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Noah’s Ark comes to form

PET bottles have again found a novel reuse, in fact 1.5 million of them! These have been used to produce a building known as EcoArk. It will be showcased at the Taipei International Floral Expo, which will open in November, in Taiwan’s capital city.

The naturally-lit building, with transparent walls and chandelier-like ceiling lights, is said to be the world's first large structure fashioned from recycled plastic bottles.

Its honeycomb walls, which are lit with solar-powered LEDs, are made of Polli-bricks. These are PET bottles that are interlocked to form bricks and are an innovation by Taiwanese design firm Miniwiz. “The lightweight bricks offer excellent acoustic and thermal insulation and can build anything from fences and roofs to pots for plants, skylights and beautiful walls of light,” says the company.

For the EcoArk, the pieces are melded together in a lego design strong enough for it to withstand major storms and earthquakes, the modern day versions of the biblical great flood!

Besides the environmental factors, EcoArk cost US$3.8 million to build, which is said to be about a third of the cost of a conventional glass and steel structure. The cost of the three-storey building was sponsored by the Far Eastern Group, a conglomerate with diversified interests in sectors including petrochemicals.

Miniwiz is now looking to replicate EcoArk’s building style in warehouses, factories and even private homes. The company’s other environmental accolades include a renewable power source accessory for consumer electronics and SolarBulb, which is a solar-powered LED lamp that fastens onto conventional beverage containers and lights up automatically in the dark and is controlled by a built-in light sensor.

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E-News Update
May 2010


Lead Feature

Un-bottling technology for beverage packaging

At the recent Chinaplas show in Shanghai, China, Canadian injection moulding machine maker and provider of preform solutions, Husky Injection Molding, introduced its solutions/tooling systems for the beverage packaging market, with a particular emphasis on the production of PET preforms and closures.

The technology, first shown at the NPE in Chicago last year, boasts not only light weighting but also faster cycle times. It included a 96-cavity HyPET 400 preform moulding system, with the High Performance Package (HPP), said to be running 15% faster at 7 seconds. It was producing a 13.3 g EcoBase preform. HPP is the result of refinements to the entire HyPET preform system, allowing for the faster cycle time.

Meanwhile, a 72-cavity HyCAP 300 closures solution was producing PCO 1881 CSD closures weighing 2.3 g in a 3.5 second cycle, said to be 20% faster than the industry standard.

PRA spoke to Gerardo Chiaia, President, Husky Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa, at the show to find out more about the company’s technical abilities in this area and its business in Asia.

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Company News

Evonik to increase PMMA compounds capacity
In view of the “remarkable” growth rates it is experiencing in Asia, Germany-based Evonik Industries will be expanding its capacities for PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate) moulding compounds by around 40,000 tonnes/year at its sites in China and Taiwan.
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Ticona strengthens engineering resin base
Materials supplier Ticona Engineering Polymers has acquired DuPont Performance Polymers’s liquid crystal polymer (LCP) and Thermx polycyclohexylene-dimethylene terephthalate (PCT) products.
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Borouge focuses on expansions
To be ready for the polyolefins supply to come on stream in June, Borouge has been adding on resources. It recently broke ground on its US$70 million R&D centre in the Middle East and has added on a logistics hub in Singapore.
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Bridgestone restructures Chinese business
Tokyo-based Bridgestone Corp has set up Bridgestone Diversified Products in China to undertake its PU activities in the country.
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Companies emit positive vibes

US and European chemical majors like Dow Chemicals, DuPont, ExxonMobil, Celanese, Rhodia, Borealis, BASF and DSM as well as Malaysian Titan Chemicals declared improved results in the first quarter, pointing to an imminent recovery.
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DuPont to acquire Chinese fluorochemical company
US-based DuPont Chemicals & Fluoroproducts is acquiring a minority share in Changshu 3F Zhonghao New Chemical Materials, which manufactures fluorochemicals and is owned by Shanghai 3F New Materials.
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Eastman starts up Tritan plant
Against the backdrop of a global growth of 6-8% for copolyesters, US company Eastman Chemical recently inaugurated its 30,000 tonnes/year plant for bisphenol A (BPA)-free Tritan in Kingsport.
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Dow’s Thai C8 plant on track
While almost 60 petrochemical projects have been put on hold in Thailand’s industrial estate Map Ta Phut, until they meet the country’s environmental regulations, one project is expected to be completed as planned. This is Dow Chemical’s second solution LLDPE plant, with a capacity of 350,000 tonnes/year, jointly developed with the Siam Cement Group.
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Materials News

