Sea-based Containment Structures
Thermoplastic aquaculture solutions from AGRU America, Inc.
Global food consumption is on the rise, leading to an unsustainable load on ocean fisheries. Aquaculture has the potential to help solve problems associated with overfishing, a growing human population and food shortages. These systems can be improved with performance plastics.

There are sea-based and land-based aquaculture operations. Sea-based fish farming involves placing cages or containment structures in the ocean. Designing durable sea-based fish farming systems that do not fail is essential for sustaining a healthy fish farm as well as protecting the ecosystem. AGRU’s sea-based aquaculture solution incorporates specialized semi-finished products to help engineers create durable, long-lasting and easy-to-maintain sea-based containment systems. AGRU semi-finished products are available in PE 100-RC and more, offering durability, flexibility and chemical resistance.

In 2014, a client sought to create a sea-based fish farm to expand their aquaculture capabilities. In this project, the client wanted to create an enclosed system using a containment tank rather than the more commonly used cage method for sea-based fish farming. Sea-based containment systems can be difficult to create, transport and maintain, especially if they are manufactured from traditional materials such as concrete or steel. Seeking a better solution, the client turned to AGRU for a solution using AGRU polyethylene sheets that were fabricated into specified dimensions for the containment system, an innovative design to construct floating sea farm structures. The sheets were made of PE 100-RC, an enhanced resin with improved strength, durability and stress crack resistance.

Offshore Fishfarm Tank
The land-based closed fish farming method uses concrete tanks and a piping system to help regulate water temperature and nutrients. This approach requires careful control of the system to manage waste, nutrients, stock health and more. However, even in the most controlled settings, the concrete basins are susceptible to corrosion or biological buildup over time, which can affect stock health. To counter this problem, operators can institute a regular maintenance schedule or apply concrete protective linings (CPL). AGRU’s land-based aquaculture solution combines an Ultra Grip concrete protective liner with AGRULINE piping system to help engineers create durable, long lasting and efficient land containment systems for fish farming. Specialized solutions can be constructed out of AGRU semifinished products.

In 2009, a client sought to create a land-based fish farm in Smolten, Norway. The salmon and draught breeding farm would be used to raise stock that would later be transported to a sea-based system. Maintaining the health of the fish during the hatchery phase can be difficult, especially if tank conditions are poor. Seeking a better way to line their tanks, the client turned to AGRU for a land-based aquaculture solution using its CPL Sure Grip Type 560, which was fabricated into specified dimensions for easy installation. The 3 mm CPL was stabilized against ultraviolet radiation and was food grade certified.

Arkema Olien advertisement
Arkema Elium® liquid thermoplastic resin for recyclable turbines
Arkema was awarded the 2020 Pierre Potier Prize for its Elium® liquid thermoplastic resin, which contributes to the manufacture of 100 percent recyclable wind turbine blades. Arkema is part of the ZEBRA (Zero wastE Blade ReseArch) consortium, a project that aims to create the first 100 percent recyclable wind turbine blade and to contribute to the development of environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions for wind power.

The production of wind energy, on and off shore, is expected to play a major role in the transition to low-carbon energies. Tens of thousands of blades are produced around the world every year, but they are based on thermoset resins, which are difficult to recycle and are often buried or incinerated at the end of their life cycle.

When wind turbine blades made from Elium liquid thermoplastic resin reach the end of their useful life, the parts are ground and then heated to depolymerize the resin so it can be separated from the fiber filler. After purification and reformulation, a new liquid thermoplastic resin is obtained with the same characteristics as the virgin resin.

Created in 2006, the Pierre Potier Prize highlights and rewards initiatives in the field of chemistry that promote sustainable development as well as the development of eco-responsible approaches in the sector.

