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Safety for patient and user is an essential requirement for medical products, in-vitro diagnostics and pharmaceutical packaging. Subsequently, plastics grades used in medical have to fulfil particular requirements, i.e. constant properties, formulation lock or biocompatibility. Surprisingly, no standard has existed to define the requirements for medical grades so far. This gap has been filled recently by the new guideline VDI 2017 developed and launched by a work group of the German Engineer’s Society (VDI). This article addresses the development of the new guideline VDI 2017 “medical grade plastics” and presents the essential requirements to be covered by medical grade plastics (MGP).

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James Xue has been appointed as Michelman’s new Country Manager for Greater China. Hired in 2017, he has lead the company’s sales efforts over the past two years, developing customer relationships and building its regional sales team.

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On the back of a positive results season, the rubber gloves sector is seeing signs of an uptick in demand in subsequent quarters, says Kenanga Research. In a note, the research house said the 3Q results season came within expectations with volume growth of 6 % and 14 % recorded by Top Glove and Hartalaga respectively. It said its ground checks showed demand for nitrile gloves is picking up again and players' new capacities are being swiftly taken up. Based on its analysis, nitrile gloves market share could experience 30 % growth in 2020.

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Jeff Uhrig has been appointed as new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Novomer, Inc., effective from 18 November 2019. The appointment was announced by Anthony Eisenhut, Chairman and Co-Founder of Novomer. Uhrig will oversee day-to-day business operations and direct efforts to further develop and commercialise Novomer’s catalyst technology.

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Elkem Silicones announced the inauguration of a new production line for silicone rubber at its Xinghuo site in Jiangxi Province, China. The new line, with an annual capacity of "two digits thousands metric tons," will help support the company's growth in Asia, Elkem noted. No other details were given.

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Baltic Chemical Plant LLC (BCP), a wholly-owned subsidiary of RusGasDobycha, has chosen Univation Technologies' Unipol polyethylene (PE) process for six new PE reactor lines to be built at the Ust-Luga marine port in Leningradsky region, Russia.

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Medical rubber gloves prices will rise following the government’s decision to raise minimum wages, effective 1 January 2020. In a statement issued on 19 December 2019, Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) president Denis Low Jau Foo said the latest minimum wage increase for urban workers was inevitable, given the higher cost of living in the cities. He also said it would have a ripple effect on support services such as packaging materials, logistics, chemicals to latex.

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Chandra Asri Petrochemical (CAP) has inaugurated a new polyethylene (PE) plant in Cilegon, Indonesia. The 400,000 t/y swing PE unit, based on Univation Technologies' XCat metallocene PE technology, includes the production of high-density PE, linear low-density PE (LLDPE) and metallocene LLDPE.

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Evonik announced that it is expanding the production of Rohacell rigid, closed-cell foams at its site in Mobile, AL, USA, due to increasing demand for lightweight construction materials for speciality applications. The expansion is scheduled to be completed by Q4 2020. With this investment, the company will significantly increase production capacity for high-temperature resistant polymethacrylimide (PMI) foams in North America.

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A collaboration between Dow, Nexus Elastomer Systems and German RepRap enables designers to 3D-print colored parts using Dow’s Silastic 3D 3335 liquid silicone rubber (LSR) and companion colour packs from Mesgo Iride Colors.

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