Regent Lighting
© Regent Lighting
Perfect workplace lighting thanks to ACRYLITE®
Office work is very tiring under unfavorable lighting conditions, as anybody who has worked from home without ergonomic office equipment can attest to. It is almost impossible to concentrate if a table lamp causes glare, only illuminates half the desk, is in the way or blocks your view of a monitor.

Swiss lighting manufacturer Regent Lighting developed the JOKER table luminaire with the goal of bringing a professional luminaire to market that provides pleasant lighting for those working from home — in close collaboration with Jungbecker, a company from Olpe, Germany, that specializes in plastic optics. Their material of choice for the optics is ACRYLITE®, the brand polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) from Röhm in the Americas.

© Regent Lighting
JOKER stands out from traditional table luminaires with its patent-pending lighting technology. This elegant, rectangular luminaire stands upright and can be moved freely around a desk, evenly lighting the workplace without casting multiple shadows. A micro-structured light guide made from a highly transparent ACRYLITE molding compound is integrated into the slim body of the luminaire. The unique construction of the optics allows the luminaire to emit a soft and glare-free light from the vertical area, lighting the workspace efficiently at an unconventional beam angle from the side.

The integrated Tunable White technology makes it possible to control the color temperature at the push of a button. This not only makes working at home more pleasant, but enables everyone to work with the light that they prefer, even in a large open-plan office.

“We did not want to design the 550th table luminaire with a swivel arm, but come up with something completely different,” said Kornelius Reutter, project manager for design and innovation at Regent Lighting. “Especially since the technological advancement with LEDs and optics allows for shallow constructions which are favorable to shapes that are in line with the Regent Lighting design philosophy: timeless, clearly designed luminaires with highly intelligent lighting technology.” With his designs for JOKER, Reutter followed three guiding principles: Light is simple. Light is personalized and serves people. And the luminaire fits in harmoniously with the architecture and the space.

The designer got his inspiration for the surface light from infinity pools — swimming pools in which the water appears to be contained without a visible barrier. The implementation was successful: when the luminaire is on, the view is of a free-floating, homogeneous light area. The frame of the light guide made from ACRYLITE is barely visible and no light emission is visible from the side.

This innovation is the result of the high demands Regent Lighting places on light design, the development and processing skills of Jungbecker and the optical properties of the ACRYLITE molding compounds from Röhm. “It is crucial that the material absorbs as little light as possible. Highly transparent ACRYLITE is ideally suited here,” said Fabian Bürkli, project manager for research and development at Jungbecker.

“With a light transmittance higher than 92 percent, ACRYLITE is one of the most transparent materials,” described Dr. René Kogler, head of product management for lighting, extrusion, optics at Röhm. “The transparency is only reduced by the physically induced reflection loss of four percent each on the light entry and exit surfaces. This is why our ACRYLITE molding compounds are in high demand as a material for high-performance optics.”

The optics for JOKER are produced in a special production process. In the first process step, the ACRYLITE molding compound is made into a v-shaped blank with small cones at the thicker end, the optical couplings for the LEDs. In the second step, extremely fine microstructures are stamped into the light guide in a hot-stamping process.

Desk space
© Regent Lighting
© Regent Lighting
“Our years of experience with the hot stamping technology allow us to precisely control the point and angles at which light is emitted by the component,” explained Bürkli. Despite this expertise, the extraordinary complexity of the light guide for JOKER presented an extreme challenge, as the goal was for the asymmetric light distribution to illuminate as much of the work surface as possible without causing glare. “Together with Regent Lighting, we tested the boundaries of what is possible,” he stated. Reutter emphasized: “I knew that it was theoretically possible to achieve this degree of precision, but it is fantastic when everything works in reality as well as in planning. And this is also due to ACRYLITE, as it has excellent optical values and can be processed very precisely.”
WARDJet X-Series Waterjet
WARDJet X-Series Waterjet featured in Netflix show
The X-Series waterjet from WARDJet Tailored Waterjet Solutions is featured in the third season of the Netflix show “Car Masters: Rust to Riches.” The first season had 8 million viewers and was on the top 10 list for “most binge-watched shows.”
Car Masters is a reality show that follows a team of car experts as they convert old cars and trucks into custom-built products for customers. From speed racers to smart cars to fire-truck hot rods, the crew has transformed vehicles into cool creations.

