Commercially viable production of climate-neutral plastic is possible

01/12/2021

Since the early 1950s, plastics have found their way into almost every area of modern life. Between 1964 and 2014, plastic consumption increased twentyfold, from 15 to 311 million tonnes per year. Not only has environmental pollution from plastic waste increased during this time, but the amount of petroleum its manufacture consumes is large, as are the associated greenhouse gas emissions.
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Covestro receives the German Design Award for its CMF Aesthetics Toolkit

01/12/2021

As announced by the German Design Council, Covestro's CMF Aesthetics Toolkit will receive the German Design Award 2022 in the category "Excellent Product Design – Material and Surfaces." The toolkit is designed to inspire designers to explore the many aesthetic and functional possibilities of polycarbonate in the field of color, material and finish (CMF).
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Special concrete additive made in Costa Rica

29/11/2021

The Center for Regenerative Design and Collaboration (CRDC) in Costa Rica aims to turn plastic waste into a valuable resource for the construction industry.
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Elastic polymer that is both stiff and tough, resolves long-standing quandary

22/11/2021

Polymer science has made possible rubber tires, Teflon and Kevlar, plastic water bottles, nylon jackets among many other ubiquitous features of daily life.
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What recycled plastic can do: Blocks made from biocomposites for the "Classrooms of Hope" in Indonesia

17/11/2021

There is much discussion these days about the circular economy, and the means for incorporating plastics into this model. Recycling a used plastic bottle back into a clean, new bottle has some obvious environmental advantages. But a much more impactful model, in many cases, would involve turning tons of discarded plastics into products with a very long lifespan.
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Scientists develop films with tunable elongation and fracture for various uses

08/11/2021

Elastomers, or elastic polymers, materials with high elasticity, are widely used for applications in industries, such as automotive, manufacturing, and oil and gas.
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Research guides future of plastic waste chemical recycling

18/10/2021

New research from Cornell University aims to ease the process of chemical recycling – an emerging industry that could turn waste products back into natural resources by physically breaking plastic down into the smaller molecules it was originally produced from.
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Electrosynthesis: preventing cathodic corrosion

12/10/2021

Sustainability is an important issue in business and industry these days. Many companies recognize the need to find the best possible climate-neutral solutions for manufacturing their products and reduce their output of pollutants. This means they are looking for manufacturing options that do not require the use of fossil raw materials.
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$25 million investment in polymer upcycling research to reduce plastics waste

12/10/2021

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $25 million in funding for 10 research projects to build the scientific foundations for new technology solutions that reuse discarded plastics to make valuable products and reduce plastics waste.
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Simply more: Allrounder More! More space, modularity, and ease of use with multi-component injection moulding

28/09/2021

Arburg is launching a new series for production-efficient multi-component injection moulding: the Allrounder More, with its particularly flexible configuration, can now be perfectly adapted to specific customer and market requirements. The machines offer increased space for larger moulds, greater modularity during assembly, and numerous optimised features for easy use and simple maintenance.
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Clean room production of breast implants

14/09/2021

The Fraunhofer IPT has teamed up with BelloSeno GmbH to study biocompatible implants that are made using 3D printing. Kai Janning from the Fraunhofer IPT describes the conditions a medical device production facility must meet and reveals the latest successes of the researchers.
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Keeping resources in the circular economy: iCycle gives face masks a second life

07/09/2021

Fraunhofer UMSICHT has developed a process with which the raw materials of the masks can be recycled and thus recovered for reuse.
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New method developed to solve plastics sustainability problem

03/09/2021

Plastics sustainability has come a long way in recent years thanks in large part to scientific advances. But even as plastics become more and more environmentally friendly, the world continues to be polluted as many industries rely on them for their widely used products.
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Material development: getting there faster with co-pilot AI

24/08/2021

General conditions for chemical and materials companies are changing rapidly. But the thorough research, development and commercialization of new materials can be lengthy. AI can accelerate this process.
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Polymer enables tougher recyclable thermoplastics

23/08/2021

To synthesize plastic, small monomer molecules need to be strung together like beads in a necklace, creating long polymer chains. However, not all plastics – or their polymers – are created equal. The longer and stronger the polymer, the more durable the material. Cornell researchers took a middling monomer and, by using a special catalyst, they created a tougher polymer that can form long chains.
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Visualizing stress in plastics

23/08/2021

A research team led by Prof. Dr. Michael Sommer and PD Dr. Michael Walter has succeeded in constructing a new dye molecule from the area of so-called mechanophores.
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Eco-friendly plastic from cellulose and water

