RFP - Rubber Fibres Plastics International

Ausgabe 03 | 2018


Data protection or the art of shooting flies with a cannon and missing the big fish?!

Has your e-mail box also been flooded for a few weeks with messages with a subject like “We want to stay in touch with you” or something similar?

Yes, the EU’s new data protection regulation has recently been implemented. The situation is a little bit like it was with REACH. Companies have known for a long time that they need to act, but are not responding until the last minute. Smaller companies in particular, which do not have an army of IT specialists, are often overburdened with the correct implementation of the data protection regulation. Errors in the handling of customer data will be almost inevitable – at the local soccer club, the hobby blogger, the carpenter’s shop around the corner, the medium-sized plastics and rubber processor, and perhaps even for you?

It is to be hoped that after 25 May the relevant control bodies will first take a look at the big fish – Google, Facebook, Yahoo & Co. – and not take the first official action to see whether the list of newsletter recipients of the local dog sports club has been compiled correctly.

Speaking of newsletters – a company in the field of interfacial chemistry contacted me today to ask if I would like to continue receiving its newsletter. This company showed how to turn the tiresome duty of correct data collection into a really good thing. For every confirmed newsletter subscription, the company donates one euro to a project dedicated to fighting against plastic waste in the oceans.* Now, even the big fish can be happy!

Best regards
Stephanie Waschbüsch

* The Ocean Cleanup, www.theoceancleanup.com


Current material innovations, new technologies and sustainability – The elastomer industry meets at DKT 2018

The German Rubber Society (Deutsche Kautschuk-Gesellschaft, DKG) is calling and everyone is going to be there: From 2 – 5 July 2018, Nuremberg will once again be the gathering place for the German and international elastomer industry. Thousands of visitors are expected at the Deutsche Kautschuk-Tagung 2018 (DKT). Around 300 exhibitors will showcase innovative and proven products and technologies. An insight into the current status of elastomer research and development will be given at the trade conference.
With its broad range of specialist exhibitors covering the entire supply chain of the rubber industry and its four-day congress with top-class participants, DKT is unique worldwide and the ideal place to experience the dynamism, enthusiasm, innovative strength and future viability of the rubber world, its players and its stakeholders up close and in person as well as to gain profitable insights for your own business.


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How new activators can influence vulcanization characteristics

In the scope of the present work, the behavior of newly developed activators is studied on a practical SBR mixture. As results show it is possible to influence the vulcanization characteristics not only by switching accelerator types but also by using special activators.


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Record year for the German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers – VDMA reports good order income for 2018

The German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers rush from one record to the next. They could increase their sales by another 5 % in 2017. “The past year has been in line with the positive development since 2010,” Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Chairman of the VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association, is pleased. “I am all the happier that we could surpass the original optimistic forecast of 4 % with this increase,” he added. Since the economic crisis, which had also affected the plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers, this has been the eighth year of growth in a row. The current boom has been lasting unusually long.


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Mergers and acquisitions in the polymer industry – Focus on polyurethanes

The last 2 – 2½ years has seen some major activity in M&A related to the polyurethanes industry. Changes are underway and M&A activity is one source of data to assess what strategic directions are being taken. This article looks at trends identified from over 120 publicly reported deals in the last 2 – 3 years. These are relentless consolidation, focused restructuring around core activities and access to growth markets. The arrival of Chinese companies on the global stage is also highlighted.


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Outlook for the natural rubber market: from surplus to scarcity
Why hot melts do not stick to cold surfaces

Many industrial polymer processing operations (e.g., extrusion, injection molding, etc.) include solid-to-liquid or liquid-to-solid phase changes at non-isothermal interfaces. Stickiness (tack) can occur depending on the process conditions. However, prediction of tack formation is not trivial. This work presents a hypothesis for tack formation between molten polymers and solids under non‑isothermal conditions. Our hypothesis states that strong adhesion requires wetting (and thus surface creation) at the interface upon contact and, consequently, contact temperatures above the polymer’s solidification point. Lower contact temperatures result in a solid-solid interface with negligible adhesion. It was suggested that the contact temperature determines the existence or non‑existence of surface sticking. The hypothesis was supported by non‑isothermal tack experiments, which show that the change from stickiness to non-stickiness is surprisingly pronounced with changing surface temperature of the solid material. From a practical perspective, the work may be useful both for professionals (e.g., designing new processing equipment and performing process troubleshooting) and home users (e.g., working with hot melt glue or 3d printers).