The X-Series is a purpose-built machine that increases productivity for a range of applications. It can be configured with multiple head/tool options, and its tanks feature internal channel and upright supports. With 1/4″ steel as standard (compared to 1/8″ or smaller in some competition) the X-Series provides heavy-duty construction and a drive system designed for long-term ownership.

Braskem partnership for sustainable undergarments
Braskem announced a partnership with Gelmart International, a global manufacturer of intimate apparel. Braskem is supplying its I’m greenTM EVA biopolymer for a plant-based bra cup sourced from sustainably grown sugarcane. Gelmart’s kindly line of sustainable intimate apparel launched in August; it is available in 3,300 Walmart retail stores and online.

Gelmart has designed, developed and produced more than 1.25 billion units in underwear, bras and shapewear for the world’s biggest retailers and brands. Gelmart’s kindly bra line is the culmination of more than three years of development, resulting in the world’s first mass-produced, plant-based bra. The kindly product line aims to connect the worlds of sustainability, accessibility and innovation by incorporating more environmentally friendly materials such as Braskem’s I’m green EVA biopolymer, replacing the use of traditional foam materials.

Edison Terra, executive vice president of Braskem, commented, “As a global leader in bio-polymers, Braskem has a long-standing commitment to creating a more sustainable future. Our innovative portfolio of I’m green plant-based materials is helping global consumer brands and manufacturers transition from legacy fossil fuels based raw materials to more eco-friendly solutions. We couldn’t be more excited to announce our partnership with Gelmart. Their visionary leadership is helping transform the world’s apparel industry with creative new offerings that bring the same high-quality and comfort, but also deliver a more sustainable footprint on the planet.”

Gelmart International CEO Yossi Nasser stated, “We’re thrilled to bring the world’s first plant-based bra cup to market, but real sustainability does not exist without accessibility. It’s important to us that our brands are known not only for quality products, but more for creating a movement toward a more eco-friendly and attainable lifestyle for all. Finding the right partner to provide the high-quality eco-friendly materials at scale was an essential factor in our strategy. Braskem was the natural choice for us as a leading supplier of biopolymers, their deep expertise in Green EVA and their collaborative approach were a perfect fit.”

Braskem’s I’m green bio-based EVA is sustainably produced from sugarcane, a renewable source that contributes to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by CO2 capture. It is suitable for use in apparel, footwear, children’s toys, general foams and more.

Giancarlos Delevati, account manager and business development of Braskem, commented, “Today’s consumer is taking a more holistic approach when making their purchasing decision and this increasingly calls for selecting products that are developed and produced with a focus on sustainability as a primary consideration. At Braskem, we partner with our customers to help them make the transition from legacy materials to more environmentally friendly materials. We are proud to work with Gelmart to help move the apparel industry forward on its sustainability journey and deliver products that meet the needs of their customers who are passionate about creating a better future for the planet.”

Eve Bastug, chief product officer of Gelmart International, stated, “In my 40-plus years working in the industry, this was the most challenging project I’ve worked on — and it certainly feels the most rewarding. It took us three years to work toward a sustainable cup that is more than 80 percent plant-based. Our goal is to never make consumers choose between function, plant and price, by creating a more sustainable future with beautifully crafted products that people can feel good about wearing.”

Colorado Plastic Products helps those in wheelchairs bowl again
How can bowling enthusiasts who are wheelchair-bound continue to enjoy the activity? With a parabolic ramp, of course.

Curt Wolff of the American Wheelchair Bowling Association (AWBA) came to Colorado Plastic Products with a challenge: he had an old parabolic ramp made from 1/2″ polycarbonate and was looking for something newer and more affordable so more wheelchair bowlers can get back out on the lanes.

