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50 and looking better!

Though she is made of plastic (and is a toy!), Barbie doll, a quintessential plaything that every girl yearns for all around the world, looks just as good as she did when she was launched by Mattel at a New York toy fair 50 years ago!
And why not – the new generation Barbie has been made to look younger with a makeover that has given her face a “more natural look, including a thinner jaw line, more almond-shaped eyes, fuller lips and a softer make-up palette.” 
Plus, in keeping with the “pop culture” labelling means that Barbie has to have all of today’s must-have accessories, including a mobile phone (a toy one of course!).
Barbie has defied her many critics (who condemn the to-die-for vital statistics and plastic good looks) and outlived her innovator Ruth Handler (who just wanted to create a “realistic” doll with breasts), to become an iconic symbol in the toy world today.

Editor’s note: If there are any other interesting uses of plastic items (recycled or otherwise), please do share these with us. E-mail us at news@plasticsandrubberasia.com

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E-News Update
March 2009

Nova to be bought by Middle East company

Dow’s buy-out of Rohm Haas to proceed

exhibition news
rubber journal asia
injection moulding asia
polyurethanes asia


Lead Feature

Staying committed to synthetic rubbers


At the fourth Rubber and Tyre Markets conference organised in Singapore recently, PRA spoke to Lanxess’s Head of Global Marketing of the Butyl Rubber Business Unit, Christian Lindenhayn, on the company’s outlook.

click here for full story


Company News

Nova to be bought by Middle East company
Abu Dhabi-based Chemicals International Petroleum Investment (IPIC) is set to purchase Canadian chemical and plastics company Nova Chemicals at US$2.3 billion, which is a premium price at 348% more than the company’s share price of 20 February. According to IPIC Managing Director H.E. Khadem Al Qubaisi, "The acquisition will provide enhanced balance sheet strength for Nova Chemicals. We can provide stability and allow Nova Chemicals to meet its operational and financial requirements while continuing to expand and invest in its business."
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Companies implement money saving measures
Chemical companies like Bayer MaterialScience (BMS), Lanxess and Sabic are reducing the working hours of employees due to tight cash flows.
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Profits and sales fall in the last quarter
Having felt the brunt of the global slowdown in the last quarter of 2008, chemical majors like BASF, BMS, Dow Chemical, PolyOne, Lubrizol, Celanese and Eastman Chemical all posted losses.

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Dow’s buy-out of Rohm Haas to proceed
Dow Chemical and Rohm and Haas have found a way around the stalled acquisition of Rohm and Haas and also resolved the lawsuit that the latter had filed against Dow.
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Milacron becomes a victim of the downturn
Having reached a financial restructuring agreement with its major investors, to convert the loans provided to equity, American machinery maker Milacron has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for its US and Canadian operations.
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Wind energy given a boost
Hexion Specialty Chemicals is building a new facility in Esslingen, Germany, to produce speciality epoxy resins, vital materials used in the production of windmill blades for the wind energy market.
The 10,000 sq m facility will include production and warehousing as well as an applications laboratory and offices. The facility will be a “blending only” operation and will not include chemical reactors. It will replace a smaller Hexion facility in nearby Stuttgart. The materials produced will include bonding pastes and infusion resins used in the fabrication of wind turbine blades that power windmills in modern wind energy farms.


Materials News

New LCP for electrical/electronic parts
Ticona Engineering Polymers has developed a new low warpage Vectra liquid crystal polymer (LCP) grade as part of a strategic expansion of its portfolio of V-0 halogen-free polymers for use in eco-friendly electrical/electronic components.
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Millennium polymer to be commercialised
Introduced at the end of 2007, DSM has officially declared its polyamide (PA) 4T as a member of its Stanyl family and named it Stanyl ForTii.
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Lightest bottle ever
An innovation project has paved the way to BASF’s success in using a conven­tional stretch blow moulding (SBM) machine to create what it says is the lightest half litre PS bottle (it weighs 7.5 g).
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PBT melt flow modified with SMA
Sartomer has discovered a new use for its styrene maleic anhydride (SMA) 1000 resin. It can modify the melt flow of PBT in mixtures (in situ), enabling greater flexibility in part design.
The new use may lead to thinner, more complex mould designs, more intricate flow paths and fewer gates. In addition to improved flow, SMA does not adversely affect the crystallinity percentage of the PBT or the inherent properties like dimensional and chemical stability. SMA also increases the brittle point (Tg) and the heat distortion temperature (HDT). Mechanical properties are similar to those of standard PBTs. 

