New method for monitoring fibre reinforced composites invented

(PlastEurope) -- Researchers at the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden have developed a new method for monitoring the structural health of continuous glass-fibre reinforced composites. The method involves inducing electrical conductivity in the glass fibre surfaces and in the composites' interphases by applying electrically conductive carbon nanotubes (CNT) in a coating system. The composite is then mechanically loaded, causing the CNT network to deform, and this deformation can be measured as a change in electrical resistance.

Irreversible damages to the composite material caused by defects in the interphase or the failure of the reinforcing fibres can then be detected by observing changes in electrical resistance, the researchers explained. The application of CNT-based interfacial sensors in continuous glass-fibre reinforced composites allows defects to be identified at an early stage, they added.


Styron introduces new speciality resin

(PlastEurope) -- "Emerge PC8701HH resin, developed for the terminal block, case and internal parts of smart meters, has been introduced in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region by Styron. The terminal block, which has direct contact with live wires, must withstand temperatures of up to 960 ╟C, while the casing of the meter needs to be tamper-resistant in order to prevent fraud.

The meters enable consumers to monitor their energy use and increase their energy efficiency. PC 8701HH resin is a glass-reinforced ignition-resistant polycarbonate that is claimed to offer heat resistance exceeding current standards and industry requirements. The use of one product for the different parts simplifies the production process for smart meter producers, Styron says, and can lead to reduced costs.


Renolit to acquire major Italian films producer

(PlastEurope) -- With the planned acquisition of Italian furniture films manufacturer Eurogloss on 1 October, German films producer Renolit is expanding its position on the Italian market. The acquisition will create additional production capacity for high-gloss films as well as supplementing the German company's portfolio in the growing 2D applications market, said Karsten Janicke, head of the Renolit Design business unit.

Eurogloss will be integrated into the newly established company Renolit Milano and is expected to generate sales of around EUR 13m this year. The furniture films manufacturer operates three calenders and two printing units for the production of high gloss and super matte films, along with 2D products for lamination and coating. The Italian market accounts for over half its annual output, with the remainder exported. Renolit has announced plans for restructuring production at the Peschiera Borromeo to raise profitability and improve quality.


Sunpor triples EPS capacity in Austria

(PlastEurope) -- Europe's third largest EPS producer Sunpor is more than tripling production capacity for grey EPS (⌠Lambdapor) by 2013 in response to the sharp rise in demand. Capacity for this new generation of foam with up to 30% better insulating properties will be raised to around 170,000 t/y. The additional machinery has already been ordered. Including conventional white EPS, the company's total production capacity will rise from 175,000 t/y at present to 240,000 t/y.

Capacity at the Austrian St. Polten headquarters will remain at around 75,000 t/y while capacity at the new plant opened last year in nearby Radlberg will be expanded from 100,000 t/y to 165,000 t/y. A spokesperson for Sunpor told that both types will be produced at both sites, using reactor technology for white EPS.


Borealis offers new LLDPE range

(Borealis) -- Borealis, gives flexible packaging converters a unique opportunity to gain a further competitive edge in efficiency, environmental and product performance with the launch of its BorLite linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) range.

Borealis, a leading provider of chemical and innovative plastics solutions, gives flexible packaging converters a unique opportunity to gain a further competitive edge in efficiency, environmental and product performance with the launch of its BorLite linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) range.

BorLite sets new standards in the performance of Machine Direction Orientation (MDO) films. Based on Borealis' proprietary Borstar LLD bimodal technology, the range was developed specifically to optimise the enhanced film properties and production efficiency benefits created by MDO processing technology.

Sergey Andreev, BASF's Russia and CIS CEO, is going to chair an upcoming international "Russian Polymers Summit - 2010" conference organizaed by ICIS and MRC. For more information please visit the Summit's official web page.