TPE Magazine international

Issue 01 | 2018

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Editorial
3
Lightweight construction is boring!

“Lightweight construction is boring!” Despite its immense explosiveness, this incredibly heretical statement was almost unheard of at a press conference on the fringes of an established automotive industry meeting in Germany. Actually, it’s surprising, since this statement came not just from anybody, but from a very well-known German automobile expert.

Prof. Ferdinand Dudenhöffer knows what he is talking about. A few weeks earlier, his institute, the CAR (Center of Automotive Research), had carried out a series of quite simple driving tests. Two electric cars, the BMW i3 compact car and the Tesla S sedan started the race. Both vehicles were tried several times on a 100 km test track. The energy consumption in the empty state, with only the driver on board, was analysed and with additional weight loads of 100, 200 and 300 kg each – these were gravel-filled bags. The result was surprising: the weight of the vehicle has hardly any effect on the range of electric cars.
“The Tesla needed 17.77 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity on the 100-km test track with the driver at the wheel (...). However, if you add 100 kg of gravel, the consumption even drops to a minimum of 17.67 kWh. With 300 kg of river pebbles, the Model S requires 17.87 kWh. At this point you are in the range of measuring tolerances; the maximum increase in consumption is 0.6 %.”* The CAR researchers explain the test result with recuperation, the energy recovery during braking. The recovered energy during the test in the empty i3 was 3.62 kWh, with an additional load of 300 kg the value was significantly higher at 4.17 kWh. This recuperation effect compensates for at least part of the excess consumption with additional weight. According to CAR, Tesla’s value was even higher than that of the small BMW.

Stop with the Carbon Credo?!

Has this heralded the end of the fasting period for the automotive industry? For years, the lightweight dogma for e-mobility was preached quasi ex cathedra everywhere, and OEMs invested millions in carbon technologies. These dietary cravings sometimes sprouted bizarre blossoms when plastic manufacturers boasted that their polymer solutions for metal substitution had a major impact on the development of e‑mobility and they considered themselves not too good for claiming weight savings of components in the low double-digit gram range as milestones.

There is no doubt that there is still a whole series of mobility concepts in which the subject of lightweight construction should be given top priority. But at least in electro mobility a paradigm shift is on the horizon.

Lighter = faster? Wrong again!

Are you at least faster if you are out and about as a light-weight? Not always! This is for example not the case if you are sitting in a glider and want to take part in a competition. Then you should fill the tanks in the ultra-light carbon fibre wings with water to optimize the gliding characteristics for higher speed.

While I am writing this, a mechanical wall clock is ticking quietly in the background. The beautiful piece based on a kit is still in the adjustment phase. And what should I tell you? If you want to accelerate the course of the clock, because it is slow, you have to... yes, quite right! place additional weight on the middle of the pendulum.

Kind regards
Stephanie Waschbüsch
s.waschbuesch@gupta-verlag.de

* Welt am Sonntag, 49, 3 December 2017


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Report
16
Global automotive market slows down in 2018 – Diesel burdens Europe

Worldwide sales by car manufacturers will increase by 2.2 % to 87.3 million passenger cars in 2018. Growth in the global automotive market will thus continue to slow down, although the global economy will grow at a faster rate of 3.7 % in 2018 than in previous years, according to the latest forecasts of the OECD (Economic Outlook, Nov. 2017). The reasons for the divergent growth rates between the global economy (gross national product GDP) and the global automotive market are largely due to regional factors. New vehicles and product innovations will not trigger any extraordinary increases in demand on the global automotive market in 2018. In addition, a “manageable” range of Euro 6d diesel models is slowing Europe down. Today’s Euro 6 models are loaded with high NOx emissions during normal operation and are therefore left out of the equation by buyers in 2018. Once again, German premium manufacturers are stronger developing than the world market. Worldwide sales of Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche are estimated to ­increase by 4.5 % in 2018, while the global passenger car market will only grow by 2.2 %.


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20
E-mobility: Annual balance 2017 of sales trends in important global automotive markets – Germany doubles market share of electric vehicles

The Center of Automotive Management (CAM) at the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch Gladbach (FHDW) regularly analyses the sales developments and trends in the field of electro mobility in key automotive markets as well as innovations of car manufacturers. Since 2005, the CAM examines sales trends and overall conditions in relevant countries as well as technological innovations of more than 30 car groups. Over 10,000 innovations are currently inventoried in the CAM “Inno-database”. Each individual innovation is systematically evaluated and weighted according to the M.O.B.IL approach (maturity level, originality, benefit for customer, innovation level). The innovation strength of an automobile manufacturer is calculated from the sum of the weighted innovations. The following report presents the results of a CAM study that analysed the current market trends and product strategies of global automakers in the period from January to December 2017.


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23
Focus on low VOC/FOG materials – How TPEs can support vehicle interior air quality requirements

Current trends in automotive interior design and manufacturing have prompted a need for versatile material solutions that will help meet high consumer expectations for quality and innovation. Details like color, surface appearance, and tactile qualities can help manufacturers win over the consumer. And TPEs can help them achieve these differentiating features in their designs. Known for their flexibility, durability, abrasion and scratch resistance, and even UV-stable properties, TPEs are a perfect fit for automotive interiors.


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30
UV-stable and scratch resistant TPVs for automotive slip coat applications

Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) combine elastic properties of rubber and process properties of thermoplastic elastomers. One type of thermoplastic elastomers, the thermoplastic rubber vulcanisates (TPV) consist of a blend of a thermoplastic material and a crosslinked rubber phase. These materials are widely used in automotive industry. 


