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Plastics score winning goal at World Cup

At the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban the plastic seating is not only colourful but also well-protected against fire and the sun’s UV radiation. The PP seats in Durban and in two other World Cup football venues have been made using colours, flame retardants and UV stabilisers, which are compounded together by the Clariant Masterbatches business unit.

Football fever is here! For a whole month (from 11 June to 11 July), football fans will either be tripping to this year’s host country South Africa or sitting glued to their television sets.

But the football fever does not only afflict fans, with numerous plastics suppliers lending their material support to facilities.

One such example comes from Sabic Innovative Plastics’s use of its Lexan PC sheet to create the roofing, façades and stairway glazing for the Soccer City Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg, where the opening and closing FIFA matches will be played.

Lexan sheet was also selected for the building joints of the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban and Lexan Thermoclear multiwall sheet was chosen for roof glazing at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.

The design of the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg, which is able to seat 95,000 spectators, was inspired by a calabash, a hollowed out gourd used as a traditional African cooking pot. The Lexan sheet roofing represents the boiling water flowing over the top of “the pot” and continues as droplets on the skin.

German company Lanxess has supplied its Bayferrox iron oxide pigments for the coloured glass fibre-reinforced concrete panels of the stadium outer shell. Some 22,000 kg of pigments are used to produce the 55,000 kg of liquid colour for the facade.

The 68,000-seat glass-roofed Green Point Stadium in Cape Town is one of the ten venues for the games and this is where another German company BASF has supplied its Mastertop 1332 PU-based waterproof decking system. Dubbed the “African Renaissance Stadium”, it has three tiers, each comprising seating for approximately 23,000 spectators, and is topped by a glass roof that will cover spectators but leave the pitch open.

Many eyes will be on the ball and one such ball, which will go towards a better cause, has been produced from a bio-sourced elastomer by French company Arkema. Its Pebax Rnew, made in part from castor oil, has been selected by electronics giant Sony for its soccer ball, named “Join the Team!”  Sony is an official sponsor at the FIFA and decided to do its bit towards charity by developing balls to give away to children in the less developed nations, like Africa.

These balls will be distributed by NGOs, like UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), during and after the 2010 World Cup.

Editor’s Note: For more on the football donation programme, check out the Earth FC project (www.sony.net/earthfc), which aims to draw attention to major health challenges in Africa, like AIDS.


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E-News Update
June 2010


Lead Feature

Maintaining technology leadership in Asia

With petrochemical giant ExxonMobil Chemical pumping in investment at its largest integrated chemical and refining complex in Singapore, it has stepped up the introduction of new elastomer/polymer grades to Asia. The second expansion in Singapore includes a world-scale steam cracker and associated derivative units, including new PE, PP and speciality elastomers plants, an aromatics extraction unit and oxo alcohol expansion, set to come on stream late 2010 through 2011.

At Chinaplas, the US company unveiled an array of polymers including an mPE 35-05 grade that allows for downgauging of films, plus adding on toughness, stiffness and high clarity. It also had new PP grades for thinwall injection moulding of rigid packaging; for toys and housewares and another grade for use in pallets and consumer products.

Others it expects to produce in Singapore include Vistamaxx propylene-based elastomers. Four new grades of Vistamaxx for film applications were introduced in China. The Singapore plant also includes a 300 kilotonne capacity addition for its Vistalon EPDM.

PRA spoke to Lynn Maenza, Asia Pacific Marketing Manager for SEB (Speciality Elastomers Business) to get a feel of the new grades and the SEB business.

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Company News

Songwon’s one-pack strategy
In line with its continuing investment in one-packs, South Korean additives supplier Songwon is setting up a partnership in Europe to establish 3,000 tonnes with a yet unnamed partner.
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BASF consolidates additives business
Having bought Ciba Plastic Additives last year, German company BASF is now selling off assets it deems are not a strategic fit in its business scope. One of these is its hydrophilic melt additives business, which it is selling to US-based Techmer PM, a manufacturer of colours and additives for the plastics and fibre industries. The additives are currently marketed as Irgasurf HL but may not be under the new ownership.
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Borouge busy awarding contracts for various projects
In line with increasing capacity at its Ruwais plant, Borouge has awarded three major contracts valued at US$2.6 billion to a South Korean consortium, after awarding a US$1.075 billion contract to Linde for the construction of a 1.5 million tonnes/year ethane cracker. It has also awarded the contract worth AED260 million for the construction of its Innovation Centre in UAE to Associated Construction and Investments Company.
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Equate boasts higher second quarter profit
Equate Petrochemical Company and The Kuwait Olefins Company (TKOC) say that their combined profits for the first quarter of 2010 reached US$222 million.
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Lanxess posts optimistic results
Stating that its second quarter was proceeding “very well” and that it has passed the “economic stress test”, speciality chemicals company Lanxess is focusing on China, India and Brazil and is putting in more capital expenditure in these countries, too.
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Chemtura on target to exit bankruptcy
While it is still in ongoing discussions with creditors to reach a consensual Chapter 11 plan of reorganisation by 17 June, US chemical company Chemtura is finalising an agreement with a group of bondholders on confidentiality terms that will allow its largest bondholders to engage in direct negotiations with Chemtura.
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Materials News

