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Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association

Welcome to the Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association

Welcome to the Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association, an independent society catering for the needs of individual professional members and Corporate Member companies and organisations.

The primary aim of the SPRA is ‘to promote the advancement of plastics, rubbers and related materials through education and training in the science, engineering and design associated with the manufacture, conversion and end-use of polymeric materials’.

The SPRA provides a forum for the plastics, rubber and general polymer community in Scotland through the provision of technical meetings, support for polymer education and social activities.

This website contains extensive technical information in the archived reports on Materials, Processes, Design, Applications, Environment and Business Issues

Students and teachers will find relevant information in the Education pages.

Details of forthcoming technical meetings, seminars and social events can be found in the Events Diary.

Information on suppliers of materials, machinery products, and services can be found in the Corporate Member pages and in the useful Links to websites, which also cover information sources, related organisations and education and training.

Latest News

3D Printing

Ralph McNeill, of 3D Print Works, gave an interesting presentation on Additive Manufacture at the March SPRA technical meeting.

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Inaugural meeting of BPF Education and Skills Committee

The meeting, attended by a wide range of plastics companies, training providers, Cogent and the Worshipful Company of Horners, confirmed its interest in all levels of education from primary school to degree level and formulated a plan to establish the training needs across the industry.

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SPRA Social Media

SPRA on Facebook and Twitter......

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The Future of Injection Moulding Technology

Peter Kirkham, MD of Billion UK, gave an in-depth comparison of drive systems for injection moulding machines, described two innovative processes, in mould assembly and anti-counterfeit technology, and introduced a new interactive animation software tool for training.

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Change of SPRA President

Due to pressure of work Kenneth McIntosh, Rosti UK, has tendered his resignation as SPRA President and David Barlow, Agilent Technologies, the current Vice-President has stepped up to the post.

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Big Expansion for Summit Systems Engineering

SPRA Corporate Member, Summit Systems, UK market leader for plastics ancillary equipment, is expanding its engineering team.

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Ferromatik UK and Hardie Polymers win prestigious Plastics Industry Awards

SPRA Corporate Members, Ferromatik UK and Hardie Polymers, were among the winners of the 2014 Plastics Industry Awards.

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Adhesives, Composites and Their Myriads of Uses

Barrie Hayes gave a wide-ranging presentation on the applications, advantages and properties of the many different types of adhesives and composites in use today.

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Dates Set for 2015 Polymer Study Tours

2015 dates have been set for this popular FREE 4 day residential CPD course for 11 to 19 teachers of Science and Design Technology.

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Congratulations to the Class of 2014

Edinburgh Napier University BEng Polymer Engineering graduates, 2014.

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Doctor of Philosophy for Taking the Rough with the Smooth

Study of mould surface effects leads to award of PhD.

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Interplas 2014

Several SPRA Corporate Members were exhibiting at Interplas 2014, held at the NEC, Birmingham from 30 September to 02 October 2014.

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World Premiere of a 16,400 Chihuahua, Environmental, Health and Safety Product

The first public unveiling by John McLoughlin of the all new Duradrain©, a plastic kerbstone with an integrated drainage channel manufactured from recycled polypropylene with crushed limestone as filler. But, where do the Chihuahuas come in?

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Fantastic Plastic 2014

Fantastic Plastic again proved to be a great success amongst school pupils and apprentices. An audience of 400 were enthralled by Professor Averil Macdonald’s presentation.

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The Chemistry Clinic

SMEs and larger companies can access facilities and expertise through the Chemistry Clinic in the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde, in tackling chemistry related problems.

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Marine Pollution: Plastics Pellets in the Firth of Forth

Plastics pellets continue to be washed up on the shores of the Firth of Forth. Cathy Sexton, Project Manager at FIDRA, looks at the problem from the perspective of an environmental group.

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SPRA Honorary Secretary Retires

Charlie Geddes, who has retired as SPRA Honorary Secretary after 14 years in the post, looks back at some of the SPRA achievements during that period.

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Chinaplas 2014, Shanghai

Chinaplas, Asia’s No. 1 Plastics and Rubber Trade Fair is rapidly catching up on K, the international Trade Fair held in Dusseldorf.