Bayfol HX Laser Protection Eyewear
Bayfol® HX from Covestro LLC – Specialty Films in laser protection eyewear for pilots
Exposure to laser light can seriously distract or injure pilots during takeoff or landing, and the frequency of incidents is rising. Bayfol® HX film enabled Metamaterial Inc. (META™), a smart materials company, to create the world’s first laser protection eyewear for pilots called metaAIR®. Collaborating with Airbus, META needed to find the right specialty photopolymer film for a holographic optical filter to protect pilots from harmful green 532 nm wavelength laser lights, which account for more than 90 percent of aviation laser attacks. This film embedded into protection glasses also had to allow pilots to see instrument and runway lights without color distortion while meeting aviation industry standards.

META selected Bayfol HX photopolymer film and worked with Covestro LLC – Specialty Films to customize it in order to meet three challenges:

  • The raw material had to cover areas of at least 1m in width and several meters in length.
  • The film and its photopolymer coating had to provide high optic diffraction and transparency, along with color-balanced red-green-blue (RGB) filtering.
  • It had to retain stability when matched with other materials such as adhesives, coping with varied temperatures and humidity.

Fine-tuning the film properties in several production runs, the refined Bayfol HX120 film enabled META to design the metaAIR. In wide format web rolls with triacetate (TAC) substrate, the film can be recorded with laser light in the 440 nm to 680 nm wavelength range, achieving 99.999 percent diffraction efficiency to protect pilots from harmful laser attacks. With the volume, holographic optical element (vHOE) recorded in the film, natural color is preserved, with high transparency and stability.

JJ Downs Barrier for Chic Toronto Restaurant
JJ Downs creates barrier for chic Toronto restaurant
Sassafraz restaurant is set in an array of Victorian row houses in the heart of historic Yorkville in Toronto, ON, Canada. This beloved local landmark welcomes guests to enjoy contemporary Canadian cuisine, warm hospitality and attentive service. Recently, JJ Downs Industrial Plastics, Inc. created a bar barrier for Sassafraz as part of their COVID-19 safety protocol. The team was responsible for the turnkey concept-design, fabrication and installation of the barrier. It is now a centerpiece where guests enjoy gathering. The clear acrylic unit comprises a 1″ thick curved split-base across the bottom and a 1″ thick curved support rib across the top. The bottom base and top rib have a recess cut-out for 1/8″ thick acrylic sheet to slip into and cold-bended to follow the round curved shape. Everything was cold polished for the final finish.
Eastman Tritan copolyester Milking Machines
Eastman Tritan™ copolyester improves milking machines
Eastman joined with Vansun Technologies in India to produce automated cow milking machines made with Eastman Tritan™ copolyester, a clear and durable polymer that is also BPA free and shatter resistant.

Automated milking machines work on the principle of vacuum — just like the calf suckling its mother. The vacuum applied to the teat opens the liner (milking phase) and milk flows down. Milking machines need transparent plastic material in the critical area where users want to observe the flow of milk.

In the past, Vansun used polycarbonate (PC) and polyphenylene sulfide (PPSU), but farmers complained about breakage during use and machines becoming hazy. Because cow and buffalo milk have a high fat content, the milk flowing through the machines left a residual haze that hindered transparency.

In addition, the milk machine components are subjected to cleaning in place (CIP) treatment at high temperatures of 176°F/80°C in the presence of alkaline and, sometimes, acidic solutions — which causes considerable stress that was affecting material longevity. The machines also took on a yellow tone that customers disliked.

Tritan replaced PC and PPSU in many applications with its unmatched balance of properties. Products made with Tritan are clear, durable, safe and stylish. In Tritan, Vansun found the solution to its material problems.

“The right design combined with the right polymer properties ensured the final product was liked and appreciated by our customers, and it was encouraging to get the positive feedback from them. Selecting Tritan for our product design was very appropriate,” says Sandeep Raina, director of Vansun Technologies Pvt. Ltd. India. Vansun sells automated milking machines to dairy farmers across India, and market response to Tritan has been good.

