DuPont is expanding its research and development reach in Asia

(Plastics Today) -- Chemical and engineering materials giant, DuPont is expanding its research and development reach in Asia and across the globe, opening a global Innovation Center in Korea, servicing the electronics and automotive industries, as well as one in Taiwan, focusing on the electronics and communications markets. This fall additional Innovation Centers will open in Thailand and India with more planned in Latin America, Europe, and North America in 2012 and beyond.

DuPont said its goal is to offer "local collaboration and application development and engage customers in inclusive innovation, wherever they are in the world." Connelly said in a presentation that the center would provide an "ideation environment", with real-time connection to DuPont's 75 global R&D and application development centers. The center will have design, testing, training, failures analysis, and processing capabilities, including injection molding and other processing technologies.


US PE contract prices fall 4-6% in June on weak demand

(ICIS) -- US June contract prices for polyethylene (PE) fell between 4-6%, depending on the grade, based on weak demand and downward pressure from global markets, sources said on Thursday.
Producers announced price reductions of between 2-3 cents/lb (USD 44-66/tonne, EUR 30-46/tonne) for high density PE (HDPE) grades, 4 cents/lb for linear low density PE (LLDPE) grades and between 4-6 cents/lb for low density PE (LDPE), sources said.

With the reduction, prices for LLDPE butene film were at 74-77 cents/lb DEL (delivered), LDPE film prices were at 84-86 cents/lb DEL and HDPE blow molding prices were at 72-74 cents/lb DEL, for small-volume buyers, as assessed by ICIS.


PME spot prices in Asia fell this week

(ICIS) -- Palm methyl ester (PME) spot prices in Asia fell this week, dragged down by declining values of feedstock crude palm oil (CPO), with the market weakness likely to persist in the weeks ahead, industry sources said on Friday.

PME was trading at USD 1.170-1.190/tonne (EUR 807-812/tonne) FOB (free on board) SE (southeast) Asia on Friday, down USD 40/tonne from the previous week, while CPO for July delivery was at USD 1.029/tonne.

CPO prices started to fall early last week after official data showed a 13.7% month-on-month spike in May production to 210,243 tonnes.

⌠The increase in CPO production in May has exerted downward pressure on CPO prices, a Singapore based palm oil trader said.


New Engel technology aimed at the production of optical components

(Plastics Today) -- Engel has introduced new injection molding technology specifically aimed at the production of optical components, offering machines with plasticizing unit components optimized for running transparent polymers and an overmolding process to create thick lenses. Called optimelt, the process starts with the production of a pre-molded part that is recoated with additional layers (usually of the same material) in one or more subsequent stages.

Engel pursued the technology at a time when it says more and more high quality optical components are switching from glass to polymers, propelled by greater cost efficiencies and more flexibility in product design. "The challenge now is to strike the right balance between superior optical quality and high cost effectiveness," Engel noted in a release.

Utilizing injection molded plastics does pose its own challenges, however, including microstructures on the surface of light-guide elements that must be precisely molded across the entire flow path, and the need to minimize residual stress in molded parts, especially where a subsequent coating will be applied. Finally, the optically effective surfaces on lenses with large differences in thickness must be accurately contoured.

Engel says a primary advantage of its multi-layer overmolding process compared to single-layer designs is that the recoating covers sink marks and other defects on the surface of the previous layer, helping ensure high optical quality. The company says this particular benefit makes the process especially attractive to manufacturers of thick- section components such as LED lenses. Engel also notes that studies on multi-layer components in the area of lighting technology have shown that boundary layers between coatings have no effect on the function of illumination optics.


PetroLogistics is in talks with Bayer Corp. about acquiring some of its property

(Plastemart) -- PetroLogistics is in talks with Bayer Corp. about acquiring some of its property in West Virginia to develop a facility to convert ethane from Marvellus Shale gas and turn it into ethylene. PetroLogistics currently operates the world's largest propane dehydrogenation plant on the Houston Ship Channel. The plant converts propane into propylene, which is used in such products as paint, solvents, and various automotive products.