POLÍMEROS 2015 seminar

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AMI Conference on Polyolefin Additives

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Polyolefins lead the global commodity plastics markets in volume, applications and diversity of functions. Noru Tsalic of AMI Consulting will outline the market trends at the next AMI international conference on Polyolefin Additives and compounding 2015, which will take place from 20-22 October 2015 at the Maritim Hotel in Cologne, Germany. 

Polyethylene pipes are gaining sector share in construction, agricultural films are transforming the production potential in arid regions, polypropylene packaging is preserving foodstuffs and minimising waste and in automotive manufacturing the use of polyolefins as metal replacements is reducing weight.  The different properties of polyethylene and polypropylene materials are obtained by careful selection of resin, additives, reinforcement and processing methods.  A. Schulman is reviewing how to compound polypropylene to tailor properties and Lummus Novolen Technology has studied how to obtain advanced features in PP.  There are now many larger scale uses of PP compounds, particularly in automotive and Leistritz Extrusionstechnik has new equipment for upscaling the compounding process, while Automatik Plastics Machinery has top of the range pelletising technology. 

Polykemi in Sweden has developed a talc-reinforced PP for light-weighting in the automotive industry.  For interior applications Sinopec has studied additive formulations to minimise VOC emissions in PP and for exterior uses Croda has focused on additives to provide scratch resistance.  Kaerntner Montanindustrie provides functional minerals which can also be used to improve scratch resistance, alongside warpage reduction and reinforcement.  There are several new mineral developments this year including a new pyrophillite from Trinity Resources based in Canada.

AMI’s Polyolefin Additives 2015 conference brings together industry experts to debate the optimal compounds and resins for a wide range of applications from cables to packaging films. Kabelwerk Eupen will be describing the latest developments in flame retardants and Cytec will be looking at stabilisers, which are critical in construction products.  Borealis Polyolefine will be examining how to manage the optical properties of transparent films by careful compounding.  Polymeric additives like ionomers can improve compounds, such as the products from Cray Valley and Arkema. There is a particular focus this year on stabilisation, which ensures durability and extended performance: BASF has reviewed stabilisers for specific uses, Dover Chemical Corporation has new advanced alkylphenol-free polymeric phosphite stabilisers and Addivant has new solutions for LLDPE materials.  From Asia, Songwon has high performance stabilisers, while Everspring Middle East will give another perspective at this international event.

Sustainability is key to the future of the plastics industry and this year there is a paper on the compounding and performance of recyclate from Quality Circular Polymers (QCP), which is a new polyolefin recycling start up company in the Netherlands.  European legislation requires that increasing amounts of materials are recovered from end of life products including packaging, electrical goods and vehicles, so this is a hot topic.

For more information about the Polyolefin Additives 2015 conference, click HERE.

Polymer Foam conference

imageThe next AMI Polymer Foam 2015 international conference features top foam producers and experts from around the world and takes place from 2-4 November in Cologne, Germany. The use of foam technology is growing rapidly across all fields of plastics processing and Professor Volker Altstaedt will review the state of the art in thermoplastic foam production to kick off the conference.  The major applications of foam include construction from wall panels to pipes and flooring; furnishing; automotive components; marine and wind blade composite structures (where the foam is provided by expert companies such as 3A Composites/Airex); and protective packaging.

Polymer foams provide beneficial properties such as heat and sound insulation: Armacell and Techno Nicol are leaders in the field of construction foams, while BASF Polyurethanes has a new high performance insulation board material.   There are other advantages of foams such as cushioning and impact resistance, weight reduction and cost reduction due to reduced material usage.  Foams can be manufactured on many different types of equipment from extruders to injection moulding machines and steam chest moulding, and techniques vary from structural foam moulding to bead processing and sheet extrusion.

In the automotive foam arena Valeo Thermal Systems has used foaming for cycle time reduction and lightweighting. Meanwhile Faurecia Interior Systems has worked on optimizing the morphology of a stiff hybrid injected foam insulator.  There has been an ongoing research project between automotive companies and Mecaplast, which has focused on foaming visible parts.

There are innovations in materials for foams, which yield better properties for improved cellular structure. In terms of polyolefins, SINOPEC in China has produced a copolymer for use in expanded PE beads and Total in Belgium has new high melt strength LDPE for performance foams.  Foam recycling is becoming established too with companies like Schmitz Holding taking on postindustrial XPE scrap.