16/08/2021

Plastics offer many benefits to society and are widely used in our daily life. However, the production, processing and disposal of plastics are simply not sustainable, and pose a major global threat to the environment and human health. Eco-friendly processing of reusable and recyclable plastics derived from plant-based raw materials would be an ideal solution.
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Soft polymers for human-robot interaction

10/08/2021

Most people know robots either from science fiction films or from company production halls. There, they reliably perform their tasks. But: they are heavy and rigid – anyone who gets in the way of their fixed motion sequences is in the way. For this reason, robots need to be developed that have a softer surface and are thus better suited for interaction with humans.
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3D printing of multilayered materials for smart helmets

09/08/2021

A mechanical and aerospace engineering professor at The University of Texas at Arlington is developing advanced helmets to ensure that members of the military are as protected as possible from blasts and other types of attacks.
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Bio-based coating for wood better than traditional synthetic options

09/08/2021

Due to the global efforts to meet sustainability standards, many countries are currently looking to replace concrete with wood in buildings. France, for example, will require that all new public buildings will be made from at least 50 percent wood or other sustainable materials starting in 2022.
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Carbon dioxide as a raw material for plastics and other products

03/08/2021

Carbon dioxide is one of the main drivers of climate change – which means that we need to reduce Carbon dioxide emissions in the future. Fraunhofer researchers are highlighting a possible way to lower these emissions: They use the greenhouse gas as a raw material, for instance to produce plastics.
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Can biodegradable polymers live up to the hype?

03/08/2021

As consumers and corporations alike become more environmentally conscious, the chemical industry is working to find solutions to the plastic waste crisis. One idea is to use biodegradable polymers known as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) as replacements for traditional plastic packaging and other materials.
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Printed polymers with active ingredient

20/07/2021

3D printing can be used to produce versatile, individual shapes. This type of extrusion process is therefore not only popular in the plastics industry – it is also suitable for medical technology applications. Only the right polymers have to be found first.
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Fraunhofer and the Technical University of Ostrava start German-Czech research collaboration for sustainable production

01/07/2021

In the scope of a future-oriented collaboration in the field of industrial production, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is cooperating with the VSB – Technical University of Ostrava (VSB-TUO). The partners research and develop the potential offered by energy management technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) and intelligent production in industry.
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Mardianto Adiguno, Aegis Packaging Pte Ltd

Mardianto Adiguno

17/06/2021

Aegis Packaging Pte Ltd
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New light on making two-dimensional polymers

15/06/2021

An international research team led by members from the Technical University of Munich, the Deutsches Museum, Munich, and the Swedish Linköping University has developed a method to manufacture two-dimensional polymers with the thickness of a single molecule. The polymers are formed on a surface by the action of light. The discovery paves the way to new ultrathin and functional materials.
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Enzymes successfully embedded in plastics

14/06/2021

In general, plastics are processed at way over a hundred degrees Celsius. Enzymes, by contrast, cannot usually withstand these high temperatures. Researchers at the Fraunhofer IAP have managed to reconcile these contradictions: They are able to embed enzymes in plastics without the enzymes losing their activity in the process. The potentials this creates are enormous.
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Historical experimental studio © PantherMedia/Klanneke

Do it Yourself plastic anno 1530

09/06/2021

Instructions for the production of artificial cow horn. Almost 500 years old is the recipe for the production of artificial horn and thus currently the oldest known German recipe for plastic.
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Asphalt with a pinch of rubber

07/06/2021

Swiss drivers wear out countless tires. Instead of incinerating them, they could be reused locally: The asphalt of various countries has long contained rubber from used tires. Empa and its partners from industry are adopting this idea for potential applications in Switzerland.
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Image: old carpets in a yard; Copyright: PantherMedia / a_oldman

Polypropylene recycling from carpet waste

07/06/2021

A significant part of carpet waste consists of petroleum-based polypropylene. As a non-recyclable product, disposing of it has previously meant incineration or landfill. However, a new solvent is now making it possible to recover virgin-standard polypropylene from carpet waste — with no perceptible reduction in quality.
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VYTAL: the first digital reusable system for Take Away

27/05/2021

Today, the kitchen stays cold: if you don't feel like cooking, you simply have something delivered. However, the meals often come in disposable packaging that only has a short lifespan. This bothered the founders of VYTAL, who developed a deposit-free reusable system. They prove that plastic and sustainability are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
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Fire-resistant and bio-based fiber-reinforced composites for structural lightweight design in ships

24/05/2021

As lightweight construction materials, fiber-reinforced polymers have the potential to improve the ecological footprint of ships. If the fibers and plastic matrix are based on renewable raw materials, the ecological footprint can be further reduced. Integrating these materials as structural components is not state of the art and requires new concepts in shipbuilding.
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Scientists find a way to make pultrusion faster

