Photo: a girl in a raincoat with braces stands in nature under a scattered jet of water and laughs; Copyright: envato


A brief history of the raincoat


When the rain is pouring down from the sky, put on your raincoat and get out into the fresh air. Dry feet, figuratively speaking, thanks to the British chemist Charles Macintosh (1766-1843), who knew how to use the water-repellent advantages of polymer materials effectively and profitably in the clothing industry.
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Image: Coating a cotton yarn with PHA using a coating nozzle; Copyright: DITF

Biopolymer coating for textiles – protective bacteria


It defies wind and weather and protects us from a wide range of environmental influences: Functional clothing. Special coatings are responsible for this. Polyacrylates or polyurethanes, which are based on crude oil and therefore a finite resource, are often used for this purpose. The DITF are therefore researching alternatives from renewable sources – including polymers from bacteria.
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Image: Close-up of a black photovoltaic module; Copyright: envato

Recycling photovoltaic modules


"Don't lose it, reuse it!" is not just the exclamation of a puppy from a well-known animated children's series when he creates new objects from supposed garbage. Rather, it shows how important the topic of ‘recycling’ has become in general.
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Image: PFAS graphic; Copyright: Francesco Scatena -

Fluoroplastics in focus


The debate about fluoroplastics and their environmental impact is reaching new heights. While environmentalists are calling for a ban on PFAS (perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl compounds), industry associations are warning of the far-reaching consequences for numerous areas of application. A look at the arguments and challenges.
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Image: Interior of a red car photographed from the side; Copyright: gargantiopa

Market launch of Impranil® CQ DLU: Innovation for more sustainable textile coatings


Covestro presents Impranil® CQ DLU, a new aliphatic polyester carbonate polyether polyurethane (PU) dispersion for textile coating in which around 34 percent of the carbon contained is of plant origin. This enables a sustainable textile coating as a replacement for the popular Impranil® DLU, without compromising on quality.
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Image: Three open snack bags; Copyright: Dominik Benke

From snack bag to cooling technology: The rebirth of aluminum-plastic laminates


Thanks to aluminum-plastic laminates, our favorite snacks stay as crisp as we love them. But what if the shiny insides of snack bags hold much greater potential – one that goes far beyond accompanying a movie night? Passive cooling technology could benefit from upcycling these chip bags, says a research team from the University of Bayreuth.
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Image: Close-up of hanging gray clothes; Copyright: wirestock

Huafeng, Cyclone and Covestro collaborate to provide sports shoes and shorts with reduced carbon footprint


Team Sonnenwagen from Germany plans to enter the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia with a solar-powered race car and is relying on sustainable equipment for which Huafeng, Cyclone and Covestro are cooperating. This equipment includes sports shoes and shorts that are made from recycled materials and offer improved environmental performance.
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Image: Hands turning protective film on front fenders of a car; Copyright: NomadSoul1

Covestro inaugurates new production line and launches new Desmopan®UP TPU series for Paint Protection Film in the automotive and wind sector


Covestro has started up a new production line in Taiwan to to produce high performance TPU suited for Paint Protection Film (PPF) grades. The new TPU-based PPF solutions will be offered under the brand name Desmopan®UP.
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Image: Black dashboard in car with large display; Copyright: FabrikaPhoto

Covestro expands production capacity for polycarbonate films in Thailand


The company Covestro plans to further increase its global production capacity for polycarbonate (PC) specialty films by starting to build new extrusion lines at the Map Ta Phut Industrial Park in Thailand. The completion is planned by 2025 and the investment is in the higher double-digit million euro range.
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Image: Scientist wearing VR goggles and two blue gloves to stay in digital metaverse cyberspace ; Copyright: Rimidolove

The VR glove from the 3D printer


In a project called "Manufhaptics", researchers at Empa, together with EPFL and ETH Zurich, want to develop a VR glove that will make virtual worlds tangible. The VR glove is to be created using a 3D printing process and will have three different actuators.
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Image: 3D printing machine printing a piece of plastic; Copyright: leungchopan

Joining Forces: Fast-as-lightning 3D Microprinting with Two Lasers


A research team from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the University of Heidelberg, and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) developed a laser printing process that can print micrometer-sized parts within a very short time.
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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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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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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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"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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Photo: Person with blue gloves applying coating on scratches of car surface; Copyright: Iakobchuk

A new self-healing coating material


A transparent protective coating material that can heal itself within 30 minutes when exposed to sunlight has been developed by a research team from the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT).
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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: Man in overalls is painting a car; Copyright: twenty20photos

BASF and BMW Group rely on renewable raw materials for automotive coatings


The BMW Group is the first automotive manufacturer to use OEM coatings from BASF that are certified according to the biomass balance process. By using new sustainable product variants, around 40% CO2 can be avoided for clear coat and dip coating.
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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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Image: SWISS Boeing 777-300ER flying in the sky ; Copyright: SWISS International Air Lines

SWISS equips entire Boeing long-haul fleet with AeroSHARK


Twelve Boeing 777-300ERs will gradually be fitted by SWISS with the riblet films developed by Lufthansa Technik and BASF. The reduced frictional resistance makes the sub-fleet more economical and lower in emissions, thus reducing the environmental footprint.
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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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"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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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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New tool to predict polymer properties


An interdisciplinary team of researchers has developed a powerful mathematical modelling tool that will allow researchers to predict the properties of polymer networks before they are even created.
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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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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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