent study by UK consultancy PIRA International concludes that its direct-to-sheet (DPET) process for production of PET sheet provides 28% lower carbon footprint than traditional PET and recycled PET (rPET) processes.
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New catalyst for PP
Dow Chemical has expanded its catalyst system offering with Consista D7000 Donor, designed specifically for high melt flow (HMF) applications for producing PP.
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PP catalyst to improve output
SABIC says it is undertaking trials on a new technology for the manufacture of PP at its Saudi Arabian and European plants. The technology uses a new type of catalyst that SABIC says will contribute to increased productivity, enhanced quality and new product development. Saudi European Petrochemical Company has used the catalyst to produce 30,000 tonnes of PP.



Machinery News

Battenfeld and Cincinnati combine
Consolidation seems to be the name game in all sectors in the plastics industry. The latest integration is between German and Austrian extrusion equipment companies Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik and Cincinnati Extrusion, as well as the Chinese operation B+C Extrusion systems, that are being combined as a single entity under Battenfeld-Cincinnati.
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Pump production in-house
German machinery firm KraussMaffei has started producing pumps for its PU metering systems in-house. The pumps cover its EcoStar, RimStar Compact, RimStar Modular and MiniDos series of machines as well as its hybrid machines.
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Compact extruders
American Kuhne says its new extruders for producing medical tubing are designed to meet the need for reduced floor space with a line of compact extruders.
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Rubber Journal Asia

Lower sales but market share increases in Asia
Like most European companies, additives supplier for the rubber, lubricants and plastics industries Rhein Chemie ended the 2009 fiscal year with lower sales of 20% as a result of the economic crisis and the far-reaching impact it had on the automotive industry, a main market for the company.
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New rubber with improved properties
Dow Chemical has added on a new hydrocarbon grade to its Nordel family, which is the successor to the gas-phase grades for dense extrusion applications.
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Tyre and automotive components plants in India
While Bridgestone will establish a new radial tyre plant in Pune, powertrain systems supplier BorgWarner Thermal Systems has opened a facility in Chennai.
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Indian joint venture for SR production
Indian Oil Corporation has entered into a joint venture with Taiwanese TSRC and Japan-based Marubeni to set up a 120,000 tonnes/year styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) unit in Panipat, India.
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Flexsys’s patents intact
Speciality chemical company Flexsys, a wholly owned subsidiary of Solutia, has had a favourable ruling involving challenges by a Chinese competitor to the validity of patents covering its proprietary PPD2 technology.
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Glove makers rally is short lived
Malaysian glove makers Top Glove, Kossan, Supermax and Hartalega have been downgraded on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange on concerns that demand for gloves has returned to normal levels and has reached its peak level.
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Healthy demand for carbon black
World demand for carbon black is forecast to rise 4.3% per year through 2013 on the back of a healthy global rubber market, says a new study from Freedonia Group.
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US tyre company owns more
Cooper Tire & Rubber has received final approval from the Chinese government to increase its ownership in Cooper Chengshan Tire to 65% from the existing 51%. The additional shareholding will cost US$18 million.


. Injection Moulding Asia

India’s anti-dumping duty on Chinese machines
The Indian government has formally announced its anti-dumping duty imposed on Chinese injection moulding machines with a tonnage of not less than 40 tonnes. The anti-dumping duty is backdated from 2009 until May 2014.
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Gearing up for lighter vehicles
To commercialise ultra lightweight carbon fibre-reinforced plastics to the automotive sector, the SGL Group and BMW joint venture, SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers, will build a US$100 million carbon fibre manufacturing plant in the US.
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Lower sales for machine makers
China’s largest injection moulding machinery company Haitian’s sales dropped by 33% in the first two quarters last year while Canadian Husky Injection Molding’s sales declined by 12% last year.
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Alliance to manufacture small plastic cars
No, the headline does not refer to toy cars but the Mercedes Smart and Renault Twingo cars! The alliance between German Daimler, France's Renault and Japan's Nissan intends to make more cost-efficient and competitive small cars to overcome the downturn in the automotive market.
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New LFT process for cost-effective pallet production
South African Lomold Group has developed a new form of long-fibre thermoplastic (LFT) injection moulding process for producing complex parts with intricate design features, like plastic pallets, with low shear and clamping pressures using only one gate/sprue. It also maintains post-mould fibre lengths typically seen in compression moulding only.
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