Meteoric rise in EG technology in China
Sinopec-SABIC Petrochemical, a joint venture between Sinopec and SABIC, is producing 360,000 tonnes/year of ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol using the Meteor process from Dow Chemical at its Tianjin complex in China, the first for the country. Production began in early February this year.
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Cereplast reaches out to China and Malaysia
US-based supplier of proprietary bio-based plastics Cereplast has 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.
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Teijin to increase PC film use to 3D glasses
Japan-based Teijin Chemical has announced its plans to double sales of its polycarbonate (PC) film for 3D glasses, which uses the circular polarising system used in 3D movie screenings, by 2011.
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Total’s C4 for European LLDPE market

Having recently inaugurated its 1.3 million tonnes/year ethylene plant in Qatar, French company Total Petrochemicals has commercialised C4-LLDPE grades consisting of various melt index and additive packages for the European market.
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Indian car to benefit from polyolefins
US-based ExxonMobil Chemical has clinched a deal with General Motors in India supplying its Exxtral polyolefins for the Chevrolet Beat, which is manufactured at GM India’s Talegaon plant in Maharashtra.
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Vespel receives pump certification
US company DuPont’s Vespel PFA (perfluoroalkoxy) polymer reinforced with carbon fibres, used in wear rings and other parts of centrifugal pumps at oil refineries, has been awarded the ISO13709 and the American Petroleum Institute's API 610 Standard, making it suitable for stationary pump parts.
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Machinery News


More rPET approval for Vacurema
Austrian recycling machinery manufacturer Erema has obtained another approval for recycled PET material produced on its Vacurema recycling systems from the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
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Krones extends labelling technology
Germany-based Krones has signed an agreement with Canadian firm CCL Industries covering the development and worldwide marketing of labelling technology for TripleS stretch-sleeve films.
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Exhibition News

Compass to direct K highlights
To make it easier to look up more information on the K2010 show, to be held from 27 October-3 November in Germany, on the website (www.k-online.de), the organiser is launching an Innovation Compass, for what it says are the many new developments at the show.
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Rubber Journal Asia

Good results from rubber companies
The improving global economic climate has seen Cabot Corp. and Goodyear Tire & Rubber announcing better performances this year.
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Increased Chinese tariffs raise concerns in the US
With tariffs on nylon 6 fibre nearly tripling, as the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced an increase from the preliminary 36.2% to 96.5%, this has raised concerns amongst US tyre distributors regarding the prices of tyres from China.
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Positive outcome from rubber meetings
The joint 2010 World Rubber Summit and 5th China Rubber Conference, held from 16-17 March with a field trip, was followed by the 106th Group Meeting of The International Rubber Study (IRSG) in Qingdao, China.
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New plant for South Korea's Hankook Tyre
Due to the rapid growth in the automotive market, South Korea's largest tyre maker, Hankook Tyre, is planning to build a new plant in China.
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Going green, with more air, less emissions
Consumers can contribute to Earth Day just by checking their vehicle's tyre pressure because properly inflated tyres can improve fuel efficiency by at least 3.3%, says the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), the national trade association for tyre manufacturers in the US.
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Bridgestone expands Indonesian plant
Japanese tyre maker Bridgestone’s subsidiary in Indonesia will invest 4.3 billion yen to expand production capacity of both passenger car radial tyres and light truck radial tyres at its Karawang plant.
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High Indian rubber prices irks associations
The All India Rubber Industries Association (AIRIA), Indian Cycle & Rickshaw Tyres Manufacturers’ Association (ICRTMA) and the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ATMA), are pulling out all the stops to stop the increasing prices of rubber in the country, said to have gone up by 200% over the past six years.
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German/Taiwanese jv to produce NBR in China
Germany-based Lanxess and Taiwanese company TSRC will enter into a 50:50 joint venture to set up a 30,000 tonnes/year nitrile rubber (NBR) plant in Nantong, Shanghai, to meet the growing double-digit growth of the Chinese NBR market.
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Lanxess pushes start button for Singapore SR plant
German speciality chemicals company Lanxess recently broke ground for its delayed EUR400 million butyl rubber plant in Singapore, with the start-up brought forward to the third quarter of 2013 from 2014, against the backdrop of improving market conditions.
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. Injection Moulding Asia


German technology for Engel moulds
Austrian injection moulding machinery maker Engel has added on German elastomer machine builder LWB Steinl’s EF-E injection unit on its Elast moulding systems, reducing heating time by up to 50% especially in the hot runner mould and with improved ergonomics.
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Moving into micromoulding

Machine maker Arburg’s has entered the micromoulding machine market with its smallest all-electric Alldrive machine featuring an 8 mm injection screw and a second screw for melting the material.
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Challenging year for European injection moulding market

Though Europe’s injection moulding sector slumped to EUR42.6 billion last year, from EUR55 billion in 2008, it is expected to start growing again in 2010, especially the packaging sectors and in Central/Eastern Europe, says a latest report from AMI Consulting.
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Haitian looks at producing in other countries
In line with its expansion plans, China’s largest injection moulding machine maker Haitian will set up a facility in Vietnam this year, said Helmar Franz, Board Member, speaking to PRA at the recent Chinaplas show.
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