Innovation driver for the global plastics and rubber industry
Multitude of concrete solutions, machines and products for the transformation towards a circular economy
The joy of the plastics and rubber industry at finally being able to exchange ideas in person on a global level again after three years characterised K 2022 Düsseldorf and ensured an excellent mood among the 3,037 exhibitors. The companies reported extraordinarily good leads and a marked willingness to invest among trade visitors, mentioning promising new customer relations and the conclusion of numerous, in part, spontaneous business deals.
A research team at the University of Colorado Boulder has discovered how durable plastics used in the aerospace and microelectronics industries broken down into their most basic building blocks and then formed again into the same material. In the process, they do not lose their physical properties.
Today, no one can imagine leather balls, wooden rackets, bamboo poles or cinder tracks in sporting competition. Natural materials have now been almost completely replaced by other materials: plastics. They are light, robust and highly functional. Thanks to intensive research, they are also becoming more and more efficient – and ultimately lead to new world records.
With its new business unit "Fibres and Textiles", the EREMA Group is intensifying the development of recycling solutions focusing on PET fibre materials that are produced in fibre production and in further processing steps. In a dedicated fiber pilot plant, a cross-company team is working on recycling solutions for fiber-to-fiber applications.
REHAU chooses Borealis' Bornewables™ over conventional polypropylene (PP) for production of their RAUKANTEX evo sustainable edgebands. The robust and durable Bornewables™ feature color-stable chemistry and flexibility and are suitable for processing straight and contoured edges.
The company Covestro AG has developed a new heat-resistant coating for use on mono-material stand-up pouches made with SABIC's PE/BOPE technology. The coating facilitates high-speed industrial production of stand-up pouches made with SABIC® BOPE biaxially oriented polyethylene. The new solution enables simpler, single-stream recycling.
With the development of the first 100 percent recyclable FFP2 mask, the Austrian Grabher Group is taking an important step towards sustainability. The sustainable FFP2 masks made of polypropylene are not only fully recyclable, but also cause significantly fewer CO2 emissions during their manufacture than conventional protective masks.
The versatility of plastic is one of its strongest characteristics, and it makes it particularly popular amongst designers. Plastic is also a favored material for BASF's design team: in collaboration with Citroën, the chemical company rethought the classic car - with plastic as the central building block that made the implementation of the innovative concept possible in the first place.
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is focusing on sustainable development in the field of machinery and equipment. The new innovation in the form of an all-electric injection molding machine called IntElect2 220/660-1100 with low scrap rates and thanks to platen parallelism is an example of the plan. It is used to produce a wallbox using the IMD process.
The first Boeing operated by Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) took off on a passenger flight equipped with the new Surface technology developed jointly by Lufthansa Technik and BASF. Modified aircraft now begins validation of savings potential in daily flight operations. The fuel and emissions savings of around one percent calculated.
Polymers are as diverse as their chemical composition. Plastics come in hard, soft, flexible, brittle, opaque, transparent - just as required. They impress with their durability, cost-effectiveness, impermeability to water, high formability, corrosion resistance and low weight. This makes them the ideal building material - and an environmentally friendly alternative to other materials.
Real-time visualisation of process and machine data holds great potential for the circular economy as a whole and for recycling processes in particular. At K 2022 EREMA launched "PredictOn:Drive", a predictive maintenance application for its recycling machines.
A truck component carrier made from a LANXESS polyamide 6 compound has won the 2022 GKV/TecPart Innovation Award presented by Verband Technische Kunststoffprodukte e.V. The structural component was developed jointly by BBP Kunststoffwerk Marbach Baier, LANXESS and a major German commercial vehicle manufacturer.
The demand for high-quality recyclates has exceeded the supply on the market for years. So far, too much high-quality plastic is still being burned as waste instead of being recycled. The Berlin-based start-up Circleback wants to change that by setting up a deposit system for plastic packaging from the bathroom.
After about 25 years, the rotor blades of a wind turbine have usually had their day. But what happens to them then? Together with the Institute for Energy and Circular Economy (IEkrW), the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems (IWES) is developing concepts in a project that should enable rotor blades to be better recycled and reused.
The company tesa® supports the field of sustainability. The new tesa® 60412 packaging tape has a backing made of 70% recycled PET and a water-based acrylate adhesive system. The production process is completely solvent-free. Used PET products are recycled and used as raw material for the backing material.
Researchers at Queen's University Belfast have developed a plastic film that uses room light to kill viruses that land on its surface. The technology used to manufacture the film also ensures that it is degradable. This self-sterilizing film is inexpensive to produce, easy to scale and could be used for disposable aprons, tablecloths and curtains in hospitals.
Steinert.view® is a flexible and reliable monitoring solution for STEINERT sensor-based sorting machines. Performance data collected is visualized in a web app so that operators can see at a glance whether machines are currently producing, whether there are changes in production, or whether there is potential for optimization.
A research team has investigated whether intended nanostructures formed by UV light could be the cause of yellowing of polyethylene. The result was that chiral chemical structures form on the surfaces of polyethylene films during exposure to UV light and are a possible cause of the yellow color of old plastics. These findings could help researchers develop plastic products that last longer.
A research team at Osaka Metropolitan University has succeeded in producing fumarate from pyruvate and CO2 through artificial photosynthesis. Fumarate can be used to produce biodegradable plastic such as polybutylene succinate. In this process, the carbon is stored in a compact, durable and solid form.
The set-up for K 2022 at the Düsseldorf Trade Fair is in full swing. The trade fair's logistics team is making sure that everything runs smoothly. Werner Arnold, Team Manager Logistics, explains in an interview all the things that need to be taken into account until all the halls at K are filled.
A research team led by Guoliang "Greg" Liu implemented the goal of making the current main method for recycling polystyrene profitable. By exposing the material to ultraviolet light and adding a chemical catalyst this method creates diphenylmethane (DPM), which has a high economic value. This new recycling method would create an incentive for polystyrene to be collected and recycled.
The MAM company is accelerating circular economy measures in partnership with Borealis through the launch of MAM Original Pure pacifiers and packaging enabled by Borealis Bornewables™ portfolio of recyclable polyolefins. Upstream value chain partner Neste is the supplier of renewable feedstock Neste RE™ based on waste and residue streams for the manufacture of Bornewables polypropylene.