Archive for February, 2003

Uponor: EURO 755,000 Welsh pipe contract

Tuesday, February 11th, 2003

Uponor is providing 5.5km of 7 bar gas pipe to Transco for a project near Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, in a deal worth around EURO 755,000. The company has already been named the preferred supplier to Transco, which provides and maintains the nation’s gas pipe network. Transco plans to replace 90,000km of metal gas main over the next 30 years with PE, a product that already makes up half of the company’s gas network. A spokeswoman for the company said there were likely to be similar projects by the end of the year.

Berstorff opens marketing office in Moscow

Tuesday, February 11th, 2003

German extrusion machinery manufacturer Berstorff GmbH, Germany, has opened a marketing office in Russia. The company said it sees good market potential for insulation materials, TPEs and other compounds. It is also targeting sales of machinery to manufacturers of V-belts, rubber profiles, conveyer belts, floor coverings, roofing felts and tyres. Berstorff will offer a local service programme in Russia and plans to expand its presence there into a centre of competence for extrusion.

SML: 17% increase in turnover for 2002

Monday, February 10th, 2003

Austrian extrusion plant manufacturer SML has reported a 17% increase in turnover in 2002 to Euro 47m. The 2002 results have come in higher than the 7% turnover increase forecast by SML as recently as November last year. The company’s PET calendering and breathable film lines have made a major contribution to the results, with 12 breathable film plants sold.

SML now claims a 70% market share in Europe for its breathable film plants. The most recent breathable film line was sold for Euro 3.6m to a customer in the Czech Republic to make hygiene film. The SML technology for making breathable film involves production of LLDPE cast film containing up to 60% calcium carbonate filler that is stretched and embossed to create micropores. The process allows pore sizes to be controlled in size between 0.5 and 2.0 microns. The film is laminated to a polypropylene non-woven material in a hot melt lamination unit before it is slit in-line and wound onto bobbins.

Cabot: Three new black pigments for polyolefin film

Monday, February 10th, 2003

Cabot has launched three new black pigments for polyolefin film, BLACK PEARLS® 3030, 4040 and 4060. A series of tools have been created to present these new grades and give background information on the applications.
To access these tools, just click here: http://www.cabot-corp.com/plastics/epromotion/film

You will then be able to select:
1. the news release
2. the animated training
3. the selection guide
4. the commercial brochure
5. the star diagram selector
6. the opacity test brochure
7. the UV weathering test brochure
8. the general application guide
9. the troubleshooting guide

Borealis: Introduction of a new grade of stabilised polypropylene for white goods

Thursday, February 6th, 2003

Borealis, a leading supplier of polyolefins, has developed and commercialised a new polypropylene grade, MB350WG, for use in applications that were previously outside the performance range of polypropylenes. Developed jointly by Bosch-Siemens and Borealis, this new polypropylene application substitutes an injection moulding made of MB350WG for the stainless steel tub inside a dishwasher. The result is not only a marked reduction in manufacturing costs, but also further improvements in product
properties such as corrosion resistance and noise insulation.

The interior components of dishwashers are exposed to strong corrosive chemicals such as detergents and rinse aids as part of normal operating cycles, so any material used in these applications must be resistant to their degrading effects. Although polypropylene - as one of the most widely used polymer materials - already has a relatively high level of chemical resistance, it was nevertheless necessary to develop a special stabilisation system for the material before it could be used in the aggressive environment of the dishwasher.

The chemical resistance of thermoplastics is dependent on a range of criteria, including the type of detergent, the exposure time, the temperature and the moulded-in stress, as well as any in-use stress to which a part is subjected. In addition, a polymer may be degraded by chemical reactions - such as oxidation - occurring in its operating environment. Oxidation is caused by exposure to heat and water and may impair the properties of the polypropylene by reducing its molecular weight and mechanical performance. This in turn leads to discolouration (especially yellowing) and loss of gloss.
The search to find a stabilisation system that would overcome these challenges culminated in the development of the new MB350WG talcum-filled polypropylene grade specifically for the white-goods sector.

