TPE Magazine international

March now or swim later?

We have all heard about the movement ‘Fridays for Future’ – school students skipping school, demonstrating each Friday for a future without climate change and as they say “March now or swim later!” They are fighting for a right to live in a world without further global temperature rise and its subsequent catastrophic consequences.

The students want us, the older generation, to panic now, and to do something quick and radical about this issue. They want governments to do their job and act, rather than go round in circles. But should they really rely on politicians of our generation to fix the situation?

Recent events do not encourage this trust. Be it the US government and last winter’s month-long budget stalemate and shutdown due to disagreement on ‘Trump’s Wall’, or the U.K.’s catastrophe in slow-motion called Brexit that we are witnessing at the moment.

Politicians apparently imagine any deadline can be extended indefinitely with only limited risk. Is this wise for climate change or are the students right to panic now?

Politicians clearly do not understand the principle of a hysteresis. Change may be slow at the moment, but may accelerate with cascading effects. It won’t be easy to return to the present climate, if we miss this deadline.

But are any of us good about deadlines? In the immortal words of the late Douglas Adams: “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

Let’s impress our kids and not whoosh on this one.


Isabella Kappner


Smithers Rapra research sees market trends driving increased demand for TPEs to 2024 – Dynamics of a growing TPE market

The thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) market is set to grow faster over the coming five years than in recent history, rising from 4.76 million tonnes in 2019 to 6.42 million tonnes in 2024, according to new research from Smithers Rapra. The global TPE market is forecast to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.2 % from 2019 to 2024, according to the report. This is up from a 5.8 % recorded for 2014 – 18. Significant demand in the automotive industry, aligned in part to the meteoric rise of the electric vehicles market, is key to this impressive growth. Meanwhile growing consumerism in parts of Asia – in particular China, but also the likes of Indonesia and Malaysia – is also going to be a driving force for the TPEs market over this forecast period. Some of the key findings of the new report are summarised in this article.


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A year of consolidation for Italian manufacturers of plastics and rubber processing machinery

Amaplast has completed its year-end balance sheet for 2018, incorporating foreign trade data from ISTAT (Italian Institute of Statistics), about the Italian market of machinery, equipment and moulds for plastics and rubber.


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Global TPU market expected to grow by 5.2 % annually – IAL publishes 6th edition of TPU market study

Amaplast has completed its year-end balance sheet for 2018, incorporating foreign trade da IAL Consultants has recently published the 6th edition of its report “Global Overview of the Thermoplastic Polyurethane Market. This report examines the national, regional and global markets for thermoplastic polyurethanes for 2018. It explores the market trends driving TPU production and subsequent demand, provides an indication of raw material consumption, and also presents future growth opportunities in the TPU market. Five-year market forecasts to 2023 are also included. The main findings with special focus on the APAC region are summarised below. 


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TPE-Forum: From the meeting at the Leibniz-Institute for Polymer Research in Dresden

The last plenary meeting of the TPE-Forum network took place on 13 February 2019 at the Leibniz-Institute for Polymer Research, Dresden, Germany. The agenda included among others a look at the status in standardisation of TPE, the position of TPE in the CAMPUS database, TPE in drinking water applications, an update on TPE-related activities in education and training of the network partners SKZ, VDI, and WDK, as well as the introduction of a new book project covering TPE basics. The day was filled with fruitful and constructive discussions and was rounded up with a highly interesting tour through some of the technical centers of the IPF (Departments of Processing, Reactive Processing and Elastomers).


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Arburg Technology Days 2019 Focus on digitalisation

More than 6,000 visitors from 54 countries have joined the event at Arbgurg’s headquarters in Lossburg, between 13 and 16 March 2019. More than 50 machine exhibits and turnkey systems, the Efficiency Arena and a special service presentation were showcased. Highlights included the “AM Factory” and the “arburgXworld” customer portal. Expert presentations on current trends as well as guided tours of the operating factory rounded off the programme.


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New aspects on thermoplastic elastomers

Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) are elastomeric materials based on a co-polymer with a crystalline or amorphous solid phase and a flexible soft phase or an olefinic polymer compound of a rigid and an elastomeric polymer. When characterizing TPE the elasticity seems to be a self-evident aspect. In this study we present a basic approach to learn more about the elastomeric behaviour of TPE. Furthermore we look at the ­current ISO nomenclature of TPE and identify optimization potential. 


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Keeping emission and odor under control – Thermoplastic elastomers for automotive interior applications

Sensitivity to emissions in automotive interiors has been a topic since the early 1980s. This was in particular caused by the formation of undesired condensation on the inside of windshields of new vehicles. As a result, the focus was initially on achieving specific fogging values. The requirements for interior components have been extended and have become more sophisticated over the years. Various analytical test standards were gradually developed to ensure compliance with emission standards. Odor has become a more critical issue for both automotive manufacturers and consumers. The general opinion on regional differences relating to the issue of odor that has been expressed during conferences and meetings coincides with Kraiburg TPE’s internal experiences: While odor, or rather the requirement to have no odor, has top priority in Asia, in Europe the focus is primarily on single substances and total emissions inside motor vehicles‘ cabins. In North America, the debate about odor and emission is led with lower dynamism. Due to the material properties of thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs), a wide variety of potential applications and cost-effective processing, these materials have developed rapidly since the 1990s. This is reflected in a large number of applications including components for automotive interiors. As a consequence, it was important for Kraiburg TPE to be able to meet the requirements of automotive manufacturers. A project was started more than three years ago to acquire comprehensive knowledge about emission and odor values of materials for automotive interiors and gain a thorough understanding of their influencing factors. The following paper summarizes results of this project (fig. 1).


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Filler interaction in thermoplastic elastomer composites

Multiphase block copolymer thermoplastic elastomers can be considered to be filled elastic networks. The stress-strain behavior of such polymers can be described using the Guth-Gold equation relating the moduli to the hydrodynamic effects of the hard blocks that serve as physical crosslinks as well as filler nanoparticles. Block copolymers with sufficiently high molecular weight can be further reinforced with fillers. These composites are more complex due to the presence of these two different filler particles. Depending on the polymer-filler interaction, the additional filler may preferentially segregate into the discreet or continuous phase. This paper will investigate filler interaction in poly(styrene-b-isobutylene-b-styrene) (SIBS) based composites using the Guth-Gold equation.


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Sustainable pathway to plastic waste management – Safe incineration and energy extraction

Plastics are to be characterized as solid fuels, derived from combustible materials. The most logical procedure of their ultimate disposal should be by incineration in closed systems. In this process, it should be possible to generate useful energy as well. For a safe, environmentally friendly (generation of less pollutants, especially nitrogen oxides) and an efficient energy extraction during waste incineration, the combustion process needs to be conducted under controlled conditions, preferably at low temperatures. MCA Technologies GmbH in Switzerland has developed an environmentally friendly technology, which on one hand imparts a sustainable safety to plastics in the event of fire during their use, and on the other hand, ultimately enables their environmentally friendly disposal as waste, and thereby simultaneous generation of usable energy. The technology is also intended to safeguard against open waste burning of plastics practiced in many countries.


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