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Compound development

 

We have been developing plastic compounds based on construction and high-performance polymers since 1972.

Our core competence are modifications to optimise the tribological properties.

We carry out all customary and unusual modifications to high-performance polymers. This task is also supported by our excellently equipped development laboratory.

Some advantages for our customers:

 

  • independent sources of raw materials
  • all common reinforcing materials and additives
  • reactive compounding
  • high filling levels, good dispersion, linking and compatibility
  • short development times
  • melt filtration
  • solutions up to the finished part from a single source
  • no minimum quantities
  • diverse product shapes (granules, semi-finished products, 3D filament, finished parts)
  • Exclusive agreements for special compounds possible

From molecule to application*

chemically bonded PTFE / high-performance polymers 
available on the basis of PPS, PAEK, PES, PEI, LCP.

Our core competence is in the field of tribology (the science of friction and wear).

We understand the properties of friction and wear not as a material property, but as a system property. This means that the counterpart and the transfer layer that will be formed are also taken into account when developing the compound. Also, the type of technical components, such gears, track rollers, sliding bearings, seals, spindle nuts and general wear parts, for which the compound has been developed for and the processing methods, such extrusion, injection moulding, machining and 3D printing, chosen to process the compound are taken into consideration in the formulation development.

Through our experience we understand how technical components work and which reactions and processes inside the plastic materials take place during the use and which modifications are necessary to reduce negative reactions.

In order for the performance of technical components to be optimised, it is not “only” enough to improve the tribological properties, but also others, since these also interact with the tribological properties.

These are essentially thermal and electrical conductivity, adhesion, hardness, toughness, rigidity, elongation at yield and glass transition temperature.

Custom-made

For over 50 years we have been developing and producing compounds and blends made of high-performance and construction polymers such as e.g. PA, POM, PET, PPS, PESU, PPSU, PEI, LCP, PEK, PEEK, PEKK, TPI, PAI and PU.

To save development costs, in most cases we can also manufacture prototypes from semi-finished products – extruded from ZEDEX® or tailor-made granules – for the first tests.

If prototypes that require moulds are required, we can realise them in the shortest possible time using an inexpensive pre-series mould made of aluminum or 3D printing.

We will inform you about the recommended material drying and processing for injection moulding.

In our section on processing methods you will find some key data on our injection molding options.

 

Development

The starting point for development are either

  • defined material properties, or
  • the load and function of a component.

Our experts analyse the material or component requirements and select the suitable polymer base and the required fillers and additives. If the material properties required for the component function are specified, then are the

 

  • compounds manufactured according to the required customer specification and
  • checked in our laboratory.
Targeted to the solution

By adapting the material to the application

  • an optimal function is guaranteed and
  • the material utilization and workability are
    optimised and
  • the system costs are reduced.

Especially in the last 10 years, the modification and functionalization of plastics has developed rapidly, so that diverse properties can be set in a targeted manner and efficiency has been greatly improved. Thanks to that technical and economic advantages are achieved even with low demand.

Special compounds portfolio

Based on many years of experience, our portfolio includes following special compounds:

Tribological sliding compounds

for dry and wet running

Additives: graphite, metal sulfides, silicone oil, MoS2, PFPE oil, boron nitride, PBI, bronze powder, fibres, nanofillers, oxides

PTFE free

Higher weld line strength, less tendency to creep, higher strength / elongation, no segregation, no deposits on the tool

Containing PTFE

Reduced mechanical strength, less friction, less wear, more ductile properties

Reinforced compounds

with increased mechanical properties such as strength, rigidity, hardness and heat resistance

Isotropic with better melt flow rates

Additives: glass spheres, ceramic and mineral powder (calcium carbonate, talc and mica) for higher compressive strength and surface hardness, short fibres for higher strength, rigidity, fatigue, creep behavior and higher HDT.

Anisotropic

Additives: as isotropic, additionally: glass fibres, carbon fibres, mineral whisker, aluminum oxide, ceramic and nanofibres each with different sizes. Carbon fibres are lighter than glass fibres and have a higher chemical resistance.

Depending on the fibre length and proportion, both fibres increase the tensile & bending rigidity and/or strength values.

The maximum possible increase in stiffness or strength values is by a factor of 6 from the base polymer.

Detectable compounds

for metal detection or X-ray detection

  • metal detection with common metal detectors
  • contrast agent for X-ray visibility such as BaSO4, tungsten, etc.
  • colours (e.g. blue) and fill levels, for adaptation to different metal detectors, can be varied
Antimicrobial compounds

Additives: Silver-based active ingredients (biological agent, an electrochemical reaction releases silver ions upon contact with moisture, which stops growth)

Effect: Prevention of microbial growth and thereby attack (discolouration, odors and polymer degradation) of the plastics, reduction in the number of bacteria by killing mould fungus, algae, yeast, microbes

Low weight Compounds

to reduce weight and sink marks
up to 40% micro hollow glass spheres and foaming agents

Effect: density reduction up to 25% with the same or higher stiffness, reduced and isotope shrinkage, improved abrasion behaviour

Radiation-crosslinkable compounds

Additives: Crosslinking additive effect: after the finished part is manufactured, it is irradiated with ionizing radiation
and leads to partial crosslinking.

