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An eco-friendly roof over our heads

            Plastic waste is an eyesore and every part of the world is beginning to wake up to this problem. One company has found a way to turn plastic waste into housing material and thus take it away from the landfills as well as the streets.
            Welsh building systems supplier Affresol has successfully developed a new material known as Thermo Poly Rock (TPR) from recycled plastics and minerals in a joint project with Cardiff and Glamorgan universities and the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and the Carbon Trust. TPR is an alternative to using timber frames and concrete blocks.
            What the company does is take pre-selected waste that is recycled then size reduced, after which it is mixed with a resin and the TPR polymers. The result is a mouldable liquid compound that is poured like concrete and when it is cured is said to be stronger than concrete.
            The company uses a patented low energy cold process to convert the plastic waste into waterproof, fire retardant TPR panels. These panels are bolted together to form the load-bearing frame of the house and can support brick, block or stone, with the interior insulated and plastered.
Each TPR frame house uses 18 tonnes of selected waste.
            Though the roof trusses are made from timber using sustainably grown and certified wood, the roof tiles are made from recycled materials.
            A bonus is that the TPR material can be recycled to be used again, once the house has run its life span of 60 years!
            In Asia, where low cost homes are usually built of prefabricated concrete blocks, TPR sounds like a nice idea, especially since it is environmentally friendly.
            Affresol says it is looking at launching its Eco Homes in Africa and Australia.

Editors Note: For more on this unique and innovative home idea, check out: http://affresol.com/

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E-News Update
March 2010
According flexibility in packaging

Plugging in with hot runners

Lead Feature

According flexibility in packaging

Australian flexible packaging producer Gelpack Enterprises is one company that does not believe in rushing headlong into unexplored territories. Having taken delivery of a three-layer blown film line last year, it used the period to learn the workings of the machinery and will this year focus on producing new films on machinery supplier Mamata Brampton’s largest line in Australia.

Started 52 years ago, Gelpack has since 1996 belonged to the Shah Group, a diversified multinational that is in property investment as well as metal roofing and PU foam products. A few years ago, Gelpack acquired the public-listed Ruskin Flexifilms boosting its product range further.

PRA spoke to Managing Director Nihal Shah and General Manager Peter O'Malley, during a visit to the plant located in Victoria, Melbourne.
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Company News

Weathering the economic crisis
Against the backdrop of the adverse business conditions, BASF, Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) and French companies Arkema and Rhodia posted lower sales last year. On the plus side, Lanxess readjusted its earnings projections based on better fourth quarter results and Kraton Polymers had higher sales last year.
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PU feedstock in the Middle East
Dow Chemical subsidiary Dow Formulated Systems has tied up with E.A. Juffali & Brothers to construct a polyol plant in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Though the capacity was not disclosed, the plant will come online this year.
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LME goes electronic and comes to Asia
Effective 15 February, the London Metal Exchange (LME) has modified the price discovery process for plastics futures contracts traded on the exchange and announced a new office in Singapore.
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Reliance fails in bid to take over LyondellBasell
Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries has had its third offer of US$14.5 billion rejected by Netherlands-based chemicals company LyondellBasell, which is working out a plan to exit bankruptcy by April.
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Dow sells styrenics business to Bain
US-based Dow Chemical has sold its Styron business to private equity firm Bain Capital Partners for US$1.63 billion. South Korean conglomerate Lotte was reported to have been interested in purchasing the business early this year.
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Ineos’s phenol plant in China and tax move
In view of the fact that China is the world’s fastest growing market for PC raw materials phenol and acetone, UK-based Ineos has tied up with Sinopec to build a 650,000 tonnes/year plant at the Nanjing Chemical Industrial Park in Jiangsu Province.
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Wanhua to take over Hungarian TDI producer
China's Wanhua Industrial Group will provide EUR140 million funding to cash strapped Hungarian isocyanate producer BorsodChem to retart its TDI project, with the option to buy the firm in two years.
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Ems increases PPA in Europe
Ems-Grivory, a business unit of Ems-Chemie, will increase its production capacity for polyphthalamide (PPA) by constructing an additional plant in Europe since the engineering resin displays the most rapid growth, with double-digit growth figures. Start-up is expected this year.
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LyondellBasell exits from PP in Terni
Putting the blame on the global economic crisis and a less economically viable plant, polyolefins maker LyondellBasell Industries is shutting down its 255,000 tonnes/year PP plant in Terni, Italy. In conjunction with the shutdown, LyondellBasell has started consultation with representatives to determine the appropriate path for its 120 permanent employees. It will meet projected customer demand for PP (including local customers in Terni) from its other Italian facilities in Ferrara and Brindisi


Materials News

Acquisition to expand material offerings in consumer electronics
Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) has acquired US-based Artificial Muscle Inc. (AMI), a pioneer and leader in the field of electroactive polymers for the consumer electronics industry.
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Zooming into new updates for motorcycles

Two new innovations put the two-wheel motorcycles in the forefront with a helmet that mimics the human skill to offer protection from head injuries and an intake system with a built-in air filter function known as an air box, both made from plastic materials.
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WPC enhancements introduced
Having completed the development of its patent-pending fibre treatment technology, US-based PolyOne is offering this for use in traditional wood plastic composites (WPCs).
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New biodegradable polymers with closed-loop recycling
With more than 13 billion plastic bottles disposed of every day, it’s not surprising that US-based IBM Research and Stanford University have focused their efforts on a catalyst technology able to produce biodegradable, biocompatible polymers and a closed-loop recycling process.
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Oxo-degradable polymers not so green after all
Meanwhile, degradable plastics might not be as environmentally-friendly as consumers think, according to a UK government, Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), funded study.
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Machinery News



Higher efficiency from Erema’s recycling system
Erema’s patent pending TVEplus, available as a standard feature since January is said to be three times more efficient at removing print and other contamination from packaging.
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Gneuss gets approval from FDA for PET bottle recycler
Gneuss’s patented Multi Rotation Extruder (MRS) planetary extruder for bottle-to-bottle recycling has received a "Letter of No Objection" from the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
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Exhibition News

Chinaplas goes green
The region’s largest plastics show Chinaplas, to take place from 19-22 April in Shanghai, will take the blues away from the economic situation with its environmental theme this year.
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Lower online prices for K2010 tickets
From this month, visitors to the K2010 website can purchase tickets for the show, which will be sold at the 2007 prices. 
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Rubber Journal Asia

Asian pull for Nd-PBR sees increase in capacity
Lanxess will invest EUR20 million to expand the global capacity of Neodymium Polybutadiene (Nd-PBR) by an additional 50,000 tonnes/year at its sites in Germany, US and Brazil, to meet the 10% higher demand for the material, especially in Asia.
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Retread tyre markets good in Asia
Lanxess, which is contemplating producing ESBR-BMB in Brazil, sees good growth potential in China and India for the retreading tyre market since the latter has not been able to keep pace with the increase in demand for tyres. Meanwhile, Bridgestone has opened a retread centre in Thailand.
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Higher NR output in India
India’s output of natural rubber (NR) increased 6.7% last month after record prices prompted farmers to boost yields in the main growing region, the state-owned Rubber Board said.
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. Injection Moulding Asia

Plugging in with hot runners
Synventive Molding Solutions, which has appointed an agent in Vietnam, has introduced two hot runners that are said to simplify installations with their plug and play features.
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