Image: a hand with a small plastic spatula placed under the artificial eye of a patient; Copyright: Max Tactic -

3D printing: manufacturing eye prostheses from plastic


Plastic eye prostheses: Lightweight, robust and natural in appearance - and now available via 3D printing. Find out more here!
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Image: Seating group made of coloured cast acrylic Lucite panels; Copyright: Todd Merrill Studio, NYC

Artistic duo brings Lucite and epoxy to life


The Como, Italy-based design studio of Draga & Aurel is using transparent acrylic sheets, epoxy resin, light and color to create visually striking collections of high-end furniture. They just unveiled two such collections, called Flare and Glaze, done exclusively for specific galleries.
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Picture: a man and a woman with bikes on a mountain and KAV bicycle helmets on their heads; Copyright: KAV

Customized, 3D-printed bike helmets offer comfort and safety


The Californian company KAV offers customized headwear in collaboration with Jabil.
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Image: a boat on the open sea; Copyright:  AKVA group™

Renewable plastic for workboat hulls


Aquaculture takes a sustainable leap forward with the unveiling of a groundbreaking workboat hull constructed from renewable plastic. Borealis and AKVA group will introduce this innovation in Mo i Rana, Norway, in Spring 2024, marking a significant milestone for circularity in marine technology.
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Image: All-electric EcoPower Xpress; Copyright: WITTMANN

All-Electric Injection Molding for Thin-Wall Packaging


Heinrich Axmann GmbH & Co. KG in Cologne, Germany, has made a significant shift towards sustainability by adopting an all-electric injection molding machine, the EcoPower Xpress, provided by WITTMANN. This move has led to a reduction in energy consumption by over 30% for producing thin-walled packaging, marking a significant step towards eco-friendly production methods.
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Image: Flatlay with glucometer, insulin pen and medication; Copyright: dolgachov

SABIC: Advancing PFAS-Free Material Solutions


SABIC unveils an expansion of its LNP™ LUBRILOY™ portfolio with innovative internally lubricated compounds, offering high-performance alternatives to PTFE-lubricated materials. This development addresses regulatory and health concerns over PFAS, positioning SABIC as a leader in sustainable material solutions.
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Image: Model wearing a sporty jacket made from BASF's recycled material loopamid; Copyright: Inditex

BASF and Inditex promote sustainable fashion with loopamid®


The textile industry is facing major changes in sustainability, led by BASF and Inditex through the launch of loopamid®, a new technology for textile-to-textile recycling. This initiative represents a significant step towards a Circular Economy by offering a sustainable solution for the reuse of polyamide 6 (PA6), also known as nylon 6, from textile waste.
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Image: Stadium seats made from recycled material; Copyright: Le Pavé

Stadium seats for the Olympic Games made from plastic waste


For Marius Hamelot, the 2024 Summer Olympics in France will provide a glimpse into his vision of turning trash into treasure. An architect and entrepreneur, the 29-year-old Hamelot has been working for several years to transform waste plastic collected in local Parisian neighborhoods into high-quality, durable products.
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Image: Spiral ball made of particle foam; Copyright: Hofmann

BEAD.MACHINE sets new standards in particle foam processing


Particle foam offers a wide range of applications - from automotive to packaging and lifestyle. The BEAD.MACHINE from Siegfried Hofmann GmbH marks a significant advance in the processing of this versatile class of materials: it enables the efficient production of complex moulded particle foam parts, setting new standards in terms of product quality and environmental friendliness.
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Image: ZE 28 Blue laboratory extruder against a white background; PowerCopyright: KraussMaffei Group GmbH

Laboratory extruder relaunched: ZE 28 BluePower


KraussMaffei Extrusion GmbH recently presented the ZE 28 BluePower high-performance laboratory extruder in a new design. Higher efficiency, shorter delivery times and greater cost-effectiveness were the focus of this development.
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Image: Several wind turbines next to each other in a wind farm; Copyright: perutskyy

Repsol strengthens its alliance with Pontegadea through a 618 MW renewable portfolio


Repsol has formed a new alliance with Pontegadea, incorporating them as a partner with a 49% stake in a portfolio of renewable assets valued at €740 million. This partnership strengthens Repsol's strategy of bringing in investors to accelerate their renewable energy goals, which include reaching 6,000 MW of installed generation by 2025 and 20,000 MW by 2030.
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Image: Aquadom; Copyright: Gabrielle -

Acrylic glass under the magnifying glass: investigating the causes after the Aquadom burst


Why? This question was asked by the public, media and experts a year ago. On 16 December 2022 in the early hours of the morning, the Aquadom, the world's largest free-standing cylindrical aquarium, which had previously been located in the Radisson Hotel in Berlin, burst. Prof Dr Christian Bonten, Head of the Institute of Plastics Technology (IKT), was called in as an expert to determine the cause.
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Photo: Detail of a person sitting in front of a laptop with the Ultrasim® simulation competence open; Copyright: BASF SE

Particle foam perfectly distributed thanks to simulation with Ultrasim®


BASF SE's Ultrasim® simulation portfolio for plastics applications is now also available for manufacturing processes of components made of particle foam components. The application starts with the expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (E-TPU) Infinergy® and expands BASF's proven simulation portfolio for plastics innovations
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Image: Plastic pole; Copyright: Talon Technology

From chaos to creation: How composites transform unsorted plastic waste into useful products


Geoff Germon has not only recognized the problem of plastic waste in Fiji, but also wants to help the locals tackle this problem and build a sustainable business at the same time. His approach starts with a simple plastic pole.
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Image: Five colorful square Play-Tec® HDPE panels. In front the Blue Angel symbol and a link; Copyright: Röchling SE & Co. KG

