Image: Athlete looking at her smartphone in the park while resting after an outdoor workout. Right: yoga mat; Copyright: DaniDG_

Smart textiles sense how their users are moving

22/08/2022

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology develop a comfortable, form-fitting fabric that recognizes its wearer's activities, like walking, running, and jumping. Through the process of thermoforming, the researchers were able to significantly improve the precision of pressure sensors woven into multilayer knitted textiles, which they call 3DKnITS.
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Image: pineapple plantation in the mountains. Left: Pineapple lying in plantation; Copyright: ADDICTIVE_STOCK

BASF's IrgaCycle™ stabilizes recycled plastics used to protect pineapples from sunburn in Malaysia

20/08/2022

The two companies BASF and 3T Industries Sdn Bhd are helping pineapple plantations in Malaysia to increase yields and conserve resources. 3T Industries has used BASF's IrgaCycle™ UV033 DD to improve the production of 100% recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) sheets to protect pineapples from solar radiation.
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Image: solar cell panels; Copyright: RawPixels_1

Cloeren GmbH invests in solar energy

19/08/2022

Cloeren GmbH has completed installation of a solar power plant at its Micheldorf, Austria facility to move towards carbon neutral manufacturing. The solar plant investment added 200 KW of solar produced energy, allowing us to reduce C02 emissions 90 tonnes per year.
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Image:Cutout of woman taking lipstick from shelf in cosmetic store; Copyright: NomadSoul1

Sustainable cellulose start-up Naturbeads is poised to scale up

03/08/2022

Naturbeads, a company that aims to replace plastic microbeads with sustainable alternatives, will expand its work. It has been helped by a recent £1.3 million (€1.5 million) funding round. Naturbeads has developed cellulose-based products that can be used in cosmetics, paints, coatings, additives for the oil and gas industry, packaging and composites.
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A guide to sustainable plastics

27/07/2022

As a designer, plastics and sustainability can be difficult to navigate. There are so many parameters to consider – from the origin and environmental footprint of raw materials to the durability and quality of specific materials and maximising the chances of recovery and recycling at the end of life of plastics products.
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Functional plastics – designing for circularity

27/07/2022

Few, if any, materials can compete with plastics in terms of adaptability and versatility – many different material properties can be derived from the same basic chemistry, meaning that complex product assemblies can be made with a single type of plastic.
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Fly me to the moon: how plastics contribute to radiation protection in space

26/07/2022

When it comes to the use of plastics in space, you probably first think of spacesuits or lightweight components. But there is another application: radiation protection. Space radiation is a risk to humans that should not be underestimated. The MARE experiment aims to determine this risk in order to develop protective measures for future space flights.
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Plastic as an indispensable companion for people with disabilities

20/07/2022

Plastic makes our lives easier every day - for some this is more true, for others less. And for people with disabilities, plastic can simply mean a great deal of freedom. Fiber-reinforced composites and the like are used today where bulky and awkward solutions had to be found in the past. They are the cheaper and lighter alternative that makes many things possible.
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North American plastics sector holds steady, while riding a roller-coaster of uncertainty

08/07/2022

The pandemic. Supply chain ruptures. The Great Resignation. China trade tensions. Climate change and extreme weather events. Soaring inflation. Stock market volatility. The war in Ukraine. Seldom in our lifetimes have we experienced such an extended period of disruption and uncertainty.
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Image: Female hand throws coffee cup into trash can; Copyright: svitlanah

SK chemicals realizes good takeout with Dodori Cup made from Ecozen

21/06/2022

SK chemicals is planning a Realization of zero waste with Ecozen reusable cups that are used and returned. 5,000 so called Dodori cups used in this project are made from Ecozen.
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Silicones: All-rounders for healthcare, electronics and climate protection

27/05/2022

Baby pacifiers, plug seals, medical tubing – we encounter silicones in a wide variety of life situations. Why? They are flexible, water-repellent, heat- and chemical-resistant and even have electrical properties. In short, they are true all-rounders! WACKER, the German chemical group and K exhibitor from the very beginning, is considered a European pioneer in silicones.
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Economical and non-destructive inspection of thick-walled CFRP components

17/05/2022

The more complex carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) components are, the more difficult they are to examine. As a rule, the robot-assisted examination systems required for this are therefore designed for a limited range of components, which can hardly be used for examining other components.
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Brave new world – how design makes the plastics industry more sustainable

29/04/2022

When the first plastic was developed 150 years ago, it was a miracle for people at the time. Around 1950, the material contributed significantly to the economic miracle of the post-war period. Today, in view of the climate crisis, little is left of this image. In its exhibition "Plastic. Remaking Our World", the Vitra Design Museum wants to show how plastic can contribute to solving problems.
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Image: Cutout of woman using cell phone and laptop ; Copyright: leungchopan

A stretchy display for shapable electronics

25/04/2022

Zhenan Bao, a chemical engineer at Stanford University, and her research team have provided proof of principle for a stretchable, potentially reshapeable display using a method to fabricate an elastic light-emitting polymer with high luminosity.
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Safely above the clouds – plastics in aviation

13/04/2022

Around 10,000 m altitude, speeds of almost 1,000 km/h, outside temperatures as low as -60°C. One of the reasons why we as airline passengers don't notice any of this is because of plastics. These are not only mechanically and chemically resistant, but also lightweight. And lighter aircraft cause fewer CO2 emissions, which is of great importance for achieving climate targets.
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Lightweight truck-mounted toolbox with novel plastic composite hybrid solution