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SPRA 2014 AGM

The 2014 SPRA AGM recorded another successful year for the Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association.

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Moulding 4 Success

Andy Barnard, Solutions 4 Polymers Ltd, explained how real life injection moulding problems stem from poor practices and showed how to avoid common mistakes.

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SPRA Student Scholarship 2014

The winner of the SPRA 2014 Student Scholarship, an award sponsored by SPRA Corporate Member, Arburg, is Surya Prakash Vesavkar.

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Engineering Thermoplastic Blends

Andreas Vetter explained the rapidly expanding field of thermoplastic blends and how their combination of properties is being utilised in various applications.

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Flame Retardants for Thermoplastics

David Hall (Perrite Europe) outlined the role of flame retardant additives for thermoplastics, particularly in relation to regulations and fire testing.

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SPRA Dinner Dance 2014

The annual Dinner Dance for the Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association, the 40th time the polymer community has gathered for such an occasion, was held in the Crowne Plaza hotel in Glasgow on Friday 7 March 2014.

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Safeguarding Scotland’s Resources

To reduce the impact on the environment, Scotland is aiming to become more efficient in the use of energy, material and water, by improving recycling of materials and adopting the ‘Circular Economy’.

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Prototyping with MAKLab

Prototyping was the theme of the February SPRA technical meeting, with a description of, MAKLab, an open access workshop, a tour of the MAKLab facilities and a presentation on prototyping from Fearsomengine.

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7 Associations letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer

In November 2013 the British Plastics Federation (BPF) coordinated a letter from the ‘7 Associations Alliance’ to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne ahead of the Autumn Statement, encouraging action on several fronts.

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40 Years of EPS Moulding in Livingston Site

DS Smith Foam Products are celebrating 40 years of expanded polystyrene (EPS) production at their Scottish site in Livingston.

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RW Thomson Lecture 2013 - Inventors and Inventions in the World of Advanced Composites

Professor Geoff Gibson, who holds the Rowland Cookson Chair at Newcastle University, delivered the 2013 R W Thomson Lecture on Advanced Composites at Edinburgh Napier University.

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Advances in Moulding

The SPRA meeting sponsored by ARBURG Ltd, explored production efficiency in injection moulding and the new ARBURG Freeformer for additive manufacturing

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K2013 International Trade Fair and Exhibition for the Plastics and Rubber Industries

SPRA members give their perspectives on K2013, the world’s No 1 International Trade Fair for the Plastics and Rubber Industries, was held in Dusseldorf, Germany, from 16-23 October 2013

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British Plastics Federation 80th Anniversary Dinner

The 80th Anniversary Dinner of the British Plastics Federation attracted around 500 guests to an evening of awards and entertainment.

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Plastics Recycling in Scotland

The opening meeting of the SPRA 2013-14 programme, sponsored by SPRA Corporate Member, Avanti Scotland, consisted of a site visit to Avanti’s recycling facility at Alva followed by a presentation in Bridge of Allan.

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Fantastic Response to Fantastic Plastic 2013

The Schools Lecture ‘Fantastic Plastic’ attracted almost 2,300 pupils and teachers from 50 schools, with 8 performances at 6 venues across Scotland in the first week of September.

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Plastic Bag Tax Revisited

An attempt by the Scottish Government to introduce a levy on single use carrier bags, as part of its plans to Safeguard Scotland's Resources, is expected to have negligible effect on material resources, environmental impact and litter.

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SPRA's New President's Vision 2013-14

New SPRA President, Kenneth McIntosh, sets out his vision for the future of the SPRA

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Polymer Study Tour 2013

The intensive Polymer Study Tour, a residential course based at Edinburgh Napier University, once again proved a great hit for the teachers of science and design & technology.

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Polymer Graduates at Edinburgh Napier University

Congratulations to SPRA student members graduating from Edinburgh Napier University in June 2013

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From Concept to Commercialisation

Ralf Klinnert describes how he took his Funky Cones from an academic project to a commercial product to make physical exercise for children more fun.

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Chinaplas 2013

The increasing size of the exhibition demonstrates the continued growth of the Asian market and China’s appreciation of European machinery quality.

