3D fab+print: additive manufacturing at the K 2016

Hardly any technology is currently attracting so much attention as additive manufacturing, which is also called generative manufacturing or 3D printing. Additive manufacturing processes are causing a stir among users in the design and packaging, aerospace and automotive industries as well as in the fields of dental and medical technology and machines and plant engineering. The processes promise great freedom of design and allow individual components to be manufactured with highly complex geometries and internal structures. A presentation at the K 2013 made many plastics processors aware of the opportunities presented by the direct additive manufacturing of plastic parts with thermoplastics. The technologies have matured to such an extent that they are now sometimes being used to complement or even replace conventional production processes, particularly in view of increasingly fast-changing consumer tastes and trends as well as in view of the new challenges that the industry is facing in regard to the individualisation of plastic products. Messe Düsseldorf established the 3D fab+print brand three years ago to focus especially on this topic of the future. The K 2016 fair will represent comprehensive opportunities for visitors to explore the possibilities and limits of additive manufacturing.

The 3D fab+print touchpoint in Hall 4 will be the central location for information about these topics. This presentation is being organised and manned by Messe Düsseldorf in cooperation with its partner, KCI Publishing BV – a leading knowledge, communications and information company based in the Netherlands. Technology providers and users, exhibitors and visitors, visionaries and practitioners may meet here to swap notes and drive this trend-setting topic forward.

Furthermore, in-depth presentations and discussions about this topic are to be staged in two half-day conferences to take place on Thursday, 20 October, and Tuesday, 25 October, from 9.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. respectively. The 3D fab+print Summits, also organised by KCI Publishing BV, will further focus on developments in materials as well as on the different methods used in the processes of additive manufacturing, including best practices, application scenarios, market potentials and costs. Contributions by such leading manufacturers as Stratasys, Arburg, Proto Labs and EnvisionTec as well as by experts from the fields of research and science will be ensuring that the topics will be competently illuminated from all sides. Each of the 30-minute presentations will be structured as short talks, which will be followed by question-and-answer sessions. The presentations on Thursday, 20 October, will be hosted by Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Gerd Witt from the University of Duisburg-Essen, Chair of Manufacturing Technology.

On the K 2016’s opening day on 19 October, a short presentation entitled, ‘Additive Manufacturing for Individualising Series Products’ is going to be given in Hall 6 during the theme day focusing on Industry 4.0 within the special show entitled, ‘Plastics Shape the Future’.

Additive manufacturing will be available to see, touch and try out on the ‘Wolfgang’ FabBus that will be parked in front of Hall 3 throughout the fair. The former double-decker bus from Berlin was converted within the framework of a EU funding project into a mobile laboratory by GoetheLab of the Aachen University of Applied Sciences. ‘Wolfgang’ will be bringing the latest scientific findings in the field of additive manufacturing straight from the laboratory to the exhibition centre and making the technology understandable and accessible. The FabBus’ lower deck is fitted out as a showroom with exhibits and components manufactured using all the usual methods of additive manufacturing. Its top deck is home to eight workplaces with their own CAD computers and 3D printers where visitors will be able to design their own objects, print them in 3D and take them home with them.

Last but not least, many exhibitors at the K 2016 will be presenting many other interesting innovations in the field of additive manufacturing. Messe Düsseldorf will be introducing these exhibitors in a special brochure to provide a direct overview for all interested visitors.

AMI Conference on Polyolefin Additives

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Polyolefins lead the global commodity plastics markets in volume, applications and diversity of functions. Noru Tsalic of AMI Consulting will outline the market trends at the next AMI international conference on Polyolefin Additives and compounding 2015, which will take place from 20-22 October 2015 at the Maritim Hotel in Cologne, Germany. 

Polyethylene pipes are gaining sector share in construction, agricultural films are transforming the production potential in arid regions, polypropylene packaging is preserving foodstuffs and minimising waste and in automotive manufacturing the use of polyolefins as metal replacements is reducing weight.  The different properties of polyethylene and polypropylene materials are obtained by careful selection of resin, additives, reinforcement and processing methods.  A. Schulman is reviewing how to compound polypropylene to tailor properties and Lummus Novolen Technology has studied how to obtain advanced features in PP.  There are now many larger scale uses of PP compounds, particularly in automotive and Leistritz Extrusionstechnik has new equipment for upscaling the compounding process, while Automatik Plastics Machinery has top of the range pelletising technology. 

Polykemi in Sweden has developed a talc-reinforced PP for light-weighting in the automotive industry.  For interior applications Sinopec has studied additive formulations to minimise VOC emissions in PP and for exterior uses Croda has focused on additives to provide scratch resistance.  Kaerntner Montanindustrie provides functional minerals which can also be used to improve scratch resistance, alongside warpage reduction and reinforcement.  There are several new mineral developments this year including a new pyrophillite from Trinity Resources based in Canada.

AMI’s Polyolefin Additives 2015 conference brings together industry experts to debate the optimal compounds and resins for a wide range of applications from cables to packaging films. Kabelwerk Eupen will be describing the latest developments in flame retardants and Cytec will be looking at stabilisers, which are critical in construction products.  Borealis Polyolefine will be examining how to manage the optical properties of transparent films by careful compounding.  Polymeric additives like ionomers can improve compounds, such as the products from Cray Valley and Arkema. There is a particular focus this year on stabilisation, which ensures durability and extended performance: BASF has reviewed stabilisers for specific uses, Dover Chemical Corporation has new advanced alkylphenol-free polymeric phosphite stabilisers and Addivant has new solutions for LLDPE materials.  From Asia, Songwon has high performance stabilisers, while Everspring Middle East will give another perspective at this international event.

Sustainability is key to the future of the plastics industry and this year there is a paper on the compounding and performance of recyclate from Quality Circular Polymers (QCP), which is a new polyolefin recycling start up company in the Netherlands.  European legislation requires that increasing amounts of materials are recovered from end of life products including packaging, electrical goods and vehicles, so this is a hot topic.

For more information about the Polyolefin Additives 2015 conference, click HERE.

Insecticide substances in foamed plastics

imageThe Plastics Technology Centre AIMPLAS, Inesfly Corporation from Valencia and the University of Zaragoza are researching in order to be able to encapsulate insecticide substances in foamed plastic materials. The innovative material will allow the manufacture of soles of sandals and mats that repel insects that transmit diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis.

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LUVOCOM® with a touch of colour

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Lehmann & Voss & Co. (Hamburg, Germany) succeeded in bringing colour to LUVOCOM® carbon-fibre-reinforced compounds . The use of these coloured materials makes it possible, for example, to distinguish components that are very similar but made of different base polymers or to distinguish between left and right parts in a production process.

CAMPUS® 5.2 at K 2010

The well know plastics database CAMPUS, from M Base (Aachen, Germany) will be presented at K 2010 in Dusseldorf in Version 5.2. Some of the new features are: new properties based on cooperation with the automotive industry (VDA) and new online datasheets in 10 languages. [Link to CAMPUS on this page – right column] Continue reading