Aussie firm's cloths may conserve water
An Australian manufacturer of plastic outdoor shade cloths wants to cover the nation's dams to save water.
But it says the viability of covering large expanses of water to cut evaporation as Australia battles against a crippling drought will depend on the future price and availability of water.
Melbourne, Australia-based Gale Pacific Ltd. has supplied high density polyethylene shade cloths for a two-year research project into water storage conducted by the Australian government's major research and development body, the Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organization.
Paul Cacioli, Gale Pacific's general manager for research and development, said CSIRO and water authorities in the state of Victoria had wanted to see whether shading dams could reduce or eliminate algal blooms that contaminated water supplies.
``While the main reason for the research was to reduce algal blooms and other floral growths, they also recorded falls in evaporation rates of about 90 percent,'' Cacioli said.
Experiments were conducted between 2004 and 2006 at four small dams in regional Victoria using Gale Pacific shade cloth.
Cacioli said the CSIRO project had used Gale Pacific's Commercial 95 shade cloth that cut sunlight penetration by 95 percent.
The shade cloth is manufactured in rolls 9 feet 10 inches wide and 164 feet long at its plant in Ningbo, China.
Gale Pacific fashions the cloth into a range of shade products for domestic and commercial uses. The products sell in Australia and Gale Pacific has export markets in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and New Zealand.
Cacioli said it currently did not appear feasible to apply shade cloth to all dams, despite critical water shortages in many parts of Australia because of the ongoing drought.
``You have to build supports for the shade cloth, and some people say it is not cost effective,'' he said.
``But that could change, depending on the price put on water and whether it becomes less and less available.''
CSIRO said results of the research project are in the final stages of analysis. In addition to the huge reduction in evaporation rates, the shade cloths seemed to limit significant algal blooms in covered dams during summer months.
Bacterial contamination has fallen and the covers keep out water birds and wind-borne debris - all of which reduce maintenance costs.
Tel +64-3373-9500, fax +64-3373-9501.
Canada software firm aids injection molders
A new injection molding software development company has started up in Kingston, Ontario.
Injecnet Solutions Inc. aims to help companies increase quality and productivity of injection molding jobs. The firm's initial offerings are free applications for molding engineering and management at www.injecneering.com, according to company founder Mauricio Benavides.
The applications include ones on mold and machine databases, parts cost calculator, mold estimator, machine selector and mold-design revision. These programs can be stepping stones to more detailed solutions provided by Injecnet.
The firm offers a desktop version of its suite of applications so that users don't need to rely on the Web-based system.
Tel. 613-544-1109, e-mail [email protected] injecnet.com.
Canon to produce 3D Systems modeler
Rapid prototyping equipment supplier 3D Systems Corp. has picked Canon Virginia Inc of Newport, Va., to manufacture its V-flash compact, desktop three-dimensional modeler.
Canon, which offers contract manufacturing services, is a subsidiary of Canon U.S.A. Inc.
Canon Virginia will apply its experience making printers and copiers to the V-Flash, 3D Systems said. The V-flash, priced at $9,900, is designed to be an affordable model-making machine for businesses, hobbyists and educational institutions.
3D Systems is based in Valencia, Calif.
Tel. 800-889-2964, e-mail [email protected]
Cofit debuts latest AP screen changers
Cofit International srl of Milan, Italy, introduced its AP series screen changer, which the company said gives maximum homogeneity and a very high level of filtration.
The AP has several benefits, including a self-cleaning screen changer, with no need to take out cartridges. A simple construction and steel body make the AP durable, Cofit said.
Tel. +39-331-177-4900, fax +39-331-177-4919, e-mail [email protected] cofit.com.
Sunoco copolymers increase ductility
Sunoco Chemicals has developed a line of highly crystalline copolymers that increase ductility and low-temperature impact resistance.
The Philadelphia-based firm says its 9000 series is well-suited to the automotive industry and compounders. In addition to strength improvements, the copolymers based on ethylene and propylene improve part appearance. They can be used as a core building block to meet specific application requirements.
The four products in the 9000 series have melt flows of 15, 30, 60 and 100 grams per 10 minutes, respectively. They can boost Charpy impact strength by at least 25 percent in typical compounds, according to Sunoco.
Tel. 412-208-8194, fax 412-208-8205, e-mail [email protected] coinc.com.
New Cereplast resin withstands high heat
Cereplast Inc. has developed a higher-temperature-resistant bioplastic in its Compostables lineup.
CP-TH-6000 is a thermoforming resin able to withstand 155° F, compared with a maximum 140° F resistance typical for biodegradable and compostable resins, according to the Hawthorne, Calif., company. Based on polylactic acid, the new material relies on nanotechnology and proprietary processes to achieve its temperature rating.
CP-TH-6000 also is fully compostable, meeting the ASTM 6400 standard, according to Cereplast. Also, it is marketed at a lower price than conventional thermoformable polystyrene grades.
Tel. 310-676-5000, fax 310-676-5003, e-mail [email protected]