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Shape memory polymers based on EPDM/EOC blends

Thermally triggered shape memory polymeric materials based on ethylene octene copolymers (EOC) and ethylene propylene diene rubber (EPDM) have been developed and the shape memory behaviour of uncrosslinked EOC/EPDM blends and electron beam crosslinked EOC/EPDM has been pursued thoroughly. Investigation of the shape memory behaviour has been carried out at 60 °C. It shows that with the effect of electron irradiation shape fixity behaviour of the crosslinked blends becomes poor as compared to the uncrosslinked one, whereas the improvement in shape recovery behaviour takes place after the exposure to electron radiation. Even after crosslinking by electron irradiation, it has been found that crosslinked EPDM rich blends are superior in terms of shape memory behaviour. A lower decay of stress value coupled with a lower relaxation ratio in crosslinked EPDM rich blends show their superior shape memory behaviour.


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CO2 solubility and diffusivity and rapid gas decompression resistance of elastomers containing carbon nanotubes (CNT)

Understanding the structure-property relationship of elastomers is of critical importance in developing next-generation elastomers for high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) applications and in extending the application temperature and pressure range of existing oilfield products. Gas dissolution and diffusion in elastomers are essential to understanding the relationship among elastomer structures, rapid gas decompression (RGD) resistance, and sealing performance. In this study, solubility and diffusivity (or diffusion efficiency) of carbon dioxide (CO2) in hydrogenated nitrile butadiene rubber (HNBR) and FKM elastomers comprising carbon nanotubes (CNT) were measured using a gravimetric method. The Rubotherm method was also used to estimate the solubility and swelling of HNBR in both subcritical liquid and supercritical CO2. It was demonstrated that CNT had a direct impact on CO2 solubility, diffusion, and mechanical properties of elastomers, hence improving the RGD resistance of the elastomers.


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Development of high performance rubber composites from alkoxide-based silica and S-SBR

Solution styrene butadiene rubber (S-SBR) and silica-based composites are prepared by hydrolysis of tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) in presence of an organic solution of styrene butadiene rubber and n-butylamine as catalyst. Addition of bis[3-(triethoxysilyl)propyl]tetrasulfide (TESPT), a silane coupling agent, improves the performance and properties of the composites. All the results are compared with composites containing commercial precipitated silica at similar loading. Part 1 describes the investigation of silica flocculation and filler network analysis as well as the rheometric analysis. The silica particles generated from this alkoxide route result in lower Mooney viscosity of the compound and show less filler flocculation compared to standard commercial precipitated silica in reference compounds. In part 2, a detailed dynamic mechanical study indicates that alkoxide silica in model tire compounds could offer a lower rolling resistance and a higher wet skid resistance compared to the reference. Other properties such as heat build-up, rebound resilience and hysteresis loss are found to be very promising for alkoxide silica composites, too. The silica particles (aggregated) developed by the alkoxide method are found to be relatively large, in the range of 150 nm to 200 nm, as compared to the primary particles of precipitated commercial silica. The synthesis of sol-gel silica particles in presence of the polymer allows to trap some polymer molecules inside the filler aggregates and, therefore, offers exceptional mechanical reinforcement of the rubber.


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Revisiting the sulfur vulcanisation of rubber

Sulfenamide accelerators in combination with zinc oxide activator are used extensively in the sulfur cure systems of a wide range of industrial rubber articles. However, the excessive use of these chemicals has raised major concerns regarding their adverse effect on marine life and human health as well as the environment. Zinc oxide was functionalised with a sulfenamide accelerator in an organic solvent to provide a convenient single material to use as an additive. The effect of the additive on the cure properties of natural rubber was then measured. The aim was to minimize the use of these two chemicals in the cure system and enhance the efficiency of the sulfur vulcanisation of the rubber. Functionalising zinc oxide with the accelerator reduced the excessive use of these chemicals in the cure system. When the cure properties were compared with those of a sulfur cure-based natural rubber compound used to make tyres, the optimum cure time was noticeably shorter and the rate of cure significantly faster despite reducing the use of these two curatives by almost 77 %. All the indications are that the cure efficiency improves considerably when the chemicals in the cure system are reduced. 


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