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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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Huntsman announced that since the Covid-19 pandemic began, the company has been producing thermoplastic polyurethane elastomers for manufacturers of essential medical personal protective equipment (PPE) around the world. The TPUs are being used to produce hospital gowns, face masks, mattress covers, tubes, valves, cable jackets and, notably, powered air purifying respirators (PAPR).

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Packaging has become pervasive in our everyday lives. Without it, it would be impossible to transport food and beverages safely. Accordingly, it helps to protect not only products but also resources. At the same time, the topic of food packaging is subject to some very emotional discussions in public with demands for bans or punitive tariffs being voiced at regular intervals. All the more important it is, therefore, for packaging manufacturers to do their bit and give top priority to sustainable action. But the same also applies for consumers who are in fact quite open to such matters, as indicated by the latest studies.

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While high-quality thermoplastic elastomers from Kraiburg TPE are used in many everyday applications such as tooth brushes, razors, automotive components, and others, they have also become indispensable in numerous areas of systemic importance. The current corona pandemic is an increasing challenge for both healthcare and social systems in particular. Currently, the TPEs of the Bavarian compounder are used in medical applications such as valves, connections and tubes for ventilators, face masks, respirators, as well as simple buttons and elastic straps.

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TPE from Trinseo are helping to shape a new generation of medical devices. The company said it supplies a versatile portfolio of medical grade materials ranging from semi-rigid and transparent to highly elastomeric and opaque making the material ideal for a variety of soft-touch polymer applications. Trinseo also offers bioplastic versions with biomass content or biodegradable to provide alternatives to traditional materials.

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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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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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PolymaxTPE has announced the expansion of the company’s P-series and A-series, medical-grade TPE materials used in products to help meet the increased demand caused by COVID-19.

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According to the Hamburg-based Lehvoss Group, the market for professional respiratory masks has been emptied by the Covid-19 pandemic and remains so. This is resulting in some very creative solutions, e.g., masks for the weekly farmers’ market are been sewn together at home from old T-shirts. In order to maintain production in industry, however, more professional solutions are required – suitable for implementation at short notice now that industry is resuming production.

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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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The American Chemistry Council's Chemical Recycling Alliance, representing the rapidly growing advanced recycling and recovery sector for plastics in the USA, has changed its name to the Advanced Recycling Alliance for Plastics (ARAP) to reflect its growing membership and variety of members’ advanced recycling technologies. ARAP also announced three new members: GreenMantra Technologies, Chevron Phillips Chemical and Ravago Recycling Group on 30 April 2020.

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