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Public dog parks promote a culture of rape of systematically oppressed dogs by their violent counterparts, in which the willingness of their masters to commit sexual violence is measurably reflected.
What? You didn’t know that?
Don’t worry about it. This was one of the theses with which Helen Pluckrose, James A. Lindsay and Peter Boghossian recently added an entertaining new chapter to the history of hoax in science. The trio wrote over 20 nonsensical pseudoscientific articles and submitted them to various scientific journals. Many of the articles were actually published. The editors even failed to notice that passages from Hitler’s Mein Kampf had been woven into a text with a feminist undercurrent.
However, to instrumentalise the successful action of Pluckrose and her comrades-in-arms and to question the entire research of identity politics and cultural studies at once is certainly also wrong, even if many questions within gender research may give me cause for bewildered shaking of the head.
With their prank, the three are in the good tradition of the physicist Alan Sokal, who in 1996 submitted an essay on the subject of “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity” to the cultural science journal Social Text, known for its poststructuralist orientation. The masterfully formulated, but nevertheless completely absurd opus was actually published and triggered a debate that has been fired up again and again since then about how to nobilitate bare nonsense by pouring it into a formally flawless language and placing it in an established journal. The dogma of infallibility that had been preached quasi ex cathedra by the exquisite circles of peer-reviewed journals to date was in any case severely shaken.
Fakes and fibs are omnipresent in our world. The reasons for this are many and varied: They range from the desire to hold up a mirror to a smug or ideologically blinded academic business to deliberate deceptions and lies. Sometimes, however, it is simply called marketing. A grandiose example of this was provided by the Moleskine company, which worked diligently on the legend that artists such as Hemingway or Picasso had already used the handy booklets with the characteristic rubber band and the proud price to scribble in their ideas. However, the company was founded in the middle of the 1990s only, when the two gentlemen had long since passed away. By the way, when the first Moleskine books were presented, the honourable Financial Times even fell for the legend.
But fake is also an inseparable part of our industry and is by no means an honourable business here. Plastics are used to imitate leather, wood or metal or to simulate the appearance of human skin (soft skin) – successful applications that contribute to making products light, user-friendly, recyclable and sustainable.
However, it is certainly a good idea not to take everything at face value and, in case of doubt, simply take a closer look.
By the way, my dog has never entered a public dog park.
According to the Italian plastics and rubber processing machinery and moulds manufacturers’ association Amaplast, based on foreign trade data published by the Istituto Nazionale di Statistica (ISTAT), Italian imports of plastics and rubber processing machinery racked up a 23 % increase in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017 – a clear contrast to the weak development of exports. Despite a decline of 7 %, the trade balance has remained positive by over EUR 1 billion. The growth in imports may be interpreted as renewed faith in the domestic market, mainly due to investment incentives that are likely to be renewed, said the association.
Overmolding is becoming increasingly popular with manufacturers. Nevertheless, creating optimal adhesion between a rigid thermoplastic and a TPE can be a real challenge. Focusing on support for customers, API, which was acquired by Trinseo in 2017, has built a Specialized Overmolding Center (SOC) for Research in Mussolente, Italy. The SOC is designed to measure adhesion between TPEs and rigid thermoplastics in accordance with VDI 2019 standards. Trinseo has also announced the introduction of four new TPE series with improved adhesion to polar thermoplastics.
“SenseSkin - Development of new materials for the realization of functional integrated soft-touch components in a single-stage injection moulding process” is the name of a new research project which recently has been started in Bavaria in Southern Germany. The project consortium is supported by the Bavarian Research Foundation. The aim of the project is to develop a novel soft-touch haptic for operating elements, especially in automotive interiors, over the next three years.
The German Rubber Conference in Nuremberg ran in July 2018 with a strong presence of thermoplastic elastomers. TPEs were visible almost everywhere at the fairground and in the conference. Sponsor and organiser of the established industry meeting was the German rubber association Deutsche Kautschuk-Gesellschaft e. V. (DKG), in cooperation with the Wirtschaftsverband der deutschen Kautschukindustrie e. V. (wdk) as the trade association of German rubber products producers.
High-performance extruders for the plastics and pharmaceuticals industries are what Leistritz Extrusionstechnik GmbH from Nuremberg, Germany, does best. With the ZSE Maxx series, the company has developed twin screw extruders, which simultaneously offer high torques and can process large volumes. For nearly two decades, Leistritz has also been using automation technology from Gefran S.p.a., Provaglio d’Iseo (BS), Italy, on its extruders.
For many years, manufacturers and processors of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE)
have been striving to shift the performance limits of these materials toward those of rubber materials. The desire for improved chemical resistance and higher temperature resistance plays a major role here. Kraiburg TPE has developed new thermoplastic elastomer hybrids (TEH) that further reduce the differences in performance between the world of TPE materials and rubber materials. The development of an innovative production technology has made access to TEHs possible.
Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) are a class of materials offering a recyclable alternative to thermoset rubbers in applications requiring rubber-like properties. However, the high cost of these engineered composites warrants the addition of fillers. One such filler, thermal carbon black, provides cost savings while also maintaining the inherent flexibility of the material. Thermal carbon black (N990) was added to eight high-performance TPEs, including three bio-based TPEs, at various levels up to 40 wt% with minimal viscosity increase. The composites maintained elongation as well as malleability at up to 20 % loading. These properties were observed to a lesser extent with furnace carbon black N762. Thermal carbon black N990 demonstrates a synergy with the TPE, improving mechanical properties while reducing total compound cost.
Hydrogenated styrenic block copolymers (HSBC) have been used in medical tubing for many years due to their high clarity, flexibility, kink resistance and toughness. They do not contain intentionally added phthalate- and BPA-based chemicals and can be sterilized with all common sterilization techniques, even at elevated temperatures. The latest polymer developments from Kraton demonstrate improved performance in critical application requirements such as solvent bonding, surface appearance and processing. Blends with polypropylene (PP) at different ratios can be extruded into medical tubing for IV systems, peristaltic pump systems, homecare equipment and other drug delivery systems, and they can be processed at lower temperatures, thus achieving several advantages.
Within this paper, the mechanical material behaviour of injection moulded thermoplastic elastomers is analysed and important influencing factors on the behaviour are identified. The results confirm that the hardness and the type of the processed material influence the mechanical properties longitudinal as well as transversal to the flow direction. Beside these investigations, the influence of temperature and stress state are analysed and show a crucial impact on stiffness and non-linear stress-stretch behaviour, residual deformation and reduction in stiffness after initial loading.