A S l A ’ S L E A D l N G m aga z l ne f o r t h e p las t l c s and r u b b e r l nd u s t r y
业 界 新闻 材 料新闻 生物塑料：緩和氣候變化
In this issue
Volume 34, No 247
publlshed slnce 1985
A S l A’ S L E A D l N G m aga z l ne f o r the plastlcs and rubber lndustry
Features 焦 點 內 容 12 材料新聞: 生物塑料：緩和氣候變化 15 K2019 Preview – In June/July various companies held press conferences
in Europe to preview their participation at the world’s largest plastics show to be held in October in Germany. The focus will be on the circular economy, since this is an omnipresent topic given the bashing plastics have been receiving due to ocean waste and littering
20 Building Industry –Construction of zero net buildings is being pushed, in view of attaining global emissions targets set below 2°C by 2030 by all industries
Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Arthur Schavemaker Tel: +31 547 275005 Email: email@example.com Associate Publisher/Executive Editor Tej Fernandez Tel: +60 3 4260 4575 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
24 Pipe Industry – In the light of the new CEN standard for PVC-O pipes,
Senior Editor Angelica Buan Email: email@example.com
26 Circular Economy – Ulrich Reifenhäuser, CSO of extrusion machinery
Chinese Editor Koh Bee Ling
underground pipe systems for water and natural gas are assured of good quality and fit for their designed purpose and are expected to last for over 100 years firm Reifenhäuser Group, speaks about tackling the circular economy and says that while there is no perfect solution, educating the people to properly reuse plastics is key
28 Country Focus – India, boosting its home-grown space technology
Circulation Stephanie Yuen Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
capabilities with its latest space exploit, the Chandrayaan 2 lunar mission, is changing the global space technology landscape
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Supplements 副 刊 At K2019, machinery firm Arburg will showcase the integration of a mould filling simulation in its Gestica control system of its Allrounder machines Machinery companies are pulling out all the stops to focus on the sustainability issue. This will be the theme at the K2019 in Düsseldorf, Germany James Taylor of OnRobot explains how intelligent end of-arm tooling (EOAT) changes the game with its revolutionary features and functions, making automation easier to integrate Processing of scrap tyres as viable source of energy, fuel, and materials for key applications is gaining traction in the rubber industry DIGITAL+PRINT www.plasticsandrubberasia.com
A S l A ’ S L E A D l N G M A G A Z l N E F O R THE PLASTlCS AND RUBBER lNDUSTRY
On the Cover The rising popularity of the green building concept is activating the market growth for zero-carbon footprint technologies, materials and designs
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M&As/Tie-ups • Speciality chemicals company Synthomer is to acquire Omnova Solutions, a US-based global manufacturer of emulsion polymers, specialty chemicals, and functional and decorative surfaces, for US$824 million. The transaction is expected to close 2019/early 2020. • Australia-headquartered global packaging company Amcor is to sell three former Bemis plants in the UK/ Ireland to Kohlberg & Company for US$394 million. Collectively these three plants generate sales of US$170 million/year from the sale of flexible packaging for certain healthcare products. This divestment was required by the European Commission at the time of approving Amcor's acquisition of Bemis in February 2019.
• German materials firm Covestro is selling its European Systems Houses business to US investment firm HIG Capital for a highdouble-digit Euro million sum. It also sold its North American spray PU foam systems house in 2017. • US packaging maker Tekni-Plex has completed the acquisition of three manufacturing facilities from Amcor Flexible Packaging that serve medical device OEMs. Tekni-Plex has also purchased Brazilian closure liner manufacturer Geraldiscos, which will become part of its Tri-Seal business. Geraldiscos is the 13th acquisition TekniPlex has made in the past five years. Early in July, Tekni-Plex also purchased Italian healthcare packaging company Lameplast SpA from Milan-based private equity firm
Aksìa Group. It will become part of TekniPlex’s global films business. • German films manufacturer Renolit has established a new joint venture in China, with Chinese trading partner Citiking. • Danish plastics company Inter Primo has acquired Britishowned Essentra Extrusion, located in the Netherlands. Inter Primo has a total turnover of approximately EUR150 million and 1,100 employees on 14 production facilities in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Germany, Russia and China. • Additives/chemicals maker SI Group, a portfolio company of SK Capital Partners, is selling the majority of its global industrial resin businesses and its Brazilian speciality
Plant Expansions/Opening/Set-ups • German chemicals firm BASF and Sichuan Lutianhua are to co-develop a pilot production plant for syngas-dimethyl ether (DME) produced that can be used as an intermediate to produce olefins like ethylene and propylene. Lutianhua will invest and build the plant with technology from BASF and industrial gas firm Linde. BASF will supply new catalyst 2
systems that enable one-step conversion of syngas to DME while Linde will provide process design and engineering for direct DME synthesis. The pilot plant is planned to be built in 2020. BASF is also opening new Footwear Development Centres in the US and Thailand; and is also launching a Footwear Innovation Centre in Taiwan in 2020. The company also
recently expanded its Footwear Development Centre in Italy. The 2,000sq ft US facility is fully equipped with footwear machinery for outsole, midsole and unit sole developments. • Indian BOPP film maker Polyplex, with facilities in India, Thailand and Turkey and which set PT Polyplex Films Indonesia in 2017, is now setting up a greenfield 60,000 tonne/year-BOPP film
business to Germanybased ASK Chemicals, a company of private equity firm Rhône Group. The transaction includes SI’s sites in Brazil, India and South Africa, as well as licensed technology and multiple tolling agreements globally. • Japanese chemicals firm Teijin Limited has signed a joint development agreement with Australian venture AEV Robotics (AEV) to develop elemental technologies for AEV’s futuristic Modular Vehicle System that satisfies the Well-toWheel Zero Emission goal established by Japan. They will utilise Teijin’s materials such as polycarbonate resin, carbon and aramid fibres, and composites technologies owned by Teijin and its group companies including Continental Structural Plastics for structural design. line, with an investment of US$48 million, in Jakarta, Indonesia. The commercial production is expected to start in mid-2019. • Swiss chemical firm Clariant Masterbatches has set up a Regional Packaging Centre (RPC) at its Phanthong manufacturing facility in Thailand. Clariant’s regional network of application-development laboratories are in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia,
India, New Zealand and Australia. • Sichuan Shengda Chemical New Material Co and Sichuan Energy Investment Chemical New Material Co have started up Sichuan Shengda’s purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant in Nanchong, China. It utilises Invista Performance Technologies (IPT)’s proprietary P7 PTA process technology, and has a nameplate capacity of 1 million tonnes/year. This plant also uses Invista’s proprietary R2R technology for production of benzoic acid as a co-product. • Japan’s Nippon Shokubai has broken ground for the US$200 million expansion of its acrylic acid plant in Cilegon, Indonesia. With this new plant, the group’s global acrylic acid production capacity will be increased from 880,000 to 980,000 tonnes/ year. Established in 1996, the Indonesian plant’s capacity will be increased by 100,000 tonnes/year to 240,000 tonnes/year after the completion of the expansion in 2021.
Machinery News • US-based Hillenbrand Inc, which owns compounding extruder maker Coperion and auxiliary equipment 4
• South Korea’s Lotte Chemical Corp. is adding a chemical compounding plant at its petrochemical complex in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province, by the end of the year in a joint venture with GS Energy Corp, at a cost of US$679 million. Lotte Chemical will hold a 51% interest in the new entity, and GS Energy the rest. The plant will produce 200,000 tonnes/year of bisphenol A (BPA) and 210,000 tonnes/year of C4 fraction products.
(FAHCCT). Planned activities at the site will include mechanical and chemical testing of composite laminate specimens, material qualifications, and provision of support for customer supply chains in China. • Japan’s Mitsubishi Chemical Corp (MCC) is setting up a European carbon fibre sheet moulding compound (SMC) production facility in Italy. Slated to start operations in September 2020, it will be located on a site adjoining C.P.C. SRL in Modena, Italy, in which MCC holds a 44% equity stake.
expected by 2021, with targeted start-up in 2024. • Renolit Gor, a subsidiary of Renolit Composites, has added a new production line for Tecnogor to its plant in Pune, India. It is the company’s first facility outside Europe able to produce Tecnogor thermoformable sheets and rolls, along with other 100% recyclable products in the composites material range.
• Composites companies Hexcel, Progen and Future Aerospace have opened a 1,000 sq m joint venture laboratory and materials testing facility in Shanghai, China, known as Future Aerospace Hexcel Commercial Composite Testing Limited
• US chemical firm Chevron Phillips (CP) Chemical and stateowned oil/gas firm Qatar Petroleum are to jointly develop a new US$8 billion petrochemical plant on the US Gulf Coast. The US Gulf Coast II Petrochemical Project (USGC II) will include a 2,000-kilotonne/year ethylene cracker and two 1,000-kilotonne/year HDPE units. CP Chemical will be the majority owner with a 51% share and Qatar Petroleum will take up 49%. A final investment decision is
• Petronas Chemicals Group (PCG), the petrochemical arm of Malaysian oil/ gas firm Petronas, and UK chemical recycling company Plastic Energy are to study the feasibility of establishing a facility to convert plastic waste into Tacoil, Plastic Energy’s feedstock, to create recycled plastics in Malaysia. The collaboration will enable PCG to utilise Tacoil for polymer production at its petrochemical complex in Pengerang Integrated Complex and obtain circular polymer certification from International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC).
firms K-Tron and Rotex, is to acquire compatriot machinery firm Milacron Holdings in a deal valued at US$2 billion, including net debt of approximately US$686 million as of March 2019. This
also comes hot on the heels of Milacron’s recent completion of the sale of its Uniloy blow moulding machinery business to two private equity firms — Osgood Capital Group and Cyprium Investment
Partners — for around US$52 million. Milacron manufactures machinery in the US$30 billion plastics technology and processing industry, as well as fluid technologies and
• PetroLogistics ll, a portfolio company of Quantum Energy Partners, has licensed Dow’s proprietary fluidised catalytic dehydrogenation (FCDh) technology and plans to construct a 500 kilotonne/year propane dehydrogenation (PDH) facility on the US Gulf Coast.
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INDUSTRY NEWS processing systems. This transaction will allow Hillenbrand to become a global diversified industrial company by adding new strategic businesses in hot runner systems and injection moulding to its portfolio through Milacron’s brands of Mold-Masters and Milacron injection moulding. The combined company is expected to generate sales of nearly US$3 billion a year and free cash flow of more than US$325 million by 2021. Milacron had sales of US$1.1 billion in 2018 and employs 5,800 people. Hillenbrand is a US$1.8 billion company with a global workforce of roughly 6,500. Both companies are traded on the New York Stock Exchange. • German Injection moulding manufacturer Arburg is expanding its US headquarters in Connecticut by an extra 23,000 sq ft of space, or over 80% of the size of the existing building, to make more room for set-up and acceptance testing of complete turnkey automation projects, customised specifications of stock machines and a considerably larger spare parts stock. • German machinery maker Reifenhäuser Group has started construction of a new production hall at its headquarters in Troisdorf. With an area of 3,000 sq m, the new area is expected to be
completed by spring 2020. The familyowned company says it is investing almost EUR7 million in the new building and its equipment. In addition, about EUR10 million will be spent on production machines and intelligent processes over the next five years. • German machinery supplier KraussMaffei Berstorff is to build a new plant for extrusion technology. The company has signed a rental contract with committee reservation with VGP, a European project developer for commercial real estate, for a 55,000 sq m production hall and office complex. Completion of the plant on the 80,000 sq m area in the Laatzen/ Rethen-Ost business park is expected by end of 2022. • Austrian extrusion SML machinery maker has opened its 42,000 sq m headquarters on a greenfield site near Redlham, Upper Austria. Built in 18 months, SML has relocated all of its business units. A highlight is its 3,000 sq m Technology Centre that hosts R&D activities and offers a competence centre for extrusion technology, several demonstration lines in productions scale, laboratories with testing equipment as well as campus-like spaces for meetings and trainings.