Battenfeld: Swarf-less cutting of thick-walled PE pipes

Thursday, February 6th, 2003

Battenfeld Extrusion offers a low-noise cutting saw specially designed for cutting thick-walled, large-volume plastic pipes, and producing clean swarf-less cuts. The machine manufacturer has thus provided another optimized solution for the benefit of its customers and in response to latest market requirements. Currently, the trend in large-volume drainage pipes is moving towards polyethylene, since this material cannot be damaged by roots or settling cracks, a common problem in conventional concrete pipes. PE pipes are also leak-proof, easy to lay and easy to join.
The Battenfeld saws are laid out for cutting PE pipes up to an outside diameter of 1,600 mm, with a maximum weight of 450 kg/m and a maximum wall thickness of 110 mm, and for aluminium composite pipes. They are equipped with rotating blades set in motion by a rotating planetary drive, which saw through the pipe by cutting around it from the outside. Adjustable roller tracks in the feed and ejection zones and central gripping jaws ensure that the pipe is adequately supported and held in place during the cutting process, when it is subjected to an immense mechanical force. Because of their numerous advantages, pipe manufacturers prefer automatic saws which produce swarf-less cuts to conventional saws.

Hyperion Catalysis International: Conductive Fluoropolymer Masterbatches & Compounds Made with Nanotubes

Wednesday, February 5th, 2003

Hyperion Catalysis International, the world’s only tonnage producer of carbon nanotubes, has introduced a new family of conductive thermoplastic fluoropolymer masterbatches and compounds containing its Fibril nanotubes. The new products are for use in automotive, electronics, and materials-handling markets, and are suited to uses requiring control of static electricity, combined with chemical resistance, high barrier to chemical permeation, inherent lubricity, and/or resistance to sloughing (rub-off).
The first offerings are ETFE and PVDF pellet masterbatches and compounds; additional products are under development. The fluoropolymers augment Hyperion’s growing lines of conductive thermoplastic masterbatches and compounds containing Fibril nanotubes. Hyperion’s carbon nanotubes are 10-12 nm in diameter – more than 5000-times thinner than a human hair – and 10-15 microns long. Their very-high aspect ratio (over 1:1000) confers electrical conductivity at very low loadings (1% to 3% for electrostatic dissipation). Processors can vary the letdown ratio on masterbatches to optimize the conductivity level of a finished plastic part for its application requirements. Compounds have also been formulated to meet various electrostatic-dissipative (ESD) or EMI/RFI conductivity levels.

Cincinnati: Döllken-Weimar takes delivery of 100th Alpha extruder

Wednesday, February 5th, 2003

Döllken-Weimer GmbH, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of extruded plastics profiles, reports the recent successful start-up of an Alpha 45 single-screw extruder from Cincinnati Extrusion GmbH, Vienna, at its Bönen facility. The Austrian machine manufacturer has thus sold the 100th extruder of this series within a very short time. Döllken-Weimar is a leading global supplier of plastics profiles for floor coverings. Its wide range of products is designed to meet the requirements of many different types of flooring, such as wall-to-wall carpeting, parquetry, laminated flooring, cork or ceramic tiles. The fillet profiles, which join the floor coverings to the walls, must meet many different requirements with regards to function, design and colour schemes. To ensure optimal product properties, these profiles are manufactured by mono-extrusion and co-extrusion processes. Up to five different plastic materials are combined into compound products with excellent properties. The new Alpha 45 is integrated in one of the co-extrusion lines.

Klockner Pentaplast: Expansion of PVC film capacity

Tuesday, February 4th, 2003

Klockner Pentaplast of America will build a new plant for calendered rigid PVC film, creating 108 new jobs through a US$34-million investment in Wythe County, Va. The firm will build a 70,000-sq-ft addition to its facility in the Rural Retreat Industrial Park. Klockner Pentaplast is the largest producer of rigid films in the Americas. The new capacity will be aimed at packaging, printing, and specialty applications. The additional capacity is targeted to come on-line next October.

Poloplast: Niche products in plastic pipes

Monday, February 3rd, 2003

Despite the weak construction sector, Poloplast Kunststoffwerk GmbH & Co KG succeeded in stepping up both its sales and result in 2002. Sales at the company, which produces plastic pipes and has 168 employees, were up at EUR 36m. Profits on ordinary activities rose to EUR 3.6m, giving a capital-return margin of 14%. Managing director Guntram Bock attributes this to the company´s niche-product strategy. Poloplast was thus able to increase sales of its ‘Polo Eco plus’ multi- layer sewage pipe system, despite Austrian local authorities cutting back on their investment in municipal water engineering.