Apropos K

Overview: Apropos K

Page of 15

Swim­ming with­out an en­gine and with muscels made of plastics


Us­ing noth­ing but 3D print­ing, sci­en­tists have de­vel­oped a pad­dling sub­ma­rine that re­quires no en­gine, pro­pel­lant or power sup­ply.
Read more

So that Ronaldo & Co. can do their magic


The official ball for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia has received Empa's "stamp of approval" after numerous rigorous tests. Some goalkeepers had been critical of its flight characteristics, but the reason for this may lie somewhere else – the rather unconventional appearance of the new ball.
Read more

Soils in Swiss nature reserves contain significant quantities of microplastics


It is one of the first research projects into the existence of microplastics in the soil: Scientists at the University of Bern investigated floodplain soils in Swiss nature reserves for microplastics – and made a find. They estimate, that there are around 53 tonnes of microplastics lying in the top five centimetres of the floodplain. Even many of the soils in remote, protected mountainous ...
Read more

Improved stability of plastic light-emitting diodes


Polymer light-emitting diodes (PLEDs) are attractive for use in large–area displays and lighting panels, but their limited stability impedes commercialization. Scientists of the Max Planck Institut for Polymer Research (MPIP) in Mainz have discovered the reasons for instability.
Read more

Polymers that mimic chameleon skin


Biological tissues have complex mechanical properties – soft-yet-strong, tough-yet-flexible – that are difficult to reproduce using synthetic materials. An international team has managed to produce a biocompatible synthetic material that replicates tissue mechanics and alters color when it changes shape, like chameleon skin. They promise new materials for biomedical devices.
Read more

Plastic in organic waste: a challenge for the ecological recycling economy


Private households that put plastic materials in their organic waste bins are contributing to environmental pollution. The reason is that communal facilities often use these wastes to produce biogas and process the final residue into organic fertilizer. Tiny plastic particles frequently remain in these fertilizers, thus making their way into soil and water. This was suggested by a study at ...
Read more

110 years ago: windscreen wiper patent for Prince Henry of Prussia


If it did not exist already, it would need to be invented – the windscreen wiper. When cars still had to manage without windscreen wipers, frustrated drivers all over the world racked their brains trying to come up with a way to make it easier to see the road ahead in rainy weather and when the windscreen was dirty. So plenty of different people can claim to have invented the windscreen wiper. ...
Read more

“Holding your world together”: a brief history of the rubber band


173 years ago, on 17. March 1845, the London industrialist Stephen Perry was granted the patent for the production of elastic bands from vulcanised natural rubber. Since then, he has been considered the inventor of the rubber band, although he benefitted from the work done previously by one of his compatriots. The English-speaking world still continues to dominate the headlines where rubber ...
Read more

Hidden talents: Converting heat into electricity with pencil, plastic and paper


Thermoelectric materials can use thermal differences to generate electricity. Now there is an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way of producing them with the simplest of components: a normal pencil, photocopy paper, and conductive paint are sufficient to convert a temperature difference into electricity via the thermoelectric effect.
Read more

Significant figures in the history of plastics: Dr. Fritz Klatte


Significant figures in the history of plastics: Dr Fritz Klatte, one of the pioneers of plastics chemistry, died on 11. February 1934. The patents he obtained in 1912 and 1913 formed the basis for the first thermoplastic polymers, particularly polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Read more
Page of 15