H o m e I n n o v a t i o n . K 2 0 1 9
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Bioplastics: moderating the winds of climate change Producing and using renewably sourced materials such as bioplastics is a workable solution to put the brakes on the worsening climate change, says Angelica Buan in this report.
eyond the erratic weather patterns that are affecting agricultural outputs or the rising temperatures that are weighing on health and safety, climate change is also associated with global hunger and poverty. The United Nations (UN) in a new report warns about the impact of accelerating climate change on the planet. UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, was also quoted saying that the earth’s temperature aberration could “push more than 120 million more people into poverty by 2030 and will have the most severe impact in poor countries, regions, and the places poor people live and work“. Unfortunately, climate change has gotten worse and is already irreversible, according to the fifth assessment report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Reducing emission targets is a long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C, above pre-industrial levels, or keeping it at 1.5°C and this may require tremendous efforts to achieve. Too much carbon dioxide (CO2) is believed to significantly contribute to climate change. Reducing CO2 emissions, however, is doable and can be achieved within a bioeconomy framework, according to the European Commission. It says that value-added products, such as food, feed, biobased products and bioenergy can be produced from renewable biological resources, or derived from these resources or from waste streams.
Too much carbon dioxide (CO2) is believed to significantly contribute to climate change
Bioplastics as a building block of the bioeconomy Bioplastics, derived from plants and renewably sourced materials are taking the place of fossil fuel-based plastics in a variety of applications, such as food and personal care packaging, device enclosures, personal effects and more. Bioplastics represent a robust segment in the packaging materials aggregate. According to a new report by Smithers Pira, The Future of Bioplastics for Packaging to 2024, in the packaging segment alone, the global bioplastic packaging market is expected to reach US$8.8 billion over the forecast period from US$4.4 billion in 2019. The growth is driven by the demand for sustainability from leading packaging converters and food and beverage brands. Naturally occurring polymers, such as starch and cellulose, will see significant extra demand for use in degradable plastics packaging applications, the report said. Advances in R&D in the area of green chemicals, specifically in their potential applications, are also generating growth for bioplastics, with polylactic acid (PLA), bio-PET, and bio-polyolefins being the primary packaging plastics synthesised from biologically produced monomers. Moreover, the field of biotechnology will play a key role in bioplastics development. The forecast period will be characterised by continued fermentation of new technologies and companies springing up, Smithers Pira reported. Enzymes: essential catalysts from plants Cellulose and lignin from plants are said to be “the most abundant biopolymers on earth”, but they are not easy to extract to produce bioplastics. Enzymes, despite their nano size, act as an important catalyst to harness the potential of these biopolymers to create valuable materials. A team of international experts in structural biology, biochemistry, quantum chemistry and synthetic biology at the University of Portsmouth (UK), University of Montana State (US), University of Georgia (US), University of Kentucky, and University of California (US), and two US national laboratories, US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Oak Ridge, engineered enzymes to convert plant waste into plastics, nylon and chemicals. The newly engineered enzyme is active on lignin, a main component of plants.
Materials News The study, led by Sandra Pascoe Ortiz, a chemical engineering professor at the Guadalajara-based university, has created a bioplastic from the juice of the prickly pear cactus mixed with other natural materials using a special process. The cactusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sugars and gums favour the formation of the biopolymer, according to Ortiz, who said that the material may provide an environmental friendly solution to replace single-use plastic products to help reduce the impact of solid waste in Mexico and around the world.
Prof John McGeehan led the study on engineering enzymes to convert plant waste into plastics, nylon, and chemicals
According to Professor John McGeehan of the University of Portsmouth, in order to protect their sugar-containing cellulose, plants have evolved a fascinatingly complicated material called lignin and only a small selection of fungi and bacteria can tackle this. Lignin acts as scaffolding in plants and is central to water-delivery. It provides strength and also defence against pathogens. Moreover, lignin represents a vast potential source of sustainable chemicals and this is why studies are undertaken to find ways to extract these chemicals to be utilised in producing high value products. Current enzymes tend to work on only one of the building blocks of lignin, making the breakdown process inefficient. Using advanced 3D structural and biochemical techniques, the team has been able to alter the shape of the enzyme to accommodate multiple building blocks. The results provide a route to making new materials and chemicals such as nylon, bioplastics, and even carbon fibre, from what has previously been a waste product. The discovery also offers additional environmental benefits since creating products from lignin reduces reliance on oil to make everyday products and offers an attractive alternative to burning it, helping to reduce CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, researchers from the University of Valle de Atemajac in Zapopan, Mexico, harnessed hydrocarbons from cactus to make biodegradable plastics. The material is said to be non-toxic and takes only a month to biodegrade in soil, and a week in water. Prof Sandra Pascoe Ortiz has created a bioplastic from the juice of the prickly pear cactus
PEF: biopolymers for packaging, other industrial applications Companies employing biotechnology include Dutch food and biochemicals company, Corbion, which produces sugar-based 2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) as a monomer for the bioplastic known as polyethylene furanoate (PEF). FDCA, derived from sugars using bio-fermentation, has the potential to replace oil-based terephthalic acid in PET and a wide variety of other plastics. PEF, a sustainable bioplastic that has a similar chemical structure to PET, is produced by substituting terephthalic acid with FDCA. According to Corbion, PEF can be produced 100% biobased, hence boosting the sustainability credentials in key applications such as packaging. For food and beverage packaging, for example, PEF enables consumers to keep products fresher for a longer time than in PET, due to the higher barrier properties of the material. This also reduces the amount of food waste. PEF is also stronger than PET â&#x20AC;&#x201C; allowing for further light weighting of a packaging product, saving material and transportation costs. PEF is gaining traction among companies engaged in the manufacturing of fully biobased and recyclable bottles, films, and fibres. Its global market size continues to expand and is audited to cross 16,640 tonnes by 2022, according to a report by Grandview Research. Responding to the market demand, Amsterdamheadquartered Avantium is scaling up its production and commercialisation of PEF. Avantium develops technologies based on renewable carbon sources as an alternative to fossil-based chemicals and plastics. The company also provides advanced catalysis R&D services and systems to customers in the refinery and chemical industries. Avantium currently has three technologies at pilot and demonstration phase, namely, the YXY plant-to-plastics process that catalytically converts plant-based sugars into a wide range of chemicals and plastics, such as PEF; the Dawn technology that converts non-food biomass into industrial sugars and lignin to transition the chemicals and materials industries to non-fossil resources; and the Mekong technology that catalytically converts industrial sugars to plant-based MEG (mono- ethylene glycol). Avantium is currently building a new demonstration plant for Mekong with an opening planned in Delfzijl by the end of the year. AUGUST 2019
R i c h a r d R o u d e i x , Ly o n d e l l B a s e l l S e n i o r Vi c e President of Olefins and Polyolefins for Europe, Asia and International, said that through the use of renewable resources, the project is contributing to the fight against climate change and helping its customers achieve their environmental targets. LyondellBasell sold some of the renewable products produced in the trial to multiple customers, including Cofresco, which is a European supplier of branded products in the field of household film. Cofresco plans to use the Circulen Plus biobased PE to create sustainable food packaging materials.
The company leverages its acquisition of Synvina (its joint venture with German chemicals company, BASF, that has been renamed Avantium Renewable Polymers), in January to embark on a growth strategy of building a cash-flow positive flagship plant with a planned capacity of 5 kilotonnes/year of FDCA and PEF. The plant, which is eyed to start up in 2023, will produce products for highvalue markets and performance applications such as highbarrier films and speciality bottles. Avantium envisions PEF to compete in high-volume markets, including bottles for carbonated soft drinks and other beverages.
Scavenging value from food waste Every year, about a third to 1.3 billion tonnes of the food produced in the world for human consumption gets lost or wasted, according to data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Converting this waste into useful products translates not only to saving millions of dollars from food losses but also mitigating the rising waste pollution in the planet. New Zealand’s University of Canterbury (UC), in collaboration with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, is taking aim at converting food waste into valuable chemical components that could be used to make bioplastics. The project’s goal is to extract three key chemical components, including PLA and the organic compound 5-HMF, from the food-waste-stream, to be used as building blocks to make sustainable bioplastics. According to Dr Alex Yip of UC’s Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, bioplastics produced from food waste would be 100% recyclable or fully biodegradable. They could be used for products such as biodegradable bin liners. Yip said that the project seizes the opportunity in converting waste into something useful, while at the same time responding to the plastic waste problem in Aotearoa, New Zealand. That being said, converting food waste into bioplastics would deliver the dual benefit of lowering greenhouse gas emissions while reducing the amount of non-biodegradable plastics going into landfills.
Avantium's YXY plantto-plastics process catalytically converts plant-based sugars into a wide range of chemicals and plastics, such as PEF
Repurposing waste into renewable material Waste reduction prevents the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the air, which contribute to climate change. Putting waste to good use, Netherlands-headquartered plastics, chemicals and refining company LyondellBasell and Finnish oil refining company Neste have started their joint production of biobased PP and bio-based LDPE at a commercial scale.
LyondellBasell's joint project with Neste utilises the latter's renewable hydrocarbons derived from sustainable biobased raw materials
The joint project uses Neste's renewable hydrocarbons derived from sustainable biobased raw materials (such as waste and residue oils) in LyondellBasell's cracker at its Wesseling, Germany site. This is converted directly into biobased PE/PP. An independent third party tested the polymer products using carbon tracers and confirmed they contained over 30% renewable content. The products have been approved for the production of food packaging and are marketed under LyondellBasell’s new family of circular economy product brands known as Circulen and Circulen Plus.
Dr Alex Yip is converting food waste into valuable chemical components that could be used to make bioplastics
Circular economy: a “friend” of the plastic world Plastic waste is deemed as the greatest enemy of the environment this century. But this waste problem can be solved, through the concept of circular economy. In a series of press conferences held in June/July, companies reasoned on the sustainability issue, which will play a central role at the K2019 exhibition to be held from 16-23 October 2019 in Düsseldorf/Germany.
The big guns recognise the weak links With quotes like “plastics are still the future”, “sustainability is a source of innovation” and “there are ways to create value in plastic waste” being thrown around in a roomful of journalists, the circular economy will be a major focus of K2019. And various suggestions were offered to boost recycling. Thorsten Kühmann, Managing Director of VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association Germany, proposed the introduction of standards for recycled materials, adding that the process is less reliable because of this, adding that separate collection systems will ensure that different plastics need not be separated by a recycling company, which itself wastes a lot of water and energy doing the process. With networking waste management and recycling in production a core aspect of the circular economy, at present, this part is still in its infancy. “The main problems are various players and groups, which obstruct the introduction of a functioning circular economy,” Henning Wilts, expert for Circular Economy at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy explained. He identifies a lack of cooperation to promote a crosscompany network of collection, recycling and production. There is little or no exchange of data among companies. For example, at present, producers have no way of knowing which polymer material the recycler is generating at any given time, which means that they cannot plan the quantities they will receive. Also, the individual areas of the cycle are usually subject to completely different legal regulations. “The systems have developed separately over decades. Bringing them together is a major challenge,” Wilts adds. The EU Commission also maintains that a circular economy for plastics will improve competitiveness and therefore considers it a real economic benefit, and which will encourage other countries to follow suit. The first country to do so will become a role model, it says. Retaining the value of plastics by reusing and treating the waste as a resource is also a convincing argument for those countries that are faced with the problems of plastic waste, says VDMA. Having said this, some positive initiatives are already underway. For instance, the member states of the European Union are obliged to achieve a collection rate of 90% for disposable plastic bottles by 2025. However, much more tangible measures are required, such as setting margins for the use of recycled material in production or defining a fixed amount of electricity that must be generated by plastic waste incineration.
