Plastics and rubber materials have revolutionized many aspects of sports and leisure activities over the years, and technology advances continue to improve safety, comfort, performance and – increasingly – sustainability, in those sectors.
The applications are diverse and widespread – ranging from the balls used in games and various footwear and clothing, to protective helmets and padding, playing surfaces, and gear such as racquets, golf clubs, safety eyewear, racing bikes, skis, kayaks and surfboards.
Manufacturers and brand owners, for example, are investing significant money and effort into producing sneakers and footwear that offer style, performance and increased recyclability while also leveraging techniques such as 3D printing.
Yantai, China-based materials supplier Wanhua Chemical Group Co. Ltd. has partnered with Chinese footwear maker Peak Sports to 3D print a futuristic-looking sneaker entirely from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). Called “The Next,” the colorful shoe is both customizable and totally recyclable, the two firms said when announcing it in October. Wanhua supplies TPU filament, powder and coatings and adhesive to make the shoe.
Germany’s Covestro, meanwhile, is also kicking up its heels in this sector. The materials supplier is working with Chinese shoe designer Axis Liu to create trendy, recyclable sneakers entirely from TPUs, as well. The partners have also developed customized running and basketball shoes, using a number of Covestro material technologies, including its Insqin-brand, water-based PU textile coatings and adhesives, urethane foams, TPU textile fibers and films, and Maezio-brand continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites (CFRTP).
Others in that sector, such as Nike and adidas, also are finding ways to incorporate waste ocean plastics into their shoes and sportswear.
Indian start-up sports apparel company Alcis Sports, meanwhile, is making its line of athleisure clothing out of recycled PET bottles. Company co-founder Roshan Baid told The Economic Times in India in October that the firm plans to produce half its garments from recycled polyester within the next few months. Alcis claims that each T-shirt they make, for example, consumes about eight plastic bottles, saves roughly 27 liters of water, uses half the energy to produce, and reduces carbon emissions by more than 54 percent than shirts made from virgin polyester.
Companies such as Spanish injection molder RDI Plastics use polycarbonate, ABS, expanded polystyrene and other materials to make protective helmets for use in hockey, soccer, motocross and cycling, among others.
Several materials producers are very involved in supplying solutions to different parts of the sports and leisure markets. Here are just a couple examples:
DuPont Co.’s Surlyn resin finds use in golf ball covers, bowling pin covers, body boards, snowshoes and other winter sports articles. Its performance polymers, such as Delrin acetal resin, Hytrel thermoplastic elastomer and Zytel nylon resin are used in snow-shoe bindings, in-line skates, and various types of buckles and straps. And its Kevlar aramid fiber is used in sporting good components ranging from bicycle helmets and motorcycle clothing, to boating hulls and hiking boots.
BASF SE’s polyurethane-based flooring structures find use on track surfaces and children playgrounds. The materials help to provide high rebound and excellent impact absorption, helping athletes achieve their best performance while lowering risks of exercise-related injuries for children.
When it comes to water sports, San Francisco-based Oru Kayak Inc. has applied the traditional Japanese art of origami and used it to create a series of lightweight, foldable kayaks made from corrugated polypropylene. Its products range from 12 to 16 feet long and from 26 to 34 pounds, and fold up into a suitcase-sized case with a shoulder strap that can easily be carried by one person.
French resin supplier Arkema Group also supplies materials for use in a variety of sporting applications, including for the cockpit window and the glazing shielding the two helms of its 50-foot Arkema trimaran racing boat. For that, they used Altuglas ShieldUp nanostructured acrylic sheet, which weighs about half as much as conventional glass.
In mid-October, the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, in conjunction with several partners, successfully produced the world’s largest 3D printed boat, entirely from carbon fiber-reinforced ABS supplied by Techmer PM LLC. Dubbed the 3Dirigo, the 25-foot-long, 5,000-pound patrol boat was printed on a 3D printer, called the MasterPrint, made by Rockford, Ill.‐based Ingersoll Machine Tools Inc. The effort earned the group three Guinness World Records – for the world’s largest prototype polymer 3D printer, largest solid 3D‐printed object, and largest 3D‐printed boat.
