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The demand for test swabs for nasal and throat swab tests continues to grow strongly due to Covid 19. Injection moulding machine manufacturer Engel Austria and Hack Formenbau are jointly providing an integrated system solution and process technology consulting for plastics processors to launch high-volume production of two-component test swabs with a short lead time.

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Lita Ocean, a leading shipbuilding and marine services company in Singapore, recently built six patrol crafts ordered by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. To efficiently minimise noise and vibrations in the wheelhouses of the 17 m long vessels, the naval architects and engineers relied on the elastic polyurethane material Sylomer from Getzner Werkstoffe.

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BASF announced that it has developed a chemical recycling process for used mattresses and is starting pilot tests at the Schwarzheide site in Brandenburg, Germany. The materials from old mattresses are to be recycled in such a way that they can be used for the production of new mattresses.

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Wanhua Chemical has donated 400 kg TPU materials to produce 3D-printed face-mask holders for the frontline responders, cooperating with Peak Sports.

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PolyOne has announced the launch of Barricade elastomers, the newest addition to its specialty elastomer portfolio. Based on Fortrex technology licensed from Cooper Standard, this crosslinkable elastomer offers according to PolyOne high-temperature compression set performance, easier processing, and a lighter weight solution when compared to conventional TPVs, silicones, and thermoset rubbers.

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There are numerous methods to measure filler dispersion in rubber compounds. Kylie Knipp from Akron Rubber Development Laboratory has compared three of them in the current issue of RFP Rubber Fibres Platics 02 2020: Phillips Dispersion test, Dispergrader test, and nSpec 3D topography scan. A simple SBR compound was selected and five different fillers were evaluated. The paper will briefly discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the three different dispersion measurement techniques.

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The new, speed-dependent FlexSpeed dispensing technology from Rampf Production Systems is said to cut lead times in series production by more than 50 %. The dispensing robots take corners with high precision and cover straights fast, making it possible to cut lead times for sealing, foaming, and bonding processes in series production by more than half. The technology is based on forced volumetric dispensing and the direct linking of dispensing performance and axis feed rate, making the dispensing system extremely flexible and responsive.

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For some months now, KraussMaffei’s R&D centre at the Hanover site has been equipped with an advanced industrial-scale recompounding system. With the new system KraussMaffei substantially extends its capacities for customer trials and its own testing activities associated with recycling and recompounding processes. Interested customers can carry out industrial-scale trials on the new EdelweissCompounding line in at the R&D centre. The line is composed of two ZE 65 BluePower twin-screw extruders and designed for a maximum output rate of 2,000 kg/h. The combination of two twin-screw extruders enables high degassing capacities, efficient odour removal, ideal dispersive and dispersing mixing effect, gentle melt treatment at a high throughput rate, the company says.

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Fröbel together with its partner company Ako has developed a face mask. The parts for the mask are produced at the Fröbel facility using injection moulding technology from Wittmann Battenfeld and a TPE supplied by TPE compounder Allod.

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Starting in April 2020, Sigma Engineering, Arburg and many other partners joined forces to work on a new project for the production of face masks against the spread of the coronavirus. By now the production of injection molded masks made of LSR (Liquid Silicone Rubber) is running at full speed.

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Actega DS recommends the Provamed 3150, 3160 and 3170 TL TPE compounds for the manufacture of valves and the surrounding sealing lips of FFP masks. The translucent TPE compounds are distinguished by their particular compatibility with skin, good sealing properties, and flexibility accompanied by their media resistance. In the manufacture of masks, often in a dual-component process, a particular adhesion is required on the part of the hard component – often made of PP – with the resilient component made of TPE. The highly-adhesive TPE produced by Actega DS can guarantee such bonding.

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