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As of June 2019 Patrick Zimmermann became a member of the bioplastics specialist FKuR Kunststoff GmbH’s management team with responsibility for sales, marketing and market development. Zimmermann has contributed significantly to FKuR’s global market as he was responsible for setting up the US subsidiary. Since August 2015, he has also been Managing Director of FKuR Polymers GmbH, a manufacturer of customised polyolefin and TPE compounds.

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The VisionVenture camper, co-created by BASF and Hymer, was a main attraction point at the BASF stand at K 2019. The vehicle celebrated its world premiere at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, Germany. More than 20 plastics and a new painting technology of BASF are used in the vehicle.

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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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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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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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Evonik has introduced two new copolyester powders available in white or black and suitable for use in common powder-based 3D printing technologies, such as selective laser sintering. At processing temperatures, the flow characteristics of the formulations are said to be impressive, allowing manufacturers to make efficient use of the full installation height of the powder bed during the 3D printing process. Compared to other flexible materials available on the market for SLS, the new, ready-to-use PEBA powders remain tough and flexible after printing, with no sacrifice in surface quality, the company said. Applications range from athletic equipment, such as individual protectors for extreme athletes, to sophisticated technical components and functional design objects. The new powder materials are scheduled for market launch in Q1/2020. Evonik will present the new materials at Formnext 2019 (hall 12.1, stand C71).

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