And even the sports venues themselves are making good use of plastic materials. At the Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil, for example, officials found a way to use millions of recycled plastic bottles to produce more than 6,700 seats in the Maracanã stadium.
There is no disputing the vital role that plastics and rubber materials play in virtually every aspect of the sporting world – which is why such applications will be among those in the spotlight at CHINAPLAS 2020 in Shanghai next April. For more information about CHINAPLAS 2020, please visit the official show website at www.ChinaplasOnline.com.
CHINAPLAS moves to Shenzhen for April 2021 debut
The 34th edition of CHINAPLAS has been rescheduled to April 13-16, 2021, at a new venue –– Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center. This will be the first time for CHINAPLAS to be held in Shenzhen. The trade fair will alternate between Shenzhen (odd years) and Shanghai (even years) in the future, continuing to empower upstream and downstream plastics and rubber companies to uncover greater opportunities in the new phase of China’s economic development.
|CHINAPLAS online press conference|
Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd., organizer of CHINAPLAS 2021, held a press conference at 20:00 (Beijing time) on June 23, leveraging online video conferencing tools for the first time to virtually communicate and interact with more than 100 Chinese and international media. During the press conference, Mr. Stanley Chu, Chairman of Adsale, Ms. Ada Leung, General Manager of Adsale, and Ms. Norris Chu, Project Director of Adsale, announced the latest updates about the trade show, shared word of emerging developments from a new starting point, and discussed post-pandemic opportunities in the plastics and rubber industries.
|100+ Chinese and international media joined the press conference|
Focus on Greater Bay Area’s geographic advantages
“Shenzhen combines China’s enormous market potential and its unique geographic advantages, and the upcoming CHINAPLAS will help to position the plastics and rubber industries to seize new growth opportunities,” Ada Leung said.
- Unparalleled advantages of domestic market – Impacted by COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy is in a deep recession. Facing downward pressure from foreign trade, China’s State Council is redirecting the economic focus from export to a domestic-demand-driven model as the new normal. China’s 1.4-plus-billion population and 400-plus-million middle-income consumers represent the largest such grouping in the world, with consumption potential unmatched by any other economy. The expansion of China’s middle class has created tremendous potential for consumption upgrading. In recent years, some labor-intensive and low-end manufacturing work has shifted to other countries. The impact of COVID-19 is reshuffling the global economy and triggering major changes in manufacturing supply chains. China is repositioning itself in the global value chain and climbing toward the higher-end with high-tech products increasingly flowing from China to overseas markets, including such items as communications equipment, high-speed rail systems, and drones. Driven by research and innovation, industries continue to reform and upgrade, in turn increasing the demand for innovation and smart manufacturing in the plastics and rubber industries. In addition, China is actively responding to plastics pollution, accelerating green and sustainable development, and creating market demand for much-needed recycling and green technologies.
- Greater Bay Area, major upside for the industries – The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area is the largest bay area in the world, accounting for 0.6% of China’s land area, 5% of its population, and 12% of the national Gross Domestic Product. Its GDP is expected to reach 28.9 trillion RMB (about US$4.09 trillion) by 2030, ranking among the top 10 economies in the world. The “9+2” cities” are accelerating their coordinated development, building a vibrant world-class city cluster, and stimulating new economic momentum. The Greater Bay Area is not only an international center of scientific and technological innovation, but also the most concentrated region for plastics processing in China. Plastic products output within the nine cities reached 11.17 million metric tons in 2019, representing more than 13.6% of the national total (second only to Zhejiang Province) or 83.4% of Guangdong Province’s total output. The region’s huge market, together with its abundant resources and strong innovation, will help to further advance the plastics and rubber industries.
- Shenzhen at full throttle – Shenzhen was made a Pilot Demonstration Area in 2019, as well as being one of the core engines of the Greater Bay Area. In 2018, the total industrial added-value of the Greater Bay Area reached 2.82 trillion RMB (about US$399 billion), of which Shenzhen accounted for the lion’s share of 32.3%. “Technology + Innovation” is Shenzhen’s business profile, with more than 3 million companies located there, including Huawei, ZTE, Tencent, DJI, BYD, TCL and other industrial leaders. In 2018, Guangdong Province invested 270.47 billion RMB (US$38.3 billion) into R&D funding – the highest in China – and Shenzhen was the leading city within Guangdong.
