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Lubrizol Engineered Polymers announced that its portfolio of thermoplastic polyurethane for footwear applications is designed to meet the growing demands of footwear producers. The company said that the increasing demands include having the ability to streamline the shoe manufacturing process, producing less material waste and using a more sustainable material option that still meets performance needs.

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The K 2019 trade fair for plastics and rubber will take place from 16 – 23 October 2019 in Düsseldorf, Germany, where the VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association will shine the spotlight on the recycling sector and show how closed loops can work effectively. A series of interviews will shed light on why it is doing this and the significance of the "Circular Economy" for member companies of the association. In the second contribution, Thorsten Kühmann, Managing Director of the trade association, expresses his views on the subject. Kühmann is convinced that the plastics industry can offer solutions that help to eliminate the environmental problems caused by plastic waste. The guiding principle is circular economy. The global challenges for circular economy in the plastics industry are economic efficiency, political and regulatory constraints, quality standards and availability of recyclates and especially the establishment of functioning waste collection systems worldwide.

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BASF and Greentech, a Chinese synthetic leather manufacturer, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch a joint laboratory for synthetic leather development. Housed in Greentech’s research hub in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, China, the new facility will focus on making the manufacture of synthetic leather more efficient and sustainable with BASF’s polyurethane solutions.

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Woodbridge announced that it is investing up to CAD 100 million (~ EUR 68 million) for creating and promoting innovation in Ontario, Canada. According to the company, the announcement is part of the Government of Canada’s contribution of up to CAD 20 million (~ EUR 13.6 million) through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), a programme designed to attract and support high-quality business investments in the country’s economy.

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Perstorp announced that it will investigate the potential production of recycled methanol, using carbon dioxide and residual streams, at its Swedish facility in Stenungsund. The Swedish Energy Agency (SEA) will partly finance this feasibility study.

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The new “Market Study: Fillers – Europe” from market research company Ceresana provides a description and analysis of the European market for fillers, including forecasts until 2026. Ceresana has already analysed the global market for these important materials several times. Now, the company has published a study on the European fillers market for the first time. Fillers not only make many products cheaper, they often also improve their properties, such as stability, weather-resistance, and electrical conductivity. According to the study, the European demand for ground calcium carbonate (GCC), precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC), kaolin, talc, carbon black, and other fillers will presumably increase to about 18 million t in 2026.

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Lanxess has started the production of urethane prepolymers at its site in Porto Feliz, Brazil (Source: Lanxess)

Lanxess announced that it has started the production of urethane prepolymers at its site in Porto Feliz, Brazil. With this measure, the Urethane Systems business unit is expanding its production capacity for prepolymers. In addition, the company announced that application development and technical services are provided from its laboratory at the site.

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A new research project at the Faculty of Applied Natural Sciences in the Technical University of Cologne is investigating how the properties of aqueous polymer dispersions can be further improved. These are used as liquid raw materials in paints and coatings, adhesives and other everyday products. The project entitled “Applied Research on Disperse Colloidal Polymers” (DisCoPol for short) is being funded over a period of three years by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The total project volume is around EUR 600,000 (funding code: 13FH142PX6).

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Lubrizol announced a collaboration with desktop 3D printing specialist Ultimaker to enter the Material Alliance Program. According to Lubrizol, the company is developing a differentiated portfolio of TPU solutions and plans to make the material profiles available in the Ultimaker Marketplace. The goal for this integration is to help expand the choices of materials available, and unlock new and existing applications for FFF, extrusion-based 3D printing, said the company.

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Philippe Knaub, senior vice president and chief technology officer of the Media, Pennsylvania-based foam supplier FXI, has joined the board of directors of the Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam (AFPF), the not-for-profit group that administers the CertiPUR-US foam certification programme.

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