24/05/2021

A research team from the Skoltech Center for Design, Manufacturing and Materials (CDMM) studied the effects of processing additives – aluminum hydroxide and zinc stearate – on the polymerization kinetics of thermosets used in pultrusion.
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New process makes 'biodegradable' plastics truly compostable

11/05/2021

Most compostable plastics, made primarily of the polyester known as polylactic acid end up in landfills and last as long as forever plastics. University of California scientists have now invented a way to make these compostable plastics break down more easily, with just heat and water, within a few weeks, solving a problem that has flummoxed the plastics industry and environmentalists.
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Plastic components with longer service life

10/05/2021

23 percent of global energy consumption can be attributed to friction losses. In the case of plastics, reduced friction can also reduce microplastics in the environment. With the development of microcapsules filled with liquid lubricants for plastics, the Potsdam Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP and the Plastics Center SKZ in Würzburg are supporting these goals.
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Plastic, please – when life hangs on a thread

16/02/2021

People climb and scale the steepest mountain walls and swing themselves up to dizzying heights, usually trusting that a plastic product will save their lives in the event of a fall. This polymer saviour celebrates its birthday: On 16 February 1937, the US chemical company Du Pont applied for a patent for the versatile and resilient synthetic fibre "nylon".
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Protective polymers

21/12/2020

Restrictions have been imposed to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Wearing a mouth and nose mask is part of this, as is avoiding and reducing social contact and maintaining safe distances up to more far-reaching quarantine measures. Where it is difficult to keep a distance, plastics fulfil a key barrier and protective function.
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Diving into the bloodstream

27/11/2020

In the 1966 science fiction film "The Fantastic Voyage", scientists have their submarine shrunk and injected into the body of another researcher. Truly a fiction, at least as far as shrinking people is concerned. It's a different story with machines. Here, science is making promising progress.
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Smallest 3D printed miniature endoscope in the world

24/07/2020

Researchers of the Universities of Stuttgart and Adelaide in cooperation with medical research centers in Australia developed a special microoptical tool with a thickness of only 125 microns. This enables endoscopic examimations within blood vessels whose diameter is smaller than 0.5 mm and helps detecting plaques or thrombs to reduce the danger of a stroke or a heart attack.
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Polymere ink of the future in printed electronics

19/06/2020

A research group led by Simone Fabiano at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics, Linköping University, has created an organic material with superb conductivity that doesn't need to be doped. They have achieved this by mixing two polymers with different properties.
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Water gushes from pipe

Plastic: lifeline for transporting water

25/05/2020

Water pipes are vital for functioning urbanizations. The problem: mending leaks means, first of all, exposing hidden pipes on a large scale, so that the damaged section can be found and repaired. The CIPP (cured-in-place pipe) principle is an attractive alternative. What is involved here is simply the coating of entire sections of pipe with plastic or, more precisely, epoxy resin from the inside.
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Antiviral and antimicrobial additive developed for face masks

22/05/2020

Wearing a fase mask can significantly reduce the range of viruses that are coughed up. This is the conclusion reached by scientists from the university in Edinburgh, Scotland. Nevertheless, the mask does not protect against infection per se. An Israeli company has now developed an additive wih an antiviral effect that can be applied to the mask.
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Carbon Inc.’s Continuous Liquid Interface Production™, © Carbon Inc.

A look at the shifting trends in additive manufacturing

22/05/2020

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An early warning system for damage in composite materials

19/02/2020

A team at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a tool to monitor changes in widely used composite materials known as fiber reinforced polymers (FRPs), which can be found in everything from aerospace and infrastructure to wind turbines. The new tool, integrated into these materials, can help measure the damage that occurs as they age.
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Pacifier biosensor could help monitor newborn health

04/02/2020

Wearable biosensors that non-invasively monitor health and fitness are growing in popularity among adults. But adapting this technology for use with babies is difficult because the devices are often bulky or have rigid surfaces that could harm infants' delicate skin. Now researchers say they have developed a pacifier-based biosensor that tracks real-time glucose levels in saliva.
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Sean Carney, Chief Design Officer of Philips

Sean Carney

30/06/2019

Chief Design Officer, Philips
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Alastair Curtis, Chief Design officer at Logitech

Alastair Curtis

30/06/2019

Chief Design Officer, Logitech
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Ivy Ross, Vice President of Design for Hardware at Google

Ivy Ross

30/06/2019

Vice President of Design for Hardware, Google
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