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Research institutions and industry partners from Germany and South Africa are cooperating in the new MultiMat³ project as part of the European Union's M-era.Net program. Together, they are developing optimized and new materials for use in additive manufacturing technologies.

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APS Elastomers has set up a new state-of-the-art lab after moving to a larger facility in Westland, Michigan, USA, in 2020. With the new laboratory APS can provide in-depth and high- level customer and technical service, problem-solving, product development and support to designers, OEMs and processors. Capabilities including tensile strength, melt flow rate, density, durometer hardness, melting point, gel count, stress at 100% and 300%, elongation at break, tear strength, and taber abrasion loss.

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Rado Gummi GmbH has developed the Radosil-ECF product range with chlorine-free crosslinking systems for peroxide cured silicone compounds. (Source: Rado Gummi GmbH)

According to the German company Rado Gummi GmbH, a specialist in the manufacturing of silicone compounds, discussions on PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls) emissions resulting from the extrusion of peroxide cured crosslinked silicone products have become a topical issue, with both authorities and the public showing greater levels of awareness and alarm. Ultimately, this will lead to manufacturers of such products having to switch over to PCB emission-free crosslinking systems for their products or operators will face having their installations become subject to licensing in accordance with Article 4 of the German Federal Immission Control Act.

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DIK (Deutsches Institut für Kautschuktechnologie e. V.) and DKG (Deutsche Kautschuk-Gesellschaft e. V.) are planning a research project regarding the efficiency of antiozonants in rubber matrices. The project has arisen from the need to find suitable alternatives to 6PPD, which is expected to be regulated by REACH in the future. From this situation the aim results to investigate possibilities in ozone protection for polydienes, which are already available and known from literature concerning their efficiency.

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Rubber Division, ACS invites submissions for inclusion in the 200th Technical Meeting & Annual Student Colloquium taking place 5-7 October 2021 in Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

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With the Pioneers!Talks, in 2021 KraussMaffei will continue to rely on digital events: The focus of the new format is on topics relating to current trends and developments in the plastics sector. The next two events in February 2021 will cover Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) and the trends and potential of plastics in medical technology.

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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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