Tie-ups to effect circularity Polymer supplier Borealis and recycling equipment maker Erema are to work together to advance mechanical recycling technologies. They will use their respective expertise for joint tests, trial runs and pilot projects and also aim to enhance recycling processes “to satisfy increasing market demand for higherquality recyclate used in high-end applications”. They will explore the potential of increasing plant size and total production volumes to ensure reliable market availability. In recent years, Borealis has also expanded its sphere of activity beyond virgin polyolefins by entering the field of mechanical plastics recycling. It acquired German mechanical plastics recycler mtm plastics in 2016 and Austrian recycler Ecoplast in 2018. Both companies also have long-established ties to Erema. Manfred Hackl, CEO Erema (left) with Meanwhile, Borealis, subsidiary polymer maker Borouge and sister Günter Stephan, Head of Mechanical company Nova Chemicals also share a commitment in Project STOP, which Recycling, Borealis, represented both companies at a signing of the cooperation was co-founded by Borealis and SYSTEMIQ in 2017. The two companies have since been joined by Borouge and Nova. of the firms on the circular economy AUGUST 2019
K2019 Preview advancing recycling technologies, to ensure scaling up capacity of high quality of pyrolysis oil. Besides, economic aspects also play a role and the materials need to be cost effective with regulators recognising the process officially as recycling. Within this framework, they have to define how chemical recycling and mass balance approaches can be included in the calculation of recycling rates required by law, said BASF. BASF’s ChemCycling project focuses on recycling plastic waste in chemical production rather than disposing of it
In project STOP, Borealis, Borouge and Nova are doing their part in countries like Indonesia, which is the second largest contributor to ocean plastics, to keep plastics out of the oceans
Project STOP is helping prevent the leakage of thousands of tonnes of plastics into marine environments and project partners work with municipal authorities in Indonesia to scale circular economy solutions, including the establishment of effective waste collection, sorting and recycling systems. Making the push into the chemical recycling process Chemical firm Sabic claims it is the first in the industry to scale-up the chemical recycling process. It is producing its certified circular polymers using a pyrolysis oil feedstock from the recycling of mixed plastic waste. As part of the intended project, Sabic says it is now introducing this alternative feedstock into its Chemelot production site at Geleen in the Netherlands. The resultant certified circular polymers are to be supplied to brand customers like Unilever, Tupperware Brands, Vinventions and Walki Group for consumer goods or packaging for food, beverage and personal care products. The polymers are certified through the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification plus (ISCC+) scheme that certifies renewable content and standards across the value chain from source to end product. The ISCC+ certification works on what is known as a “mass balance system”, meaning that for each tonne of renewable feedstock fed into the cracker, a proportion of the output can be claimed as renewable. Sabic also intends to build a semi-commercial plant specifically to refine and Sabic’s chemicallyupgrade pyrolysis oil feedstock, recycled polymers are with the plant anticipated to enter certified by the ISCC commercial production in 2021. German compatriot BASF is also relying on processing pyrolysis oil for use as a feedstock to create new products in its ChemCycling project. While all this is fine, BASF recognises the challenges and says to move to market roll-out, various issues will need to be resolved such as
Styrenics maker Ineos Styrolution has also utilised chemical recycling to complete the first successful test runs producing virgin PS from previously depolymerised material at its Antwerp site in Belgium. Ineos Styrolution claims a breakthrough in producing virgin PS from depolymerised plastic waste
The material is the result of experimental polystyrene production runs with styrene monomer feedstock produced from depolymerisation of styrenic plastic. The tests – done in cooperation with commercial partners and universities – resulted in the production of virgin material with the same product properties as PS produced from new styrene monomers. Making applications a reality Borealis says it has made a commitment to quadruple the quantity of recycled content contained in its resins by 2030 but this could, in fact, happen as early as 2025. It has also developed Borcycle mechanical recycling technology to produce recycled polyolefins (rPO) such as Borcycle MF1981SY, an rPO with over 80% recycled content, which will be available in Europe for a start. The first commercial application of Borcycle MF1981SY is a vacuum cleaner undercarriage featuring a highly ribbed design. The grade, with 10% talc-filled compound, is said to offer an ideal balance between stiffness and impact. The compound is especially suited for use in visible black parts, for example in small appliances. German materials manufacturer Covestro is focusing on its CO2 technology, in closing the carbon cycle. It is working with partners like RWTH Aachen University and various
K2019 Preview textile manufacturers to produce elastic textile fibres from thermoplastic polyurethane with CO2. The intermediate product called cardyon is already used for the soft foam found in mattresses and the base layers of sports fields. Development of the method has been funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). It will now be optimised as part of the “CO2Tex” project, which is to be funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) so as to enable industrial production in the future. “CO2Tex” is part of “BioTex Future,” a project initiative of RWTH. Meanwhile at the K preview, BASF brought along four partner companies that presented prototypes from the ChemCycling project. Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) developed a plastic front-end carrier prototype for its first electric SUV I-Pace using BASF’s Ultramid B3WG6 Ccycled Black 00564. Packaging supplier Storopack used Styropor P Ccycled to make an insulation packaging for temperaturesensitive pharmaceutical products; boxes for transporting fresh fish and protective packaging for electronic devices. Schneider Electric, meanwhile, manufactured a circuit breaker from chemically recycled Ultramid. In a four-party collaboration, film packaging producer Südpack used BASF’s Südpack used BASF’s chemically chemically recycled PA and recycled PA and Borealis’s PE to Borealis’s PE to produce multilayer produce multilayer film for a mozzarella film for mozzarella packaging for packaging for Zott Zott Gourmet Dairy. Dutch chemical firm DSM and Starboard have worked together collecting and upcycling discarded nylon fishing nets to create DSM’s Akulon RePurposed. The resin is DSM and Starboard utilised to make Thailandworked together to based Starboard’s surfing repurpose nylon fishing components. The discarded nets as surfboard fishing nets are gathered compronents from the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea and are given a new lease of life as fins, fin boxes, stand-up paddleboard pumps, and other structural parts in surfboards. The product can be applied in many other applications and is specifically targeted at the sports and leisure market. Additives makers take responsible action Swiss chemicals firm Clariant has developed oxygen-scavenging additive masterbatches that reduce the need for multi-layer, multi-material packaging to extend the shelf life of packaged goods. With only one material involved, the plastic is more readily recyclable, it said. Further, with the company’s CESA-nox antioxidants, added during PCR compounding or the production of new packaging made of recycled material, it can prevent discolouration and black spots in plastics.
Clariant says it is working on introducing additives for the use of PCR and improving properties of colouration, stabilisation, product safety and process stability
K2019 Preview Clariant is also supporting customers that want to offer a 100% bio-based product by developing colours and additives using similarly renewable feedstock. Compostable polymers such as PLA and PHA, for example, are possible solutions to the problem of waste since they degrade easily over time, with Clariant adding that it is working to “further improve the (already good) shelf life of biopolymers, such as PLA.” US additives maker Milliken has partnered with Chicago-based PureCycle Technologies to advance closedloop recycling of PP resin. Using technology developed and licensed by Procter & Gamble Co, PureCycle plans to open in Ohio by 2021 its first plant employing a patented recycling method that restores virgin-like quality to waste PP resin. This will enable the recycled material to become truly circular and be reused in its original application, as opposed to having to be downcycled into lower-value products. Sweden’s Perstorp launched Pevalen, a non-phthalate plasticiser in 2014, as an alternative to phthalates. It says Pevalen provides PVC producers with not only a costeffective but also a low environmental impact solution, due to its plasticising efficiency (less material required), faster processing (less energy), low volatility, high UV stability (prevents premature aging) and softness for long-life performance. The launch of Pevalen Pro this year represents a further contribution to lowering the carbon footprint of PVC. South Korea’s additives supplier Songwon Industrial says it is collaborating with various project partners along the product value chain relating to the circular economy. One example is its collaboration with German packaging specialist RPC bpi nordfolien to develop 20 kg PE bags made with 50% recycled PE sourced from different waste streams, including industrial printed bags that have already been used. All of the solvents that are required for de-inking are also recycled continuously in a closed loop process. It claims it is one of the first chemical companies in the world to package its products in the recycled bags. The bags are designed for up to four cycles of usage. Machine makers jump on the sustainability bandwagon Erema is partnering blow moulding machine maker Kautex Maschinenbau and resin company Braskem to demonstrate a closed-loop processing system at the K show. Braskem will provide Kautex with its bioplastic “I’m green” PE along with PCR, which Kautex will use to produce three-layer HDPE bottles with a foamed middle layer. Braskem’s material is reported to have better processability and less odour. The raw material for the demo bottles is derived from sugarcane, and the PCR comes from already recycled materials. And instead of handing out the bottles to visitors, Erema will recycle the bottles on-site at the Erema Circonomic (a word coined from circular and economics) Centre at the outdoor area between Halls 11 and 15. More than 30 tonnes will be recycled during the show, including the HDPE bottles produced by Kautex.
The future of extrusion around the globe lies in the use of more mono-materials with clear trends towards PLA, PP and PE lines. This was the message from Germany-based extrusion machinery firm Reifenhäuser Group that will be focusing on the principles of reduce, reuse, recycle and replace at K2019. Packaging films are often composed of a laminated composite of PET and PE. The addition of PET provides sufficient stiffness to the film for optimum secondary processing, which cannot be achieved when using PE alone. However, this composite is not recyclable. Thus, the blown film arm, Reifenhäuser Blown Film, is utilising its EVO Ultra Stretch film stretching system (MDO) for mono-material processing.
Reifenhäuser is promoting its Ultra Stretch MDO for mono-material processing
With the positioning of the MDO in the haul-off unit a key factor, the plastic can be stretched using initial heat on the four to six-fold extent, for better process stability and lower shrink values due to the longer cooling path. The result is a recyclable film with improved sealing properties, which can sustainably replace PET, says the German firm. And compared to conventional film stretching systems, the investment costs for the components are significantly lower, as are energy consumption levels due to the use of initial heat, it adds. The film's simple heat-sealing property introduces newfound efficiency in subsequent finishing operations, said the company, because it can be processed on existing finishing equipment without modifications. The application has already been successfully field tested by a Reifenhäuser customer. Reifenhäuser also said that bio-plastics may be a way forward to the circular economy but are approximately four times as expensive as PE. In addition, concessions in terms of mechanical properties have to be made with conventional processing methods. The material's lack of stiffness means that the finishing process is longer, for example when manufacturing compostable bio-plastic bags. Thus, the company has also developed Ultra Flat Plus, claiming that it is currently the only company offering this technology and able to provide a 30% thinner film. The above is a sampling of what is to be shown at K2019, with companies pulling out all the stops on sustainability in an attempt to change the public’s perception of plastics material.
T-PLAS 2019 returns to BITEC, Bangkok in September for a comprehensive cutting-edge showcase for the region’s plastics and rubber industries· Featuring the inaugural Medical Plastics Engineering Symposium, Specialty Plastics Conference and association-led Seminars
ringing together more than 200 exhibitors including thought-leaders and trade professionals from 20 countries, T-PLAS 2019 is supported by various leading trade associations from Thailand, Japan and the Philippines. Returning in September, the 4-day exhibition offers a widerange of machineries and equipment, raw materials, solutions and services. Medical Plastics Engineering Symposium The 2nd Singaporean-German Symposium on Medical Plastics Engineering will take place concurrently with T-PLAS 2019 on 19 September. Jointly organised by The Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Messe Düsseldorf Asia, the 1-day conference will gather international experts and specialists from the industry and academia to share findings and updates on R&D projects and innovations in medical plastics. Topics include Additive Manufacturing of High Performance Materials for Medical Applications, Implants Printed with Standard, FDA Approved Thermoplastic Granulates, Substitution of Fossil Resources for Polymer Synthesis, Antimicrobial Plastics, Openair® Plasma Treatment of Medical Grade Polymers, Sustainable Plastics Engineering and more.
