Research Turns Plastic Waste into Biodegradable Silk

via Plastics Today

Solutions to big problems can spring from little things. In research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, a microorganism that digests common petroleum-based plastic waste and yields a biodegradable plastic alternative represents a new solution to an on-going problem.

With the support of a substantial new National Science Foundation grant of $500,000 for the project, a team of engineers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will explore this potentially transformative idea entitled Microbial Upcycling of Petrochemical Polymer Waste into High Value Protein-Based Polymers for a Circular Economy.

Read the full story here: https://www.plasticstoday.com/materials-research/research-turns-plastic-waste-biodegradable-silk

National Science Foundation Awards Grant to Rensselaer Polytechnic for Research into New Plastic

via Plastics Today

With the support of a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, chemical engineers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, aim to develop a new polymer that can replace polystyrene (PS). While PS is inexpensive and easy to make, it is difficult to break down into its original components for re-use through a process called depolymerization. Founded in 1824, Rensselaer is America’s first technological research university.

Read the full story here: https://www.plasticstoday.com/materials/national-science-foundation-awards-grant-rensselaer-polytechnic-research-new-plastic/21414866763275

Polystyrene ball-stick model with 11 countable monomers. PakpongICCH444 / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Plastic Recycling Initiatives – Waste Plastic Used as Bus Fare in Indonesia

In Indonesia, commuters pay for the bus with plastic waste

via AsianCorrespondent.com

RESIDENTS of Indonesia’s second largest city Surabaya can now pay for the bus in a novel way – by trading in used plastic.

The city’s mayor Tri “Risma” Rismaharini last month announced the roll out of the new Suroboyo Bus, comfortable, air-conditioned buses which are, importantly, accessible for disabled, elderly and pregnant passengers.

Read the full story here: https://asiancorrespondent.com/2018/05/in-indonesia-commuters-pay-for-the-bus-with-plastic-waste/

 

Why polymer solar cells deserve their place in the sun

via EurekAlert

Polymer solar cells may lag behind traditional silicon solar cells in longevity and efficiency, but could ultimately power autonomous remote sensors and wearable technology.

Unlike traditional silicon solar cells, organic polymer solar cells (PSCs) may never cover the hillsides of a megawatt solar farm. But, these lightweight, flexible cells show potential to provide solar power to remote microwatt sensors, wearable technology and the Wi-Fi-connected appliances constituting the “internet of things.”

Read the full story here: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/aiop-wps021618.php

Material gradients could strengthen polymer components

via Phys.org

Combining flexible and stiff materials has bestowed bamboo with a strength-to-weight ratio that rivals steel. Gradually transitioning from a soft to hard substance allows the squishy squid to slice up prey with rigid, scissor-like beaks.

With the help of a new  co-developed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, these two evolution-honed principles could eventually enable engineers to double or triple the strength of polymer-based components.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-02-material-gradients-polymer-components.html#jCp

Winter Olympics: Could Plastic “Ice” Help Overcome Bias toward Colder Countries?

via Scientific American

Scientists and sports enthusiasts alike have long been looking to level this frigid playing field via the development of plastics that can serve as synthetic ice to line backyard hockey and ice-skating rinks. But the type of polymer needed to coat a sloping two-kilometer track—one that can accommodate sleds traveling in excess of 125 kilometers per hour—has proved much more elusive. “Any synthetic track needs to offer a similar sliding and driving experience to ice and not create any concerns about athlete safety,” says Jan-Anders Månsson, director of Purdue University’s Composites Manufacturing and Simulation Center and a professor in materials and chemical engineering. “It also needs to be both durable and cost-effective.” Read the full story here: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/winter-olympics-could-plastic-ldquo-ice-rdquo-help-overcome-bias-toward-colder-countries/

File:Olympic rings without rims.svg

 

Growing Automotive Plastics Demand in Electric Vehicle Production

via Plastics News

Push for Electric Vehicles Means Plastics May Take Charge

Detroit — It should not be a shock to automotive suppliers that the plastics industry has an electric future.

By 2025, electric and hybrid electric vehicles could account for 33 percent of total vehicle production worldwide, according to data from IHS Markit Ltd., and suppliers are being tapped by OEMs to put different composites and materials into real-world vehicle applications.

Read the full story here: http://www.plasticsnews.com/article/20180206/NEWS/180209933/push-for-electric-vehicles-means-plastics-may-take-charge

automotive plastic manufacturing
By Mariordo (Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Extruder makers hopeful for strong 2018

via Plastics News

End market diversity is the blessing for manufacturers of extruders.

Extruders are used to make pipe and siding in the construction market, sheet and blown film in packaging and tubing for medical. Not to mention custom extrusion for everything from aerospace to writing instruments.

One slow market segment can be offset by another hot one, machinery officials said.

In construction, single-family housing starts were up 8 percent year to date through October, from the same period a year ago, on pace to hit an annual rate of 877,000 in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Starts are beginning to get a boost from reconstruction activity from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Read the full story here: http://www.plasticsnews.com/article/20171205/NEWS/171209960/extruder-makers-hopeful-for-strong-2018

NPE2018: THE PLASTICS SHOW SELECTED TO PARTICIPATE IN 2018 INTERNATIONAL BUYER PROGRAM

via TSNN

NPE2018: The Plastics Show has been chosen by the U.S. Department of Commerce to participate in its 2018 International Buyer Program (IBP).

The IBP is a joint government-industry effort under the jurisdiction of the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA) that brings thousands of international buyers to the U.S. for B2B matchmaking with U.S. firms exhibiting at major industry trade shows.

Read the full story here: http://www.tsnn.com/news/npe2018-plastics-show-selected-participate-2018-international-buyer-program

 

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