Play-Tec® PCR awarded with "Blue Angel"


The company Röchling SE & Co. KG offers its Play-Tec® PCR recycled plastic, a construction material for the sustainable design of long-lasting playgrounds. This has now been awarded the Blue Angel eco-label in the category "Environmentally friendly recycled plastics" (DE-ZU 30a).
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Image: Detail of a person typing on a laptop computer keyboard; Copyright: donut3771

The one stop shop for digital solutions: ENGEL integrates software company TIG


ENGEL is gradually expanding its customer portal e-connect into a production portal. In addition, a solution from the inject 4.0 family for bidirectional data exchange between simulation and injection molding machine has been expanded and now also works with MOLDEX3D.
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Image: Reusable container from MealGood with mashed potatoes and meatballs inside; Copyright: Stephan Floss

Circular Economy in the canteen: Start-up develops reusable containers for the catering industry


We all know the image: urban rubbish bins overflowing with disposable packaging. The Corona pandemic has made this problem more visible. The start-up MealGood has made it its mission to counter the throwaway mentality by developing bio-based reusable containers for the catering industry.
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Image: Train; Copyright: rawf8

Recyclable, repairable and robust: New epoxy resin for the circular economy


Epoxy resins are used in combination with glass or carbon fibres to make components for aircraft, cars, trains, ships and more. Empa researchers have now developed the first fire-resistant epoxy resin-based plastic that is recyclable.
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Image: Three recycled chairs in a row; Copyright: Johannes Kastner

From trash to stool: industrial designer gives plastic waste in Africa a second life


Millions of tonnes of waste end up in our environment every year. This problem is particularly tangible in the global south. But innovative approaches and creative solutions can make a difference. Johannes Kastner focuses on one such solution: combining plastic recycling and design to not only combat the waste problem but also create social added value.
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Photo: Cutout of hands holding plastic package in supermarket; Copyright: drazenphoto

Sabic and Partners Introduce First In-Mold Labeling Solution with Certified Renewable Polymers for Food Packaging Containers


SABIC has partnered with specialists to demonstrate the use of certified renewable polypropylene in in-mold labeled packaging, offering sustainability and recyclability without compromising quality. This technology provides cost-effective, visually appealing packaging with a low environmental impact, benefiting brand owners and reducing carbon footprint.
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Image: Person holding a toy bear figure by Schleich in one hand and a bottle with brown plastic granulate in the other; Copyright: Schleich

From the children's room to a Circular Economy: Sustainable materials for the toys of the future


Children can best bring their fantasy world to life with toy figures. Although the miniatures have already been passed down from generation to generation, Schleich is now saying "There's more!" and opting for a green transformation. A key challenge: to balance durability and environmental friendliness without compromising on quality.
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Image: slightly blurred shot of an aisle with shelves in an empty grocery store; Copyright: YuriArcursPeopleimages

BASF publishes Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study on polyamides from chemically recycled or renewable raw materials in mozzarella packaging


BASF has published a life cycle assessment study on the environmental impact of mozzarella packaging that examines different sustainable raw materials for food-grade plastics. Flexible multilayer packaging with recycled or renewable raw materials has a significantly lower environmental impact compared to packaging made from fossil raw materials.
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Image: completed demonstrator; Copyright: DLR

Thermoplastics in aircraft construction – less weight, more future


Every gram counts: In aviation, a weight reduction of just one kilogram can save up to 25,000 litres of fuel annually. Plastics can be the key to this. The DLR uses carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastics to make aircraft fuselages more resource-efficient. Within the framework of the Large Passenger Aircraft project, fundamentally new technologies have even been developed for this purpose.
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Photo: Rear view of a blue GENBETA on an indoor race track; Copyright: SABIC

New GENBETA car developed by Formula E and its innovation partner SABIC shatters Guinness World Records™ title


SABIC's materials contributed to the GENBETA car setting an indoor speed record at the 2023 Hankook London E-Prix, with driver Jake Hughes reaching 218.71KPH. These materials, including thermoplastics, enhanced the car's performance, aligning with SABIC's commitment to electrification and sustainability in partnership with Formula E.
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Image: Black rubber granules; Copyright: alexstand

Intelligent rubber materials


Materials scientists at the University of Stuttgart and pharmacists at the University of Tübingen have developed smart polymer materials that can autonomously adapt to environmental conditions, making them ideal for soft robotics and exoskeletons.
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Image: various plastic packaging; Copyright: FabrikaPhoto

Yogurt cup becomes yogurt cup: Design for Recycling as the key to a Circular Economy


The need to recycle plastic packaging is at the heart of current environmental efforts. This is not just about recycling, but about a genuine circular economy. Monomaterial packaging and smart design decisions play a crucial role here. Greiner Packaging demonstrates how this can look in practice.
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Image: In the foreground, the mirrors of two cars standing side by side. In the background: blurred more cars; Copyright: duallogic

Lower carbon footprint with proven high performance: Röhm launches PLEXIGLAS® proTerra molding compounds in the market


Röhm expands its product family with PLEXIGLAS® proTerra molding compounds that reduce the carbon footprint. The company offers two ways to reduce the product carbon footprint: PLEXIGLAS® proTerra M5 contains recycled PMMA, while PLEXIGLAS® proTerra 8N replaces fossil raw materials with sustainable, certified raw materials.
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Image: two flat plastic wine bottles laid on top of each other on rocks, behind them two filled wine glasses; Copyright: Viinilinna, Aino Maaranta

Design4Recycling: flat plastic bottle for sustainable wine enjoyment


If wine bottles were designed for the first time today, they would look different – the British start-up Packamama is sure of that. Especially in view of the climate crisis, packaging needs to be rethought. This is how Packamama's flat plastic bottle came into being, which is not only highly sustainable but also makes quite a visual impact.
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Image: Babyseat next to a smartphone with the babyark app; Copyright: babyark Inc.

