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One of the world’s largest sportswear companies, Anta Sports Products Limited from China collaborated with Teknor Apex to develop a high-dampening material for the midsole of a new line of running shoes. The midsole is a thick layer between the insole and outsole that is typically composed of a soft cushioning material.

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Dow announced the launch of a new generation of low cyclics, low volatile silicone Vorasurf surfactants. According to the company, flexible polyurethane foam formulators now have access to a set of higher performing surfactant options for mattresses, couches, and other upholstered furniture with improved sustainability profile.

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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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In close collaboration with Kraiburg TPE, the French medical components specialist Nextis has developed an articulated cover designed to protect the USB port on respiratory devices against dust and splash water entry. The part is molded in a proven Thermolast compound that delivers a good balance of high mechanical properties and aesthetics, ease of injection molding, and reliable resistance against professional cleaners.

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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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The Chinese sports and fitness brand Keep has launched the treadmill K2, which is made with BASF’s Infinergy expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (E-TPU) in the running deck. With the material’s superior elastic, shock-absorbing and high-rebound properties, the running deck is said to deliver an unmatched experience for indoor runners.

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Tyrata Inc. and Marubeni Corporation announced a collaboration for the distribution of Tyrata’s IntelliTread Drive-Over System (DOS) in Japan. The DOS and corresponding data analytics platform have proven effective in the automation of tyre tread depth monitoring. In connection with the collaboration, Marubeni will obtain the right to distribute and service Tyrata’s DOS in Japan, and Tyrata gains the support of a trusted technology partner in the Japanese market. Marubeni will start introducing DOS units to its customer base in Japan in Q4 2020.

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Nouryon has launched a new version of its Expancel expandable microspheres targeted at speciality thin coatings applications. Expandable microspheres work as a filler and blowing agent to make products lighter and reduce overall costs.

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Very few policy initiatives in the last few years have received as much public attention as the recently adopted Single-Use Plastics Directive – also known as the single-use plastics ban. This legal act, however, is only one piece of the puzzle with which the European Union is attempting to curb plastic littering and transform the European economy into a circular one. The following article gives an overview on the EU Circular Economy Package and Plastics Strategy and explains what they mean for bio-based plastics.

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