The push to deliver swine flu vaccines is creating a short-term boom for some plastics processors. An injection molder in Bradenton, FL called Delaney Manufacturing got a rush order for up to 50,000 polystyrene trays used to ship vaccine from a major pharmaceutical company. Delaney was first contacted in July, and began production in mid-October. The first shipment is due in late October. The company has presses that range in clamping force from 55 to 500 tons. Another hot injection molded product is a respiratory mask designed to protect users from the swine flu virus.
Dow Chemical and several other companies have launched a program in Omaha, Neb. to divert about 36 tons of plastics from landfills in its first phase, and convert it into energy used for cement production.
A make-your-own Star Wars Sith Lightsaber hilt is heftier and better-looking than most others out there, according to its maker, Sean Charlesworth. You can 3D print it from free source files, and there's even a hardware kit available -- not free -- so you can build one just in time for Halloween.
Some next-generation bio-based materials are superior in performance to their petro-based counterparts, but also face some commercial challenges. This is especially true of certain biopolymers, adhesives, coatings, and advanced materials.
Cars and other vehicles, as well as electronics and medical devices, continue to lead the use cases for the new plastics products we've been seeing, as engineers design products for tougher environments.
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