Israeli startup babyark propelling car seat safety to new heights


Fourteen years ago, Shy Mindel, a technically adept aeronautical engineer, struggled in a parking lot for 25 minutes to install the car seats for his newborn twins. He figured that if he found this task difficult, then others must do so, as well – and that there must be a better way.
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Image: Illustration showing various products made of fibre composites; Copyright: herone GmbH

Lightweight construction: customised thermoplastic fibre composite profiles enable more sustainable flying


When flying, every gram determines the fuel consumption of the aircraft. To make air travel more climate-friendly, aircraft must become lighter. This can be achieved with components made of plastic, especially fibre composites. The start-up herone produces such. The special thing about them: They are thermoplastic fibre composite profiles with customised properties.
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Image: PhD student Svenja Pohl with a coloured solar concentrator; Copyright: Oliver Dietze

Luminescent solar collectors: Silicone makes power generation more flexible and colourful


Plastics contribute to climate protection. As fibre-reinforced plastics for wind turbines or films for solar cells, they already play an important role in power generation from renewable energies. But the conventional solutions are not equally suitable for every area of application. This is where a new type of material comes into play that was developed at Saarland University.
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Image: Winners of the PackTheFuture Award at the awards ceremony at interpack 2023; Copyright: Messe Düsseldorf

PackTheFuture Award 2023: These are the winners!


56 entries, 10 winners, 1 special prize and 1 honourable mention - that's the positive balance of the PackTheFuture Award 2023. The results were announced at the award ceremony at interpack in Düsseldorf. The award honours innovative and sustainable packaging solutions made of plastic.
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Image: Glass façade of the Palazzo Lombardia in Milan; Copyright: clodio

"Wonder Matter(s)" – Plastics at Milan Design Week 2023


Plastic is a wonderful material. It can take on almost any shape, colour and texture. This versatility opens up countless possibilities for designers. This is also proven by the exhibition "Wonder Matter(s)", which will take place during the Milan Design Week 2023 and in which innovative plastics will be presented in partly extraordinary installations.
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Image: interior of a logistics warehouse; Copyright: vanitjan

Parcel logistics: the future belongs to reusable plastic boxes


Cardboard dominates parcel logistics. Shrinkage and return transport costs have so far been too big hurdles for reusable containers made of plastic, even though there is a lot to be said for them in terms of sustainability. BOOXit overcomes these hurdles – and adds one on top: the reusable system is not only sustainable, but also robot-compatible.
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Image: smiling woman with tablet in her hands; Copyright: zamrznutitonovi

Sustainable plastic packaging: AI supports design and production


Plastic packaging made from recycled material? Yes, but please as high quality as possible – and recyclable! This poses great challenges for manufacturers, because the use of recycled materials still often leads to downcycling. One key to more sustainable plastic packaging lies in digitalisation. This is also where the KIOptiPack project comes in.
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Image: a person pours detergent into a measuring container; Copyright: stockasso

Stable yet degradable: researchers develop chemical pre-determined breaking points in polymer chains


We encounter high-density polyethylene (HDPE) every day, for example as detergent packaging or films. HDPE is particularly stable and resistant. In terms of sustainability, however, it still has a long way to go, because its high stability is often accompanied by poor degradability.
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Image: PEX pipe production at Uponor. Copyright: Uponor

Neste, Uponor, Wastewise Group and Borealis enable chemical recycling of hard-to-recycle plastic waste into new high-quality plastic pipes


Neste, Uponor, Wastewise and Borealis have successfully produced pipes made of cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) which was based on feedstock gained from chemically recycled post-industrial waste plastic from PEX pipe production, using an ISCC PLUS certified mass-balancing approach. The partner companies believe this project is among the first implementations of chemical recycling of PEX.
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Image: Fishing nets on the beach; Copyright: KraussMaffei

From the sea into the tunnel: KraussMaffei customer Oldroyd uses 100% sea plastics for its products


What do a tunnel and hiking boot have in common? Both have a membrane that prevents the ingress of rain. In the case of the tunnel, the Norwegian company Oldroyd is an expert for the membrane and its injection-molded fixing product. It uses CX machines from KraussMaffei and 100% sea plastics.
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The future of plastics: JKU Linz trains the plastics engineers of tomorrow


Plastics must be newly thought and designed - that is the credo at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz. From autumn 2023, courses on plastics technology will be offered here. Plastics don't just play a supporting role there, they are the star of the show. Because they are a key factor for both the present and the future.
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Image: light-blue bottles made from plastic; Copyright: Covestro

Covestro: New ultra-durable material solution for healthcare and life sciences


Both healthcare and life sciences applications – ranging from drug delivery devices, wellness and wearable devices, to single-use containers for biopharmaceutical manufacturing – all have one thing in common. They must be tough and durable and able to withstand everyday use while maintaining their structural integrity.
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Image: a nurse holding an infusion tube in her hand; Copyright: Iakobchuk

Bioplastics for medicine: sustainability and quality in harmony


The healthcare field produces lots of medical plastic waste. The idea of designing medical products with sustainability in mind is certainly not new. However, medical-grade plastic materials must meet strict regulatory requirements, often prompting the aspect of sustainability to take a back seat.
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Image: two men sitting in an easter-asian boat filled with plastic bottles; Copyright: tide ocean material