There is a lot of interest in making packaging from bio-based and biodegradable materials.  Inde Plastik Betriebs has produced foam trays from modified cellulose acetate and Macro Engineering has carried out studies to optimise the equipment required for tandem extrusion of heat resistant PLA foam for hot-fill packaging.

In addition, there are developments in chemical blowing agents and nucleating agents, with some ideas for the replacement of azodicarbonamide including some endothermic chemical agents from Reedy Chemical Foam & Specialty Additives. At AMI’s Polymer Foam 2015 Clariant Masterbatch will review the current status of chemical blowing agents and nucleating agents in the polymer industry and Imerys will highlight a new nucleating agent.

On the polystyrene foam front, Dow has developed a low density microcellular PS foam.   PS beads are commonly made with a pentane blowing agent and now there are alternatives, with a better environmental footprint.  For example, SABIC has obtained good results in foaming PS using water. 

Control of foam structure determines the properties and quality of the resulting products. Professor Perez at the Cellular Materials Laboratory has studied how to improve performance by creating nanoscale cellular structures. The twin-screw extruder supplier Coperion has developed technology for both physical and chemical foam methods of manufacturing and Promix Solutions focuses on the overall control of the foam process.

Fr more information on the AMI Polymer Foam 2015 international conference, click HERE.

Plastics Recycling Expo (PRE) 2015

Now in its second edition, Plastics Recycling Expo (PRE) will take place from 16 to 17th June in Telford, UK, featuring an exhibition and conference specifically for plastics recycling professionals. image
This two day exhibition and strategic conference will provide an opportunity to network with a broad cross section of the industry and to meet decision makers from the public and private sector. The event will unite specialists from design/manufacturing, brand owners from the packaging, automotive, medical and consumer goods sectors and those already involved in plastics recycling (waste management companies, local authorities, government and plastic collection, recycling and reuse companies) to conduct business and discuss the future of plastics recycling. For more information about PRE, just click HERE.

Polyurethane insolation inovations at UTECH Europe

Energy-saving thermal insulation to keep heat in buildings and maintain low temperatures in cold stores are among the many applications where polyurethanes play a vital role in construction and temperature control. The latest innovations in the formulation and manufacture of polyurethanes for increased thermal performance and enhanced fire retardance will be unveiled at the triennial UTECH Europe conference and exhibition, taking place at the MECC in Maastricht, The Netherlands from 14 to 16 April 2015.

Featuring over 90 detailed technical papers delivered in a total of 11 sessions, the UTECH Europe conference will cover the latest developments in the world of polyurethanes and reveal unique insights into the global market. The afternoon of Day Two of the conference (15 April) features a session of 11 papers dedicated to innovations in the use and manufacture of polyurethanes in rigid foams with speakers from Dow Polyurethanes, DuPont, Bayer MaterialScience, Momentive, Air Products, ICL-IP, Foam Supplies Inc, BASF, Honeywell and Lambiotte.

Giuseppe Vairo, from Dow, will present an Overview on Latest Fire Reaction Technologies for Polyurethanes in Construction. Dow has developed in an innovative panel concept, providing produce Insulated Metal Panels (IMP) manufacturers with a step-change fire reaction performance that will allow a broader use of Polyurethane (PUR) and Polyisocyanurate (PIR) cored panels to the highest fire safety standards.

imageMarc Fricke, from BASF, will deliver a paper introducing the company’s SLENTITE – a new high performance insulation material for climate management applications. It is a novel type of organic aerogel based on polyurethane chemistry. Aerogels are highly porous materials consisting of up to 90% in their volume of air-filled pores. The exceptional insulation performance is made possible by optimized pore size in the nanometre range. The new material is said to offer a 25-50 per cent slimmer insulation compared to conventional products.

David Williams, Director of Technology at Honeywell will cover Energy and Environmental Benefits in the Cold Chain Sector Through the Adoption of High Performance LGWP Blowing Agent Solstice Liquid Blowing Agent. Solstice LBA is being adopted by residential and commercial appliance manufacturers worldwide, including Whirlpool, Haier and Midea, and spray foam and panel construction insulation companies like LaPolla, Kingspan, and SoflanWiz, to reduce their environmental footprint and comply with environmental and energy efficiency regulations.
 
The UTECH Exhibition

At the UTECH Europe exhibition, more than 190 companies will be showcasing their latest offerings for the polyurethanes industry. Dow Polyurethanes will feature a halogen-free flame retardant VORATHERMTM CN 100 Series PIR technology for construction insulated metal panels that enables B-s1,d0 Top Euroclass fire reaction performance. Its PASCALTM PRO technology will also be on show and delivers a breakthrough in energy efficiency and productivity for the professional cold chain industry and cold storage panel manufacture. It will also profile its VORAFORCETM systems for composites manufactured by pultrusion or filament winding and used in construction and infrastructure applications.
 
