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We look at the effects the pandemic year 2020 has had on the polyurethanes industry, its suppliers and customers and the conference and fair schedules.

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„Enjoy reading!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Thomas Seul, Stefan Roth, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich, Germany, 2020, 216 p., hardcover, EUR 99,99, ISBN 978-3-446-45553-5 (hard copy) / EUR 79,99, ISBN 978-3-446-44964-0 (E-book)

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Perception of a material beyond technical data sheets - Enjoy reading Roberto Mariotti’s (Francesco Franceschetti Elastomeri) article about the five senses of thermoplastic elastomers.

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In this issue we report on Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam study on consumer preference for mattresses with CertiPUR-US-certified foam. Renuva Mattress Recycling Project by Dow First long wind turbine blades that are made entirely of PU (Covestro) Processing additives for polyurethane applications (Repi)

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Have a look at a testing solution that allows the study of crack growth in elastomer compounds (Metravib), and a study to identify a safe replacement for bis-DMTD as a curing agent (MLPC). Read how mold design and injection concept for LSR injection molding can be optimized by modern simulation techniques (Sigma Engineering), and learn more about a novel process to 3D print latex rubber, developed by researchers at Virginia Tech.

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Read in our June issue what thermoplastic elastomers can do to improve people’s everyday life in these difficult times.  We dedicate a ten-page special to TPEs supporting the fight against COVID-19.

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