Back to the cycle: #tide turns ocean plastic into high-quality recyclates


Plastic is a resource without which our life today would not be possible - and thanks to recycling, we can even use it several times over. However, we know from reports what can happen if the recycling process does not run properly: the plastic sometimes ends up in the sea. Getting it back into circulation from there and turning it into a usable product is not easy.
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Image: map with colourful pins; Copyright: LightFieldStudios

Automated simulation software creates a world map of polymer properties


"Materials informatics (MI), a new branch of materials research that combines materials data with data science, is gaining traction," said co-corresponding author Yoshihiro Hayashi, assistant professor, Institute of Statistical Mathematics in the Research Organization of Information and Science (ROIS).
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Image: Granules and filaments made of plastic; Copyright: Fraunhofer WKI | Manuela Lingnau

Bio-based flame retardants for bioplastics in electrical engineering and electronics


Fraunhofer researchers, in collab with industrial partners, have achieved initial success in the development of bio-based flame retardants in bioplastics. In the future, it could therefore be possible to utilize plastics in electronics and electrical engineering that consist of 100% bio-based materials. Processing was tested by means of compounding, injection molding and additive manufacturing.
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Image: four men face the camera in the middle of a weaving mill; Copyright: Suraj Logistix

Suraj Logistix adopts innovative solutions for a more sustainable cement packaging


Woven sacks are made of a single polymer family and are therefore already quite easy to recycle. Sustainability requirements for packaging products have increased worldwide and at the same time the need to develop better packaging products to protect the packed commodity has also gained further importance.
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Image: Close-up of a plastic fibre-reinforced profile; Copyright: A+ Composites

Performance meets circularity: fibre-reinforced plastics become recyclable


Recycled plastics are often less efficient than new plastics. But they can be upgraded - namely by using fibre composites. In turn, they make the plastics difficult to recycle. The All-Polymer project shows how both are possible: high-performance materials and a closed cycle.
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Image: Rendering of a transparent plastic packaging with 3 fruits inside; Copyright: BASF

BASF and StePac partner to develop sustainable packaging for shelf-life extension of fresh produce


BASF SE and StePac Ltd. have joined forces to create the next generation of sustainable packaging specifically for the fresh produce sector. Supplying StePac with its Ultramid® CcycledTM, a chemically recycled polyamide 6, BASF will provide its partner greater flexibility to advance contact-sensitive packaging formats to a higher sustainable standard within the circular economy.
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Image: Petri dishes in the laboratory; Copyright: RossHelen

Silicone sponge captures unknown bacteria


Microorganisms populate nearly any habitat, no matter how hostile it is. Their great variety of survival strategies is of huge potential in biotechnology. Most of these organisms, however, are unknown, because they cannot be cultivated. To make better use of this "microbial dark matter", the KIT) has now developed a "sponge" made of porous, formable silicone.
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Image: a handy red hair dryer by Braun; Copyright: LVR-Industriemuseum, Jürgen Hoffmann

A loyal companion: LVR Museum shows development of plastics over time


Plastics are part of our lives - yesterday, today and tomorrow. The LVR Museum in Oberhausen, Germany, has dedicated an entire exhibition to plastics: "Class and Mass" comprises over 20,000 objects from the collection of the German Plastics Museum, which have been on permanent loan in Oberhausen since 2017 - it is the largest collection on the subject of plastics in Germany.
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Image: FFP2 face masks; Copyright: jirkaejc

ProQuIV optimizes the production of nonwoven masks


Producing infection control clothing requires a lot of energy and uses lots of material resources. Fraunhofer researchers have now developed a technology which helps to save materials and energy when producing nonwovens. A digital twin controls key manufacturing process parameters on the basis of mathematical modeling.
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Photo: female hands tying sports shoes; Copyright: YuriArcursPeopleimages

From old to new: Evonik produces PEBA from used tires


Many raw materials deserve a second life, and especially in view of resource conservation and the circular economy, the reuse of raw materials is particularly important. Evonik shows how it's done: The company produces PA-12 elastomers from old tires.
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Image: black and white chairs made of plastic; Copyright: Covestro

Manufacturing solid surfaces with RIM – Arfinio makes it possible


Something is only impossible as long as you don't try. Covestro has developed the new Arfinio manufacturing technology, the first application to allow reaction injection molding of aliphatic polyurethanes. Joan Miquel Garcia Martinez explains in an interview why this was previously considered unthinkable and why it now works after all.
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Image: Football player jumping up to kick a football; Copyright: LightFieldStudios

Bend it like PU – Plastics in sport


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.
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Wonderfully versatile: Plastics shape the car of the future


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.
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Photo: White Boeing stands in a large hall ; Copyright: astakhovyaroslav

First Boeing 777 with AeroSHARK takes off on passenger flights


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.
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Building and construction sector: An industry relies on plastics


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.
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"We are looking at how to redesign products and how to re-use parts of them"


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Photo: Yellow plastic seats at stadium; Copyright: leungchopan

Shining light on why plastics turn yellow


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.
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"Designers love solving problems."


