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The Waldkraiburg-based German company Gummiwerk Kraiburg GmbH & Co. KG offers chlorine-free silicone compounds, which do not release any polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) during pressureless vulcanisation. Thanks to the use of an alternative cross-linking method, the fission products of these compounds do not contain any PCB.

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The use of plastics in railway vehicles has represented the state of the art for a number of years now. In component production for this field, too, 3D printing is becoming increasingly important, with 3D printed plastics being put to use on both the outside and inside of railway vehicles. Apart from its use in new vehicles, additive manufacturing is also displaying its strengths in the production of spare parts. The required components can be produced cost-effectively in small and medium-size quantities and, in some cases, the reacquisition of parts only becomes possible at all through 3D printing.

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Versalis, Eni's chemical company and a leader in the production and marketing of elastomers, and AGR, company that owns technology for the devulcanization of post-consumer elastomers, have signed an agreement to develop technological innovations and new products and applications with recycled rubber. The aim of the agreement is to pool their respective expertise to develop and market a new range of elastomer-based products made from granulated rubber from post-consumer products, thus meeting the growing circular economy needs of manufacturers of tyres and other rubber products.

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On 5 January 2021, Lanxess announced that it is continuing to drive forward digitalisation in its production plants. Over the next three years, the company will introduce mobile operations and maintenance. In a first step, around 400,000 paper-based operations and maintenance checklists used every year will be replaced by digital equivalents, then filled out on tablets. In this initial phase, 65 Lanxess plants in Germany, Belgium and the USA will benefit from this modernised process, said the company.

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Body sealing profiles are highly sophisticated in terms of lip forming and overall extrusion process. Especially the introduction of electrical isolating compounds has increased the demands in this area. The work presented in this paper proposes and describes a lab method to get access to the extrudability of compounds by means of lip shaping: the use of a 5-finger die, where the five lips have an increasing degree of difficulty, and also represent the variety of thin profile lips in sealing profiles. The sensitivity of the methodology is demonstrated by applying model compounds derived from ISO 4097 EPDM polymer testing standard. The standard is slightly modified for the curatives and more relevantly for the flow properties in adding a variation of type and amount of white filler into the recipe. On one hand this represents the need of the market for cost effective recipes. But also, the necessity to compound with low carbon black loadings in order to meet electrical isolating properties requires smart compounding with specific fillers. In total, that compounding approach leads to flow characteristics substantially different from conventional compounds, worth to be analyzed. In order to mirror the derived 5-finger die results to other existing methods, frequency sweep investigations by using an RPA on the model compound, a DoE study is conducted. If the 5-finger die results are summarized into a single number (like a cost function) a general correlation to delta-delta or shear thinning of the complex viscosity curve can be demonstrated.

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Chem-Trend has launched two new release agents for FRP applications – Chemlease 5127 and Chemlease 5128. According to the company, the two silicone-free, solvent-based universal release agents combine proven technologies with ease of use.

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Perstorp announced that it has developed a production concept to produce methanol from a large variety of recovered end-of-life streams and hydrogen from electrolysis. Project AIR will build a first-of-a-kind, large scale, commercial Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) unit to produce sustainable methanol. The methanol plant will be unique in the sense that it is a combined CCU and gasification process where CO2, residue streams, renewable hydrogen and biomethane will be converted to methanol. Perstorp plans to do this in cooperation with Fortum, Uniper and Nature Energy.

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In addition to high performance targets for tires, modern car tread development places increasing value on problem-free and resource-saving processing. In the course of the introduction of silica mixtures and their optimization over the past 25 years, the processability of the increasingly filled mixtures became more difficult and more energy intensive. The next step in improving both tire performance and compound processing is the fundamental chemical redesign of the raw materials rubber and filler. This article shows ways to significantly improve both the technical performance and the processing of tread compounds and to reduce resource consumption by using optimized surface-modified silica.

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Repsol and Elix Polymers announced that they have signed a collaboration agreement to promote circular materials in products with high added value in sectors such as automotive, health, household appliances, building and construction, amongst others. Under the agreement, Repsol will supply circular styrene from chemical recycling, certified under the ISCC Plus scheme, which Elix Polymers will use to produce technical polymers, such as ABS and SAN.

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The Pinneberg-based German company Tramaco GmbH announced the launch of new expandable microspheres. According to the manufacturer, some materials, e.g. TPE/TPU, cannot be processed by chemical or physical foaming due to their low melt strength. In these cases the new product can offer an adequate solution.

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Trinseo, a manufacturer of plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber, announced that it has received mass balance certification for three families of products it manufactures in Europe.

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