PV growth supported by plastics
This year, global cumulative installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity is expected to grow by at least 40%, with compounded annual growth estimated at 20%. As demand for solar power rises, Sabic Innovative Plastics says it is driving the viability of this much sought-after energy source with its resins, which are replacing metal parts.
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Bioplastics going for growth
Despite the economic downturn, the bio-based plastics market has been growing from EUR570.6 million in 2008 with a prediction to reach EUR1.1 billion in 2015, says a new report from Frost and Sullivan, while the European Bioplastics Association says sales from its members were up by 5% last year though the materials only command 1% market share.
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In brief: Cereplast expands its reach to SEA
US-based manufacturer of bio-based plastics Cereplast has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Thai company Alphani International to supply its resins throughout Southeast Asia. Last month, it had announced a distribution agreement with Malaysian company CRS Technologies that will utilise its resins for its functional plastic coatings and appointed S&P Sourcing, a Hong Kong-based company that operates as Vulcan Plastics Technology, to distribute its resins in Southern China.


Machinery News

Cash strapped Gloucester gets capital
Private equity firm Blue Wolf Capital Management will provide credit facilities to US-based extrusion machinery supplier Gloucester Engineering to fund its working capital requirements.
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Maag and Automatik merger forms single equipment source
Switzerland-based Maag Pump Systems and Germany-based Automatik Plastics Machinery have merged to form an integrated supplier offering complementary products, which expects to double its turnover by 50% in two years.
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A home for machine tools
Indian extrusion machinery supplier Rajoo Engineers has inaugurated a tool shop, which it calls Shree Yantralaya (a Sanskrit phrase meaning abode for tools dedicated to the Lord) at its Rajkot facility.
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Cooperation to develop new opportunities
Thermoforming machinery maker Kiefel has entered into an agreement with Rudholzer, a manufacturer of custom machinery, to develop their strengths further.
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Exhibition News

Plastic pipes conference bucks trend and expands scope
The Plastic Pipes XV Conference (PPXV), to be held from 20-22 September in Vancouver, Canada, is set to offer more despite the Centre for Exhibition Industry Research Index that the exhibition industry declined 12.5% last year.
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PU conference to be held together with US exhibition
The Centre for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI), of the American Chemistry Council, has opened registration for the Polyurethanes 2010 Technical Conference, to be held in partnership with Utech North America, from 11-13 October in Texas.
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SPE to hold first Asian conference, in Japan
US-based Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) will hold what it calls its first Asiatec seminar, similar to the bi-annual Antec held in the US, in Tokyo from 15-17 February 2011.
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Rubber Journal Asia


Patent for nitrile gloves resolved
US company Tillotson says that Smart Glove and Henry Schein have settled their litigation with Tillotson regarding its US patent for disposable nitrile gloves.
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Colouring recycled paving systems
When Vast Enterprises wanted to offer the construction industry a "green" alternative to conventional paving systems, it developed composite masonry paving made entirely of recycled tyres and plastic bottles.  In order to overcome the extreme blackness of the tyres, it used custom compounder RTP Company’s colour masterbatch for the pavers.
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Malaysia to double rubber output
As the third largest producer of natural rubber or NR, Malaysia lags behind other producing countries. But the government has announced plans to double its NR production to 1.8 million tonnes by 2020.
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In brief: Tyre market targeted for capacity increase
Insilco India, part of German Evonik Industries, will increase its capacity for precipitated silica at its production site in Gajraula. The additional capacity will be available by first half of 2011 and will support the growing local demand, in particular of the tyre industry.


. Injection Moulding Asia


Nissei’s machine for high-heat PLA
Speaking to PRA in April, Nissei Plastic Industrial President Hozumi Yoda said the company had developed a machine in its NEX series in an alliance with MoldMasters (for the hot runners), Futaba (for the tooling) and Kurare (for the material) for moulding high heat PLA grades.
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PCs open the window to lighter cars

As the automotive industry looks for ways to produce greener vehicles, with improved fuel efficiency and reduced weight, Teijin Chemicals is developing PC resins and is able to produce 2.2 sq m roof systems in what it says is the world’s largest two-component rotary injection press.
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