Sue Neuhauser and Page Beermann of Faraday Future talk about the opportunities for CMF in the automotive industry.
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Image: Woman with ski goggles; Copyright: VidEst

Interview with Nick Garfias & Jonathan Thompson, Oakley


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"CMF has an opportunity to really understand all those different consumers"


Falza Khanani talks about the different possibilites of Color, Material and Finish design.
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Safely packaged: recyclable reusable transport box protects the environment and sensitive goods


Packaging materials are often not very sustainable. This is partly because they are only designed for single-use transport. Researchers in the Fraunhofer LBF's Plastics department have taken this fact as an opportunity to develop an alternative. With their recyclable reusable transport solution for sensitive goods, the climate, the environment and resources can be protected.
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Gorgeous plastics – circular aesthetics


Few materials can compete with plastics when it comes to functional versatility, but the same can also be said for creating aesthetic expressions with plastics. At a time when they are often associated with generally negative press most consumer brands want to shy away from it is a material family. It needs to readdress the balance and play to more durable, higher-value stories.
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Image: Detail of a woman connecting her smart watch with laptop; Copyright: leungchopan

A flexible device that harvests thermal energy to power wearable electronics


Researchers at the University of Washington have developed the first flexible, wearable thermoelectric device capable of converting body heat into electricity. The researchers demonstrated that they can print these devices on stretchable textiles and curved surfaces. This will allow the devices to be applied to clothing and other objects in the future.
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Image: Two workers in protective clothing hold plastic garbage bags in a waste processing plant; Copyright: seventyfourimages

Pioneering recycling turns mixed waste into premium plastics with no climate impact


Carbon atoms in mixed waste can replace all fossil raw materials in the production of new plastic. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden are demonstrating this with a new thermochemical recycling method. It is modeled on the natural carbon cycle and could eliminate the impact of plastics on the climate or even clean the air of carbon dioxide.
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Redefining sustainability with antimicrobial solutions for plastics


Plastic is one of the most versatile materials on earth, it has influenced all areas of our lives. However, in the last few decades, the reputation of plastics has been tarnished by the environmental threat predominantly associated with single-use, disposable products that cover landfills and pollute our oceans.
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Climate-neutral with a plan – sustainability in the plastics industry


Successful business means sustainable business. Because according to KraussMaffei, sustainability has both ecological and economic advantages. Recently, the company reaffirmed its goal of being climate-neutral by 2030. Its strategy includes recycling solutions, energy-efficient construction and heating, and sustainable product development.
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Image: Athlete looking at her smartphone in the park while resting after an outdoor workout. Right: yoga mat; Copyright: DaniDG_

Smart textiles sense how their users are moving


Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology develop a comfortable, form-fitting fabric that recognizes its wearer's activities, like walking, running, and jumping. Through the process of thermoforming, the researchers were able to significantly improve the precision of pressure sensors woven into multilayer knitted textiles, which they call 3DKnITS.
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Image: pineapple plantation in the mountains. Left: Pineapple lying in plantation; Copyright: ADDICTIVE_STOCK

BASF's IrgaCycle™ stabilizes recycled plastics used to protect pineapples from sunburn in Malaysia


The two companies BASF and 3T Industries Sdn Bhd are helping pineapple plantations in Malaysia to increase yields and conserve resources. 3T Industries has used BASF's IrgaCycle™ UV033 DD to improve the production of 100% recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) sheets to protect pineapples from solar radiation.
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Image:Cutout of woman taking lipstick from shelf in cosmetic store; Copyright: NomadSoul1

Sustainable cellulose start-up Naturbeads is poised to scale up


Naturbeads, a company that aims to replace plastic microbeads with sustainable alternatives, will expand its work. It has been helped by a recent £1.3 million (€1.5 million) funding round. Naturbeads has developed cellulose-based products that can be used in cosmetics, paints, coatings, additives for the oil and gas industry, packaging and composites.
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A guide to sustainable plastics


As a designer, plastics and sustainability can be difficult to navigate. There are so many parameters to consider – from the origin and environmental footprint of raw materials to the durability and quality of specific materials and maximising the chances of recovery and recycling at the end of life of plastics products.
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Functional plastics – designing for circularity


Few, if any, materials can compete with plastics in terms of adaptability and versatility – many different material properties can be derived from the same basic chemistry, meaning that complex product assemblies can be made with a single type of plastic.
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Photo: Artemis 1 spacecraft in space for testing high-performance plastics; Copyright: German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Fly me to the moon: how high-performance plastics contribute to radiation protection in space


When it comes to the use of high-performance plastics in space, you probably first think of spacesuits or lightweight components. But there is another area of application: radiation protection. Space radiation is a risk to humans that should not be underestimated. In the MARE experiment, this risk is to be determined in order to develop protective measures for future space flights.
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North American plastics sector holds steady, while riding a roller-coaster of uncertainty


The pandemic. Supply chain ruptures. The Great Resignation. China trade tensions. Climate change and extreme weather events. Soaring inflation. Stock market volatility. The war in Ukraine. Seldom in our lifetimes have we experienced such an extended period of disruption and uncertainty.
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Image: Female hand throws coffee cup into trash can; Copyright: svitlanah

SK chemicals realizes good takeout with Dodori Cup made from Ecozen


SK chemicals is planning a Realization of zero waste with Ecozen reusable cups that are used and returned. 5,000 so called Dodori cups used in this project are made from Ecozen.
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Silicones: All-rounders for healthcare, electronics and climate protection


Baby pacifiers, plug seals, medical tubing – we encounter silicones in a wide variety of life situations. Why? They are flexible, water-repellent, heat- and chemical-resistant and even have electrical properties. In short, they are true all-rounders! WACKER, the German chemical group and K exhibitor from the very beginning, is considered a European pioneer in silicones.
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Brave new world – how design makes the plastics industry more sustainable


When the first plastic was developed 150 years ago, it was a miracle for people at the time. Around 1950, the material contributed significantly to the economic miracle of the post-war period. Today, in view of the climate crisis, little is left of this image. In its exhibition "Plastic. Remaking Our World", the Vitra Design Museum wants to show how plastic can contribute to solving problems.
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Image: Cutout of woman using cell phone and laptop ; Copyright: leungchopan

A stretchy display for shapable electronics


Zhenan Bao, a chemical engineer at Stanford University, and her research team have provided proof of principle for a stretchable, potentially reshapeable display using a method to fabricate an elastic light-emitting polymer with high luminosity.
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Safely above the clouds – plastics in aviation


