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The TPE industry association TPE Forum will held its next plenary meeting as initially scheduled on the 23 June 2020. But in light of the current COVID-19 situation with severe travel and contact restrictions the meeting will be hosted online via Microsoft Teams.

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Europe’s tyre and rubber industry supports a policy response that both ensures a successful post Covid-19 recovery and drives the European Green Deal targets. This was reported in a press release from the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers Association (ETRMA) dated 12 May 2020. Committed to emerging from the public health crisis even stronger than before, the European tyre industry is ready to work side-by-side with the European Institutions on a COVID-19 policy response that ensures public health, minimises economic impact, and maintains focus on the overarching objectives of our time: decarbonising and digitalising the economy.

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On 14 May 2020, the JEC Group announced that it will offer an exclusive online experience by organizing the JEC Composites Technical Conferences, initially planned during JEC World 2020, via webinars. According to the organizer, high-profile experts and speakers will share their expertise, vision, and perspective on the composites industry, starting from 20 May 2020 until 24 June 2020.

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Dr. Tammo Boinowitz (53) will become managing director of BYK-Chemie GmbH based in Wesel as of 1 January 2021. After a two-month training and transitional phase, he will also become the President of BYK, the largest division of the specialty chemicals group Altana. He succeeds Dr. Christoph Schlünken, who has headed the division on an interim basis since October of last year in parallel with his responsibilities on Altana’s Management Board.

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Since 11 May 2020, Arburg produces injection moulded face masks from LSR (liquid silicone rubber) and PP (polypropylene) at its headquarters in Lossburg, Germany. About 3,500 of these multifunctional high-tech masks are expected to be produced daily under series production conditions. This is the second project the mechanical engineering company has launched to combat the spread of the coronavirus. In mid-April the company has started producing protective glasses on Allrounder injection moulding machines.

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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 molding processes (between 1-8 bar), for example polystyrene (PS), polypropylene (PP) or thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).

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In this issue, we will look at the development of the automotive industry and electromobility with the Center of Automotive Management (CAM), including an update on the effects of the Corona pandemic on the automotive markets. The German rubber industry association Wirtschaftsverband der deutschen Kautschukindustrie (wdk) provides an insight into the current situation of the rubber industry and the impact of the current Corona crisis. Nova institute shares an insight in the global bio-based polymer market 2019, and we have a glimpse at the Natural Rubber Trends and Statistics for April 2020 provided by the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC).

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Bridgestone has announced the acquisition of the German tyre trade group Reiff Reifen und Autotechnik GmbH with over 500 employees. Under the Reiff, Netto and ABS brands, the company operates a network of 42 sales branches in southern Germany and a tyre retreading plant, all of which are part of the acquisition.

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Kristel Ons has been appointed as the incoming Secretary General of Feica, the Association of the European Adhesive & Sealant Industry, with effect from 15 June 2020. She succeeds Philip Bruce, Director of PJB Chemical Consulting Ltd, as Secretary General. Bruce took charge of Feica four and a half years ago, after which the association went from strength to strength, with a healthy strategy and increased membership.

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The accredited test laboratory at SKZ has procured a machine for testing respiratory masks (FFP 1, FFP 2 and FFP 3), which will be available by the end of May 2020. This test device makes it possible to carry out a number of the most important tests, such as inhalation and exhalation resistance and passage of particles through filter masks.

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Nouryon is launching a new solution for the building and construction market that boosts the effectiveness of energy-saving “cool roof” coatings by improving their ability to reflect light and enhancing their self-cleaning properties. The new concept combines Nouryon’s Expancel expandable thermoplastic microspheres, which reflect light, and its Levasil colloidal silica, which improves the performance of the coatings.

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