TPE Magazine international

Ausgabe 04 | 2021


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Cheese ?!

Did you know it? You don’t have to be afraid of cheese. Because according to an EU regulation, cheese, when used as an attractant to control pests such as mice, is a product that does not give rise to concern and therefore does not have to be classified as a biocide. This bizarre regulation was recently brought to my attention by friend who works in the wood protection industry:

“(3) On 31 January 2017 the Commission asked the Agency for an opinion on whether cheese gives rise to concern according to Article 28(2) of Regulation (EU) No 528/2012.
(4) The opinion of the Agency (5) concluded that cheese does not give rise to concern and is therefore eligible for inclusion in Annex I to Regulation (EU) No 528/2012.”*

You probably have considered the risk of a vicious Brillat-Savarin, an unscrupulous Chaource or an aggressive Oud Amsterdam suddenly getting at you from behind or even jeopardizing your reproductive capacity to be rather negligible, so far anyway. I admit that from time to time, especially in France, I came across cheeses that one might even spontaneously classify under the ABC weapons ban according to the Geneva Convention. However, I’m glad that cheese is considered by EU officially as a substance of no concern. I am a cheese addicted and this makes my daily handling of this wonderful food safe and easy.

Talking about safety …no, not in the field of cheese handling, but in the field of medical and risk applications. In this October issue of TPE Magazine Roberto Mariotti form Marfran summarises for us the current status of the EU Drinking Water Directive and its impact on elastomers.

A focus in this issue are aspects of hard/soft material combinations. Stefan Zepnik, André Simnick and Mathias Lauter have extensively analysed 2K injection molding with TPUs as soft component and the adhesion performance of TPUs in various combinations with engineering plastics. Adhesion performance is also in the focus of Matthias Bräuer and Konrad Schneider’s work on the determination of the bond strength of TPEs on various substrates including metal. A vertical injection molding machine paved the way for a new competiveness in the series production of a waterbox for for the VW ID.Buzz. With LWB Steinl the German automotive supplier Eldisy found the perfect partner for this successful system change.

A change was also the starting point for our interview with Andrea Maier-Richter. Since July 2021 she is President of the brand new TPU business unit at Covestro. She talks to us about Covestro’s new structure, about Covestro’s vision of becoming fully circular and gives us insights into latest product TPU developments and projects.

TPEs are the soft game changers in additive manufacturing. Thomas Wagner, Kraiburg TPE, summarises different approaches for processing thermoplastic elastomers in different 3D techniques.

Enjoy reading! (… and enjoy cheese!)

Stephanie Waschbüsch

* COMMISSION DELEGATED REGULATION (EU) 2019/1824 of 8 August 2019 amending Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council to include cheese as an active substance in Annex I thereto.


“Our focus is on sustainable growth and an even stronger customer orientation” – Interview with Dr. Andrea Maier-Richter, President Thermoplastic Polyurethanes, Covestro

In July 2021 Covestro has extensively realigned its organizational structure. The former three segments Polyurethanes (PUR), Polycarbonates (PCS), and Coatings, Adhesives, Specialties (CAS) have been restructured to form seven new entities. TPE Magazine spoke with Dr. Andrea Maier-Richter, the new President of the Business Unit Thermoplastic Polyurethanes, about these new developments.


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New regulatory horizons for TPE in contact with drinking water

Access to clean drinking water is a human right. In December 2020 the European Parliament adopted the revised Drinking Water Directive (DWD). The new directive will guarantee safer access to water for all Europeans. At the same time, it will ensure the highest standards in the world for drinking water. It aims at improving consumers’ confidence in the safety of tap water and allows for access to safe drinking water for all.


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Essential aspects in 2K injection molding with TPU as soft component

Multi-component injection molding technologies are gaining continuously increasing interest and market importance. They combine different materials and functionalities in one product and offer different part and design options, a high degree of automation, and high output rates in constant quality [1, 2]. Thus making it an economical solution over other established joining technologies such as welding or adhesive bonding. Multi-component products include versatile material combinations such as plastic-metal, plastic-glass, and plastic-plastic. Hard/soft combinations based on hard thermoplastics and one or more soft thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) are omnipresent in daily products and play today a key role for nearly all industries. This article aims to give a comprehensive overview of the adhesion performance of thermoplastic urethane elastomers (TPU) in various TPU-based hard/soft combinations using different engineering plastics as hard components. The influence of TPU hardness and TPU type as well as the influence of the 2K injection molding process on the adhesion are shown and discussed. Furthermore, the influence of the compound composition or additivation on the adhesion of the TPU is also addressed.


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Experimental aspects of the determination of bond strength by means of peel test

Hard-soft composites are increasingly used as basic building blocks for lightweight construction. Their use is limited by the composite adhesion. Different methods for characterizing composite adhesion are presented and the determined material parameters are evaluated. For this purpose, results are presented for three different two-component hard-soft composites: sheet steel-TPU, PC-TPU and PA6/GF-TPE. The adhesion strengths are discussed with respect to the different chemical composition of the components and their influence on the adhesion mechanisms.


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Focus: additive manufacturing

  • “First in class in terms of 3D printability” – Solutions for working with soft TPE materials in additive manufacturing
  • Sintratec: A wearable third hand
  • Arburg: Together with InnovatiQ at formnext 2021
  • AIM3D: New generation of print heads for metal, plastic and ceramics

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With a system change to new competitiveness in two-component molding – Eldisy and LWB Steinl cooperate for the production of a waterbox cover for Volkswagen

In the past, relying on vertical injection molding machines instead of traditional horizontal molding machines when it came to the production of two-component molded parts was usually the exception to the rule. And even then, it was only an option for small and medium-sized molded parts. It was only when the German automotive supplier Eldisy was faced with molded parts in the top size segment that the system change proved to be an unavoidable alternative because it was foreseeably more reliable and therefore more productive. In the injection molding machine specialist LWB Steinl, Eldisy found a partner who had the necessary system components and also many years of experience in large-scale machine construction to enter this new territory.


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