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Plastics – Burden and Breakthrough at Once

Over the last seven decades, plastics have become indispensable. They make our everyday lives easier. They keep foods fresh. They open up entirely new options in manufacturing, and … they are a major factor in the world’s growing problem with trash. It’s clear that plastics impose a burden even as they offer breakthrough solutions.
Thomas Schmidt

Plastics are everywhere today. The benefits that they offer are extremely diverse – in industry, of course, although they make a special contribution to performance sports as well. That’s something that Thomas Schmidt, the winner in the kayak slalom in the 2000 Olympics, can highlight from his personal experience. After all, he has designed and built his own kayaks during his career. He says it’s only the use of plastics that has made competitive kayaking what it is today: a highly dynamic sport. He explains all this in detail in the new edition of ESSENTIAL.

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies (FST) is turning to plastics for the products it manufactures and is benefiting from their characteristics in important ways. Dr. Ernst Osen, who is in charge of global materials technology at FST, sees plastics as the material for the 21st-century. In an interview, he describes how plastics can be based on renewable materials and recounts the experience that FST has had with them. In addition, other articles in ESSENTIAL describe the responses to the world of plastics in Southeast Asia and Africa, and how researchers are tackling related problems in the United States.

You can read these and other interesting articles about these ubiquitous materials in the latest edition of ESSENTIAL from Freudenberg Sealing Technologies.

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Further articles with these taggings

Tender Leaves amid Mountains of Trash


Plastic trash from around the world ends up in Vietnam. At the same time, a new generation of innovative city-dwellers is discovering its ecological conscience. Are rice-flour straws and leaf-based packaging suitable solutions for the rest of the world? A visit to Southeast Asia.

Read more


Powerful Storage Capacities


At first glance, putting plastic in the ground doesn’t seem like a great idea. But that’s precisely where polymer granules can bring their surprising benefits to bear.

Read more


C as in Carbon


Plastics production has been almost exclusively based on petroleum. It doesn’t have to be that way. Researchers are already working on alternatives based on renewable raw materials.

Read more


The Beginning of the End for the World’s Plastic Woes?


Around the world, scientists have been doing research on plastics that can be totally recycled into their original raw materials. A research team in the United States has now announced a breakthrough.

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Sustainability Material Expertise

Lightweight – with EMC Protection


Electronic control units in cars are almost always made of aluminum. The use of plastics could trim a great deal of weight. But this requires shielding against electric fields.

Read more

Sustainability Material Expertise

All-Around Player


Components made of plastic are not just lightweight – they can also handle multiple functions simultaneously. This is possible due to materials that are adapted precisely to the requirements and the high degree of flexibility available in plastic-parts production.

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Sustainability Material Expertise

From Everybody’s Darling to Enfant Terrible


At this very moment, 10 million plastic bags are being used worldwide. But more and more countries are determined to curb the use of single-use plastic. A number of African countries have imposed outright prohibitions.

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Materials for Wind Power


If you were to stand a single rotor blade on end next to the Dresden Frauenkirche, it would rise more than 10 meters higher than the church’s tower cross. Without the use of composite materials, the blades of the latest wind turbine giants would be too heavy to function.

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Sustainability Material Expertise

Greenhouse Effect in Reverse


It’s possible to produce fuels, fertilizers and plastics from the smelting gases released during steel production if you view them as a raw material rather than waste. A visit to the Carbon2Chem Technical Center in Duisburg.

Read more


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