Around 10,000 m altitude, speeds of almost 1,000 km/h, outside temperatures as low as -60°C. One of the reasons why we as airline passengers don't notice any of this is because of plastics. These are not only mechanically and chemically resistant, but also lightweight. And lighter aircraft cause fewer CO2 emissions, which is of great importance for achieving climate targets.
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Lightweight truck-mounted toolbox with novel plastic composite hybrid solution


SABIC is cooperating with Dongfeng on the development of a novel plastic composite hybrid solution to produce a robust yet weight-saving toolbox for assembly on vehicles.
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Integrated electronics make for sleek, smart surfaces


Technological advances and evolving user preferences are redefining the look (and feel) of future electronic devices. Some examples were on display at the big CES 2022 consumer technology show in Las Vegas during the first week of January.
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eCampus offers online training for employees in the plastics industry


Knowledge is power – this also applies to the plastics industry. But training courses cost time and tie up participants, although they are actually needed elsewhere. So that companies do not have to do without employees for entire days during such training courses, the SKZ has developed the eCampus together with Hanser Verlag.
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That smells nice: GRAFE adds fragrance to plastics


It’s instantly recognizable, even with your eyes closed: that unmistakable “new car smell”. Granted, it’s not necessarily a scent everyone loves, prompting many to reach for alternative air fresheners. But what if you could avoid unpleasant odors right at the factory source - and not just when it comes to cars, but other products as well?
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New lignin based material to replace fossil plastics and adhesives


Researchers at Stockholm University have developed a resource-efficient method to produce new lignin-based materials that can be thermally reprocessed and used to substitute thermosetting resins and adhesives.
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Dishwasher components made from recycled plastic


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3D printing: InfraredTags make plastics communicative


Shopping can be exhausting, for example when you first have to find the price label of a product or rush through the aisles looking for alternative products. All of this could be done at a glance while shopping – if InfraredTags were integrated into a product's packaging.
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Recyclable furniture from the creative workshop


Plastic is a versatile material that can be used for a wide variety of projects. What's more, it is reusable and can be given new forms – so it can be given a second life in the sense of the circular economy. In the plastikfabrik in Saarbrücken (Germany), Daniela and Pascal Becher breathe such a second life into plastic.
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Jerome Romkey


President, GN Thermoforming Equipment Co.
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Recyclability by Design – Electronics integrated in plastic becomes more sustainable


The aim of the project ReIn-E project is to develop designs and sustainable materials to enable the recycling of the components.
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Self-healing 3D printed plastic can repair itself by using only light


Research by UNSW academics shows that special treatment of liquid resin used in 3D printing can cause the material to mend itself if it becomes damaged.
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Bence Körmendi


Petchem Business Unit Director, MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Company Plc.
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Polymer discovery gives 3D-printed sand super strength


Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory designed a novel polymer to bind and strengthen silica sand for binder jet additive manufacturing, a 3D-printing method used by industries for prototyping and part production.
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Borealis acquires minority stake in UK-based sustainable packaging innovator Bockatech


Borealis, one of the world’s leading providers of advanced and circular polyolefin solutions and a European market leader in base chemicals and fertilizers, announces that it has acquired a minority stake in Limited, a UK-based growth-stage green tech business and inventor of the innovative EcoCore ® manufacturing technology platform for sustainable packaging.
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Made to degrade


There's a lot of plastic in the ocean. Much of it comes from the single-use items that we're all familiar with, such as food wrappers and microbeads that inadvertently wind up in the sea. But a growing amount is coming from plastics that are actually made to be used in marine environments, such as instrumentation used for an emerging ocean "Internet of Things."
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Using circular economy principles to recycle toys


Many of us are familiar with this scene in our children’s bedrooms: when the kids have outgrown their toys, the latter typically get boxed up until we finally take heart and purge them. But it doesn’t have to be that way: the initiative of the HolyPoly company takes recycling steps to create new toys – that look slightly different.
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Reducing plastic pollution by adding RNA-inspired 'breaking points'


Once plastic products are used and discarded, they can linger in oceans and harming sea life. One potential solution, a biodegradable polymer called polylactide (PLA), has so far not fully lived up to its promise, showing little sign of breakdown once in seawater. In a new study, researchers set out to address this issue by incorporating RNA-inspired breaking points to the polymer.
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"The process window is very narrow and must be exactly controlled."


What are the parameters that actually matter when it comes to wear protection? An interview with Anna Rottstegge, Head of Research & Development at Reifenhäuser Reiloy.
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Plastics recycling deadlines loom – will companies meet their goals?


Many of the world's largest consumer product companies, including Cocoa-Cola, Unilever and PepsiCo, have set ambitious targets for replacing virgin plastics with recycled ones – typically 25 percent of their total packaging by 2025. So far, however, most companies have made only modest progress and will need to ramp up their efforts to reach these lofty goals.
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Covestro receives the German Design Award for its CMF Aesthetics Toolkit


As announced by the German Design Council, Covestro's CMF Aesthetics Toolkit will receive the German Design Award 2022 in the category "Excellent Product Design – Material and Surfaces." The toolkit is designed to inspire designers to explore the many aesthetic and functional possibilities of polycarbonate in the field of color, material and finish (CMF).
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Commercially viable production of climate-neutral plastic is possible


Since the early 1950s, plastics have found their way into almost every area of modern life. Between 1964 and 2014, plastic consumption increased twentyfold, from 15 to 311 million tonnes per year. Not only has environmental pollution from plastic waste increased during this time, but the amount of petroleum its manufacture consumes is large, as are the associated greenhouse gas emissions.
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Special concrete additive made in Costa Rica


