Connecting Businesses In the World Of Plastics
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PVC flooring, after a decade of negative growth and diminishing market share in USA, has shown some signs of revival in 2008. The economic slowdown has brought relief to this sector as the housing crisis and credit crunch pushed many people to make decisions based on value. Features of PVC flooring such as affordability, durability and long lifecycle gave it an upper edge over substitutes. However, a turnaround in the economy could impact this market again, as the green movement accelerates when consumers get free from the constraints of debt, credit problems and job insecurity. Read
Despite being the fifth largest country in terms of water reserves, China is shrouded with a water supply deficit. Old pipes and distribution network, uneven concentration of water reserves, pollution, are some of the factors responsible for this scenario. Hence, water supply has been identified as a key issue by the Chinese government. Total polymer demand in this sector is estimated to increase. Read more in
The masterbatch industry in North America faced challenging conditions over the past year and is estimated to have contracted by around 5% in 2008. Barriers to entry have historically been considered low in a highly fragmented and competitive market with an extremely fragmented customer base. Overall, the North American concentrate market is highly concentrated in the hands of a few major players. The slower market is expected to drive further restructuring with companies rationalizing production to deal with overcapacity, slower sales growth and margin pressures. The industry is believed to have started recovering and is headed upward in 2010. Read details of the industry restructuring in
Renewable energy investments are expected to rise by 23% in 2010, with spending estimated to rise to US$175-200 bln from US$162 bln in 2009. Growth will be spearheaded by government stimulus funds on wind turbines and solar panels. China replaced USA as the biggest investor in renewable energy for the first time in at least five years in a bid to reduce carbon emissions and meet demand for power. Read more in
A life-cycle inventory of single-serving soda containers has concluded that PET bottles offer a better environmental footprint than aluminum cans or glass bottles. Total energy, solid waste and greenhouse gas emissions were compared. Read details in
Although the BOPP industry has continued to witness growth on account of favorable demographic and market factors, it continues to be faced with many challenges. There appears to be no shortage of capital to fund new plants so that the business is continually plagued by over-investment resulting in persistent oversupply, weak pricing and poor returns with an increasingly powerful and globalised customer base. To know about the demand growth, growing regions, growing applications, shift in production bases, leading producers, etc, read
Plastics are susceptible to attack by fungi, bacteria, mold and mildew, which leads to discoloration, odor and deterioration of mechanical properties. Biocides and antimicrobials are finding increasing application in medical/healthcare and consumer goods sectors. Hospital acquired infections are driving the use of biocides in health care products beyond medical devices. They have found inclusion in military clothing and equipments. To know about the types of broad categories, different attributes, different end-applications, advantages, disadvantages, and the newer developments in this segment, read
Specially modified super-absorbent bed sheets that can be used in maternity wards and in field hospitals anywhere in the world as well as in operating theatres and ambulances have been developed. Hospitals will save time and money by using the new sheets as time-consuming jobs such as clearing up and laundering will be taken care of and related infections will be controlled. Read more in
Aluminum molds were considered to be too soft for high volume production so far, because the tooling was unable to withstand the rigors of high-temperature, high-volume injection molding. This is changing as OEMs look more closely at tooling costs and cycle times to reduce piece-part pricing, and overall manufacturing cost. Aluminum tooling is easier to cut and it cools at a much more rapid rate than steel, thus reducing cycle times and resulting in reduced costs. To know about the major benefits of aluminum molds, reasons that plastic flow better in aluminum injection molds, factors to be considered for a successful mold, etc, read
PRICE TRENDS for the week
Buckling under pressure from plunging crude oil values, naphtha prices have seen a quantum dip in Asia in the week of May 24, 2010. Open-spec naphtha for H2-June delivery...
Ethylene prices have nose dived to US$1105/MT in Asia in the week of May 24, 2010 under the strain of collapsing crude oil and naphtha values and deteriorating downstream market sentiments...
Propylene values have tanked to US$1140/MT in Asia in the week of May 24, 2010 under pressure from fallen crude oil and naphtha values. Spot propylene prices in Asia have plunged by over.....
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