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BPF On-Line Training Platform

BPF has introduced two modules on energy in the plastics industry to its on-line training platform, BPF Training

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Polymer Process Special Interest Group

SPRA members from polymer processing companies participated in a Polymer Process Special Interest Group working party to discuss the challenges facing the sector.

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New Diploma in Manufacturing Polymer Technologies

SPRA Corporate Member, Solutions4Polymers, has teamed up with G&A Technologies to create a new vocational qualification, Diploma in Manufacturing Polymer Technologies

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Dream it, Design it, Mak it

The MAKLab facilities in Glasgow provide designers, entrepreneurs and companies with resources and advice to produce models and prototypes.

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The Internet of Everything

The 2013 Road Ahead Lecture, organised by Engineering Scotland, was delivered by Donald McLaughlin, Director of Cisco, who revealed how the internet of the future will transform our lives.

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Plastics: The Progressive Packaging Medium

BPF has produced a guide for public bodies to help their understanding of the benefits of plastics packaging.

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Lean Benchmarking at Rolls Royce

Three technicians from Rosti UK were invited to participating in a Lean Benchmarking event at Rolls Royce, Inchinnan.

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SPRA AGM 2013

Barry Coughlan, retiring SPRA President, reported another successful year for the SPRA.

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Improved Production Efficiency in Injection Moulding

David Raine, Sumitomo Demag, demonstrates how marginal gains in individual aspects of injection moulding technology can lead to significant improvement in production efficiency.

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Estimating Tool Costs for Injection Moulding

At last a simple, low-cost program that estimates the tooling costs for injection moulding.

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SPRA Student Scholarship Award

Nathan Minors, a design student at Edinburgh Napier University, wins the SPRA Scholarship, sponsored by ARBURG UK.

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Plastics Recycling

Under the general theme of ‘Plastics Recycling’ the March 2013 SPRA meeting addressed the topics of ‘Plastics Waste from the Marine Environment’, ‘Higher Specification Recyclate’ and ‘Energy from Waste’

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Stepping Beyond Conventional Design Guidelines

The February SPRA meeting, at Rosti UK Ltd at Larkhall, entitled ‘Beyond Conventional Practices for Injection Moulding’ was delivered by Eric Henry, Autodesk

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SPRA Dinner Dance 2013

The 2013 SPRA Dinner Dance was well attended and provided the table hosts and their guests with excellent food, good wine and great entertainment.

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SPRA Fellowship for Sheena Geddes

Mrs Sheena Geddes has been presented with an SPRA Fellowship for her outstanding contribution as SPRA Membership Secretary for the last 14 years.

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Glasgow University Industry Day 2013

The Industry Day organised to showcase research work of the College of Science and Technology at Glasgow University, provided delegates with an insight on innovative science and technology and opportunities for industry to engage with the university.

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Scottish Companies land top awards for the Polymer Apprentice of the Year 2012

Two Scottish plastics companies, Rosti UK Ltd and DS Smith Plastics Ltd, provided both the winner and the runner-up in the UK Polymer Apprentice of the Year competition for 2012, organised by Cogent Sector Skills Council and the Worshipful Company of Horners.

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Polypropylene: from Monomer to Market

Scott Jackson and Alan Sorrie of Ineos Olefins and Polymers describe the polypropylene supply chain, covering polymerisation, properties and applications.

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David E Bond MSc FIMMM (1936 – 2012)

A tribute to SPRA founder member, David Bond, a former lecturer in polymer technology at Edinburgh Napier University.

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Corporate Members

Events Diary

Natural Polymer Composites – the wood from the trees?

23 September 2015
Edinburgh Napier University, Merchiston Campus, 10 Colinton Road, Edinburgh EH10 5DT

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Chemistry Clinic

29 October 2015
University of Strathclyde

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Technical Info from SPRA

  • Materials Thermoplastics, Thermosets, Elastomers, Additives.
  • Processes Moulding, Extrusion, Thermoforming, Ancillaries.
  • Design Product, Mould, CAE, Testing.
  • Applications Healthcare, Packaging, Electronics, Other Markets.
  • Environment Waste, Recycling, Sustainability, Legislation, Energy.
  • Business Issues Network, Seminars, Competitiveness, Innovation, Regulation.