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32
Customized hard and soft polymer solutions for automotive interior and exterior

Polymer materials from Bada AG today find many applications in the automotive ­sector. This article gives an overview of their properties and applications with special focus on Bada’s thermoplastic elastomer materials.


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35
The global market for thermoplastic copolyester elastomers

Thermoplastic copolyester elastomers (TPC) are a class of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) that combine many of the properties of both thermoplastics and rubbers. ­Together with thermoplastic polyamides (TPA) they form the group of high performance thermoplastic elastomers [1]. The following report is based on a recent market study by IHS and summarizes some current market trends for TPCs.


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36
The Italian market for plastics and rubber machinery, equipment and moulds – Brilliant full-year forecast

The Italian Plastics and Rubber Processing Machinery and Moulds Manufacturers ­Association (Amaplast) has issued its annual market analysis and forecast. The industry association sees a positive trend that continues unabated in the Italian import-export market for plastics and rubber processing machinery, equipment and moulds.


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38
Turning cables inside out! – Flame-retardant TPEs with excellent adhesion and sealing properties in clever cable entry system “Made in Germany”

The worldwide cables and connectors market is expected to reach USD 125.3 billion by 2022, registering a CAGR of 11.1 % from 2016 – 2022*. In this huge globalised market the medium-sized, family run connection technology manufacturer Conta-Clip Verbindungstechnik offers clever and innovative technology solutions for a broad range of applications. The latest addition to the portfolio is KDSClick, an extremely flexible cable entry system that comprises inlays and various seal elements manufactured using TPEs from Kraiburg TPE. The Bavarian TPE specialist developed halogen-free flame retardant materials in accordance with UL94 and with VO rating.


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46
Coextrusion of a TPU catheter with active pharma ingredients – Demonstration of Conair, Davis Standard, Zumbach, and Leistritz at MD&M West 2018

Conair Group has teamed up with Davis Standard and Zumbach Electronics to coextrude a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) catheter tube at the MD&M West 2018 trade show (6 – 8 February 2018, Anaheim, CA, USA), demonstrating how active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) can be incorporated in a thin layer on the outside of the TPU tube. Typical applications could include the addition of an antimicrobial outer layer to prevent formation of biofilm that can cause infection, or an anticoagulant to avoid catheter thrombosis.


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55
Smithers Rapra TPE and Silicone Elastomers World Summits – Co-located events creating considerable synergies for attendees

Smithers Rapra’s Elastomer World Summits includes two conferences under one roof, the Silicone Elastomers and the Thermoplastic Elastomers World Summits. Attendees register for one of the conferences, but can freely switch from one conference to the other. This makes this unique conference concept particularly valuable for converters to get up-to-date technical information about both material groups and the main suppliers. After several extremely successful editions Smithers Rapra organised two elastomer summits in 2017: the US summit from 27-28 June 2017 in Philadelphia and the world Summit from 28-29 November 2017 in Munich. Both events were rounded up by useful and informative industry exhibitions. On the following pages we summarize the presentations from both conferences.  


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Article
24
Ageing aspects of TPE materials for exterior and under the hood applications

Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) are gaining increasing interest in the automotive and transportation industry, e. g. as economic ­replacement for standard rubber materials [1]. Automotive applications are generally very complex. Applications often require a combination of mechanical performance and good ageing resistance of the incumbent TPE material. For example, under the hood (UTH) applications typically ask for high heat resistance as well as good chemical and hydrolysis resistance. On the other hand, most exterior parts require good chemical as well as very good weathering resistance e.g. strong hydrolysis stability as well as good UV and ozone resistance (fig. 1). This article gives an overview on the TPE portfolio of Albis Plastic for automotive exterior and UTH applications.


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40
Bio-based monomers for sustainable TPE compounds – Kuraray expands portfolio with Septon Bio HSFC

In cooperation with Amyris, Kuraray has developed an easy-to-process special ­copolymer with a bio-based monomer as its raw material. The hydrogenated styrene farnesene block copolymer (HSFC) called Septon Bio series is the outcome of a collaboration between specialty chemicals producer Kuraray and bioscience company Amyris. Septon Bio series can be used in a multitude of applications, needs only small quantities of plasticizer, and is particularly easy to process thanks to its distinct properties.


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43
Material gap closed – Thermoplastic polyurethanes for 3D printing

Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), with its special position between elastomers and thermoplastics, also has great application potential in 3D printing. This applies in particular to Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), High Speed Sintering (HSS) and the Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) process, which, like other additive manufacturing processes, are on the threshold of industrial mass production, above all of complex and individualized components. 


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48
Ultra high molecular weight Nordel EPDM for TPV enabled by Advanced Molecular Catalyst technology

Ethylene-propylene-diene terpolymer (EPDM) are the most widely used elastomers in the manufacturing of thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPV). The majority of EPDM rubber used in TPV are produced with traditional Ziegler-Natta/Vanadium (ZN) catalyst and process technology. In recent decades, metallocene catalyst technologies have increased the efficiency of production and quality of EPDM materials. For the next generation, Dow introduces its Advanced Molecular Catalyst (AMC) technology that further expands the molecular capability to produce new EPDMs for the production of TPV. The molecular features such as ethylene content, diene content, molecular weight, and the respective distributions of an EPDM have significant influence on the morphology and physical properties of TPVs. Dow’s advanced molecular catalyst and process technology advancements enable a ultra-high molecular weight, highly tailored EPDM Nordel XUS 51111 to impart easy phase inversion and superior physical properties to TPV products that could meet the growing demands of the industry. 


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More issues in the archive 2018

More TPE Magazine international issues can be found in the archive