Embrace post-pandemic opportunities
Over the years, China’s plastics and rubber industries have laid a solid foundation and built strong resilience and continuity into the economy. Combined with continually emerging new trends and opportunities, all signs currently point to a positive outlook. In the first quarter, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, business shutdowns, the Chinese New Year off-season and other factors, China’s plastic products output dropped 22.9% from the same year-ago period. Production resumed in April in an orderly way, and industries’ supply chains gradually returned to normal operations. In April, the year-on-year decline in the total output of plastic products narrowed, achieving a recovery of 8.6% from the previous month. In the battle against the pandemic, plastics played a key role in the production and supply of vital healthcare materials, personal protective equipment, medical supplies, and medical facility construction.
The pandemic also fueled the rapid growth in demand for take-away service, fresh meal delivery, express delivery, convenience foods, household electronic product, medical supplies and fitness equipment. The post-pandemic era is seeing the acceleration of next-generation 5G wireless technology, artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles, high-end medical products, antibacterial and antimicrobial surfaces for use in everything from cars to appliances, and more. Demand is expected to remain strong for new materials and technology, including those for key medical applications, safe and protective packaging, and digital production –– as well as for recycled and recyclable materials.
5G is the frontrunner when it comes to the “new infrastructure”. CHINAPLAS 2021’s new rotation to Shenzhen has the unique advantage to help companies in the plastics and rubber industries to seize opportunities in this fast-growing infrastructure space. Shenzhen is actively building a world-class 5G industrial cluster, and is home to a complete 5G industry chain of globally competitive enterprises such as Huawei, ZTE, and more. The resources related to this concentrated cluster are helping to accelerate 5G application development. As a high-tech, high-quality and high-value trading and technology platform that caters to the latest market trends, CHINAPLAS 2021 will enable industry players to respond swiftly to market needs and stay ahead of the curve in a dynamic environment.
Debut in the Greater Bay Area
“In addition to the favorable outlook of the Greater Bay Area, CHINAPLAS’ decision to move to Shenzhen also takes into account the Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center, an ideal venue for a world-class trade show,” notes Norris Chu. “We’ve been doing a field assessment and multi-party evaluation since the center launched in September 2019. Its 400,000 sqm of indoor exhibition space can alleviate the constraint of booth area we experienced in Guangzhou and support CHINAPLAS’ long-term growth. All of the 19 exhibition halls feature column-free structures and are located on the first floor, very suitable for displaying large-scale machines, and easy for visitors to navigate. The advanced hardware features and supporting services will provide exhibitors and visitors a very convenient and refreshing experience.”
|The fairground is situated at the heart of the Greater Bay Area.|
The Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center is situated at the heart of the Greater Bay Area. It is located in the center of the city cluster and close to the Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, well-connected to the Hong Kong International Airport. Sea, land and air transportation are readily available in all directions and routes, and the industrial cities in the Pearl River Delta are closely linked. It is particularly worth noting that this is the world’s first exhibition center with full 5G coverage. Chinese and international exhibitors and visitors will be able to experience eye-opening intelligent and innovative services, such as dining, navigation, parking, and so on.
“CHINAPLAS+” Online + Offline New Trade Services Experience
In addition to a new fairground experience, CHINAPLAS 2021 will also leverage an “online + offline” strategy to unlock new trade services experience. As advanced deployment of digital technology is a trend embraced by all industries, CHINAPLAS is also accelerating the integration of online and offline show experiences. The organizer is pleased to be launching “CHINAPLAS+”. For online experiences, CHINAPLAS has successfully held nine webinars on hot topics during the pandemic, building a cloud communication bridge for industry players. The organizer soon will be introducing an online business matching service, extending the value of matching demand and supply online; during the show, the organizer will partner with Chinese and international media to provide live streaming of the trade show and facilitate online interaction. For offline experiences, the organizer will host new technical seminars and publish materials such as “FEATURE: RESUMING PRODUCTION” prior to the show, whereas international forums on industry trends, Tech Talk, thematic events on hot topics will be organized during the show to create a seamless integration between online and offline activities and transform a four-day exhibition to a 365-day, non-stop communication platform.
