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Enjoy reading insights of TPE expert Patrick Ellis on the current and future market for thermoplastic elastomers in automotive applications and have a look at our special on additive manufacturing with soft materials. Arburg talks about the latest update of the Freeformer and what this famous machine can do in the field of 3D printing of TPEs.

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Polyketones have an elevated melting point (220 – 255 °C) and are often used for high-performance applications in the automotive industry and technical components in mechanical engineering. In addition to good resistance to chemicals and hydrolysis, polyketones are characterised by their high wear resistance. Hexpol TPE has succeeded in developing TPE materials for adhesion to polyketone substrates. They do not require the use of a primer or adhesive, which makes the production process more economical, faster and simpler.

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K 2019 has closed its doors on 23 October after eight exciting days in Düsseldorf, Germany. 3,330 exhibitors (2016: 3,285) from 63 nations proved impressively: plastics continue to be an innovative, indispensable material. But they also underscored the necessity of having operational circular economies along the complete material chain and to this end already presented numerous concrete solutions.

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Eos announced the launch of Eos TPU 1301. The company, one of the leading technology suppliers in the field of industrial 3D printing of polymers and metals, said that this material is a big step towards 3D printing mass production.

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TactoTek and LS Automotive Technologies (LSAT) announced that LSAT has licensed design and manufacturing rights for TactoTek injection moulded structural electronics (IMSE) technology. The agreement includes rights to use TactoTek proprietary intellectual property and technology transfer that enables LSAT to design and manufacture IMSE parts in Korea and globally.

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The German bioplastic specialist FKuR has added three Terraprene TPE grades to its portfolio. New within the bio-based Terraprene TPE compounds family are the grades SI 701 and SI 801, whose biocontent (calculated) ranges from 55 % to 75 %. They are available in Shore A40 to A80 grades and their properties are said to be largely similar to those of conventional TPS grades.

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Wanhua stated on 2 November 2019, that it will pursue the goal of building a MDI plant in the US. The company previously pulled out of plans to build a new facility in St. James Parish, Louisiana, partly due to tariff war and resistance from residents and environmental groups.

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Lubrizol has recently introduced halogen-free Estane ZHF TPU grades mainly for cable production that are said to feature low toxicity, low smoke and low gas conductivity. The company said that the design versatility of the new products polymers expands the scope of applications, including thinner or coloured cables.

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The Hamburg-based German Lehvoss Group will exhibit at Formnext 2019 (hall 11.1, stand B48), which will take place from 19 – 22 November 2019 in Frankfurt a. M., Germany. The company announced that it will highlight Luvosint TPU for tailor-made orthopaedic insoles as well as its Luvocom 3F series of 3D printing filaments.

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Teknor Apex has appointed Suresh Swaminathan as its new president. He succeeds William J. Murray, who is retiring after 41 years with the company. Swaminathan will be responsible for the worldwide custom compounding business.

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Kraton on 30 October 2019 announced that it has agreed to sell its Cariflex isoprene rubber latex business unit to Daelim Industrial Co., Ltd. for a purchase price of USD 530 million. The transaction is expected to close in Q1/2020. Cariflex contributed USD 50.5 million of pro forma Adjusted EBITDA for the fiscal year ended 31 December 2018.

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