Apropos K

Technological progress would be inconceivable without modern materials and there is no doubt at all that plastics are among the most versatile materials that exist. It is impossible to imagine the world as we know it without plastics. The “Topic of the Month” highlights issues of particular interest, focussing on plastics in everyday life – including special case studies – and providing historical background information, with in-depth descriptions that are understandable to non-experts too.

Overview: Apropos K

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Paint electronic circuits: New hybrid inks for printed, flexible electronics without sintering


Scientists at INM have developed a new type of hybrid inks which allows electronic circuits to be applied to paper directly from a pen.
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No "sailor's yarn": Ridding the oceans of plastics by turning the waste into valuable fuel


Billions of pounds of plastic waste are littering the world's oceans. Now, a Ph.D. organic chemist and a sailboat captain report that they are developing a process to reuse certain plastics, transforming them from worthless trash into a valuable diesel fuel with a small mobile reactor. They envision the technology could someday be implemented globally on land and possibly placed on boats to ...
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Pesticides on the fruit bowl? Just touch it with your finger to find out – wearing special rubber gloves ...


There are good reasons why people wear rubber gloves – when there will be contact with dirt or blood or when corrosive or toxic substances need to be handled. If experienced experts know what kind of a substance they are dealing with or what poison is involved, they are in a position to take suitable protective measures. However, if this information is not available, well, ...
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Pioneer and father of polymer research


Completed his doctorate at 22, appointed professor at 26, received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry at 72 - an impressive career: Hermann Staudinger, the father of polymer chemistry, was born exactly 136 years ago.
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How cool is this: artistic presentation of rubber


Visual artists need materials to carry out their profession: painters need canvas, while sculptors need wood or stone. Blake McFarland needs rubber – in the form of car tyres, because McFarland is a tyre artist, who makes deceptively genuine sculptures that look real and are so impressive that the US tyre manufacturer Goodyear decided to commission Blake McFarland for a ...
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Car tyres made from food waste – sounds incredible, but it isn’t


Millions of tonnes of egg shells and tomato skins are left over all round the world every year – most of them attributable to industrial processing operations. Up to now, these shells and skins have been disposed of as waste. Scientists from Ohio State University in the USA wondered whether it was not possible to make something better than waste out of these natural materials. The answer is ...
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Electronics that stick to the skin


It looks like a tattoo, but it isn’t one. It does, however, conduct electricity – wirelessly! Welcome to the future, welcome to the here and now of polymer electronics.
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Rubber protects against unwelcome surprises


Guys: remember to put something on. Rubber as effective protection against unwelcome surprises ... not only during exuberant carnival celebrations.
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Plastics don’t conduct electricity? Nonsense – of course they can!


Plastics don’t conduct electricity? Nonsense! Of course they can! Alan MacDiarmid, one of the men who proved this and were awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their achievement in 2000, died ten years ago.
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“Plastic Peter” urges audiences to handle plastic debris carefully


The short film produced in connection with the seas and oceans science year draws people’s attention to marine debris and is now being shown in cinemas with immediate effect.
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