Machinery News

German machinery sales take a tumble
Following the Italian industry organisation Assocomaplast’s projection of lower machinery sales this year, the German plastics and rubber machinery association VDMA says its sales are expected to dip by 20%.
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Steering towards difficult operations
Homegrown Indian company, Steer Engineering, which is headquartered in Bangalore and has facilities in Japan and the US, introduced its Alpha 40S, a twin-screw extruder at Plastindia recently.
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Single-shaft shredder for waste and recycling
AEC’s new AXS is available in three models (AXS1500, AXS2000, and AXS3000) with a rugged construction with heavy duty bearings to handle large extruder purgings, large reject parts, trim scraps, baled or loose film and synthetic fibre.
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Exhibition News

SPI refutes rumours about NPE
With injection moulding machinery makers Nissei America and Netstal as well as auxiliary equipment supplier ACS having pulled out as exhibitors at the NPE2009, to be held from 22-26 June in Chicago, US, the organiser has come out in support of the show.
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Chinaplas to promote building materials for quake-hit area
Though the building and construction industry in the rest of China is slow at the moment, the earthquake affected Sichuan province is a hub of activity due to the government’s efforts to rebuild the area. Already, almost 1,000 projects with a value of US$2.6 billion are on-going in the locality. And to ensure that the building materials are able to withstand another calamity, the Chinese authorities are said to be monitoring the quality of the building materials used.
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Rubber Journal Asia

Malaysia to maintain its pricing for NR
Even with natural rubber (NR)’s price in the world market falling drastically, the Malaysian government will not set a ceiling price for the commodity, said Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities A. Kohilan Pillay recently.
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Tyrexpo Asia sells out in Singapore
Despite the economic turbulence in global markets, Tyrexpo, to be held from 24-26 March in Singapore, has surpassed expectations, says the organiser ECI International.
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. Injection Moulding Asia

India to impose hefty duties on Chinese imports
Just a day after the end of the Plastindia show in New Delhi, where Indian and Chinese plastics industry experts exchanged notes at a “friendly” summit held alongside the show, the Indian government made public its findings on an anti-dumping investigation into Chinese machinery imports.
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Surface pressure indicating sensor film
US company Sensor Products, a manufacturer of tactile pressure sensing solutions, has introduced Pressurex, a thin flexible plastic film that records pressure distribution and magnitude between any two mating or contacting surfaces.
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Polyurethanes Asia       

CPI issues call for papers
The Centre for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) of the American Chemistry Council is inviting interested participants to present papers at the Polyurethanes 2009 technical conference, to be held from 5-7 October at the Gaylord National in Fort Washington, Maryland.  The final papers are due 22 July with poster abstracts to be submitted by 1 April for inclusion in the programme.
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New pre-mixing unit combines blowing agents
Singapore-based Rim Polymers has launched new pre-mix units, PX40-3C and PX50-3C, for three components, namely polyol, 245fa and C5.
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Versatile processing system
KraussMaffei’s new process data capture system, the PUCO8, is designed to provide a complete overview of the system, from the mixing and metering machine to the mixing heads, moulds and mould carriers.
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Generating pure polyol from PET

A new synthesis process for generating polyol from recycled PET is now being used industrially by German company Petopur. The planned annual output is 4,000 tonnes of polyol for application in PU rigid foam processing.
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