09/03/2022

SABIC is cooperating with Dongfeng on the development of a novel plastic composite hybrid solution to produce a robust yet weight-saving toolbox for assembly on vehicles.
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Integrated electronics make for sleek, smart surfaces

08/03/2022

Technological advances and evolving user preferences are redefining the look (and feel) of future electronic devices. Some examples were on display at the big CES 2022 consumer technology show in Las Vegas during the first week of January.
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eCampus offers online training for employees in the plastics industry

04/03/2022

Knowledge is power – this also applies to the plastics industry. But training courses cost time and tie up participants, although they are actually needed elsewhere. So that companies do not have to do without employees for entire days during such training courses, the SKZ has developed the eCampus together with Hanser Verlag.
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That smells nice: GRAFE adds fragrance to plastics

23/02/2022

It’s instantly recognizable, even with your eyes closed: that unmistakable “new car smell”. Granted, it’s not necessarily a scent everyone loves, prompting many to reach for alternative air fresheners. But what if you could avoid unpleasant odors right at the factory source - and not just when it comes to cars, but other products as well?
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Dishwasher components made from recycled plastic

01/02/2022

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New lignin based material to replace fossil plastics and adhesives

01/02/2022

Researchers at Stockholm University have developed a resource-efficient method to produce new lignin-based materials that can be thermally reprocessed and used to substitute thermosetting resins and adhesives.
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3D printing: InfraredTags make plastics communicative

31/01/2022

Shopping can be exhausting, for example when you first have to find the price label of a product or rush through the aisles looking for alternative products. All of this could be done at a glance while shopping – if InfraredTags were integrated into a product's packaging.
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Recyclable furniture from the creative workshop

24/01/2022

Plastic is a versatile material that can be used for a wide variety of projects. What's more, it is reusable and can be given new forms – so it can be given a second life in the sense of the circular economy. In the plastikfabrik in Saarbrücken (Germany), Daniela and Pascal Becher breathe such a second life into plastic.
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Jerome Romkey

20/01/2022

President, GN Thermoforming Equipment Co.
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Self-healing 3D printed plastic can repair itself by using only light

20/01/2022

Research by UNSW academics shows that special treatment of liquid resin used in 3D printing can cause the material to mend itself if it becomes damaged.
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Recyclability by Design – Electronics integrated in plastic becomes more sustainable

20/01/2022

The aim of the project ReIn-E project is to develop designs and sustainable materials to enable the recycling of the components.
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Bence Körmendi

19/01/2022

Petchem Business Unit Director, MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Company Plc.
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Borealis acquires minority stake in UK-based sustainable packaging innovator Bockatech

10/01/2022

Borealis, one of the world’s leading providers of advanced and circular polyolefin solutions and a European market leader in base chemicals and fertilizers, announces that it has acquired a minority stake in Limited, a UK-based growth-stage green tech business and inventor of the innovative EcoCore ® manufacturing technology platform for sustainable packaging.
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Polymer discovery gives 3D-printed sand super strength

10/01/2022

Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory designed a novel polymer to bind and strengthen silica sand for binder jet additive manufacturing, a 3D-printing method used by industries for prototyping and part production.
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Made to degrade

03/01/2022

There's a lot of plastic in the ocean. Much of it comes from the single-use items that we're all familiar with, such as food wrappers and microbeads that inadvertently wind up in the sea. But a growing amount is coming from plastics that are actually made to be used in marine environments, such as instrumentation used for an emerging ocean "Internet of Things."
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Using circular economy principles to recycle toys

28/12/2021

Many of us are familiar with this scene in our children’s bedrooms: when the kids have outgrown their toys, the latter typically get boxed up until we finally take heart and purge them. But it doesn’t have to be that way: the initiative of the HolyPoly company takes recycling steps to create new toys – that look slightly different.
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Reducing plastic pollution by adding RNA-inspired 'breaking points'

20/12/2021

Once plastic products are used and discarded, they can linger in oceans and harming sea life. One potential solution, a biodegradable polymer called polylactide (PLA), has so far not fully lived up to its promise, showing little sign of breakdown once in seawater. In a new study, researchers set out to address this issue by incorporating RNA-inspired breaking points to the polymer.
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Covestro and Eco-mobilier collaborate for tackling next-level PU mattress foam recycling

13/12/2021

Materials manufacturer Covestro and Eco-mobilier, a French eco-organization and non-profit extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemer for the collection and recycling of used furniture, aspire to generate enhanced value aiming at mattresses and upholsteries.
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Anna Rottstegge

08/12/2021

Head of Research & Development, Reifenhäuser Reiloy
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Plastics recycling deadlines loom – will companies meet their goals?

06/12/2021

Many of the world's largest consumer product companies, including Cocoa-Cola, Unilever and PepsiCo, have set ambitious targets for replacing virgin plastics with recycled ones – typically 25 percent of their total packaging by 2025. So far, however, most companies have made only modest progress and will need to ramp up their efforts to reach these lofty goals.
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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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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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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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$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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Alastair Curtis, Chief Design officer at Logitech

Alastair Curtis

30.06.2019

Chief Design Officer, Logitech
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Sean Carney, Chief Design Officer of Philips

Sean Carney

30/06/2019

Chief Design Officer, Philips
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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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