Rubber and Plastics News

Find out news about monomers, polymers, polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), foams, vinyls, elastomers, thermoplastics, polystyrene, natural and synthetic rubber, nylon, bio-plastic and bio-derived alternatives.

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28/01/2016

A step towards eliminating plastic waste

The World Economic Forum and Ellen MacArthur Foundation have released The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics. The report was produced as part of Project MainStream, and provides for the first time a vision of a global economy in which plastics never becomes waste, and outlines concrete steps towards achieving the systemic shift needed.  Read More

12/01/2016

Flexible composite heals itself while staying tough

Scientists at Rice University have developed an adaptive material that exhibits self-healing and reversible self-stiffening properties.  Read More

12/01/2016

Technique developed to detect illicit enhancement of racing tyres

A team of researchers from the Forensic and Investigative Sciences Programme of the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) have inspected the illicit treatment of racing tyres with volatile chemicals to improve function. The team claims to have developed an effective method to determine if tyres have been doctored.  Read More

08/01/2016

Fire resistant self-compacting concrete

When concrete is exposed to fire it chips and flakes – a process known as spalling. This effect is due to water trapped within the concrete vaporising. As more water vapour is produced the pressure within the concrete structure increases. In concrete structures, chips split away from ceilings, walls, and supporting pillars, reducing their load bearing capacity and increasing the risk of collapse in a burning building.  Read More

07/01/2016

A new way to store solar heat

Researchers at MIT Have developed a material that they say can store solar energy during the day and release it later as heat, whenever it’s needed. This transparent polymer film could be applied to many different surfaces, such as windows or clothing.  Read More

05/01/2016

Making better planes and space shuttles from nanotube composites

Researchers from Binghamton University claim that boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) could help build better fighter planes and space shuttles.  Read More

05/01/2016

Building a pilot plant for the production of specialist nanostructured powders

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) and nine other European partners are collaborating in the design, scale-up and build of a high energy ball-mill (HEBM) pilot plant for the production and validation of innovative nanostructured powders. These advanced powders will be able to be used in a number of high value manufacturing applications such as cutting tools, medical implants and a range of aerospace and automotive components.  Read More

04/01/2016

Strong and flawless 3D printed ceramics

Researchers from the American Association for the Advancement of Science have developed a way to create ceramics using 3D printing that results in a strong material that can be fabricated into complex, curved and porous shapes with little tendency to crack.   Read More

30/12/2015

Ceramic firefighting foam becomes stronger when temperature increases

A team of chemists from ITMO University, in collaboration with research company SOPOT, has developed a firefighting foam based on inorganic silica nanoparticles. The foam is claimed to beat existing analogues in fire extinguishing capacity, thermal and mechanical stability and biocompatibility.  Read More

23/12/2015

Boron nanotubes are stronger than carbon nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes are legendary in their strength - at least 30 times stronger than Kevlar by some estimates. When mixed with lightweight polymers such as plastics and epoxy resins, the tiny tubes reinforce the material, like the rebar in a block of concrete, promising lightweight and strong materials for airplanes, spaceships, cars and even sports equipment.  Read More

17/12/2015

Roads that de-ice themselves

Turkish researchers led by Seda Kizilel, associate professor Koç University's College of Engineering, are developing materials for use on roads that could spell the end for icy driving conditions.  Read More

03/12/2015

Storing electricity in paper

Researchers at Linköping University’s Laboratory of Organic Electronics have developed ‘power paper’. The material consists of nanocellulose and a conductive polymer and has the ability to store energy.   Read More

01/12/2015

Researchers make diamond at room temperature from new phase of carbon

Researchers from North Carolina State University have discovered a new phase of solid carbon, called Q-carbon. It is said to be distinct from known phases of graphite and diamond. They have also developed a technique for using Q-carbon to make diamond-related structures at room temperature and at ambient atmospheric pressure in air.  Read More

30/11/2015

Researchers create radiopaque polyethylene for the visualisation of medical implants

Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) is a biocompatible and corrosion-resistant thermoplastic commonly used in medical applications such as joint and ligament reconstruction and spinal and maxillofacial implants. However, as surgeons often require intraoperative visibility of the implant as well as postoperative visibility, the translucency of UHMWPE means that it is often substituted for less desirable metal implants.  Read More

25/11/2015

'Self-healing' gel makes electronics more flexible

A first-of-its-kind self-healing gel that is claimed to repair and connect electronic circuits has been developed by researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas. This material could create opportunities to advance the development of flexible electronics, biosensors and batteries as energy storage devices.  Read More

25/11/2015

Researchers make strides in development of underwater adhesive

Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have designed a synthetic material that combines the key functionalities of mussel foot proteins, creating a single, low-molecular-weight, one-component adhesive. The research marks an important step toward creating a practical underwater glue.  Read More

11/11/2015

World’s first polyamide strut mount for passenger car chassis

ContiTech Vibration Control has developed the first strut mount made from fibreglass-reinforced BASF Ultramid polyamide for use at both the front and rear axle in the chassis of passenger cars. The strut mount is said to offer weight reduction of around 25% and longer service life over traditional variants made from steel or aluminium.  Read More

05/11/2015

Structure of ‘concrete disease’ solved

Researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI teamed up with colleagues from the Swiss Materials Science Lab Empa to study a degenerative condition in concrete: alkali-aggregate reaction (AAR) - also called ‘concrete disease’ or ‘concrete cancer’. In the course of AAR, a material forms that takes up more space than the original concrete and gradually cracks the concrete from within as decades go by.  Read More

03/11/2015

Self-healing concrete could save £40bn in maintenance costs

A team of researchers from the Universities of Bath, Cambridge and Cardiff are carrying out the first trials of self-healing concrete in the UK. If the trial is successful it could lead to huge savings on maintenance of the UK’s network of roads, towns, and cities. It is estimated that around £40billion is spent each year in the UK on structural maintenance, and the majority of these structures are made of concrete.  Read More

13/10/2015

Proto Labs builds in Europe with Alphaform

Proto Labs has bought selected operations of German-based manufacturer Alphaform AG, which has service bureau facilities in Feldkirchen and Eschenlohe, as well as in Finland, and the United Kingdom.  Read More

06/10/2015

Cost of solar cells to be slashed

The cost of silicon wafers is set to be slashed following the development of a special manufacturing technique at the Germany Fraunhofer Institute, that does away with the need machine the material.  Read More

01/10/2015

Self-repairing polymeric material

Researchers of the University of Alicante Adhesion and Adhesives Laboratory have developed a flexible polymeric material capable of self-repairing. When the material, a type of transparent resin, is cut in half with scissors and put back in contact, it can re-join itself within 10 to 15 seconds without using any external source.  Read More

25/09/2015

Plastic gears given boost

PEEK supplier Victrex has acquired US-based polymer gears specialist Kleiss Gears. It is hoped the move will facilitate the development of plastic gear components across different industries.  Read More

24/09/2015

Diamond-tech aids safety glove developments

A range of safety gloves is using a ‘diamond technology material’ that enables a thinner fabric with the same level of protection.  Read More

22/09/2015

Ceramics to keep Bloodhound cool

As the build of Bloodhound SSC gains momentum, engineers are assessing how to cool the tightly packaged rocket engine and the volatile HTP (High Test Peroxide).  Read More

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