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16. June 2020

TPE Magazine issue 02/2020 is out now!

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.

Bob Eller shares comments on automotive TPE opportunities in times of recession. Lara Dammer, nova Institute, takes a look at the current EU plastics strategy. Philippe Olier, Vencorex, presents a sustainable building block for TPUs and Felicia Bokel, BASF, explains us why TPUs can be a compelling choice as an active layer in dielectric elastomers.

TPE goes online – We talk about the new and exciting online concept of the TPE conference of the German Plastics Center (SKZ). Short monthly sessions with technical presentations and a bunch of opportunities for networking!
Start: 23 June 2020. Don’t miss it!

 Technical articles

  • The EU circular economy package and plastics strategy. An overview and what they mean for bio-based plastics
    L. Dammer, M. Carus, nova Institute
    Very few policy initiatives in the last few years have received as much public attention as the recently adopted Single-Use Plastics Directive – also known as the single-use plastics ban. This legal act, however, is only one piece of the puzzle with which the European Union is attempting to curb plastic littering and transform the European economy into a circular one. The article gives an overview on the EU circular economy package and plastics strategy and explains what they mean for bio-based plastics.
  • TPE opportunities in a recessionary shifting automotive interior environment
    B. Eller, Eller Associates
    Recessionary conditions will affect both the supply and demand sides of the auto sector and disrupt/reconfigure the auto interior supply chain. The composition of auto sales is changing. Some segments (e.g. compact utility vehicles, CUVs) are becoming saturated, EVs and hybrids will show strong gains in market share, especially in North America.
  • Soft dielectric elastomers
    F. Bokel, BASF
    Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) are a promising class of materials for dielectric elastomer applications and have excellent processability and recyclability. These materials encompass a wide range of polymeric families including thermoplastic-based polyolefins (TPO) polystyrenes (TPS), amides (TPA), copolyesters (TPC), and vulcanizates (TPV). They have a broad range of operating temperature and can often replace conventional crosslinked rubber for applications falling in this range. Service or operating temperatures can range from very cold to very warm conditions, making TPEs suitable for the demands of outdoor applications or exposure to frequent fluctuations in temperature. Furthermore, good flexibility and mechanical properties allow for large reversible deformations and creep-resistant behavior.
  • One of a kind in the polyurethane toolbox
    P. Olier, M. Aungsukiatethavorn, Vencorex
    A new bifunctional polymeric diisocyanate (BPI) has been recently launched on the market that is based on renewable carbon and is characterized by very low viscosity (150 mPa·s at 25 °C). Studies have shown that BPI is of interest not only in solvent free or low solid system but also as a building block for the polyurethane chemistry. The synthesis of thermoplastic urethane (TPU) and polyurethane dispersions (PUD) have been achieved, showing that BPI can improve the flexibility of the final material.

Technical reports

  • 3D printing of super-soft TPEs
    Additive manufacturing is making giant strides in changing the world of the manufacturing industry. What once was limited to prototypes is today more and more often being used for smaller quantities and spare parts, in particular. Thanks to the relatively straightforward and tool-free equipment of the devices, even sophisticated parts can be printed quickly and in the very place where they are needed. The technology provides enormous potential for significant savings of time, work and costs. 3D printing of soft materials is still a challenge, however market opportunities for 3D printed soft parts are immense.
  • Effects of the Corona pandemic on the automotive markets. Scenarios for the core markets Europe, China and USA
    The Center of Automotive Management (CAM) at University of Applied Sciences of Economy (Fachhochschule der Wirtschaft – FHDW) in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, has been analysing the performance of global automotive manufacturers since 2004. Based on annual reports as well as market and innovation indicators, the financial and market-based performance levels of the automotive manufacturers are analysed and released in the regularly published AutomotivePerformance Reports. The report presents some key statements of CAM’s current industry study “Automotive Performance Report 2020”.
  • Recycling in the German rubber industry. wdk brochure “Moving in Circles” describes national recycling management system for rubbers and elastomers
    The German Rubber Manufacturers Association (wdk) has published a brochure on recycling under the title “Moving in Circles”. The brochure describes the national recycling management system for rubber and elastomers and quantifies for the first time the corresponding material flows.
  • New technology uses radio frequency instead of steam to sinter foam beads for packaging, construction or vehicles. Fraunhofer ICT is extending research in the field of foaming technologies
    Foams produced by moulding are used for example in packaging for electrical appliances, bicycle and motorcycle helmets, armrests in cars and many other applications. In the production process, foamed plastic beads are sintered using steam in order to form components. The choice of materials is therefore limited to those that can be joined within the temperature and pressure range of classic steam moulding processes (between 1 – 8 bar), for example polystyrene (PS), polypropylene (PP) or thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).

Further information about the new issue at https://www.gupta-verlag.com/magazines/tpe-magazine-international/02-2020.

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