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Companies and associations wanted to prove these properties of polymeric materials as early as the 1950s, and so the first “K” was launched in 1952 with the former Nordwestdeutsche Ausstellungsgesellschaft Nowea, now Messe Düsseldorf GmbH. The material, which was still a novelty at the time, had an image problem. Plastics were perceived as substitutes without special value, which were used to economise on traditional materials.
“Wonder of plastics” was the title of the K’52. And over the past 70 years, they have proven themselves to be true “miracle materials” that gradually conquered all areas of life. They have become an indispensable part of everyday life. The variety of different polymers and processing methods and the equally broad spectrum of properties make applications possible today in areas where traditional materials have failed. They are inexpensive and easy to process raw materials for many commodities. Athletes and outdoor enthusiasts appreciate the comfort of modern functional clothing. As packaging, plastics ensure the transportability and shelf life of food; in medicine, they guarantee hygiene and safety. They can be used to manufacture lightweight components, e.g. for the automotive industry, thus reducing vehicle energy consumption. As modern insulating materials for buildings, they contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions, and, and, and...
Despite their many advantages, plastics today again have an image problem. One of their outstanding properties, their longevity, is their downfall. They have been discredited as plastic waste and marine litter. Just like the amount of plastic produced, the volume of plastic waste has also increased, covering entire landscapes or accumulating in huge carpets on the oceans. In order to continue to take advantage of plastics, we need to rethink, because resources are finite, both in terms of raw materials and in terms of recycling plastics at the end of their lifespan.
K 2019 therefore focuses on circular economy. The aim of the circular economy is to avoid waste and to reduce the continuous consumption of resources. The aim is to minimise the generation of waste, environmental pollution and emissions. Once a product has reached the end of its life, its materials and resources ideally remain in the cycle and can be reused as often as required.
Solutions for plastics can only be developed with the appropriate know-how from industry and science. Many good ideas are already being implemented today, and numerous promising approaches are being explored. I am curious to see what awaits us at K 2019. Perhaps a new “Wonder of plastics”?
K 2019 will welcome the international plastics and rubber industry in Düsseldorf, Germany, from 16 until 23 October 2019. As per 26 June 2019 the list of exhibitors included 3,157 companies from 60 countries. The largest group of exhibitors comes as usual from Europe, particularly from Germany (915), Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France, and Turkey, but there is also an impressive number of participants from the USA. At the same time, the number of participating Asian companies has been rising steadily. Messe Düsseldorf expects about 220,000 visitors from over 100 countries to attend the 21st edition of this global flagship fair for the polymer industry.
According to Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, plastic products have become an integral part of almost every area of life. Plastic packaging extends the shelf life of food, plastic parts in cars reduce their weight and thus CO2 emissions. In medicine, plastics ensure maximum hygiene standards and make medical products safe. Despite its many advantages, this important raw material has come into disrepute for some time now – because of the plastic waste that pollutes entire regions and floats in huge carpets on the world’s oceans. But this problem can be solved. As the concept of “circular economy” plays a central role in this, it has become a hot topic at K 2019, which will take place from 16 – 23 October 2019 in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Nanostone Water GmbH from Halberstadt, Germany, contacted the polyurethane specialist Hennecke GmbH in mid-2016 with an unusual request. The front side of a ceramic industrial filter was to be sealed with polyurethane or polyurea. The following report shows how a ceramic industrial filter with a polyurea coating was developed for serial production at the Hennecke Techcenter in Sankt Augustin, Germany, in close cooperation between the two companies.
In 2017, the Japanese International Polyurethane Technology Foundation (IPTF), supported by Inoac Corporation, provided six research grants, including two to Prof. Kazuo Tanaka from the Kyoto University and to Assistant Prof. Mikihiro Hayashi from the Nagoya Institute of Technology.
Biobased coatings are used more and more, not only in Europe, but worldwide. Discussions about biobased coatings with visitors of a workshop at Alberdingk Boley’s R&D Center showed that demand for UV-stable polyols based on renewable resources is increasing.
The K 2019 trade fair for plastics and rubber will take place from 16 – 23 October 2019 in Düsseldorf, Germany, where the VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association will shine the spotlight on the recycling sector and show how closed loops can work effectively. The following interviews will shed light on why it is doing this and the significance of the “Circular Economy” for member companies of the trade association. In this contribution, Manfred Hackl, CEO of Erema, and Alfred Stern, CEO of Borealis, will give their views on the subject.
With expandable graphite as flame retardant, polyurethane (PU) parts can comply with the strictest fire prevention requirements. However, the shear sensitivity of the material requires a reduction of the mechanical stress during processing to a minimum. Appropriate adaptation of the metering and mixing technology is recommended for this reason.
The standard testing method for compression set is ASTM D395. This method was developed in 1934 and optimized to test rubber. The industry standard was to run a sample at 70 °C under 25 % deflection for 22 hours . Even though most polyurethane or polyurethane/urea application conditions are below 70 °C and less than 25 % deflection, this standard continues to be used for polyurethane or polyurethane/urea elastomers. This paper will investigate elastomers of varying composition and stoichiometry and the effect that temperature and % deflection has on compression set. Differences between LFTDI/aromatic diamine cured elastomers and MDI/BDO cured elastomers will be specifically investigated.
Polyurethanes are one of the most versatile material groups within the plastics processing industry. Their fields of application can be found in a large number of technical and everyday products. A special niche application, which has been available on the market for a long time, is two-component plastic screens, which combine thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) with reactive and castable polyurethane compounds (2C-PU system). The TPU screen inserts have the function of classifying and dewatering the sieved material, while the PU mass serves as composite and carrier material. Compared to other soft plastics from the thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) segment, polyurethanes have a particularly high resistance to abrasive media in the recycling, natural stone, chemical and wood processing industries, which is why they are primarily used in plastic screens. In order to quantify the bond between these two soft components (TPU/PU), this paper shows the development of a manufacturing and testing system, since there is no suitable test guideline available for a soft-soft 2C bond.