The Center for Regenerative Design and Collaboration (CRDC) in Costa Rica aims to turn plastic waste into a valuable resource for the construction industry.
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Elastic polymer that is both stiff and tough, resolves long-standing quandary


Polymer science has made possible rubber tires, Teflon and Kevlar, plastic water bottles, nylon jackets among many other ubiquitous features of daily life.
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What recycled plastic can do: Blocks made from biocomposites for the "Classrooms of Hope" in Indonesia


There is much discussion these days about the circular economy, and the means for incorporating plastics into this model. Recycling a used plastic bottle back into a clean, new bottle has some obvious environmental advantages. But a much more impactful model, in many cases, would involve turning tons of discarded plastics into products with a very long lifespan.
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Scientists develop films with tunable elongation and fracture for various uses


Elastomers, or elastic polymers, materials with high elasticity, are widely used for applications in industries, such as automotive, manufacturing, and oil and gas.
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Research guides future of plastic waste chemical recycling


New research from Cornell University aims to ease the process of chemical recycling – an emerging industry that could turn waste products back into natural resources by physically breaking plastic down into the smaller molecules it was originally produced from.
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$25 million investment in polymer upcycling research to reduce plastics waste


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $25 million in funding for 10 research projects to build the scientific foundations for new technology solutions that reuse discarded plastics to make valuable products and reduce plastics waste.
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Electrosynthesis: preventing cathodic corrosion


Sustainability is an important issue in business and industry these days. Many companies recognize the need to find the best possible climate-neutral solutions for manufacturing their products and reduce their output of pollutants. This means they are looking for manufacturing options that do not require the use of fossil raw materials.
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Simply more: Allrounder More! More space, modularity, and ease of use with multi-component injection moulding


Arburg is launching a new series for production-efficient multi-component injection moulding: the Allrounder More, with its particularly flexible configuration, can now be perfectly adapted to specific customer and market requirements. The machines offer increased space for larger moulds, greater modularity during assembly, and numerous optimised features for easy use and simple maintenance.
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Clean room production of breast implants


The Fraunhofer IPT has teamed up with BelloSeno GmbH to study biocompatible implants that are made using 3D printing. Kai Janning from the Fraunhofer IPT describes the conditions a medical device production facility must meet and reveals the latest successes of the researchers.
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New method developed to solve plastics sustainability problem


Plastics sustainability has come a long way in recent years thanks in large part to scientific advances. But even as plastics become more and more environmentally friendly, the world continues to be polluted as many industries rely on them for their widely used products.
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Material development: getting there faster with co-pilot AI


General conditions for chemical and materials companies are changing rapidly. But the thorough research, development and commercialization of new materials can be lengthy. AI can accelerate this process.
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Visualizing stress in plastics


A research team led by Prof. Dr. Michael Sommer and PD Dr. Michael Walter has succeeded in constructing a new dye molecule from the area of so-called mechanophores.
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Polymer enables tougher recyclable thermoplastics


To synthesize plastic, small monomer molecules need to be strung together like beads in a necklace, creating long polymer chains. However, not all plastics – or their polymers – are created equal. The longer and stronger the polymer, the more durable the material. Cornell researchers took a middling monomer and, by using a special catalyst, they created a tougher polymer that can form long chains.
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Eco-friendly plastic from cellulose and water


Plastics offer many benefits to society and are widely used in our daily life. However, the production, processing and disposal of plastics are simply not sustainable, and pose a major global threat to the environment and human health. Eco-friendly processing of reusable and recyclable plastics derived from plant-based raw materials would be an ideal solution.
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Soft polymers for human-robot interaction


Most people know robots either from science fiction films or from company production halls. There, they reliably perform their tasks. But: they are heavy and rigid – anyone who gets in the way of their fixed motion sequences is in the way. For this reason, robots need to be developed that have a softer surface and are thus better suited for interaction with humans.
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3D printing of multilayered materials for smart helmets


A mechanical and aerospace engineering professor at The University of Texas at Arlington is developing advanced helmets to ensure that members of the military are as protected as possible from blasts and other types of attacks.
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Bio-based coating for wood better than traditional synthetic options


Due to the global efforts to meet sustainability standards, many countries are currently looking to replace concrete with wood in buildings. France, for example, will require that all new public buildings will be made from at least 50 percent wood or other sustainable materials starting in 2022.
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Can biodegradable polymers live up to the hype?


As consumers and corporations alike become more environmentally conscious, the chemical industry is working to find solutions to the plastic waste crisis. One idea is to use biodegradable polymers known as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) as replacements for traditional plastic packaging and other materials.
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Printed polymers with active ingredient


3D printing can be used to produce versatile, individual shapes. This type of extrusion process is therefore not only popular in the plastics industry – it is also suitable for medical technology applications. Only the right polymers have to be found first.
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Fraunhofer and the Technical University of Ostrava start German-Czech research collaboration for sustainable production


In the scope of a future-oriented collaboration in the field of industrial production, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is cooperating with the VSB – Technical University of Ostrava (VSB-TUO). The partners research and develop the potential offered by energy management technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) and intelligent production in industry.
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Mardianto Adiguno, Aegis Packaging Pte Ltd

Mardianto Adiguno


Aegis Packaging Pte Ltd
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New light on making two-dimensional polymers


An international research team led by members from the Technical University of Munich, the Deutsches Museum, Munich, and the Swedish Linköping University has developed a method to manufacture two-dimensional polymers with the thickness of a single molecule. The polymers are formed on a surface by the action of light. The discovery paves the way to new ultrathin and functional materials.
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Enzymes successfully embedded in plastics


