The K Fair is the biggest plastics show in the world. For K 2007, more than 3,100 exhibitors filled 19 halls in the Messe Center in Düsseldorf, Germany. Contributing Editor Doug Smock has been to all K Fairs except one since 1986. Read through his coverage of this year's fair for the scoop on materials innovations straight from the show floor.K 2007: A Yankee Scribbler’s Perspective The main purpose for launching the K in 1952 was to convince the public that this “kunst stoffe,” or synthetic material, should be considered in a positive way. In many ways, it seems like the K is still like that.
RTP Shows Carbon Nanotube Compounds RTP Co. is introducing carbon nanotube compounds (CNT) in several different resin systems for improved electrical performance.
Goodyear Develops Tire With Bioplastic One of the most interesting new products comes from Novamont, which is showing a tire in which bioplastics made from starch replace some of the carbon black and silica used in automobile tires.
Eastman Breaks Ground on Copolyester Tritan copolyester uses a new monomer (not identified) to provide a higher glass transition temperature (Tg) than traditional copolyesters.
Sweet New Deal for Polyethylene For many years, the United States enjoyed a cost advantage for olefinic plastics because of lower prices for natural gas used to make feedstocks. It looks now like Brazil may become the country with a feedstock cost advantage because of its huge sugar cane crop.
New Hybrid for Mechatronics New plastics/metal hybrids introduced at K 2007 by A. Schulman eliminate soldering for electronic parts and also create shielded housings.
Dow, GLS Combine on Copolymer A new elastomer technology announced at K 2007 in Düsseldorf will give design engineers new options, particularly for overmolding and applications such as gaskets with demanding compression-set requirements.
New Foam Developed for Dreamliner A brand new lightweight material for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was announced at K 2007. BASF will produce a new ultra-light foam for the interior of the groundbreaking aircraft.
SABIC Goes for Solar Power One of the best stories from K 2007 is the effort under way at SABIC Innovative Plastics to develop new technologies that reduce use of oil and natural gas.
Solar Impulse Advances Composites for Aircraft A Swiss aircraft project will advance composites technology for the aircraft industry by a factor of two to three, says Andre Borschberg, CEO of a company called Solar Impulse, which will launch its first test flight next month of the first manned solar-powered airplane.
DuPont Introduces Nano Hybrid A metal/polymer hybrid featuring nanotechnology aimed at extremely lightweight components was introduced at K 2007 by DuPont Engineering Polymers and partners.
DuPont Expands BioPlastic Grade Slate DuPont announced an expanded slate of renewably sourced polymers that will contribute to the company’s goal of doubling revenues from sustainable resources to at least $8 billion by 2015.
Clariant Offers FR-Compliant Color One of the big trends from K 2007 is the availability of new compounds that deal with tightening regulations on chemicals used to make plastics flame retardant, particularly for consumer electronics products.
Plastic Breakthroughs Emerge for K 2007 New design opportunities will be the focus of innovative plastic compounds introduced at K 2007. These include biobased materials, hybrid structures and fast-flow plastics.