In this issue, we look at tyre recycling and the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in R&D and production. We have an interview with Anish K. Taneja, who was appointed President of wdk, the German Rubber Industry Association in November 2020 and market reports from Composites Germany, EuPC and Amaplast Materials discussed in this issue are LSR for marine underwater cables, urea-resistant EPDM gaskets and hoses, and butyl rubber.
What can you expect?
Technical articles:Bob Eller: TPE opportunities in future smart auto interiorsAs in other industries, TPEs have penetrated auto interiors via drop-in replacement in existing applications (instrument panel skins, body/glazing seals, door trim, etc). Looking forward, non-TPE developments in the form of devices for sending and receiving electronic signals accompanied by a shift to electric vehicles (EVs) and (eventually) autonomous vehicles (AVs) will drive TPE usage and profitability in auto interiors well beyond drop-in replacement.
We take a look at the development of electromobility in Germany, the German plastics and rubber machinery industry, the market for GRP and the results of the European Bioplastics’ annual market data update. Don’t miss out on our technical articles on the physical properties of a biomimetic synthetic rubber developed and the comparison of two highly efficient methods for sulfur curing.
The flexible foam polyurethane industry has been pummeled not only by Corona this year, but also by shortages of raw materials. We talked with some foam producers about their growing concerns and what they would like to see from raw material producers to reduce the risk of disruption.
Technical articles:Mocom, compounder of thermoplastic polymers and former division of Albis Plastic, addresses the worldwide trend to circular economy and sustainable plastic solutions by offering TPV products from recycled and partially biobased raw materials. Stefan Zepnik talks about properties and potential applications of these innovative materials.
Learn how natural rubber can be part of the climate change actions (IRSG, CIFOR/FTA, CIRAD) and how renewable carbon can become an alternative carbon source for the chemical and plastics industry. Read the summary of an independent academic study presented in August 2020 on Continental’s role in the Third Reich and how Fraunhofer LBF enables dynamic plastics testing even at low temperatures without thermal chamber. Find reports on the Virtual double event Foam Expo Connect and Adhesive & Bonding Expo Connect as well as the 30th International Colloquium Plastics Technology of the IKV, which was held as a virtual conference as well, and a Preview to Chinaplas 2021.
Occupational health and safety has long been an important topic in the PU industry. In the latest issue we report on Tank Farm Assessments (TFA), which have been developed for the polyurethane industry as part of a best-practice program by Isopa. Covestro offers this service to its customers, and we spoke to Thomas Gross (Covestro) and Eroll Shabi from Ventius International about their experiences.