• Driven by markets in the developing nations, major players in the BOPP market are head quartered in China, India and Middle East. Two big players from India and the Middle East have embarked on expansion. Despite impressive moves, these two businesses still account for less than 10% of global production and are likely to be overtaken - on a volume basis at least - by Chinese producers over the next few years. From the original business model of setting up a large plant with 3 or 4 big lines, the leading players are now looking to build a network of plants within China with state of the art 8.7 metre and 10.4 metre high speed lines and to vertically integrate into polypropylene resin production. Read more in Balance of power in BOPP film markets shifting from India and Middle East to China
  • Superabsorbent polymers (SAP) are polymers that can absorb and retain extremely large amounts of a liquid relative to their own mass. SAPs can absorb 500 times their weight (from 30-60 times its own volume). The largest use of SAP is found in personal disposable hygiene products, such as baby diapers, adult protective underwear and sanitary napkins. SAP is also used for blocking water penetration in underground power or communications cable, horticultural water retention agents, control of spill and waste aqueous fluid, artificial snow for motion picture and stage production. Made from renewable feedstock, a new odor control SAP, has been developed. Read more in Renewable feedstock-based odour control superabsorbent polymer for hygiene, filtration and medical applications
  • Engineering plastics represent one of the ubiquitous raw materials used in a wide gamut of industries including construction, automotives, industrial manufacturing equipment and mechanical engineering. Demand has been rising over the years with increasing replacement of conventional materials such as metals, wood and glass with engineering plastics in various end-use sectors. Poised to drive growth are factors such as innovation, technology developments in material performance, and emergence of new application areas. Asia, South America, Middle-East have been witnessing sizeable growth prospects. Read more in Global market for engineering plastics to be driven by sustained economic growth, expanding applications
  • Potential applications of self healing polymers range from prosthetic skin to more robust battery anodes. Various self-healing mechanisms have been developed. A research team has unveiled a polymer that mimics biological healing by first rapidly forming a gel scaffold over the hole that is then sealed by another polymer, restoring most of the material’s strength. Another team has developed self-healing materials that it is catalyst-free and low-temperature, and can be healed multiple times. Read more in Self healing polymer patches 3 cm wide holes, mimics blood clotting, is catalyst-free and low-temperature
  • A polyamide grade, derived from renewable raw materials, identical in terms of formulation and quality to the original polyamide grade, but associated with lower green house gas emissions and saving of fossil resources. High performance biopolymers offering a range of innovative solutions for packaging applications have been unveiled. PHA-based biopolymer technology enables manufacturers and brand owners across the plastics and packaging industries to meet sustainability and performance objectives. Another bioplastic that withstands boiling temperatures without losing their shape, functionality and efficiency has been introduced. Read more in Developments in compostable, biodegradable polymers made from renewable feedstock
  • A technique for creating high-performance semiconducting plastic surfaces has been developed. The team of researchers approached the problem of expensive semiconductors by making smarter semiconducting polymers. They wanted a liquid polymer solution that they could brush over a surface, and the molecules would automatically align with one another in the direction of the stroke, assembling into high-performance semiconducting thin-layer films. The team made molecules that matched their design and built a device for spreading the polymer solution over surfaces such as glass or a flexible plastic film. Read more in A thin-layer, conducting, highly-aligned film for high-performance, paintable, directly writeable plastic electronics