Specialty Plastics Conference Held on 20 September, this regional conference will gather industry experts and specialists to share their knowledge on topics centred on agriculture, automotive, electrical & electronics application sectors and trends on bioplastics, green initiatives and smart manufacturing for the specialty plastics industry. This conference will also serve as a knowledge-gathering platform for specialty plastics companies to share their expertise and insights on the industry trends and developments with fellow trade professionals. C e l e b r a t e d L i n e - u p o f S e m i n a r s , Te c h n i c a l Presentations and Product Demonstrations Organised by key associations such as Thai Tool & Die Industry Association (TDIA), Thai Composite Association (TCA), Thai-German Institute (TGI), Plastics Institute of Thailand (PITH), Rubber Te c h n o l o g y R e s e a r c h C e n t r e ( RT E C , M a h i d o l
University), and leading organisations such as ARBURG, FIMIC SRL, Reifenhäuser, Lohia Corp, Cannon Far East and more, these concurrent events will aim to present and discuss modern-day challenges and solutions for future-proofing processes for the plastics and rubber industries in Thailand and the region. 4-in-1 Mega Exhibition: Be at the Forefront of NextGeneration Manufacturing The strategic co-location of T-PLAS, PACK PRINT INTERNATIONAL, Wire Southeast Asia and Tube Southeast Asia 2019 will sharpen the profile and enhance the relevancy of the four independent trade fairs. The co-location of the trade fairs have garnered huge response, coming against the backdrop of the AEC (ASEAN Economic Community) in 2015 – the economic integration of the region under a single market and production base. The symbiotic trade fairs in 2019 will bring together the best companies from the plastics and rubber, packaging, printing, wire, tube, cable and pipe manufacturing sectors. Organised by Messe Düsseldorf Asia, the highly anticipated biennial exhibition will provide a mutually beneficial platform for both exhibitors and visitors to share best practices and shape partnerships that aim to inspire cross-border expansion, establish their corporate presence, discover business prospects to expand into Thailand, or for local companies to step into the global arena. Exhibitors and trade attendees alike can leverage on the trade show to explore the booming ASEAN plastics and rubber markets. For registration and enquiries on T-PLAS 2019, please visit www.tplas.com AUGUST 2019
Warming up to net zero carbon solutions The building industry has to adapt to the impact of global warming by incorporating technologies, materials and design with zero-carbon footprint, says Angelica Buan in this article, adding that the rising popularity of the green building concept is projected to drive the demand for plastics in construction.
he global construction plastics market, valued at approximately US$70.4 billion in 2017, is anticipated to grow with a rate of more than 7% over the forecast period 2018-2025. The advent of lightweight, low cost material consumption along with growing popularity of green buildings are considered as major growth trends for the global construction plastics market. Expanded polystyrene plastics and PVC adoption in construction industry is also growing owing to the initiation of the green building concept, according to a report by Orbis Research. Keeping a tight lid on emissions The struggle against climate change is real, as record level heatwaves are currently scorching North America and Europe. Heatwaves, which can pose health risks to humans, are predicted to recur frequently and will be more intensified as global warming persists. Human activities that entail the use of non-renewable materials, and emit greenhouse gas (GHG), such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulphur hexafluoride, significantly contribute to global warming. The building and construction industry is one such activity that accounted for about 40% of carbon emissions. As well, building construction and operations accounted for 36% of global energy use. Emerging green building initiatives have supported the development of technologies that would ensure healthy, safe and environmentally sustainable spaces. The World Green Building Council (GBC) initiative, for example, has engendered the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, which steamrolls companies, cities, states and regions to reach Net Zero or zero/negative operating emissions annually in their portfolios by 2030; and to advocate for Net Zero buildings in operation by 2050. A net zero building, as defined by the World GBC, is a highly energy efficient building that is fully powered from on-site and/or off-site renewable energy sources and offsets. The initiative is in line with the target of limiting global warming to below the 2Â°C threshold. The UN Environment and the International Energy Agency (IEA) Global Status Report offered promising insights into the future of buildings in the construction sector, provided that they have advanced towards sustainability. It said that the energy intensity/sq m of the global buildings sector needs to improve on average by 30% by 2030, compared to 2015, to be on track to meet global climate targets cited in the Paris Agreement. It is not an unattainable feat since the sectorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s emissions levels have significantly improved in the recent years with the aid of energy efficient and low carbon solutions.
Building Industry Hence, to minimise the environmental pollution from the construction sector, green buildings use plastic resources that are durable, recyclable and exhibit high strength along with lower environmental impact that increases their utilisation. Saving space with slim insulations Insulations can provide heat reduction and slow heat transfer benefits in buildings. German chemical company BASF provides an extra perk, which is space savings with its latest slim insulations. Suited for the construction and transportation sectors applications, the non-combustible and flexible insulation mat Slentex, a purely polyurethane-based aerogel that consists of around 90% air and is breathable, is 50% slimmer than conventional materials, thus enabling maximum efficiency combined with high aesthetics. BASF's flexible insulation mat Slentex, a purely polyurethane-based aerogel that is 50% slimmer than conventional materials
On the other hand, the slim and heavy-duty insulation panel Slentite has open-porous structure that creates a pleasant indoor climate and helps to cut energy costs. Its insulating performance (l = 18 mW/mâ&#x20AC;&#x2030;-K) is also coupled with processing qualities, BASF said. Both panels can be easily cut to size on site and applied directly to walls or coated beforehand. The performance properties of Slentite and Slentex are being demonstrated in a pilot project in Leipzig where a house is being built with a hybrid load-bearing structure of carbon concrete and reinforced concrete. In addition, the two highperformance insulation materials can be integrated in the automated precasting of the elements in the concrete plant without further system adjustments. Both materials will be showcased at the K2019 show in Germany. Pushing the envelope for energy efficiency Rising temperatures, no doubt, make staying indoors uncomfortable. DuPont Performance Building Solutions (PBS) has rolled out a roster of solutions to help make buildings more durable, comfortable and energy efficient.
Building Industry Self-supporting, prefab wall elements from Logelis consisted of PU foam encased in a thin cement layer for improved insulation at a thickness of just 16 cm. Weighing 100 kg each, the composite elements were easy and economical to transport and assemble. Construction lasted just four weeks, say the partners.
Tyvek CommercialWrap from Dupont PBC provides the advantages of high tear-strength, durability, and up to nine months of UV resistance
For instance, it has the Tyvek CommercialWrap building wrap, an air and water barrier that can withstand the rigours of commercial job sites, with high tear-strength, durability, and up to nine months of UV resistance, DuPont PBS said. According to DuPont PBS, Tyvek and its Styrofoam work hand-in-hand to improve water management, energy efficiency and thermal performance, resulting in a durable and energyefficient building envelope. Insulation, permeable weather resistive barriers, flashing, tapes and spray foams also can be used in different combinations to improve energy efficiency, thermal comfort and durability of the building envelope. Meanwhile, German materials company Covestro worked with officials of Bergisch Gladbach in Germany on the construction of a multipurpose building at a refugee camp in the city for the German Red Cross. They wanted a fast and affordable solution that could serve as a model for other cities facing similar challenges. Covestro partnered with Logelis, the French prefabricated housing manufacturer, and used its lightweight PU foam based on Desmodur and Baymer to insulate the building envelope, walls, floors, and drop ceilings of the new building, which comprise of two group rooms, a kitchen and a restroom.
Greening the roof Installing green roofs curb ambient temperature, protect the building occupants by absorbing most of the sunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s UV radiation, and also help in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from cooling appliances. Owens Corning, a US company that produces insulation, roofing, and fibreglass composites, recently introduced new solutions for sustainability, safety, transparency and technology in buildings across North America. The Foamglas cellular glass for critical commercial roofing applications are engineered to provide redundancy and stability to the roof membrane even under sustained stress. The Foamglas insulation supports a broad spectrum of high-performing applications, and can support rooftop equipment such as solar assemblies. Additionally, insulation delivers compressive strength while being resistant to fire and moisture, offering an extra layer of protection against water penetration.
The Foamglas from Owens Corning can support rooftop equipment such as solar assemblies
Covestro's lightweight PU foam based on Desmodur and Baymer has been used for the Bergisch Gladbach building project
Coatings to combat forces of nature Warmer sea temperatures and more intense cyclones have been associated with global warming. In the recent years, the world has witnessed severe weather phenomena that have claimed thousands of lives and destroyed billions worth of properties.
The Jacob K. Javits Convention Centre in Manhattan, claimed as the largest space frame structure in the world used PPG's Duranar coatings
Innovative materials, such as architectural coatings, can serve as protective barriers against destructive environmental factors. Architectural coatings such as varnishes, paints, primers, sealers, inks, ceramics, and several others are used to coat the interior and exterior walls, floors and ceilings of buildings and homes to make them resistant to heat, moisture, chemicals and other harsh elements. One example is Duranar architectural coatings, manufactured by American supplier of paints, coatings and speciality materials PPG, that act as protective barrier for structures against hurricanes as well as salt water exposure. The Pittsburghheadquartered company, which recently acquired Dexmet Corporation, a manufacturer of speciality materials for surfaces in aerospace, automotive and industrial applications, says that Duranar promotes energy efficiency in buildings. Duranar coatings have been used on several buildings such as the Grove at Grand Bay in Florida, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Centre in Manhattan â&#x20AC;&#x201C; also touted as the largest space frame structure in the world, and the Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Centre on Roosevelt Island, also in New York, which incorporated a perforated rain screen painted with colour-shifting Duranar Vari-cool coatings. Virtual technology for cost-saving construction It is imperative to create a sustainable building sector but to achieve this requires concerted effort among the governments, cities and businesses; and investments for and the adoption of green technologies, materials and design. Steering the industry into the direction of sustainability, the European Unionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s BIM (Building Information Modelling) project, SPHERE, aims at developing a digital-twin software platform to enable the virtual replication of buildings in order to increase their energy efficiency, optimise their life cycle, and reduce costs.
The "virtual twin" will incorporate a wide range of data on construction method, design, production of construction materials, structural elements, as well as the construction process. The Horizon 2020- funded project has been allocated EUR7.4 million of EU funding; its total volume is EUR12.8 million. The four-year project runs until autumn 2022. BASF, along with its global brand for construction chemicals solutions Master Builders Solutions, is a partner in the project. According to BASF, Master Builders Solutionsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s BIM portfolio is the largest in the construction chemicals industry, currently comprising more than 200 BIM objects, and soon to include more than 400 Revit models from 13 different industry segments. Its capability is expected to contribute to increased energy efficiency in buildings and to lowering the costs involved in construction projects. Designers and owners can benefit from a digital-twin model across all project stages: from planning and design to construction and maintenance to demolition.
SPHERE aims to provide a BIM-based Digital Twin Platform to optimise the building lifecycle, reduce costs and improve energy efficiency in residential buildings
The SPHERE consortium also includes software specialists, architects, engineers, as well as R&D centres. Thus, the green building concept efforts to minimise the environmental impact from the construction sector are supplementing the adoption of construction plastics. Furthermore, growing investments in emerging economies is expected to create lucrative growth prospects of the construction plastics market across the globe. However, stringent laws by regulatory authorities act as a key restraint for the market. AUGUST 2019
Pipes made to last Underground pipe systems for water and natural gas have been given an expected life span of 100 years, according to European trade associations for plastic pipes. Furthermore, CEN has published a new standard for PVC-O pipes.
Underground pipes have been proven to have a lifespan of a 100 years
nderground pipe systems have been made to last. And this has been confirmed by a joint study undertaken by Brusselsbased PVC4Pipes and the European Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association (TEPPFA), which is part of the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM). The associations say that unplasticised Polyvinyl chloride (PVCU), high impact polyvinyl chloride (PVC-Hi) and polyethylene (PE) buried pipes have an expected service lifetime of over 100 years, comfortably exceeding the predicted design point of the common extrapolation method for plastic pipes (ISO9080). Due to the high installation cost and replacement of pipes underground, durability is a key feature. Research, extrapolation studies and examination of dug-up pipes in service for decades have shown no significant degradation of the material, according to TEPPFA. Further analyses on these test samples confirm an expected service life of more than 100 years, according to the paper. The study says the 50-year design basis and minimum service life for a PVC pressure water or gas pipe systems is secured through the established standards ISO9080 and ISO12162. The first largescale installation of PVC-U pipes took place in 1936 in Germany, for drinking water distribution and gravity drainage systems in various residential areas, including the Berlin Olympic Village. Most of those pipes are still in service use today – representing 83 years of consistent performance. PVC-Hi has been the preferred material for low pressure gas distribution systems in some European countries for more than 60 years, the study highlights. Meanwhile, the paper highlights how the 50-year design basis cannot be confused with the actual lifespan of a plastic pipe system, stating that the service life is expected to be more than 100 years due to a number of reasons. It says these are due to the lower real pressure levels experienced by the pipe over its lifetime; the lower real temperatures in the ground; consistent zero-to-plus range tolerances for wall thicknesses; and the safety factors applied at the design stages. TEPPFA says that the above is also true in studies from Japan, Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Africa and South America for PE80 and PE100 buried pressure pipes. The study also adds that being highly durable and able to be recycled multiple times, without losing their long-term mechanical performances, PVC pipes “are a cost-efficient, safe and sustainable choice for transporting drinking water and natural gas through the whole life-cycle of the distribution networks”.
