Plastics News

Image 2: This triple-image of a cutting tool shows stages of design optimization from original CAD model, to topology optimized result, to the final additively-manufacturable part. Designed in nTop Platform by nTopology partner Yamaichi Special Steel.

The Case for 3D Printing Downhole Tools

redesigned.It’s also important to note AM’s broad range of material capabilities as well. Where the first 3D-printers were limited to prototypes made of simple polymers—suitable for testing form and fit but not function—today's machines print a wide range of engineering-grade plastics as well as fully-dense metals, including titanium, duplex and stainless steels, nickel and chromium-based superalloys. AM's ability to build complex, optimized part geometries from these and other high-grade materials means that less metal is needed to meet the oil and gas industry’s stringent

Emily Penn at the helm. © Eleanor Church Larkrise Pictures

A look inside Emily Penn’s eXXpedition

;s oceans on biofuels and was shocked throughout the trip by the amount of plastic waste they encountered. From floating masses in the middle of the ocean to cluttered coastlines on small islands, the plastic issue was clear and real to Penn. While this experience spurred the start of her work with plastics, it still took several years of expeditions and cleanups for Penn to recognize her new career path.Never fear, though—Penn’s architect days haven’t been forgotten. As a constant homage, Penn has adopted art as an important hobby, which provides her with a sense of calm and a closer

Photo Courtesy: Mayflower Autonomous Ship project/Valeport

Valeport onboard Mayflower Autonomous Ship project

will carry research pods for sensors and scientific instrumentation. Scientists coordinated by ProMare, with support from IBM, will use the data from the research pods to advance understanding in several areas including: maritime cyber security, marine mammal monitoring, sea level mapping and ocean plastics.Valeport uvSVX. Valeport’s uvSVX and VA500 Altimeter have state-of-the-art signal processing technology which provides stable, repeatable readings that deliver high accuracy data performance."We’ve worked with Valeport for many years, integrating their equipment onto our marine

Christine Spiten - a passion for ocean #ACTION. Photo Courtesy Norhipping

Interview: Christine Spiten, WWF & Cleaning Up Ocean Plastics

Christine Spiten, Nor-Shipping’s latest #ACTION hero, is profiled here, explaining how she left Blueye for the WWF and a mission to stop the ocean's plastics problem the problem at its source. “Eight million tons.”Christine Spiten lets the number sink in for a second … “That’s how much plastic enters the sea every year from our cities and rivers. It threatens not just local ecosystems and the wider environment, but also us – our food sources, our livelihoods, our very existence. It is the fastest growing environmental problem we face. And it demands

The Ocean Cleanup founder & CEO Boyen Slat on the Interceptor 002 in Klang River, Malaysia © The Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean's Microplastics Mess: Technology & Technique to Identify & Clean Up

The science and technology surrounding discovery, mitigation and clean-up of microplastics in the world’s environment makes this year’s “MTR100.” Here we offer insights on the organizations, people and technologies taking the lead.As marine journalists, scientists, technologists, activists and enthusiasts, we are aware of the large-scale impact that consumer macro-plastic products have on aquatic ecosystems. Ranging from plastic bags and straws to bottles and fishing nets, these materials pollute harbors, rivers, lakes and oceans, all while threatening the prosperity of wildlife

(Photo: Evergreen Forest Products)

The Benefits of Sustainable Marine Lumber

materials for new pilings and other structures that lie in or above the water. This encompasses materials that do not “leach” hazardous chemicals into the water or degrade in under ten years, for example, reinforced concrete, coated steel, recycled plastic and fiber-glass reinforced plastics (i.e., composites). An obvious omission to those who are aware of it is sustainable marine lumber. The reason is that many are under the false impression that sustainable marine lumbers are harvested in a way that harms tropical forests. This could not be further from the truth.Sustainable marine

Fishing nets and debris being removed from the North Pacific Gyre by the crew of S/V KWAI. © Ocean Voyages Institute

OVI: 103 Tons of Garbage Removed From North Pacific Gyre

Ocean Voyages Institute’s marine plastic recovery vessel, S/V KWAI, docked at the port of Honolulu at the end of June after a 48-day expedition successfully removing 103 tons (206,000 lbs.) of fishing nets and consumer plastics from the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone (more commonly known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or Gyre).The Pacific Gyre, located halfway between Hawaii and California, is the largest area with the most plastic, of the five major open ocean plastic accumulation regions, or Gyres, in the world’s oceans.This expedition sets a record for the largest at sea

Simplified graphic showing how seafloor currents create microplastics hotspots in the deep-sea. Image Courtesy NOCS

SCIENCE: Seafloor Microplastic Hotspots Controlled by Deep-sea Currents

recorded on the seafloor, with up to 1.9 million pieces in an area of just one square metre.Published this week in the journal Science, this study shows how deep-sea currents act as conveyor belts, transporting tiny plastic fragments and fibers across the seafloor. These currents can concentrate microplastics within huge sediment accumulations, which the authors of the research term ‘microplastic hotspots’. These hotspots appear to be the deep-sea equivalents of the so-called ‘garbage patches’ formed by currents on the ocean surface.More than 10 million tons of plastic waste enters

Image Credit: Queen’s University Belfast

Microplastic Impairs Hermit Crabs' Shell Selection Ability

the ability of hermit crabs to select a shell needed for their survival.Currently up to 10 percent of global plastic production ends up in the sea although the understanding of how this affects marine life is limited. The research, published today in Biology Letters, focused on the impact of plastics on hermit crabs, which play an important role in balancing the marine ecosystem.Hermit crabs do not develop their own shells but instead, take shells from snails to protect their soft abdomens. As a hermit crab grows over the years, it will need to find a succession of larger and larger shells to

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