Image: Three men in suits smiling at the camera and holding a transparent car part; Copyright: Covestro

Closing the loop: turning old tires into new car parts


In an ambitious move towards sustainability, Covestro, Neste, and Borealis have joined forces to revolutionize the recycling of discarded tires into high-quality automotive parts. This collaboration marks a significant step in driving circularity within the plastics and automotive industries.
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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: Interior of a possible Hyperloop pod; Copyright: THL

High-performance adhesive for the transportation systems of the future


When you sit on a train, you probably rarely realize how much technology and expertise from a wide range of industries has gone into its creation. The materials used are diverse. The various elements are joined together into a whole by welding, screwing, riveting, bolting and now, increasingly, gluing. New adhesives are opening up many possibilities in design and performance improvements.
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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: 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: Breathing mask made of Apec® 2045 high-temperature copolycarbonate; Copyright: Covestro

Heat resistant medical polycarbonate from Covestro


Covestro, a leading developer of polymers and high-performance plastics, presents Apec® 2045, an advanced copolycarbonate. This material combines outstanding features such as biocompatibility, heat resistance, transparency and durability, making it the ideal solution for the manufacture of medical devices.
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Image: Granulate of lignin-reinforced PLA, behind it an object made from the material; Copyright: KraussMaffei

Innovative bioplastic from KraussMaffei and Synergy Horizon


KraussMaffei and Synergy Horizon have jointly developed a new type of bio-based reinforced thermoplastic that prioritises functionality and sustainability.
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Photo: Martin Weger (center back) with his management team at the St. Valentin plant. A man in the middle holds up the prize; Copyright: ENGEL

ENGEL St. Valentin wins production contest


The ENGEL large-scale machine plant in St. Valentin was named "Factory of the Year 2023" in Austria, winning both the overall award and the "Efficient Factory" category at the factory conference in Bludenz. The award is based on outstanding results in various categories, including a sustainability strategy.
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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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Photo: The founding team of Polytives GmbH (from left): Oliver Eckardt, Viktoria Rothleitner and Prof Dr Felix Schacher in a laboratory; Copyright: Susann Nürnberger

Saving energy in plastics production: Polytives wins 2nd place in the Lothar Späth Award 2023


Polytives GmbH, a spin-off of the University of Jena in the field of plastics technology, was awarded second place in the Lothar Späth Award for its cooperation partnership with the university on 16.11.2023. The company, which emerged from Prof. Schacher's working group, develops innovative plastics solutions for energy optimisation in production.
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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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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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Photo: Blue-gray water treatment plant from above; Copyright: perutskyy

LANXESS expands its range for PFAS removal from water


LANXESS is presenting its new anion exchange resin Lewatit MonoPlus TP 109, which can be used for the efficient removal of contaminants such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances from water. In addition to Lewatit MonoPlus TP 109, the company is also presenting other selective resins that can also be used in combination for pre- and fine cleaning.
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Photo: Children and adults are gathered in a circle around a table doing handicrafts; Copyright: ZOOM Kindermuseum/Natali Glisic

Borealis supports ZOOM Children's Museum in promoting playful learning in new interactive exhibition "WELCOME TO THE FUTURE!"


The company Borealis is supporting the ZOOM Children's Museum in promoting learning through play in the new interactive exhibition "WELCOME TO THE FUTURE!" The new hands-on exhibition can be visited from October 4, 2023 and is designed to inspire enthusiasm for science and chemistry.
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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: Productivity is key: 120 x molds in 20 minutes = 10 seconds per mold; Copyright: Nexa3D

Wilson Sporting Goods using 3D printing to accelerate the injection molding process


Wilson Sporting Goods uses 3D printing to accelerate the injection molding process of baseball bats. This includes bats made from aluminum, polymer composite and thermoplastics. Components such as knobs, end caps and the interface between the handle and shaft are typically injection molded from engineering resins.
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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: 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: 3D printer additively manufacturing a plastic structure; Copyright: leungchopan

From the 3D printer to the dishwasher: researchers develop biodegradable support material


In the world of additive manufacturing, innovations are constantly revolutionising the possibilities. Despite the progress, there is one major challenge: the need for support structures. They prevent material layers from sagging – but removing them after printing can have environmentally damaging consequences. In the AquaLoes project, the IKT is tackling this challenge.
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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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Image: Large accumulation of PET bottles to be recycled in a warehouse; Copyright: Krones AG

Making the impossible possible: Recycling multilayer packaging


Was multilayer packaging the Achilles' heel of the recycling industry? Not anymore, according to Krones and their project partners BASF, Südpack, and Tomra. Together, they're unveiling a solution that accomplishes what was once deemed impossible. At the heart of this innovation is a new adhesive that enables effective material separation during the recycling process.
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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: Notebook, notepad with pen and laptop with soft light in background; copyright: kitzstocker

Academic training and further education in Mexico


ARBURG and Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Tec de Monterrey) have jointly launched a four-month academic training course in Mexico for the plastics industry, with the aim of producing skilled professionals. The course began with 16 participants and a commitment from ARBURG to support industry growth and development in the country.
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Image: Hands holding purple biodegradable plastic polymer granules; Copyright: ArseniiPalivoda

Bayreuth researcher develops high-performance digital system for tailoring polymers


Prof. Dr. Christopher Kuenneth at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, together with research partners in Atlanta, has developed a digital system that filters out those materials best suited for targeted applications from among some 100 million theoretically possible polymers. The system, called polyBERT, treats the chemical structure of polymers like a chemical language.
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Image: A stool is printed at K 2022 with the help of ADAM software; Copyright: IKV/Fröls

Digital meets material: a software transforms additive manufacturing


ADAM could redefine plastics manufacturing. A big claim, but not without reason: Behind the acronym ADAM is a software called "Advanced Dimension Additive Manufacturing" that caused a real stir at K 2022. The impressive result of this software in action? A high-performance screw extruder controlled by an agile jointed-arm robot.
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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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