Pipes Industry CEN publishes first standard for PVC-O pipes Meanwhile in other news, after a four-year development, the European Committee for standardisation (CEN) has published the first European Standard for PVC-O pipes and fittings: EN 17176 “Plastics piping systems for water supply and for buried and above ground drainage, sewerage and irrigation under pressure - Oriented unplasticised poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC-O)”. TEPPFA initiated the process and has participated in the development of the standard, certifying and guaranteeing that this type of conduits are of high quality for obtaining such standard.
CEN has published the first EN standard for PVC-O pressure pipes
The EN17176 PVC-O piping systems for water supply and for buried and above-ground drainage, sewerage and irrigation under pressure, adopted in the 28 EU member states and other six member countries, creates a new Europe-wide voluntary standard for those manufacturing PVC-O pipes, where previously there had been a variety of nonaligned national standards. This new standard allows specification for PVC-O piping systems intended for water supply use, pressurised (up to 25 bar) drainage, sewerage, treated waste water and irrigation systems, either underground or above-ground where protected from direct sunlight. It applies to drinking water piping systems under pressure, up to and including 45°C, as well as to pressurised waste water and irrigation. PVC-O is a strong material developed by molecularly orienting the pipe during the production process. This makes it much stronger – yet lighter – than standard PVC-U, and the molecular orientation also endows it with better impact resistance and increased tensile strength. It is also a 100% recyclable material and one of the most complete solutions for the development of pressurised water networks.
Originally developed in the 1970s, molecularly oriented PVC pipes have been used for some time. However, they were difficult to produce in sufficiently high volumes. A PVC-U preform is extruded with a reduced diameter and with a larger thickness followed by an expansion process under controlled conditions. This technique increases its diameter and re-orientates the molecules to become biaxially oriented PVC-O. Recent process innovations have rendered PVC-O pipes available up to DN1200mm, as this new standard recognises for the first time. This opens new markets for PVC-O products and enlarges the range of products in the industry. The low material consumption and reduced energy consumption contributes to the sustainability and recyclability credentials of PVC-O. Molecor focuses on clear, oriented PVC pipes Clear PVC-O (CPVC-O) pipes suitable for the transport of fluids at high temperatures and in hot environments will be featured by Spanish pipe maker Molecor at the K2019 exhibition to be held in October in Düsseldorf, Germany. For the development of CPVC-O, the M-OR-P-1640 model was adapted to work on a higher range of temperatures than the usual. The resulting tests carried out showed better mechanical properties than those specified in the relevant standard, said Molecor. Molecor says is expertise spans over more than ten years of experience and a collaboration with resin supplier Lubrizol and its TemRite 88703 material. Its PVC-O pipes are developed using Molecor’s technology that provides the highest molecular orientation. “The manufacturing process is continuous and completely automatic, which ensures the maximum product reliability and a quality control tube to tube for the 100% of the production,” says Molecor. CPVC-O becomes one more option for canalisation applications and could become widely used in civil engineering projects involving hightemperature environments, said Molecor.
Molecor will showcase its PVC-O pipe technology at K2019 AUGUST 2019
Plastic waste is a problem for society as a whole In the run-up to the world's largest plastics show, K2019, to be held from 16-23 October, German machinery association VDMA is running a series of interviews with its plastics & rubber machinery division members on the circular economy. Featured here is an interview with Ulrich Reifenhäuser, CSO of extrusion machinery firm Reifenhäuser Group.
he amount of plastic waste is growing steadily worldwide. In order to use resources sustainably, waste has to be given a value, it ought to be recycled and not disposed of, as is still the case in many countries around the world. Ulrich Reifenhäuser is convinced that there is a need for a comprehensive change of awareness in society. The end consumers need to be educated and informed. At the same time, an appropriate political framework has to be provided. Mechanical engineering supports resource-efficient production and recycling technologies, but brand owners also play a key role in promoting the acceptance of products made from recycled materials. Why is a circular economy important for plastics? Ulrich Reifenhäuser: The topic of plastic waste has become increasingly important because the amount of litter is growing. This is due to an expanding global population and rising prosperity in many emerging economies. The mountains of waste are piling up, especially in Asia. We also have problems with this in Europe. In Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Switzerland the rate of recycling is truly excellent, but in Mediterranean countries, on the other hand, it’s rather poor. It is clear, therefore, that the world of plastics needs to change. Discussions are currently underway, but this is not yet noticeable in the waste sector. Why is that? Ulrich Reifenhäuser: This is a very complex and multilayered problem. It's paradoxical. Plastics are an ideal material for many applications. They are light, easy to process, relatively inexpensive and available in sufficient quantities. Because of these benefits, their importance to competing materials is constantly increasing. This is positive. However, plastics are not usually dealt with correctly after use. Instead of being collected, they’re thrown away. This is negative, and the real major issue at hand. How can you change the behaviour of entire nations of consumers? Ulrich Reifenhäuser: By educating and appealing to the responsibility of consumers. Legislation is also a good way to do this. It’s extremely important to attach value to plastic waste. This is something that needs to be approached from a political perspective. The best strategy here is to set recycling quotas for new plastics products. If quotas are in place, plastics processors will suddenly need recycled material.
Circular Economy This will open up a new market. It may well be that high-quality recycled material costs twice as much as brand-new goods, but doubling the price won’t make a difference when it comes to plastics products as their properties are far superior to those of other materials such as glass, metal or paper. But end consumers are watching out for every last cent. Ulrich Reifenhäuser: That's true, but that wouldn’t be a problem anymore if laws were in place to stipulate that all plastics products need to comprise 30% recycled material. The preconditions would be the same for everyone then. It would take perhaps three years for us in Europe and also in Germany to suddenly have a completely different recycling industry. So it can’t be done without political guidelines? Ulrich Reifenhäuser: Politics is necessary because plastic waste is a problem for society as a whole. One group alone can't do much about it. It's about being aware that you can’t just throw rubbish away. Politics is necessary because plastic waste is a problem for society as a whole. One group alone can't do much about it. It's about being aware that you can’t just throw rubbish away. What can mechanical engineering do to help? Ulrich Reifenhäuser: Mechanical engineering can support the process of sustainable plastics management. As a manufacturer of machines for processing plastics, we develop resource-efficient processes which allow a reduced use of plastics. One example is using thinner films that have the same protective properties as thicker ones. We also develop machines that produce products with no waste at all. All waste from production is immediately recycled. All these measures concern production. Regarding use, mechanical engineering provides all the technologies which enable plastic waste to be recycled. Some plastic waste is difficult to recycle. What should you do? Ulrich Reifenhäuser: Recyclability must be taken into account from the very beginning, as early as the product design stage. Today, various materials are often incorporated into a product without any real necessity. This limits its recyclability. Some plastics are not compatible with each other when being recycled. It’s not the case that you can always make a new, usable product from different plastics.
The chemical industry is a key player in the further development of recyclability, but the requirements placed on a plastics product often have to be reduced as well. For example, barrier layers are currently integrated into the films used to package cheese, which extend its shelf life. The barrier layers are extremely difficult to separate and thus to recycle. If the barrier layers were to be reduced below five percent, the shelf life might also be reduced, but the films could be recycled much more easily. In any case, the question arises as to whether cheese needs to be kept for several weeks or even months. Are plastics processors obliged to do this? Ulrich Reifenhäuser: The brand owners have to stipulate that certain plastics products may only be used for certain applications. This is already happening today, but it will take a while for it to be enforced. In any case, mechanical engineering is not the bottleneck. Also, legal requirements often still hinder the use of recycled material. Scandinavian countries have taken a different approach by choosing to focus on incinerating plastic waste. Ulrich Reifenhäuser: Incineration is a quite good secondary use. There have been no landfills in northern Europe for quite some time. The focus is very much on waste incineration there. In order to incinerate waste, and we’re talking about all nonrecyclable household waste, and generate energy from the incineration process at the same time, you need fuel. If you reach the firing temperatures with used plastics, you have two advantages. Firstly, plastics are used a second time, including and – above all – those which aren’t recyclable. Secondly, the energy from the incineration process can be used further, for industrial processes, for example. Incineration is also a particularly good option if you want to tackle the waste problem quickly, for instance in emerging countries where plastic waste has not yet been recycled at all. What is the best way to solve the problem of plastic waste? Ulrich Reifenhäuser: There is no perfect solution – you have to explore various ways. We need modified plastics and we need modified products. But above all, people need to learn to take responsibility. They have to recognise that they shouldn’t throw plastics away, but instead need to make sure to properly reuse them. Education is key: through politics, at school and at university. For example, more chairs for recycling management are required. AUGUST 2019
India: An odyssey to winning the space race As it boosts its home-grown space technology capabilities, India has become the fourth country in the world to have launched a rocket to the moon, says Angelica Buan. All this bodes well for the country and preceding aerospace sectors, notwithstanding criticisms from home and abroad on money being channelled to sources other than aid to assist more than 270 million of its people who live below the poverty line.
ndia, a dark horse in the first world country-dominated space race may soon disrupt the hierarchy. It recently made headlines when it launched the Chandrayaan 2 lunar mission from Sriharikota, showcasing homegrown technologies, from the rocket and the orbiter to the lander (Vikram) and the robotic solarpowered rover (Pragyan). The US$1 billion-project is the first space mission to conduct a soft landing, on the Moon’s South Polar Region, where a India's quest to conquer space larger section of its surface stays in the shadow, according to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). In 2008, its predecessor had found evidence of water as well as detected magnesium, aluminium and silicon on the surface. It is expected to make a soft landing in September, and if successful, will make India the fourth country to conquer the moon.
Vast opportunities in global space industry The global interest in space economy is growing. From Apollo 11 to Tesla’s Space X missions, space exploration underscores global aspiration for a burgeoning space economy. Based on US-headquartered Space Foundation’s 2019 report, the global space economy grew 8.1 % in 2018 to nearly US$415 billion. Launches in 2018 also jumped 46% compared to the number of launches in the 1990s. According to a Research and Markets report, the demand for nanosatellites and reusable launch vehicle systems is anticipated to be driven by huge investments made by countries like US, China and Russia in the development of next generation satellite systems; as well as the large-scale procurement of such systems by countries like Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea, and India. The global space industry has offered golden opportunities for a number of sectors, including IT hardware, telecommunications and beyond the aerospace and defence, according to data published by US financial services company Morgan Stanley, which also projected the global space industry to cross US$1 trillion by 2040. Expanding space footprint Ranked the 11th largest economy in the world in 2013, India aims to leapfrog to the sixth spot in 2020 by honing in on globally competitive industries. Under the Government’s Make in India policy, the space industry is getting a boost, building on the country’s technological capabilities. According to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), India ranks third among the most attractive investment destinations for technology transactions in the world – for example, in the establishments and operations of satellites, up to 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is allowed. India is also fifth among top countries in the field of space exploration. It has already acquired expertise in constructing lunar probes, satellites and other space equipment. As well, it has shuttled foreign satellites into space, and has reached and orbited Mars in 2017 with the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), ISRO’s first interplanetary Martian mission.