In general, plastics are processed at way over a hundred degrees Celsius. Enzymes, by contrast, cannot usually withstand these high temperatures. Researchers at the Fraunhofer IAP have managed to reconcile these contradictions: They are able to embed enzymes in plastics without the enzymes losing their activity in the process. The potentials this creates are enormous.
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Historical experimental studio © PantherMedia/Klanneke

Do it Yourself plastic anno 1530


Instructions for the production of artificial cow horn. Almost 500 years old is the recipe for the production of artificial horn and thus currently the oldest known German recipe for plastic.
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Image: old carpets in a yard; Copyright: PantherMedia / a_oldman

Polypropylene recycling from carpet waste


A significant part of carpet waste consists of petroleum-based polypropylene. As a non-recyclable product, disposing of it has previously meant incineration or landfill. However, a new solvent is now making it possible to recover virgin-standard polypropylene from carpet waste — with no perceptible reduction in quality.
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Asphalt with a pinch of rubber


Swiss drivers wear out countless tires. Instead of incinerating them, they could be reused locally: The asphalt of various countries has long contained rubber from used tires. Empa and its partners from industry are adopting this idea for potential applications in Switzerland.
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VYTAL: the first digital reusable system for Take Away


Today, the kitchen stays cold: if you don't feel like cooking, you simply have something delivered. However, the meals often come in disposable packaging that only has a short lifespan. This bothered the founders of VYTAL, who developed a deposit-free reusable system. They prove that plastic and sustainability are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
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Scientists find a way to make pultrusion faster


A research team from the Skoltech Center for Design, Manufacturing and Materials (CDMM) studied the effects of processing additives – aluminum hydroxide and zinc stearate – on the polymerization kinetics of thermosets used in pultrusion.
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New process makes 'biodegradable' plastics truly compostable


Most compostable plastics, made primarily of the polyester known as polylactic acid end up in landfills and last as long as forever plastics. University of California scientists have now invented a way to make these compostable plastics break down more easily, with just heat and water, within a few weeks, solving a problem that has flummoxed the plastics industry and environmentalists.
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Plastic, please – when life hangs on a thread


People climb and scale the steepest mountain walls and swing themselves up to dizzying heights, usually trusting that a plastic product will save their lives in the event of a fall. This polymer saviour celebrates its birthday: On 16 February 1937, the US chemical company Du Pont applied for a patent for the versatile and resilient synthetic fibre "nylon".
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Protective polymers


Restrictions have been imposed to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Wearing a mouth and nose mask is part of this, as is avoiding and reducing social contact and maintaining safe distances up to more far-reaching quarantine measures. Where it is difficult to keep a distance, plastics fulfil a key barrier and protective function.
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Diving into the bloodstream


In the 1966 science fiction film "The Fantastic Voyage", scientists have their submarine shrunk and injected into the body of another researcher. Truly a fiction, at least as far as shrinking people is concerned. It's a different story with machines. Here, science is making promising progress.
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Smallest 3D printed miniature endoscope in the world


Researchers of the Universities of Stuttgart and Adelaide in cooperation with medical research centers in Australia developed a special microoptical tool with a thickness of only 125 microns. This enables endoscopic examimations within blood vessels whose diameter is smaller than 0.5 mm and helps detecting plaques or thrombs to reduce the danger of a stroke or a heart attack.
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Polymere ink of the future in printed electronics


A research group led by Simone Fabiano at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics, Linköping University, has created an organic material with superb conductivity that doesn't need to be doped. They have achieved this by mixing two polymers with different properties.
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Water gushes from pipe

Plastic: lifeline for transporting water


Water pipes are vital for functioning urbanizations. The problem: mending leaks means, first of all, exposing hidden pipes on a large scale, so that the damaged section can be found and repaired. The CIPP (cured-in-place pipe) principle is an attractive alternative. What is involved here is simply the coating of entire sections of pipe with plastic or, more precisely, epoxy resin from the inside.
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Antiviral and antimicrobial additive developed for face masks


Wearing a fase mask can significantly reduce the range of viruses that are coughed up. This is the conclusion reached by scientists from the university in Edinburgh, Scotland. Nevertheless, the mask does not protect against infection per se. An Israeli company has now developed an additive wih an antiviral effect that can be applied to the mask.
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Carbon Inc.’s Continuous Liquid Interface Production™, © Carbon Inc.

A look at the shifting trends in additive manufacturing


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Plastics make the mannequins’ world go round!


Display mannequin manufacturers have not only been creative in terms of design. Resource-saving operations have also ranked very high on their agendas for years. There has been in-depth research in developing materials and processes and plastics continue to play a leading role.
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An early warning system for damage in composite materials


A team at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a tool to monitor changes in widely used composite materials known as fiber reinforced polymers (FRPs), which can be found in everything from aerospace and infrastructure to wind turbines. The new tool, integrated into these materials, can help measure the damage that occurs as they age.
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Pacifier biosensor could help monitor newborn health


Wearable biosensors that non-invasively monitor health and fitness are growing in popularity among adults. But adapting this technology for use with babies is difficult because the devices are often bulky or have rigid surfaces that could harm infants' delicate skin. Now researchers say they have developed a pacifier-based biosensor that tracks real-time glucose levels in saliva.
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Ivy Ross, Vice President of Design for Hardware at Google

Ivy Ross


Vice President of Design for Hardware, Google
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Sean Carney, Chief Design Officer of Philips

Sean Carney


Chief Design Officer, Philips
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Alastair Curtis, Chief Design officer at Logitech

20 years of experience in design innovations


Alastair Curtis is chief design officer at Logitech, where he is responsible for the designs of all business teams and brands. Since joining the company in 2013, Alastair is assigned to rethink and remodel all innovations of Logitech as well as to work on building, sustaining and promoting a design team and culture in the company.
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