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I don’t like Bob Dylan. And it’s not just because of his voice, with its nasal singsong remaining in your ear long after the last chord has faded away. But I confess that in recent weeks his iconic hymn about times changing has often crossed my mind. A small virus is about to thoroughly turn our world upside down and we all still don’t know exactly what it will look like when it is finished.
And even in our small publishing world there has been a radical change. In September we had to say goodbye to Dr. Heinz Gupta, one of whose many merits was that he had the entrepreneurial courage to launch a new magazine in the middle of the crisis year 2009: TPE Magazine, the world’s only technical trade journal dealing exclusively with thermoplastic elastomers. Although he has always been known in the industry as the “rubber man”, he was quick to recognise the potential of thermoplastic elastomers at a very early stage and supported the “new” material during his decades as editor-in-chief of a long-established rubber magazine (GAK “Gummi-Asbest-Kunststoffe”) wherever possible. I was astonished and delighted when, while browsing through the archives, I picked up the GAK volume from 1972, the year in which Heinz Gupta had taken up his post as editor-in-chief of the magazine. One of the first articles he published as editor-in-chief was about TPEs! The comprehensive article by Deutsche Shell Chemie GmbH, Frankfurt, summarised the state of the art in TPEs at that time.* One of the author’s remarks caught my attention: “Certainly, not all possibilities offered by this material have been explored yet.” How right he was!
By the way, with the “Allod TPE-Primer” Heinz Gupta also published a new reference book in German and English for TPEs in 2007 in his publishing house. And not too long ago he set the course for further book publications on thermoplastic elastomers.
The team of TPE Magazine is looking forward to accompanying changes and progresses in the world of thermoplastic elastomers and thus continuing Heinz Gupta’s legacy and developing it further with a promising future. Just one example: We regularly offer additive manufacturing specials, an area in which thermoplastic elastomers are real game changers.
Even though many things change in these times, fortunately there are also many constants. One of them is the presence of dogs in the editorial office. Their cheerful barking when they kick their TPE (or alternatively natural rubber) toys around the office puts me in a really good mood and also quickly eliminates the tingle in my ear when I think about the fact that The Times They are a-Changin’ ....
Kind regards & Stay healthy
PS: If you are interested in the above mentioned article from 1972, please contact me. I would be happy to send you a PDF!
* Dr. R. Bokorny, Der thermoplastische Kautschuk und seine Anwendungsmöglichkeiten GAK Gummi-Asbest-Kunststoffe, Volume 25, April 1972, p. 338ff.
Circular economy and sustainable plastic solutions are global key strategies which are in focus not only by many plastic producers and converters but also by governmental regulations. Mocom Compounds GmbH & Co. KG, compounder of thermoplastic polymers and former division of Albis Plastic, addresses this worldwide trend by implementing a long-term global sustainability strategy producing more sustainable high performance thermoplastics for a wide range of technical applications. The company recently developed and commercially launched Alfater XL Eco, a thermoplastic vulcanizate elastomer (TPV) which is produced from PP recyclate (rPP). This article gives an overview on the properties and potential applications of these innovative materials.
Dispersive and distributive mixing processes are a major element in the manufacture of thermoplastic masterbatches and compounds. Continuously working twin-screw extruders and kneader systems are mainly used for compounding. A crucial restriction of these mixing machines is the limited dwell time of the components to be mixed. Caparol Industrial Solutions GmbH is a company that has specialised in the manufacture of primarily liquid and paste-form pigment and additive concentrates. Discontinuously working mixing and dispersion machines, such as roller mills, butterfly mixers or dissolvers are used in particular in the production of these concentrates.
This is where the electrically conductive carbon black compounds and masterbatches of the NEFA MB EL product group come into play. The combination of discontinuous mixers and twin-screw extruders can manufacture very highly filled, conductive performance concentrates on the basis of SEBS copolymers.
Compounds in the NEFA MB EL product group are characterised by specific electrical resistances less than one ohm-centimetre (measured according to DIN EN ISO 3915) with hardnesses in the range of Shore A 80 to Shore D 60 and elongations at break of more than 400 %. Used as a masterbatch, electrostatically dispersive properties can be achieved with NEFA MB-EL concentrations in TPVs, for example, from an adding concentration of just 25 %.
New innovations in overmolding thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) have been developed based on styrene block copolymers (SBC) to achieve significant bonding to wide variety of polar substrates including polycarbonate (PC), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), PC/ABS, and polyesters. These innovative TPEs offer value compared with several competitive materials, offering equivalent or better performance, and ease of processability. These TPEs are being evaluated in a wide range of applications.
SPE Central Europe is pleased to announce a new sponsor: Solvay Speciality Polymers
will support an award category at the 20th Automotive Award 2021.
Plastic materials are among the best electrical insulators in existence. This characteristic, which is highly appreciated because of the number of applications it enables, is the cause of some 'side effects' due to the high values of specific resistance, typical of insulation materials. The main one is the accumulation of electrostatic charge after rubbing, due to electrical discharge felt when touching electrically conductive surfaces connected to earth.
This article introduces two new categories of electrically dissipating/anti-static thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) compounds developed by Francesco Franceschetti Elastomeri based on both migrating (non-permanent) and ICP (permanent) additives.
Hexpol has launched a comprehensive portfolio of wire and cable compounds based on rubber, thermoplastic elastomers as well as additives. The portfolio includes silicone rubber materials, CPE, EPDM, NBR+PVC, CR rubber compounds, pigment and additive masterbatch, as well as EVA and TPE technologies.
The International Colloquium Plastics Technology 2020 marked both an anniversary and a premiere. It was the 30th time that IKV’s wide range of research topics was presented at a colloquium, but for the first time – due to the corona pandemic - in digital form. Main topics were circular economy, industry 4.0 and additive manufacturing.