Dig deep into the new potential of the Asian market
While based in China, CHINAPLAS, the International Exhibition on Plastics and Rubber Industries, has a strong influence throughout Asia. In 2019, the show attracted 163,000+ visitors, 22.8% from overseas – of which 70% were Asian visitors. Asia is the world’s most dynamic region with unique advantages. It accounts for more than half of the world’s population, features an ever-expanding middle class, continually upgrading consumption and technically advancing industries, and growing demands for plastics materials and machinery. The exhibition will continue to deepen its focus on the Asian market through multi-faceted promotion to fully tap the unlimited potential of the market.
With “New Era· New Potential· Innovation for Sustainability” as the new theme and slogan, CHINAPLAS 2021 will take over the Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center, from April 13-16 next year, with more than 3,600 global exhibitors occupying a world-class exhibition area of 300,000 sqm. We hope you can join us, along with visitors from different enduser markets of plastics and rubber industries from around the globe, to explore the countless materials innovations and technology developments in this exciting new location and venue.
See you in Shenzhen next year!
 The “9+2” cities refer to the 9 cities: Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Zhaoqing; and 2 Special Administrative Regions: Hong Kong and Macao.
Radici Group and Atalanta, together for Bergamo
Radici Group and Atalanta take it to the pitch, but this time it is a match for solidarity. The two Bergamo-based companies have decided to support the temporary field hospital that the Associazione Nazionale Alpini (National Association of Italian Alpine Soldiers) is building in the premises of Bergamo trade fair, with the aim of responding to the Coronavirus emergency.
Specifically, RadiciGroup and Atalanta will contribute by purchasing all the necessary tools for oxygen supply destined to 200 hospital beds for Covid-19 patients.
“We have decided to take part in this project – RadiciGroup and Atalanta announced in a joint statement – because it embodies the ‘made in Bergamo’ spirit at its best. The Alpine soldiers (famous for their hard work), are one of the symbols of the Bergamo province, which traditionally values work. It is an initiative that comes from this territory destined to this territory, and for this reason we proudly want to be part of it”.
Once again this project is coordinated by the Accademia del Tennis per la Solidarietà (the Academy of Sports for Solidarity). This charity association has already provided the Hospital “Bolognini” of Seriate, near Bergamo, with a mobile HR-CT with the support of fifteen local companies, among which RadiciGroup and Atalanta.
This HR-CT is essential for diagnostic in-depth analyses for patients showing breathing problems related to the Covid-19. In this way, the new temporary field hospital will take some pressure away from the hospitals of Bergamo currently overwhelmed.
CHINAPLAS 2020 has been postponed
Due to Corona virus epidemic in China, show organisation committee has made an announcement to postpone the event.
The announcement by the organisation:
“In order to control the novel coronavirus epidemic in China and in accordance with the instructions issued by the Shanghai city government to stop all large-scale activities, please be informed that CHINAPLAS 2020, the 34th International Exhibition on Plastics and Rubber Industries, scheduled to be held on 21-24 April 2020 at National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai will be postponed. New dates for the show will be announced at a later time.
As the show organizer, we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused due to the show postponement. Health and safety of all show participants are at our top priority therefore we have to make this decision. Please be assured that we will continue to closely monitor the epidemic situation and keep you well-informed of any further news about CHINAPLAS 2020. The Adsale team and our official service providers will always be at your service and we will give you our best support in preparing for the rescheduled show.
Thank you very much for your kind understanding and continual support. Should there be anything we could be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.”
Events3 sene ago
Prestigious Address of the Plastics Industry Professionals: Plast Eurasia İstanbul Fair
CHEMICALS AND RAW MATERIALS3 sene ago
Torque limiter type ECA for belt drives
CHEMICALS AND RAW MATERIALS2 sene ago
Purging Compound Market to hit $600mn by 2024
Events2 sene ago
CHINAPLAS to present a rich assortment of concurrent events
Events2 sene ago
New momentum arising from industrial transfer – CHINAPLAS 2019 to tap into emerging regions
Events2 sene ago
CHINAPLAS to highlight Circular Economy
Events2 sene ago
Moneta Media Group and Mepax signed partnership contract
PLASTIC MACHINERY2 sene ago
Interactive stations: hands-on functional components