The following product introductions were gathered by reporter Bill Bregar during the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. Composites Institute's annual exposition, held Jan. 30-Feb. 1 in Cincinnati. Alpha/Owens-Corning introduced a recycled-content resin, vinyl ester resin hybrids and a family of resins for pultrusion.
Altek is a new recycled-content unsaturated polyester for sheet and bulk molding compound, and pultrusion. The thermoset polyester contains recycled PET, a thermoplastic. The recycled content comes from terephthalic acid, obtained by depolymerizing PET scrap. The firm already uses the technology to make resins for open molding and filament winding, but Altek is the first closed-mold resin from Alpha/Owens-Corning to be made this way. New vinyl ester hybrids combine unsaturated polyester processing with mechanical, thermal and corrosion-resistant properties that approximate those of a vinyl ester.
Alpha/Owens-Corning tested various polymer formulations using full-scale pultrusion equipment to create its new line of unsaturated resins, the firm said.
PTI offers Pulstar pultrusion machines
PTI, formerly Pultrusion Technology Inc., introduced a new series of pultrusion machines called Pulstar Series 2000.
PTI offers standard machines with envelope sizes ranging from 8 inches by 6 inches to 40 inches by 16 inches, modular-style machines and wholly customized machines. The firm recently built a custom machine with a profile envelope of 60 inches by 30 inches to pull a large, complex composite profile.
Pulstar 2000 machines come with a swivel-mounted touch screen controller.
PTI, a division of Morrison Molded Fiberglass Co., is based in Twinsburg, Ohio.
Phenolic foam core finds marine uses
Isorca Inc., a research and development company in Granville, Ohio, introduced Alba-Core, a compression moldable structural core.
Isorca developed Alba-Core, which is made from phenolic foam, during a program to develop a low-cost composite panel for a marine application. Benefits include light weight, very low smoke and flame spread, easily engineered properties and superior stiffness, compressive strength and shear strength.
Alba-Core can be molded into flat or curved sheets of complex shapes, Isorca said. Reinforcements may be used, including fibers, mats or honeycomb.
PP product lowers auto part costs
Schuller International Inc.'s Mats & Reinforcements Division, of Waterville, Ohio, introduced its Star Stran 733, designed for superior mechanical properties in glass-reinforced polypropylene compounding.
It is available in chop lengths of one-eighth inch and three-sixteenths inch.
Star Stran 706C is aimed at bulk molding compound. The firm developed the glass reinforcement to meet the need, especially among automakers, for lower costs. It can be used either for compression or injection molding of parts used in auto and electrical applications.
Schuller International, a subsidiary of Manville Corp., is based in Denver.
Ashland showcases SMC Lite technology
It sounds like a new beer, but Ashland Chemical Co.'s SMC Lite is actually sheet molding compound technology designed for low-pressure molding, low-density molding or both.
Resins compounded using SMC Lite technology can be molded under pressures up to 80 percent lower than usual, providing savings in tooling and machinery. The technology can be used to make automotive exterior parts or structural parts.
Ashland showed a large truck hood using the technology. Ashland licenses the technology and sells the materials to molders.
Also in Cincinnati, Ashland announced a new polyester resin for SMC, containing 25 percent post-consumer or post-industrial recyclate from PET. Ashland breaks down the PET into its byproducts and turns it into a thermoset, an Ashland official said. Eagle-Pitcher Automotive Group's Plastics Division, in Grabill, Ind., is using the recycled material to mold an engine cover for the Ford Econoline van.
Ashland of Columbus, Ohio, also showed its Hetron 970/35 vinyl ester resin with reduced styrene, designed for solvent-resistant, high-temperature applications.