Country Focus As a result of these achievements, the space sector would get plum allocations from the annual union budget, reportedly 15.6% up from a year ago. At the helm of the space programme mission is ISRO. Formed in 1969, ISRO has become one of the six largest space agencies in the world. The agency also maintains one of the largest fleet of communication satellites (INSAT) and remote sensing (IRS) satellites. Part of ISRO’s functions is to licence technologies, such as multi-layer printed antenna technology and DDV 100 resin system, to industries for commercialisation. As well, several technologies have been identified for know-how transfer from ISRO, including the various types of adhesives and polymers, silica fibre and granule material, ceramics, pressure transducers, liquid level detectors, temperature sensors, silver plating and thermal control coating techniques, ground penetration radar, elastic Raman Lidar, lower atmospheric wind profiling radar, and more. Boon for start-ups India’s space ambitions open up opportunities for local start-ups that produce aerospace technologies such as rockets, nanosatellites, propulsion systems, and others. Among the budding enterprises active in the space technology field include Bengaluru-based Bellatrix Aerospace that manufactures a nano-satellite launch vehicle, of an all-carbon composite construction, where the first stage is designed for reuse and which uses liquid methane as fuel. The company is now working on a thruster technology, which it plans to demonstrate in space, using the US$3 million funding it raised from venture capital investors. Another Bengaluru-based start-up, Astrogate Labs, is carving its brand in optical communication systems to address problem of high speed communication in space with optical communication systems. Currently, most space systems rely on radio and microwave networks for interplanetary, inter-satellite and spaceto-ground communication. The downsides to using these systems are the low bandwidth, high spectrum licensing costs, and low data rates. It explained that optical communication provides highly secure communication link at high data rates at a lower mass, form factor and power as compared to RF systems. Last but not the least, Agnikul Cosmos, a Chennaibased company designs and launches orbital class launch vehicles. Agnibaan is capable of carrying up to 100 kg of payload to low Earth orbits up to 700 km with a plug-and-play engine configuration for an air launch vehicle. The start-ups are getting a leg up from ISRO, which is also backed by its two commercial entities: Antrix Corporation to bring the products and services of ISRO, such as the small satellite launch vehicle (SSLV) and polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) to foreign markets; and New Space India (NSIL) to sell ISRO’s research, products and services in space technology, especially in the domestic market.
Tapping locally-made technologies The Chandrayaan 2 would not have been successful without ISRO’s collaboration with established engineering and technology players in India such as Larsen &Toubro (L&T India), Godrej Aerospace, Ananth Technologies (ATL), MTAR Technologies, Inox Technologies, Lakshmi Machine Works (LMW), Centum Electronics, Avasarala, and Karnataka Hybrid Micro Devices (KHMD). The India-headquartered companies have supplied components and technologies for the project, as well as for other space undertakings of ISRO. L&T produced critical aerospace components and systems for ISRO, developing tools and processes for manufacturing of composites with high pressure RTM process. It also claims to be the first Indian company to have used the polyimide resins for impregnation of 2 m long shells. Godrej Aerospace provided the L110 engine and CE20 engine for the launcher GSLV Mk III, thrusters for the Orbiter and Lander, and components for the DSN antenna. ATL, which produces avionics, telemetry, navigation sensors and power management systems, delivered the star sensor equipped in the Chandrayaan 2. The company is also reportedly working on launching its own communication satellites. MTAR has been supplying critical assemblies for different stages of the Indian satellite launch vehicles. It also delivers critical components to aerospace majors like US-based Goodrich Corporation, Moog, and Boeing; and French airplane maker Airbus. Inox supplies test & measuring instruments, while Tamil Nadu-headquartered textile machinery manufacturer LMW has set up a technology centre to manufacture components for the aerospace industry. The others involved: Centum specialises in micro-electronic components for rockets and satellites; Avasarala develops space-quality heat pipes; and KHMD provides thick film hybrid technology solutions for electronic modules in high-reliability applications and supplies micro components to ISRO, all of which go into satellites. A giant leap for mankind Space technologies deployed under the space programme have served varied functions, including monitoring environmental degradation, flood and drought, and enabling tele-education and tele-medicine, to mention a few. The publicity that Chandrayaan 2 garnered for India’s space industry has encouraged more galactic missions to take place in the coming years. By 2022, it is reported that India is sending a manned spacecraft to space. Known as Gaganyaan, it will send three astronauts into space for five to seven days. Further, there have been talks for a third Chandrayaan mission between ISRO and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) by 2025, to collect lunar soil and rock samples from the south pole of the Moon. Though it is not the first time that India has sent an Indian space crew into space, a decade later, who would have known that India would be launching its own space craft? India’s success in space exploration is, as the saying goes, already written in the stars. AUGUST 2019
Injection Moulding Asia Moulds
Mould filling simulation allows for reliability and efficiency German injection moulding machine maker Arburg says it has set a new milestone in assistance functions: the integration of a mould filling simulation in the Gestica
control system of its Allrounder injection moulding machines. What this feature
fundamentally entails has already been
demonstrated at the Fakuma 2018. During the company’s Technology Days in March 2019, the next development stage was
presented: display of the mould filling
Proud of the successful integration of the mould filling simulation in the Gestica control system (from left to right): Dr Paul F. Filz, Managing Director at Simcon and Dr Eberhard Duffner, Director Research & Development at Arburg
simulation directly on a running Allrounder. For this project, Arburg is cooperating with
“During development of the Gestica, our objective was to bring more operating assistance into the control system,” explains Dr. Eberhard Duffner, Director Research & Development at Arburg. According to Dr. Eberhard Duffner, Director Research & Development at Arburg, “The challenge is the material, the properties of which change during the moulding process. Consequently, the question of optimal mould filling has long been a topic of wide-ranging discussion among experts.” Essentially, the need to combine the simulations used in mould construction with the machine has long been identified. “With the mould filling simulation integrated in the Gestica control system, we are now bringing the two worlds together. This results in benefits with regard to set-up time, reliability and efficiency,” he adds. For optimal configuration of the injection moulding process, a great deal of expertise is required on the part of the installation technicians as only the material and its processing temperature, as well as the required dosage volume, are known. The challenging task now is optimal filling of the mould. The flow lines of the plastic melt can be influenced by means of the injection profile. However, when making a particular change to the screw stroke or dosage volume, the installation technician is unable to know where in the cavity geometry the flow front is currently located. Because overfeeding costs a great deal of
simulation expert Simcon, which boasts many years of experience in the injection moulding industry. Arburg will showcase its latest development at K2019 in October.
Experienced partner for injection moulding simulations During development of the Gestica, Arburg says its objective was to bring more operating assistance into the control system. While Arburg’s ‘4.set-up’ assistance package already supports installation technicians actively during set-up and parameter entry, the integrated mould filling simulation, however, goes much further. The machine becomes even ‘smarter’, as it knows the part it’s producing. When seeking out a partner for the system, Arburg opted for Simcon, which is based in Würselen (Germany), because the companies had already cooperated on other projects. As an expert for simulations, Simcon was familiar with the current mould design situation, which Managing Director Paul F. Filz describes as follows: “Currently, there are virtually two separate worlds: mould construction and injection moulding. In mould design, filling simulations are standard nowadays. The relevant data, however, cannot be used for the injection moulding process.” 1 AUGUST 2019
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Injection Moulding Asia Moulds time in “extracting” the part out of the mould, it must be avoided wherever possible. This is where the installation technician’s extensive experience is required. Future assistance systems such as the integrated mould filling simulation model will increasingly support machine operators interactively and graphically.
Expert installation technicians also benefit from this information as it saves them valuable time. They no longer need to interpret injection curve charts, but can observe the flow front in the 3D view of the cavity.
Bringing mould filling simulation and moulding together The task of uniting mould filling simulation and the reality of injection moulding is a highly complex task. In order to correctly visualise the flow front, computational models and algorithms are required, which also take into account, for example, the behaviour of the screw and the non-return valve, as well as the compressibility of the material. For this purpose, Arburg and Simcon have bundled their expertise and already demonstrated synchronisation of the screw movement via the calculated simulation model directly on the machine at the Technology Days 2019. Here, the filling pattern of the part being produced is displayed on the Gestica control system interface and the relationship between the filling level and screw stroke visualised.
During the integrated mould filling simulation, the filling pattern of the part being produced is displayed on the operating interface and the relationship between filling level and screw stroke visualised
Injection Moulding Asia K2019 Preview
Machinery firms’ cue to save the planet At a recent preview of K2019 in Düsseldorf,
demonstrations, tests and training. The large central warehouse in the Netherlands is also well-stocked with many new machines to ensure rapid delivery to the German market, said the Chen Hsong officials. The company has four facilities in Shunde, Shenzhen, Ningbo in China and one in Taiwan and produces 15,000 machines/year. It sells 65% of its machines in China, 7% in Taiwan and the rest to the overseas market with Europe accounting for a 10% share, but with further growth expected through the new subsidiary. Meanwhile, machinery group KraussMaffei, which is a subsidiary of Chinese state-owned chemical firm ChemChina, has merged its machinery brands under a single entity. The first German company listed on the Chinese stock market, KraussMaffei is also the world’s only provider of solutions for injection moulding, extrusion and reaction process technology. It is now consolidating all business divisions and its previous brands of KraussMaffei, KraussMaffei Berstorff and Netstal within a single brand.
Germany, machine companies presented their latest technologies to be displayed at the
show, which will be held from 16-23 October. Companies make plans for the future Hong Kong-headquartered injection moulding machine manufacturer Chen Hsong has established a new German subsidiary in Kempen. The 60-year old manufacturer of injection machines, with clamping forces ranging from 20-6,500 tonnes, already has a subsidiary in the Netherlands, Chen Hsong Europe BV, of which the new company will be a part of. Besides Chen Hsong Europe, which is the European headquarters, the German company will also serve as an additional technical support base. Plans are afoot for the Kempen subsidiary to stock fully functional injection moulding machines for 2 AUGUST 2019
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Injection Moulding Asia K2019 Preview Now, Engel is working together with its customers and partners on the production aspects of designing composite components with a targeted load distribution. At the show, a moulding process developed in partnership with automotive parts supplier Brose will be demonstrated. A production cell will show how different prepregs can be combined to tailor the lightweight construction characteristics to a component’s specific shape as well as the different stresses on individual areas inside the component. The demo part to be produced at the K show, for instance, is more rigid in its window frame area than on the inside of the door. It is also said to be the only system in the world that can simultaneously process three differently shaped organic sheets between 0.6 mm and 2.5 mm in thickness in a fully automated process involving integrated IR ovens. The organomelt production is based on a duo 3660/800 injection moulding machine and includes two integrated IR ovens, coupled with three Engel easix articulated robots all operating at the same time. Chinese raw material producer Kingfa will supply the glassfibre PP sheets. When the mould – built by Georg Kaufmann Formenbau – closes, the organic sheets are formed and subsequently overmoulded with glass fibre-reinforced PP within the same mould. Reinforcing ribs are shaped on the back of the component, while a leather-look grain is shaped on the visible side. Meanwhile, KraussMaffei will show an example of a circular economy in action. Launching its new GX 1100 machine at the show, it will mould 20 l PP buckets, each injected in two cavities with IML. The shot weight will be 1,500 g and cycle time of 14 seconds. The buckets will subsequently be shredded and fed back into the material loop as regrind. A ZE 28 BluePower twin-screw extruder will produce a technically enhanced re-compound, with pigments and a 20% proportion of talc added to the PP flakes. After underwater pelletising and drying, the re-compound will be fed to an all-electric PX 320 machine, where the material will be formed into an A-pillar panel, with an overmoulded layer of fabric. The company says it is using this example as “packaging products fulfil their duty quickly, so why not use them as raw material for new high-tech parts!”