Pet Carrier on ground
SIMONA Polytone® for veterinary, pet boarding and grooming
Smells, spills and dog hair! These are the things you might find in a dog kennel or boarding suite. Thermoplastics are used in a variety of ways in these places, such as thermoformed food trays, crate liners and even the outer housing. These thermoplastics can withstand scratching and dents from animals playing, as well as water and cleaning chemicals that are used to wash them frequently.

Antimicrobial plastics can be used in these applications because they inhibit the growth of microorganisms on the surface of the material which cause staining, mildew and foul odors.

In many places, vets and boarding houses choose bright and cheerful colors to make up their doggy playrooms and living areas. Multi-layer colored materials, such as Polytone® from SIMONA AMERICA Industries are used to route out fun paw print cat whisker designs.

Octopus in tank
Enrichment toy from Colorado Plastic Products keeps octopus occupied, entertains guests
Colorado Plastic Products created a custom acrylic feeding toy for the octopus at the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster, CO, USA. The Butterfly Pavilion is the first non-profit invertebrate zoo in the world and a leader in invertebrate knowledge, inspiration and connection. In addition to butterflies and octopuses, visitors can see and interact with dragonflies and other insects, plus dwarf cuttlefish, sea slugs, sea stars and other aquatic creatures.

Representatives from the Butterfly Pavilion reached out to the plastics companies in the Denver, CO, USA area asking for bids on a device to be used for enrichment with their octopuses. Since octopuses are naturally curious, they need these kinds of activities to keep them busy. In addition, visitors enjoy seeing the octopuses interact with the devices.

Charlie Waychoff at Colorado Plastic Products jumped on the opportunity to develop the toy for the Butterfly Pavilion. “I was a biology major and octopuses are my favorite animal, so I was absolutely determined to get this project. The Butterfly Pavilion people said that mine was the most enthusiastic response to their inquiry.”

The Butterfly Pavilion did not provide too many parameters for the device, so Waychoff used his knowledge of octopuses and of performance plastics to develop an acrylic version of a rainbow stacker toy that kids might have. The largest ring, in blue acrylic, has a pocket cut out that’s large enough for the handlers to place a shrimp (a tasty treat for the octopus). They then put the other rings on top of it, and the octopus has to take off the rings to get to their treat.

Waychoff knew that he wanted to use acrylic because it’s submersible, and they didn’t want the toy to float. Since most aquariums are made from acrylic, he knew it would stand up to the salt water and octopus play. Waychoff also knew that he wanted to use bright neon colors for the toy, and that acrylic looked good in those colors. In addition, the neon colors show up well in the dim lighting in the aquarium, which mimics the natural habitat of the octopus.

Octopus Blue Ring Top View
To get neon acrylic sheet 1″ thick, Waychoff discovered a way to glue four sheets of 1/4″ thick material without having the adhesive fog the face of the layers. The finished glue-ups stayed crystal clear with the same neon color that they were made with at the factory.

“People are able to relate to octopuses in a way that is unrivaled by any other invertebrate,” noted Butterfly Pavilion aquarist Sara Stevens. “Due to their intelligence and almost childlike way in which octopuses interact with the world, our guests seem to connect and fall in love with them very easily. It’s an animal that instantly creates a sense of awe and wonder, making them fun and important ambassadors for ocean conservation.” For more information about the Butterfly Pavilion, visit

To see a news story about the octopuses at the Butterfly Pavilion, including an octopus interacting with the toy created by Colorado Plastic Products, visit

Astari Niagara Internasional protects doctors and nurses
Astari Niagara Internasional protects doctors and nurses
During the onset of the COVID-19, Astari Niagara Internasional stepped forward as one of the first responders in the fight against the pandemic. To protect frontline doctors and nurses, the company immediately responded by donating aerosol boxes to more than 50 hospitals in Indonesia. Throughout the pandemic, the company remains committed to providing high performance in production and supply chain management to meet the needs of their customers.