Charlie Waychoff at Colorado Plastic Products looked into replacing the old ramp with another one made out of polycarbonate, but they worried about the cost. Believing in the project and that there was an interest in such a device, he looked for another material. According to Waychoff, “I suggested Densetec Play from Polymer Industries. I knew that it machines well so the labor costs on our CNC wouldn’t be high and any hand fabrication needed would also be easily doable. Secondly, Densetec Play comes in a wide variety of colors and we thought that would make these look really cool. With it, people can personalize the ramps based on their color preferences. Since these will be moved around, taken down and put back together a lot we also liked that Densetec Play comes with an orange peel texture on both sides, which we’ve seen hide a lot of scratches that will inevitably develop over years of bowling. We just finished our first set of eight ramps (16 parts) and we’re excited to see where this goes.” Each ramp consists of two ramp portions of HDPE on each outer side, cradling the ball. The two ramps are then joined with brackets.
Man on wheelchairs bowl
Wollf said, “This invention has been huge in eliminating many of the barriers for any power wheelchair user who wants to enjoy bowling. The challenge was creating a parabolic shape that would withstand the torque created at the bottom of the ramp when the bowling ball accelerates down the ramp while still being light weight, durable and affordable. This ramp is now the only one certified by the United States Bowling Congress (USBC), AWBA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC has approved the use of this ramp in the 2026 Paralympic Games.”
Arkema and Polymem win award for ultrafiltration membranes
Arkema and Polymem received the American Chemical Society (ACS) Team Innovation Award for ultrafiltration membranes made from Kynar® PVDF resins. This development is the result of joint teamwork at Arkema’s French and American research centers together with complementary application research by Polymem. The new membranes are currently showcased in the wastewater treatment plant at Toulouse Metropole (France).

The new generation of ultrafiltration membranes is produced by Polymem, a French manufacturer of modules for water filtration, and made from Kynar PVDF resin. The material demonstrates long-term resistance to oxidants and mechanical strength in a microporous structure. The water to be treated passes through the microporous fibers, like hollow spaghetti less than one millimeter in diameter, to be ultra-filtered with the scale of the pores in the 10-20 nanometers range. Repeated, long-term cleanability is a key feature of these membranes. Due to the long-lasting hydrophilic property of the membranes, filtration throughput is high while cleaning frequency is between 20-30 percent lower than with other polymer materials.

“Working hand-in-hand with Polymem and downstream users enables us to move faster and to accomplish far greater results than simply working alone. It is an outstanding example of a market driven solution,” said David Silagy, general manager for fluoropolymers at Arkema.

“It is an extremely safe system. After passing through the membranes, all suspended solids and any elements in the order of 15 nm including bacteria and viruses are eliminated. The system thus perfectly fulfills its role regarding everything that is pathogenic, offering the best guarantees to prevent issues of quality non-conformity,” stated Julie Ducrot, process and water treatment engineer at the Toulouse Métropole Cycle de l’Eau Department. “The treated wastewater we obtain is top quality that is suitable for its intended use, namely currently just the watering of green spaces (within the facility as well as the nearby golf course).”

The reuse of treated wastewater is strongly encouraged by public policies in France, in that it helps adapt the country to climate change. The goal is to reduce the pressure on water resources, but also to reduce the products needed for treatment and the energy cost in comparison with other technologies.

AGRU HDPE pipe supports trunk sewer upgrades
In 2018, the city of Mobile, AL, USA began a project to upgrade an existing 36″ and 42″ trunk sewer into a new 11,000-foot, 60″ diameter gravity trunk sewer main. The upgrade involved a segment of the pipe that starts on the south side of Three Mile Creek before crossing over and ending at a Severe Weather Attenuation Tank. The upgrade was important to provide the needed transmission and storage capacity to reduce the occurrence of sanitary sewer overflows during rain events.

One of the main design challenges with this project was determining the constructability of the proposed upgrades due to the size of the pipe and structures. In the areas where the pipe would be installed, there were site constraints that limited the length of pipe that could be installed as well as the available working space required for installation.

To overcome installation constraints, engineers used two sizes of AGRU HDPE pipe, which provided enough flexibility to allow the contractor to complete the installation while also managing the site constraints. Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) was used as the installation method.

Additionally, because some segments of the existing system could not be increased in diameter, the engineer designed a solution that utilized sections of 48″ and 63″ diameter pipes in SDR 11.

The project’s construction is ongoing, but the contractor has been able to successfully install the pipes without issue. Furthermore, the engineering team’s choice of piping product and installation approach have already provided significant time savings as the alternative would have been tunneling under the creek. Once completed, this project will become the largest OD HDPE HDD project in North America.