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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FAST and PPME Exhibition registration now open

Registration has now opened for the FAST Exhibition, co-located with the brand new Plastics, Prototyping and Metals Exhibition (PPME), which takes place at The Concorde Conference Centre in Manchester on 21st April 2016.  Read More


Commercialised PBT moulding compounds for laser welding

Panasonic has announced that it will start mass production of polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) moulding compounds for laser welding in March, 2016. The company says this will contribute to the enhancement of long-term reliability and the flexibility of design of automotive switches and sensors.  Read More


Polymer aerogel to optimise oil and gas pipeline applications

Blueshift International Materials, the University of Strathclyde and the Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) have collaborated to develop an aerogel product, composed of up to 99.98% air by volume, for applications in oil and gas pipelines.  Read More


DuPont invests in the first Zytel HTN polymer production facility in Europe

DuPont Performance Materials has invested in Zytel HTN PPA polymer capacity at its Uentrop facility in Germany. This will be the first Zytel HTN polymer production facility in Europe. Construction is already under way and the plant is expected to begin production in the summer of 2016.  Read More


Nano-coating makes coaxial cables lighter

Rice University scientists claim to have developed a way of coating common coaxial cables with a nanotube-based outer conductor that is claimed to make them 50% lighter.   Read More


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


'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


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


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


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


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


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

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