KraussMaffei will showcase its latest GX machine producing buckets that will be re-purposed in subsequent processes as A pillars for the automotive sector
Netstal-Maschinen (Switzerland) will be known as KraussMaffei High Performance AG. Its injection moulding machinery will be integrated into the KraussMaffei portfolio under the Netstal product brand, which means the Netstal name will still appear on the machinery itself. The KraussMaffei Berstorff brand for Extrusion technology will now be known as KraussMaffei Extrusion GmbH. With a new corporate design to be unveiled to a wider audience at K2019, the Munich-based firm says it is reinventing itself with its new motto: Pioneering Plastics. Applications aligned to sustainability The use of thermoplastic composites is growing when it comes to lightweighting in the automotive industry, as due to the consistent thermoplastic approach it is possible to integrate the forming and functionalisation of fibre-reinforced prepregs, which reduces unit costs. Also, the use of exclusively thermoplastic polymers makes it easier to develop recycling strategies. Based on this, Austrian machine maker Engel will showcase its well-known organomelt process at K2019. The process allows fibre-reinforced prepregs, with a thermoplastic matrix such as organic sheets and tapes to be heated, inserted into the mould, formed there and directly overmoulded with thermoplastic. Engel will showcase its organomelt process with a production cell said to the first in the world to use infrared radiation to heat up and form three organic sheets of differing thicknesses, to produce a demo car door module
Being energy efficient Consuming up to 20% less energy than its predecessors, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is bringing two energy-enhanced El-Exis SP machines to K2019: a large and a smaller version. Catering specifically to the packaging moulding markets, 3
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Injection Moulding Asia K2019 Preview One further approach to using recycled materials more widely is sandwich components with a core of recycled material embedded in virgin material, which is determined by the geometry of the moulded part and the flow pattern in the cavity. The transport boxes that Engel is producing at its stand using the skinmelt process have a component geometry, but yet are able to incorporate a recycled content of over 50%. What is also important is the grade purity “ensuring that the sandwich-moulded products can also be easily recycled at the Sumitomo will showcase its El-Exis machine demonstrating the production of 130,000 water end of their service life”. The bottle caps on a 72-cavity mould PP boxes will contain recycled material from post-consumer collection. Engel will the ultra-high speed range boasts the lowest dry work with Grüne Punkt (The green dot) and Duales cycle times, due to the hydraulic accumulator, which System Deutschland (DSD, Germany). achieves injection speeds of up to 1,000 mm/s. This Finally, at the outdoor exhibition area between enables moulders to produce even thinner packaging Halls 10 and 16, post-consumer waste will be items. The range is also one of the fastest machines converted into miniature waste containers on an in the market for injection dynamic. Engel victory machine. Austrian recycling machine The German/Japanese firm will also demonstrate maker Erema’s recycling pavilion is located in the what it says is a trailblazing, as-yet unseen, touchfoil immediate vicinity. interactive decoration for a vehicle console on a Another victory machine will produce card brand new IntElect 500 being unveiled at the show. boxes from recycled fishing nets with the PA As a result of the big tie bar spacing, increase in recycled material coming from Chile, where three mould height and opening stroke, the new models American machine manufacturers have set up accommodate larger moulds, providing a less energy collection points for end-of-life nets. In Chile, the intensive machine for automotive applications that nets are recycled on an Erema system and processed would previously have required a larger tonnage. into skateboards and sun glasses on Engel’s It will also reveal its newest 180-tonne IntElect machines. S all-electric medical machine. Aimed squarely at mass manufacturers of medical plastic components, the machine has been specially built for extremely narrow tolerance applications requiring fast cycle times between 3 -10 seconds. The layout of the mould space ensures it’s clear of contaminants, particles and lubricants, for cleanroom environments. It will be shown moulding pipette tips on a 64-cavity mould. Going the whole hog with circular economy With the CEO of Engel, Stefan Engleder, stating that the circular economy topic is close to his heart, the Austrian machine maker will be a part of this cause. Since recycled material is subject to greater batch variations than virgin material, the company will use its iQ weight control assistance system, from Engel’s inject 4.0, to process fully recycled ABS. It will allow for a constant melt volume during injection to ensure quality.
Engel will produce transport boxes using its sandwich moulding process with over 50% recycled material
4 AUGUST 2019
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Injection Moulding Asia Automation
Bringing automation barriers down with end-of-arm tooling In this article, James Taylor, General Manager,
Continuous technology transformation and the rise of collaborative applications in industrial automation have made robots easily deployable. Intelligent EOAT devices come with in-built features that can be programmed easily, enabling faster set-up. With EOAT, automation becomes more inclusive, delivering collaborative applications to meet modern automation needs.
APAC of OnRobot, explains how intelligent endof-arm tooling (EOAT) is helping manufacturers deploy robots. EOAT changes the game with its revolutionary features and functions,
making automation easier to integrate and more
Automation adoption rises in ASEAN The ASEAN regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s combined GDP hit almost US$2.7 trillion in 2017, four times the value in 2000, clocking an average 5.3% yearly growth. ASEAN could become the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fourth largest economy by 2030 if this growth maintains. 1 To achieve this, the region needs to leverage the opportunities presented by Industry 4.0 technologies. Adoption of these technologies remains slow in most countries however, with many manufacturers still relying on outdated processes. 2 Singapore is spearheading the adoption of automation and robotics, recording the second highest industrial robot density globally at 658 robots per 10,000 employees. 3 Malaysia and Thailand have also increased their focus on automation, encouraging greater use of robotics through the National Policy on Industry 4.0 (Industry4WRD) and the Thailand 4.0 strategy respectively. This has led to an increase in cobot adoption and greater demand for collaborative applications. Coupled with the fast-changing nature of industries, this driving demand for modular and advanced EOAT.
effective. He also says the adoption of automation in Southeast Asia is being hindered due to
manufacturersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; limited knowledge on automation coupled with the high cost and time constraint
associated with the production set-up. OnRobot,
founded in 2015, is headquartered in Denmark. It provides plug & produce EOATs.
Industrial automation challenges/introduction Historically, one of the biggest barriers to automation has been cost and time constraints associated with the production set-up. The procedure is usually performed by a team of robotics experts adept in programming languages and advanced engineering, subjects unfamiliar to most. Demand for automation is flourishing from various manufacturing sectors leading to greater innovations in industrial robotics. With this trend, companies are prompted to adapt more and more intelligent tools that can help the production workforce with faster deployment and installation, saving their precious time on planning and strategy. But not many businesses have been able to do so quickly because most are not ready to address collaborative applications with newer technologies. This is due to limited knowledge or resistance to adopting modern endof-arm tooling (EOAT) with collaborative robots (cobots).
Easy and robust system integration with collaborative tools System integrators have been of immense importance in robotics as they provide support with programming and outfitting processes. A robust system integration plan is not complete without the right EOAT devices. In fact, a major part of a plan focuses on picking the right end effectors such as grippers, sensors and tool changers that can be easily programmed with the robot. With more applications being collaborative in nature, system integrators believe that fitting appropriate tools around robots is becoming more crucial than robots alone. EOAT tools enable a two-way information exchange between the robot and the object. It makes installation simpler and easier, reducing setup time and effort drastically. Smart, flexible and collaborative robotic accessories completely revolutionise the flow and quality of systems integration (SI). Intelligent grippers, for instance, can collect and communicate crucial data to robots in real time to improve their accuracy and overall performance.
James Taylor of OnRobot says EOAT changes the game with its revolutionary features and functions, making automation easier to integrate and more effective
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Injection Moulding Asia Automation Capable of safely passing products to human operators, these state-of-the-art grippers can essentially function as automated co-workers. For machine tending, dual grippers can operate up to 50% faster for computer numerical control (CNC) machine utilisation. Intelligent EOATs benefit system integrators in many ways. Unlike dated homegrown technology, advanced EOATs can handle multiple tasks and varying projects, which saves time wasted on reprogramming and redeployment. Ready for easy integration out of the box, these tools can not only be implemented with ease, but also come with pre-programmed OnRobot’s RG2-FT software packages that further quicken the installation process. OnRobot’s growing suite of cutting-edge EOATs and applications can work with robots across industries and manufacturers. The RG2-FT Gripper, with its built-in six-axis F/T Sensor fingertips and proximity sensor it can detect a product’s location even if it is not precisely positioned. This feature can be invaluable for tasks that require an item’s placement on or removal from conveyor belts. It is also ideal for precision assembly of electronics, automotive parts and other machinery.
With Industry 4.0, ASEAN countries are optimistic about kick-starting their industry transformation journey with smart automation driven by advanced EOAT. Through advanced features and innovative interfaces, EOAT can boost the labour market, accelerate productivity and solve automation challenges in numerous industries. ASEAN has the potential to capture productivity gains worth US$216 billion to US$627 billion through Industry 4.0.4
OnRobot-Hex six-axis force & torque
Breaking down barriers In 2018, Enterprise Management Associates released a survey of more than 1,000 IT and businessrelated professionals at companies with more than 500 employees. Among other findings, only 4% of respondents said their company was “not as good as most” in terms of automation maturity; in comparison, 41% described their business as “very mature” or “state-of-the-art.” Those businesses that do not explore new automated technologies may limit their growth potential and risk falling behind competitors. Integrating automation into processes can be difficult, but technological advances that make modern robotic tools and accessories easier to install, more compatible and more flexible have made it easier than ever before. 1 http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/ Economy/30362248 2 https://www.opengovasia.com/malaysian-ir-4-0manufacturing-sector-expects-us30b-growth/ 3 https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/05/ infographic-the-countries-with-the-highest-density-ofrobot-workers/ 4 https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/ business%20functions/operations/our%20insights/ industry%204%200%20reinvigorating%20asean%20 manufacturing%20for%20the%20future/industry-40-reinvigorating-asean-manufacturing-for-the-future. ashx
The upshot of automation When it comes to robotic automation, quality control is crucial for businesses because mishandled and otherwise ruined raw materials have real consequences for a company’s bottom line. Legacy tools that are either not smart enough and/or incapable of adapting to different products and environments may cause such wastage. EOATS like OnRobot’s breakthrough HEX 6 axis F/T Sensor are designed to eradicate such issues. It provides accurate force and torque measurements along all six axes, resulting in precise control when it comes to difficult assembly, polishing, sanding or deburring jobs. Additionally, it has in-built software that can manage path recording, force control and special features for insertion tasks. This means reduced integration time for production lines. 6 AUGUST 2019
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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News • China’s rubber firm Hainan Rubber Group is to acquire an 80% share in latex pillow/ mattress manufacturer Jiangsu Aidefu Latex Products for US$53 million. The deal is conducive to enhancing profitability, as Aidefu is a leader in the domestic latex mattress industry, thus providing a strong guarantee for Hainan Rubber to develop its own brand of latex products, it said.
• Nokian Heavy Tyres will complete its 3,500 sq m-R&D Centre in Nokia, Finland, by end-2019. The tyre manufacturer has invested EUR70 million into increasing production of commercial tyres (by 50%), doubling new product development and tyre testing within the new centre. It is expected to hit full production capacity by 2021 with installation plans for machinery underway.
• Swedish firm Hexpol Group has acquired rubber compounder Preferred Compounding from US-based Audax Group, for US$232 million. Preferred recorded sales of some US$240 million across markets in 2018, including those of general industry, automotive, power and infrastructure. It will add on to Hexpol’s portfolio, following the acquisitions of the Mesgo Group and Kirkhill Rubber.
• Tyre maker Bridgestone is to invest US$41 million on the digitalisation of eight European tyre manufacturing plants, across Poland, Hungary, Spain, Italy and France, over the next four years. The launch of the “Smart Energy” system will optimise the plants’ energy consumption and costs, with an approximate 10% in energy savings.
• Vietnamese agricultural developer Hoang Anh Gia Lai Agricultural (HAGL Agrico) is to sell off its subsidiary Indochina Rubber to Thadi Agriculture. Indochina Rubber processes rubber products and is involved in local afforestation and forest conservation efforts, construction and trading industrial machinery/goods. • Elysium Nordic, an upcoming recycling plant, has applied for a building permit and environmental approval from Nyborg municipality in southern Denmark. The joint project between Denmark’s WindSpace and Scandinavian Enviro Systems, started just over a year ago after a MoU and lease agreement for the establishment and construction of a recycling plant were signed.
