Say HELLO to TPE MAGAZINE 01/2021!
What can you expect?
Bob Eller: TPE opportunities in future smart auto interiors
As 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.
Matthias Hübner: Tailored colour masterbatches for high-quality TPE tints. Applications and benefits of Caparol NEFA MB masterbatches for thermoplastic elastomers – part 2
Dispersive and distributive mixing processes are major elements in the manufacture of thermoplastic masterbatches and compounds. Continuously working twin screw extruders and kneader systems are mainly used for compounding. A crucial restriction of these mixing devices is the limited dwell time of the components to be mixed. Caparol Industrial Solutions GmbH is a company that has specialised in the manufacture of primarily liquid and paste-form pigment and additive concentrates. Discontinuously working mixing and dispersion machines, such as roller mills, bead mills or dissolvers are used in particular in the production of these concentrates. This is where the compounds and masterbatches of the NEFA MB product group come into play. The combination of discontinuous mixers and twin screw extruders can manufacture very highly filled, specialist products on the basis of special thermoplastic elastomers. In the area of colour masterbatches, NEFA MB concentrates stand out because of their very high pigment fill levels. The manufacturing process employed makes the use of dispersion agents completely unnecessary. This can be an advantage for TPE tints in particular, since dispersion agents may lead to film formation on the component surface in some cases. Because of the colour intensity of the NEFA MB masterbatches, even TPEs with a strong colour of their own due to fillers, for example, can be tinted brilliantly with comparatively low quantities of masterbatches.
Judit. E. Puskas: A piezoelectric thermoplastic elastomer containing a bent core liquid crystal
Piezoelectric effects in polymers are generally small but can be increased when they are compounded with ferroelectric materials. Due to their flexibility and the possibility to prepare films, polymer composites represent an advantage over ceramics and other widely used piezoelectric materials. We have created a soft, highly piezoelectric material by compression molding by which a bentcore liquid crystal was confined in a biocompatible thermoplastic elastomer, Sibstar. The bent-core liquid crystal in a polar smectic X-phase is characterized for having superior piezoelectricity but no mechanical stability of its own, thus requiring a carrier material. The piezoelectric response of the composite films was evaluated by interferometry experiments and the piezoelectric coupling constant was found to be d33 ~ 1 nm/V. This piezoelectric effect is larger than that of the commercially available piezoelectric ceramics and is comparable with cellular electrets and electrospun fiber mats containing ferroelectric nanoparticles. Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) results showed that the confined liquid crystal becomes aligned in the polymer during the pressure release. The large piezoelectric effect is likely due to the vitrified macroscopic polarization created during this process. The results may pave the way for practical applications such as actuator technologies in biomedical devices.
What else …?
- We summarise IAL’s new market study on thermoplastic polyurethanes.
- We talk with three pioneers in the field of PVC-free sealing materials for food packaging, Actega DS, Pano, and Reichold (Feinkost Dittmann).
- We introduce the new speakers of the TPE Forum industry association, Dr. Ines Kühnert (IPF Dresden) and Dr. Stefan Zepnik (Mocom, Hamburg).
- Dr. Günter Scholz (BASF) and Dr. Thomas Wagner (Kraiburg TPE) explain us how to get a successful start with 3D printing. Other companies in our AM special include Lehvoss, Oechsler, Ineos, Evonik, and newcomer Dipromat.
Our cover page sponsor Kuraray invites to the “Elastomer Coffee Talks”, a series of roundtable web seminars. The first in the series on 9 April focuses on elastomers in medical and pharmaceutical markets.
Dr. Stephanie Waschbüsch
Further information about the new issue at https://www.gupta-verlag.com/magazines/tpe-magazine-international/01-2021.