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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Solvent-free processing and re-processing plastics with light


Azobenzene polymers, currently used in research as potential, future coating and ink material, can be transitioned from solids into liquids by means of light enabling an environmentally friendly processing at room temperature. Since the cis and trans configurations of these plastics possess different thermal properties, polymers with the latter chemical structure have sufficient ...
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Plastics make careers


Polymer materials are quite simply unrivalled when it comes to innovative power. But although the material might be the central focus of this development, the successes are made by the people who know how to get the best out of plastics and rubber.
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Rock solid: Carbon-reinforced concrete from Augsburg


Chemists at the University of Augsburg have discovered how to manufacture an extremely strong cement at reasonable cost through use of aligned short carbon fibres.
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“Plastics shape the future” delivers diversity, expertise and ingenuity


From 19 to 26 October, all eyes in the world of plastics will again be on Düsseldorf. This is when K 2016 will be presenting the industry’s innovations and world premieres. One of the main attractions of the trade fair is the special show in Hall 6. Now being staged for the ninth time, and in addition to the extensive array of exhibits at K, it serves as a central forum for an exchange of ...
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Driving cars in flip flops is demonstrably dangerous


Something that can be seen time and again at the moment: shorts, T-shirt, baseball cap on the head and flip flops on the feet. In this attire, quite a few people are going to the swimming pool or lake or wherever by car instead of bike – out of habit or because it is convenient or deliberately, because the AC promises to make it more pleasant. Fans of lightweight polymer shoes should, ...
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Plastic keeps the heart beating


Thousands of people need to have new heart valves fitted every year. When they are available and the body accepts them, human or animal transplants are used. Where this is not the case, synthetic products manufactured by medical engineering companies are chosen instead. Plastics play a major role in the latter case. Scientists have now developed a new kind of artificial heart valve with the ...
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Fivefold increase in performance through gentle treatment


Scientists from the Institute of Polymer Research at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG) develop tailor-made membrane materials based on thermally rearranged polymers. The researchers recently managed to create the membranes at 250 degrees Celsius rather than at 450 degrees. This represents a breakthrough as the new materials have both an impact that is five times higher ...
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Novel biomaterials from proteins


For nearly 25 years, biomaterials from renewable raw material have been a priority field of research at the Fraunhofer-Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP in Potsdam-Golm. Research to date has focused on plant-based raw materials such as cellulose, starch, and lignin. Now the researchers are also developing biomaterials from proteins. Two new departments are involved with this field.
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High-purity plastic parts: the search for inclusions


The OPtima research project is aimed at improving the manufacture of plastic components for semiconductor machines.
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More violence in children’s rooms due to LEGO toys


It’s no real surprise: the increasing amount of violence all over the world is reflected not just in the print, electronic and digital media but also in toys and thus in children’s room round the world. Toy manufacturers like Lego are responding to this development, as a study carried out by the University of Canterbury in New Zealand has established.
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