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PLASTIC PERSPECTIVES
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PLASTICS PERSPECTIVES
Melvin (Mel) W. Ettenson of Ain Plastics of Michigan, Inc., B.S., Engineering, Lowell Technological Institute; M.B.A., NYU.; Lt. Commander, U.S. Navy; Owens Corning Fiberglas Corp., Mktg. Research Director; Uniglass Industries, Regional Sales Manager; Dayco Corp., Sr. V.P. Cadillac Plastics Division; Member of the Society of Plastics Engineers, and The Society of the Plastics Industry. 810-356-4000. Pricing trends for the beginning of 1998 are trending downward in single digit increments led by Ethylene, Propylene, Styrene and Acrylonitrile; all of which affect prices of shapes in our industry. It is expected that continuing deflation will lead to another year of stable pricing allowing long term (12 mo.) contracts to be let, leading to higher sales patterns. All in all, another up year for our industry with profits peaking by 3Q 98 enhanced by increased productivity and controlled but stable expenses. What a decade the 90's have been for business growth! Speaking of growth, world demand for Fluoropolymers increased 9% from 65,000 tons in 1996 to 71,000 tons in 1997. Geographical distribution is as follows: 45% - U.S., 24% - Europe, 14% - Japan, 7% - China, 10% - others. The Teflon Beat Goes On! For a look back into plastics history, be sure to check out the American Plastics History Association (APHA) at 534 Stublyn Rd., Granville, OH 43025. Among the items of interest in their APHA notes are correct generic names for plastic materials such as: CORRECT FOR Phenolic Bakelite Acrylic Perspex, Lucite, Plexiglas,Acrylite Cellulose Nitrate Celluloid H.P. Laminate Formica, Micarta Hard rubber Vulcanite Speaking of History, it helps us to determine the future, such as this second edition of Millennium Monomers: n Dow Chemical and Cargill have formed a new joint venture to create and market a new biodegradable plastic made from corn and sugar beets -- known as Cargill Dow Polymers LLC. This JV will produce Polyactic Acid Polymers to be used in trash bags, food containers and ultimately other shapes. Within 18 months they expect to produce 1 billion lbs./year of this new material for the Millennium. n DSM and Teijin (Japan) have formed a JV to manufacture and sell ultra thin porous UHMW films (Biaxially oriented and stretched) for electronics markets.

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