• Multinational rubber manufacturer Semperit Group’s Belchatow plant in Poland will be its largest mixing site after a three-year, EUR17 million expansion project. The plant’s new “Mixer 5” line is expected to add some 30,000 tonnes/ year of rubber compounds to production and further increase mixing capacity by 67%. To date, the Austrian company’s mixing activities in Europe are concentrated in Austria, Czech Republic and Germany. These and other worldwide manufacturing facilities have generated revenue of EUR878.5 million in 2018. • International carbon black (CB) supplier Orion Engineered Carbons is to expand its Cologne plant in Germany, for the highly-reinforced gas blacks
production, in response to global market demands for water-borne and solventborne coatings. Established in 2011, Orion runs 14 global production sites with approximately 1,450 employees • Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand – world-leading producers of natural rubber – will collaborate to develop a Rubber City within the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) region. The four sites: Kedah in Malaysia, Songkhla in Thailand, and Tanjung ApiApi and Sei Mangkei Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Indonesia, will jointly boost rubber consumption through downstream activities and manufacture of value-added products. • Manufacturer of plastics, latexes and synthetic rubber Trinseo has opened a new compounding factory at its Hoek site in Terneuzen, the Netherlands, its second largest location. It has 16 production sites and 11 R&D centres worldwide. Partly due to a lack of space for expansion at the Terneuzen Industrial Park, the company moved to its new location to Hoek. It is in close vicinity to Trinseo’s new R&D Centre, which was officially opened in 2017, as well as its storage and distribution partner Katoen Natie, to optimise the supply chain. • China’s Maxtrek Tyre’s first car/truck tyre plant outside of China will be built in Kuantan, Malaysia. It is slated to produce 6 million car and light truck tyres/year and 500,000 truck/bus tyres. Parent company Zhaoqing Junhong, which is known by the Antares and Maxtrek
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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News brands, said the project represents an investment upwards of “several hundreds of millions” of Malaysian ringgit. Zhaoqing Junhong has set up Maxtrek Tyre Manufacturing Malaysia, a subsidiary to oversee the project. • Synthetic rubber materials firm Arlanxeo’s next phase of its growth plans will be to set up a technical R&D centre focused on elastomers in Dhahran Techno Valley Company (DTVC), Saudi Arabia. Arlanxeo, a whollyowned subsidiary of petrochemical firm Saudi Aramco, has entered into a collaboration framework with DTVC, a company wholly owned by King Fahd University of Petroleum and Mineral (KFUPM), an academic institution for oil and gas. • Japan’s Toyo Tire is expanding its 13-year-old North American tyre plant in Georgia again. The US$65 million project will involve installing new manufacturing equipment to boost the production capacity of passenger and light truck tyres by nearly 10% a year, to 13.9 million units by January 2021. Toyo previously spent US$125 million to add a 254,000-sq-ft production hall to its largest international factory, • Tyre machine maker Kobe Steel Group has established Germany-based Kobelco Europe (KEU) to head its European division and promote coordination among its companies in the region and in the Middle East as well. KEU has grown out of Kobelco Machinery Europe (KME), which was launched
in 2012 in Munich, Germany, as a base for Kobe’s tyre and rubber machinery business in Europe. • Global automotive solutions provider Vibracoustic has opened a 2,000 sq m Material Development Centre in Weinheim, Germany, to house 25 material experts who will produce and conduct comprehensive testing on new compounds/technology. The new centre is expected to strengthen the company’s position as an automotive noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).
eyeing a number of initiatives relating to environmentallyfriendly product development and distribution that will utilise the access to the capital markets afforded by this proposed transaction.
• German tyre maker Continental has laid the cornerstone for a new EUR26 million motorcycle tyre factory in Rayong, Thailand. When the plant comes on stream in 2021, production will initially focus on radial tyres, followed at a later stage by bias-ply/cross-ply models. It will create 100 new jobs. The new plant is being built in the immediate vicinity of the passenger car tyre factory, which Continental opened in March this year.
• US-headquartered McCarthy Tire is acquiring 13 GCR Tires & Service (GCR) stores and three GCR retread plants from Bridgestone Americas. The transaction, which is targeted to close in midAugust, is expected to expand McCarthy Tire’s service network in the Carolinas and Virginia, and thus allow the company to minimise downtime for its customers, it said. McCarthy Tire, which currently operates more than 50 service locations and seven Bandag retread manufacturing facilities spanning from Georgia to New York, provides tyres and service for commercial trucking, industrial and off-the-road customers. McCarthy Tire and the GCR stores included in the sale will conduct business separately until the transaction closes.
• US-headquartered Vystar, the producer of Vytex deproteinised natural rubber latex (NRL), is to acquire Rotmans Furniture, the largest furniture and flooring store in New England and one of the largest independent furniture retailers in the US, for US$2 million. With the agreement, Rotmans is expected to add approximately US$30 million to Vystar’s top line revenue and enable the latter to capitalise on the infrastructure already in place for accounting, retail sales facilities and staff, customer service, warehousing, and delivery. Both companies are
• Taiwan-based tyre manufacturer Maxxis International will boost its US distribution capacity by opening a new warehouse facility in Indiana. The facility will feature aover 32,516 sq ft of warehouse space, including 929 sq m of office space and two administrative warehouse offices measuring approximately 232-sq m each. The company has operations in Asia, Europe and North America, and offers a range of tyre products for automotive, light truck, motorcycle, ATV, bicycle, lawn & garden and industrial use to some 180 countries.
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Rubber Journal Asia Recycling
Tyre sector tackles circularity of rubber Processing of scrap tyres as viable source
ELTs closing the loop Circular economy, a regenerative model of production and consumption, aims to supersede the “take, make and dispose” linear model, so that waste is transformed into material feedstock and other high value products, such as fuel and more. Alliances among industry players are augmenting circularity in the rubber industry. German engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor MMEC Mannesmann GmbH and Dutch tyre-tocarbon black upcycling company Black Bear recently formed a strategic partnership to promote Black Bear’s breakthrough technology for producing recovered carbon black (rCB) from end-of-life (ELT) tyres.
of energy, fuel, and materials for key
applications is gaining traction in the rubber industry, says Angelica Buan in this report.
nnually, more than 1.5 billion new tyres are rolled out of factories, while an estimated 1 billion waste tyres are generated globally, and compete for landfill space against other waste types. Managing waste by recycling is a sound measure. However, the recycling industry, for now, can only do so much. Every year, only about 100 million tyres are being processed or 10% of the estimated volume of discarded tyres. Tyres, which are designed to be virtually indestructible under a variety of conditions, are difficult to recycle. Nevertheless new generations of recycling technologies that are being developed are expected to facilitate tyre recycling, and hence, increase recycling rates.
Black Bear’s technology can produce recovered carbon black from endof-life tyres
MMEC is an expert in executing turnkey projects in the oil, gas, refining, chemical and renewables industries while Black Bear has manufactured the world’s first Cradle-to-Cradle certified rCB. In several industries, rCB is used as an additive in rubber, tyres, plastics, coatings and inks, bringing black colour into products. Currently, carbon black, which is used to modify properties into usable products, is produced by combusting oil (known as the furnace process), emitting CO₂ and thereby polluting the environment. This process no longer fits the standard of manufacturers that scout for sustainable alternatives to reduce their environmental footprint. Employing a technology like MMEC’s ensures that the growing demand for rCB is met and matched by Black Bear’s time-to-market requirements, according to the company’s Construction Director, Joost Raimond. Black Bear looks to setting up more tyre upcycling plants with local partners around the world, focusing on Europe for its next plant, it said. When it reaches its full
Yearly, only 10% or 100 million of the estimated 1 billion discarded tyres are being processed
Recycling, a component of the circular economy, can minimise waste generation and ultimately sustain a lucrative scrap tyre recovery market. Market analyst BCC Research projected the scrap tyre recovery market to be worth US$9.5 billion by 2022, up from US$7.6 billion in 2017, at a CAGR of 4.5%. Applications for scrap tyre rubber are dominated by rubberised asphalt and moulded and extruded products. Major markets that include fuel, civil engineering applications and ground rubber markets, are driving the global scrap tyre recovery market.
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Rubber Journal Asia Recycling potential of repurposing ELTs with its circular solution, Black Bear says it will be able to reduce the global oil consumption by more than 215 million barrels/year. Converting tyre scraps to energy Waste tyres are also a major source for energy and fuel, derived via waste-to-energy (WTE) conversion technologies. Tyre-derived fuel (TDF) is potentially cleaner and more efficient than conventional solid fuels. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), tyres when burnt generate the same amount of energy as oil; 25%-50% more energy than coal, and 100%-200% more energy than wood. Moreover, the EPA and state-testing facilities have shown that TDF produces low emissions compared to other conventional fuels. Given these findings, TDF demonstrates as a more economical and viable alternative to fossil fuels. It is also is suited for energy intensive processes in utility boilers, cement kilns, and pulp and paper mills.
Sobeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plants will process hydrocarbon-based waste such as used tyres to be converted into a clean synthetic gas that can be used in burners to produce steam or chilled water, or in reciprocating engines or gas turbines to produce electricity
The plants will process hydrocarbon-based waste such as used tyres, as well as all seven grades of plastic and electronic waste. These prolific waste streams are converted into a clean synthetic gas that can be used in burners to produce steam or chilled water, or in reciprocating engines or gas turbines to produce electricity. Based on Sobeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; s micro-energy facility concept, the technology reduces customer costs and helps address the major issue of hydrocarbon-based waste in the US. Sobeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; s phased intent is to invest US$120 million in Ohio. The company has purchased the assets of a district public utility and the new company will be rebranded Sobe Thermal Energy Systems.
Tyre-derived fuel is suited for energy intensive processes in utility boilers, cement kilns, and pulp and paper mills
Roads plying the recycled route The global market for recycled rubber is also expected to surpass US$6 billion by 2025, according to Global Market Insights, driven by demand from high revenue applications such as infrastructure. Many countries worldwide, amid a growing propensity for sustainability, are paving more roads with rubberised asphalt concrete (RAC) made with recycled tyres. For one, paving a mile/inch of road already utilises 1,000 waste tyres. Cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly, RAC can last 50% longer than conventional road application materials, and thus saves on maintenance costs. Additionally, RAC enables quiet roadways and safe driving by potentially reducing road noise by as much as 85% (or up to 4 decibels), while providing better traction and visibility in wet weather. New material technologies are being developed and launched to make ELT rubber recycling successful.
More importantly, TDF underscores that tyres from waste streams can be diverted to produce a high value product. According to the national trade organisation, US Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), the US TDF market used 106 million tyres in 2017 or over 43% of total annual scrap tyre generated. Meanwhile, the country, which generates 300 million scrap tyres/year, according to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) data published in 2018, opens up opportunities for tyre-derived energy investments. Sobe Energy Solutions, owner and operator of sustainable power generation technology, has secured investment funding for its portfolio in sustainable energy projects in the US. The portfolio will encompass raising initial financing of US$990 million to cover the construction and implementation of several WTE technology plants.
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Rubber Journal Asia Recycling produced in the UK, the company has created an asphalt mix using granulated rubber. Tarmac estimated that it will be possible to recycle and reuse up to 750 waste tyres for every km of highway surfaced with the new material, depending on the thickness of the road, which would help to reduce the 120,000 tonnes/year of rubber waste from being exported from the UK. Tarmac recycles 8.7 million tonnes/year Evonik’s Vestenamer process additive is used to convert scrap tyres into materials for road construction application of waste from other German speciality chemicals company Evonik industries. It also builds on the company’s reuse of waste Industries has developed a new rubber process additive tyres to power its cement kilns and its commitment as a that can convert scrap tyres into materials for road net user of waste. construction application. Evonik’s Vestenamer, a Brian Kent, Technical Director at Tarmac intoned how thermoplastic processing additive, allows processing the significance of recycling used tyres in the circular of waste rubber to a robust material and minimises the economy agenda is often overlooked against the focus degradation of properties that is associated with the use given on recycling plastics. of recyclates, it says. He disclosed that the country lacks the necessary The recycled material, when mixed with road industrial infrastructure required to allow manufacture construction bitumen or asphalt, enhances the quality of this type of material. Against the backdrop of major of the mixtures and lengthens the service life of roads, investments in the strategic road network, there is now said Dr Peter Hannen, Market Development Manager an opportunity to leverage this technology and unlock for Vestenamer. the benefits of this circular economic approach, he said. Hannen expressed that there is lack of confidence Tarmac is trialling the material and has recently in the quality and durability of roads built by using supplied asphalt with rubber in Coventry, the country’s additives for the production of rubber-modified first city to have rubber roads. bitumen or asphalt in regions like Europe. The Thus, with scrap rubber being an under-used waste reactivity and polymer structure of the additive creates stream, it can be seen that ELTs can pave the way a good network density between rubber particles, which forward with more uses in the pipeline. leads to enhanced mechanical characteristics, he said. The material recycling of scrap tyres is also becoming more important from the ecological viewpoint. For example, the use of scrap tyre granulate in new products contributes significantly toward reducing the carbon footprint by up to a third as compared with products that do not use a recycled material, said Hannen. Higher levels of rubber powder in road surfaces can also dampen traffic noise. As Evonik explained, road surfaces consisting of rubber generate significantly lower VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions, as compared to roads made with polymer-modified asphalt. Over in the UK, building materials and construction solutions company Tarmac has developed a new rubberised asphalt technology capable of recycling ELTs Tarmac’s new rubberised asphalt technology is capable of recycling ELTs for road applications. With 40 million waste tyres/year for road applications
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