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On 5 December 2019, Huntsman Corporation announced its agreement to acquire Icynene-Lapolla, a leading North American manufacturer and distributor of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation systems for residential and commercial applications, from an affiliate of FFL Partners, LLC.

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The year 2020 will be an anniversary year in three respects for the IKV – Institute for Plastics Processing in Industry and Craft at RWTH Aachen University: The RWTH Aachen University celebrates its 150th anniversary, IKV will celebrate its 70th birthday and it will be the 30th time it stages the International Colloquium Plastics Technology – on 11 – 12 March 2020 in the Eurogress Aachen. The day before the Colloquium, on 10 March 2020, IKV will mark its anniversary by holding the International Symposium on Plastics Technology in the VIP area of the Tivoli soccer stadium. While the Colloquium will present the broad range of IKV research and will target primarily the plastics industry with its practice-oriented research, the Symposium will feature papers from scientists from 14 countries, and aims to arouse lively discussion between scientists and industry.

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Patrick Popp has been appointed as Faurecia Interiors Executive Vice-President. Effective from 2 January 2020, he will succeed Jean-Michel Renaudie.

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Adidas announced that production at its two Speedfactories in Ansbach, Germany, and Atlanta, GA, USA, will be discontinued by April 2020 at the latest. The company will continue to develop, improve and test manufacturing processes in Germany. Process innovations will be bundled and driven forward at the production site in Scheinfeld, the so-called adiLab. Starting at the end of 2019, the company will use its Speedfactory technologies to produce athletic footwear at two of its suppliers in Asia. Adidas said that it expects this to result in better utilisation of existing production capacity and more flexibility in product design.

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Lanxess announced that it is offering the next generation of Low Free (LF) isocyanate urethane prepolymers that can be formulated into resins for 3D printing (additive manufacturing). In order to create such resins, Lanxess works together with 3D printing companies. Based on Adiprene LF pPDI (para-phenylene diisocyanate) prepolymers, these resins are easy to process and safe for industrial manufacturers as well as for the casual home, office or retail user, said the company.

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On 5 November 2019, Grammer AG signed an agreement with Changchun FAWSN Group Co., Ltd., Changchun, China, an affiliated company of FAW Group Co., Ltd., one of the largest automotive manufacturers in China, to establish a joint venture for automotive interior components. Grammer will be holding 50 % of the new joint venture Grammer FAWSN Vehicle Parts Co., Ltd. The other 50 % will be held by Changchun FAWSN Group Co., Ltd.

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The specialist exhibitions and conferences organiser Smarter Shows announced that Foam Expo Europe 2019, Europe’s largest trade fair dedicated to the technical foam industry, expanded its scope this year to welcome more participants from related sectors and recorded a significant increase in attendee numbers. Running in parallel with the event, Composites Europe, organised by Reed Exhibitions, offered synergies for the joint application industries such as automotive, aviation, the construction sector and the sports and leisure industry.

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According to Covestro, the manufacture of vehicle parts made of composite materials instead of steel is a lightweight and therefore sustainable solution that reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. This also applies to commercial vehicles such as trucks, which are used heavily on a daily basis. Carbon Truck & Trailer GmbH (CarbonTT) designs truck chassis from carbon fibre-reinforced composites and has the know-how and various IP rights to manufacture and assemble them.

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Plymouth Foam has launched a new line of dog toys under its Airehide brand which uses BASF’s Infinergy material. Infinergy is an expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (E-TPU) and is used in a variety of applications. According to BASF, the elastic particle foam can be used anywhere, where a combination of low weight, good mechanical properties, and long-term durability is needed.

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The Plastics Industry Association (Plastics) announced that it has officially kicked off the march to NPE2021: The Plastics Show. Scheduled for 17 – 21 May 2021 at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, FL, USA, NPE2021 is expected to draw more than 55,000 attendees from more than 20,000 companies representing more than USD 100 billion in purchasing power.

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