Spandex Time (German Edition)

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While Spandex is not very compatible with winter blubber, its sweat-whisking capabilities are practical — and Germany loves everything practical. No matter how seriously they cycle, many bikers in Germany make a point of dressing the part. The most important bike rule in Germany is: Don't ride drunk.

This might seem absurd, since bikes are an ideal alternative to driving drunk. Up to a certain blood-alcohol content, this may be true. But a very inebriated cyclist is at least as dangerous to the nearest car driver as vice versa.

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That's why you can lose your driving license if you're caught swerving too much. Next time, call a taxi. Riding a bike in Germany doesn't mean you can't afford a car. It's a legitimate means of transportation, not just a piece of sports equipment. That's why it's also perfectly acceptable to get a bit of assistance from a small motor. So-called e-bikes are not an uncommon sight — though they're admittedly most prevalent among certain age groups. In Germany, you're allowed to take your bike on trams and trains with a special ticket. But beware: You might get mean looks if you try to cram your huge, greasy two-wheeler onto a packed tram on a hot day.

Can't you just ride to your destination? That's where foldable bikes come in handy. They take up less space — and keep your fellow tram passengers happy, too. Josephine Ortleb, also from the SPD's parliamentary group for women, told the paper that the campaign needed "neither women as objects, naked skin nor sexism to make young people aware of cycling safety. A Transport Ministry spokesman defended the campaign, citing figures showing that only 8 percent of bike riders aged wear helmets. An initial evaluation had revealed that the campaign has been effective at reaching out to the target audience.

Others blamed drivers and a lack of separate cycle lanes in several German cities for the number of accidents involving cyclists. However, many social media users, along with Germany's road safety association DVR, backed the suggestive ads.


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In , people were killed in cycling accidents. That represents a drop of 42 percent compared to the year Older cyclists were much more likely to die in an accident with 65 percent of cyclists killed in over 60 years old, a figure partly explained by an increased use in electric bicycles, the report said. The number of cyclists wearing helmets rose slowly to 17 percent in but the numbers varied drastically across different age groups. In the rest of Europe, between 15 and 17 percent of cyclists wore helmets in Finland, the United Kingdom and Sweden compared to 6 and 7 percent in Switzerland and Norway.

Read more: Which German cities are the most bicycle-friendly? The debate over whether helmets should be mandatory has been contested over the years. Other health professionals in that country argued mandatory helmet laws saw a significant fall in cycling in general, possibly outweighing the health and safety intentions of the rules.

In the Netherlands where cycling is notoriously popular, the government has traditionally privileged the cyclist in its regulations, making streets generally safer for them to use rather than putting responsibility on the individual cyclist. Read more: The Netherlands tests heated cycle lanes. Each evening at UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism.

You can sign up to receive it directly here. German cities are scrambling to limit the number of free-standing rental bikes that clutter their sidewalks and parks. But campaigners say public bicycles are better than 20, more cars a year on the streets. An absurd zig-zag bike lane comes as the German capital seeks to model itself after bike-friendly cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

It's apparently a hard path to follow. The simple two-wheeler, first invented in Germany in , has evolved into a fast, fun and green machine. As bicycles continue to evolve, cities welcome their eco-benefits, while riders appreciate their convenience. Drivers who leave their cars improperly parked in Germany might find them marked with a yellow card or some spray-can cream. Two German NGOs have launched a campaign to unblock cluttered streets and bike paths. DW's Jefferson Chase went there to pick up tips on ecomobility.

Every year, Germany's cycling club rates the nation's cities according to their bicycle-friendliness.

Cycling in the wintertime can be challenging. To make it a little easier, engineers in the Netherlands have developed a cycle lane on which snow just melts away. And that isn't the only cycle path related innovation. It's time to drag your two-wheeler out of the basement and to the local bike shop for a spring fix-up.

Germany is a haven for bike riders, but here's what you need to know before flipping up your kickstand. German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz says clubs that exclude women should lose their charitable status. Hundreds of sports, music and education groups still have single-sex memberships. A high-end restaurant in the Peruvian capital has been given a hefty fine for its "ladies' menu. More info OK. Wrong language? They are currently the world leader in the production of spandex fibers. A variety of raw materials are used to produce stretchable spandex fibers.

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This includes prepolymers which produce the backbone of the fiber, stabilizers which protect the integrity of the polymer, and colorants. Two types of prepolymers are reacted to produce the spandex fiber polymer back-bone. One is a flexible macroglycol while the other is a stiff diisocyanate. The macro-glycol can be a polyester, polyether, polycarbonate, polycaprolactone or some combination of these. These are long chain polymers, which have hydroxyl groups -OH on both ends.

The important feature of these molecules is that they are long and flexible. This part of the spandex fiber is responsible for its stretching characteristic. The other prepolymer used to produce spandex is a polymeric diisocyanate.

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This is a shorter chain polymer, which has an isocyanate -NCO group on both ends. The principal characteristic of this molecule is its rigidity. In the fiber, this molecule provides strength. Kindliman, a corsetiere, hardly needed to advertise. At that time, women thought it was necessary to wear a corset and considered themselves indecently dressed without it until early in the twentieth century.

Corsets were a combination brassiere-girdle-waist cincher in an all-in-one garment, forming the foundation shape for fashionable dress.


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In days before spandex, how did the corset contour the body effectively? In the eighteenth century, thick quilting and stout seams on the corset shaped the body when the garment was tightly laced. In the early nineteenth century, baleen, a bony but bendable substance from the mouth of the baleen whale, was sewn into seams of the corset hence the term whalebone corsets , however the late s corsets like this were stiffened with small, thin strips of steel covered with fabric. Such steel-clad corsets did not permit movement or comfort.

By World War I , American women began separating parts of the corset into two garments—the girdle waist and hip shaper and bandeau softer band used to support and shape the breasts.

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When the two types of prepolymers are mixed together, they interact to form the spandex fibers. In this reaction, the hydroxyl groups -OH on the macroglycols react with the isocyanates. Each molecule gets added on to the end of another molecule, and a long chain polymer is formed.

What is Spandex Fabric: Properties, How its Made and Where

This is known as a step-growth or addition polymerization. To initiate this reaction, a catalyst such as diazobicyclo[2. Other low molecular weight amines are added to control the molecular weight of the fibers. Spandex fibers are vulnerable to damage from a variety of sources including heat, light atmospheric contaminants, and chlorine.

For this reason, stabilizers are added to protect the fibers. Antioxidants are one type of stabilizer. Various antioxidants are added to the fibers, including monomeric and polymeric hindered phenols. To protect against light degradation, ultraviolet UV screeners such as hydroxybenzotriazoles are added.

Compounds which inhibit fiber discoloration caused by atmospheric pollutants are another type of stabilizer added. These are typically compounds with tertiary amine functionality, which can interact with the oxides of nitrogen in air pollution.

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Since spandex is often used for swimwear, antimildew additives must also be added. All of the stabilizers that are added to the spandex fibers are designed to be resistant to solvent exposure since this could have a damaging effect on the fiber. When they are first produced, spandex fibers are white. Therefore, colorants are added to improve their aesthetic appearance. Dispersed and acid dyes are typically used. If the spandex fibers are interwoven with other fibers such as nylon or polyester, special dying methods are required. Spandex fibers are produced in four different ways including melt extrusion, reaction spinning, solution dry spinning, and solution wet spinning.

Each of these methods involve the initial step of reacting monomers to produce a prepolymer.