ICL-IP is introducing a new reactive all phosphorus technology that incorporates fire resistance into the polymer matrix of rigid polyurethane thermal insulation materials.
 
INVISTA will be showcasing innovations that include both TERATE® HT polyols — a family of robust, high-performing aromatic polyester polyols for use in rigid insulation foam.

For more informationon UTECH Europe or to register in advance for the free entry to the exhibition, click HERE.

Trends in agricultural films market

The European market for agricultural film has been experiencing steady growth over the past decade exceeding half a million tonnes in 2013, according to the report Agricultural Film Market in Europe 2014 [click for more information], recently published by AMI Consulting. Spain and Italy are the largest markets overall, accounting for almost 40% of demand primarily driven by their intensive horticultural activity where large quantities of greenhouse and mulch films are used. In contrast, Northern Europe with vast areas of grass land is a major producer of animal fodder and has significant consumption of silage films both silage sheet and stretch wrap.image

Silage film which is forecast to grow by just over 1% a year over the next five year period is going to be driven primarily by booming biomass production, demand for increasing quality of fodder and reduction of spoilage, increased number of dairy cows, increasing nutritional intake per cow, silage being increasingly fed to horses and haylage being also increasingly baled and wrapped.
Consumption of conventional mulch film in tonnage terms is forecast to decline slightly over the next five years as a result of the relative maturity of the market, shrinking of the area for crop cultivation and the need for the reduction of post-use plastic waste (by downgauging or by using biodegradable films instead).
Market trends for greenhouse film demand are very similar to mulch films as both types of films are increasingly used in combination. The European market is a mature one and with one season films being gradually replaced by films lasting up to 5 years, in tonnage terms the market has seen a decline and the process is expected to continue for the next five years.
The market is increasingly driven by value rather than volume. In order to increase market share in an oversupplied market, film companies will strive to develop innovative customised high performance thinner multilayer films and as well as look at opportunities for further consolidation. Some of the most recent major takeovers include RKW acquiring Hyplast and Biofol Film, ITW Mima’s industrial films business being acquired by the US-based Carlyle Group, Morera & Vallejo acquiring the bankrupt TPM group in Spain and Unterland being acquired by the Britton Group now rebranded as Coveris.  

The relevance of agricultural film

In order to feed a global population which is expected to top 9 billion people by 2050, food waste needs to be eliminated, distribution of food improved and food production increased. At the same time agriculture faces challenges due to changing economic and environmental trends including climate change, biofuel expansion, slowing agricultural yields, rising meat demand and ever increasing calorie intake from a growing global middle class. It is estimated that by 2050 about 70% of the global population will be urban, compared to 50% today.
Although the population increase in Europe is going to be only marginal, European agriculture will continue to play its part in global food production, while simultaneously fighting for its existence in the face of competing pressures for land use. The agricultural sector is forced to produce more food of increasing quality on less land within a shorter space of time using less resources, while generating minimum waste.  Extending the growing season and increasing yields per hectare of land have been and will remain the main drivers for the use of agricultural films.  In addition, plastic films protect the crops, which has direct implications on the crop’s quality.  Films can also improve a farm’s efficiency by reducing the amount of chemicals, water and energy used.

In addition to its consultancy work in agricultural films, AMI also organises the annual global conference for the agricultural film industry. The next Agricultural Film Conference will be held in Barcelona, Spain on 15-17 September 2014. For more information on this conference, contact Jenny Skinner (click to email).

MOULDS EVENT 2014

Cartaz SM2014The MOULDS EVENT 2014 will be held at Marinha Grande and Oliveira de Azeméis,  from 23rd to 27th June including several workshos, technical seminars, an open house and an exhibition.

The MOULDS EVENT 2014 is once again jointly organized by POOL_NET (Portuguese Tooling Network), CEFAMOL (National Association of Moulds Industry), and CENTIMFE (Technology Center), in close co-operation with OPEN (business incubator).

Te agenda of the event is available HERE, including all seminars and meetings, speakers and topics. For registration on line, click HERE.

The MOULDS EVENT 2014 exhibition will be opened during all the week, with good opportunities for business meetings. The previous edition of the MOULDS EVENT held the participation of about 800 participants from 10 countries. Fpor more information on this exhibition, click HERE.