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GE Plastics adding optical PC capacity

MOUNT VERNON, IND. — GE Plastics has opened a $1 million extrusion line to make optical-quality polycarbonate resin.

GE Plastics will dedicate the line at Mount Vernon to Lexan OQ grades for safety and prescription eye wear. It estimates that PC use in lenses is growing 20-25 percent a year. PC has 15 percent of the U.S. ophthalmic lens market, but is replacing allyl diglycol carbonate, which has about half the market, and glass, which has 20 percent. Other plastics account for 14 percent, the Pittsfield, Mass., firm estimated.

Nova cutting fumes from PE production

SARNIA, ONTARIO — Nova Chemicals Ltd. will streamline polyethylene production at one of its Sarnia plants during an environmental upgrading program.

Nova said it will spend C$13 million (US$9.62 million) to reduce cyclohexane solvent emissions at its Sclair linear PE plant. The project will boost annual Sclair PE capacity to 595 million pounds, from 575 million pounds, the firm said.

Nova will install a cyclohexane recovery system on the original of its two Sclairtech lines. The project should allow that line to make lower density PE, down to a specific gravity of about 0.905. Nova is based in Calgary, Alberta.

Briefly...

Trimming and drilling equipment maker Thermwood Corp. of Dale, Ind., said it has won four machine orders worth $240,000 since it opened a Durham, England, sales office in November.