This improves chemical resistance and heat resistance. The substitution of a high performance material such as PPS through a partially crosslinked engineering plastic such e.g. PA6 is possible.

Conductive Compounds

with thermal and electrical conductivity and dissipation

Electrically conductive

Additives: carbo-nano tubes, carbon fibres, plastic/metal hybrids, graphite, conductive carbon black, nanofibres, copper fibres, bronze powder, stainless steel fibres, metals with a low melting point (solders)

Specific electrical conductivity:
up to 5 • 10^4 S/m, (approx. 30% based on steel)
Electromagnetic attenuation approx. 80 dB at 30 kHz up to 1.2 GHz

Thermal conductivity: up to 7 W/(m*K)

Thermally conductive

Additionally electrically conductive, highly filled graphite, up to 20 W/(m*K) plastic-metal hybrids up to 7 W/(m*K)
Additionally, electrically insulating ceramic fillers, thermal conductivity max. 6 W/(m*K)

Colour compounds

Additives: Inorganic, organic colour pigments

Effect: adjustment of the colour according to colour samples or RAL colour standard, with a high degree of accuracy and small deviation (delta E)

Special properties

On request we can also change other properties such as diffusion tightness, impact strength, mechanical damping or cost reduction.

Tests and approvals

We carry out the tests required for development in our laboratory. If approvals such as UL, FDA, NSF, EU Food, BGA, etc. are required, we can obtain and offer these in the form of fee-based service.

If technically feasible

the mentioned properties can be combined and the material can be provided with approvals (FDA, EU10 / 2011, UL, etc.).

Manufacturing

If technically feasible, we offer the manufacturing of semi-finished products and profiles, machined and injection-moulded components or tribo filament for 3D printing, from a single source.

Examples of special compounds

Inkuform MDTF

Goal: detectability
This detectable plastic material was developed for applications in the food sector in order to be able to track even the smallest particles in food production with metal detectors.

ZX-324® ESD3

Goal: electrostatic discharge
By modifying PEEK, an electrical surface resistance in the range of 1MW to 1GW could be achieved.

A further reduction of the electrical surface resistance up to the electrical conductivity is possible.

ZX-530® LR6

 

Goal: electrical conductivity
For medical applications, ZX-530® has been modified in order to make it conductive, without losing its remarkable tribological properties.

ZX-530® LR6 was developed to eliminate the static discharge problems of the previous material and at the same time extend the life of the bushing.

ZX-100® ESD

 

Goal: electrostatic discharge
For applications in the semiconductor industry, ZX-100K® has been modified in order to make it electrostatically dissipative without losing its remarkable mechanical properties.

ZX-100® ESD was developed to eliminate the static discharge problems of the previous material.

ZX-100K® blue

 

Goal: Dyed blue and food compliant
For applications in the food sector, ZX-100K® was coloured in blue and approved by EU 10/2011. The material is also FDA compliant.

ZX-100K® blue was developed to directly recognize material traces in food and to use it in direct contact with food.

Polymer blend

 

Polymer blends (also called alloys) are mixtures of at least two macromolecular substances, polymers or copolymers. Miscible polymer blends are miscible down to the molecular level and have a single-phase structure.

Its properties lie between the values of the properties of its components. This is identifiable by the glass transition temperature (Tg).

Immiscible

These are polymer blends with a two-phase structure and two glass transition temperatures (Tg). The two components are phase separated

Homologous polymer blend

These are mixtures of the same polymer with different molecular weight distributions (processing aid).

Isomorphic polymer blend

These are mixtures of several components, that are miscible in the molten and crystallized state.

Compatible polymer blend

These are miscible polymer mixtures of several components in which inhomogeneities occur

  • with only a slight manifestation
  •  at certain mixing ratios or temperatures

 

By means of compatibility techniques such e.g. chemical bonding (modified boundary surface and morphology), these inhomogeneities can be made compatible.

Mixing methods

Melt mixing

Melt blending is the most widely used process for making polymer blends in practice.
The mixture components are mixed in the molten state in extruders or batch mixers.

Mixing solutions

Often used for the production of polymer blends on a laboratory scale. The mixture components are dissolved in a common solvent and stirred vigorously.

The mixture is separated by precipitation or evaporation of the solvent.

The advantages of the process are a quick mixing of the system without high energy consumption and the possibility to avoid unfavorable chemical reactions.

Cryogenic mechanical alloying

The polymers are crushed in powders at cryogenic temperatures and nano-scale morphologies are achieved

Examples of polymer blends

ZX-324V1T®

Gaol: TG shift and better CTE
Extends the operational range of unreinforced PEEK to higher temperatures and reduces material costs without any fibre or filler reinforcement.

ZX-324V1HT® has been developed for applications where the dimensional stability and mechanical strength of unfilled PEEK are not sufficient due to the high temperature of the application.

ZX-324V11T®

Goal: high elongation at break with high rigidity
Extends the operational range of PEEK to lower temperatures and reduces material costs.

ZX-324V11T® has been developed for applications where high elongation at break along with high rigidity is required. The material has high PV values at low speeds and has a high resilience down to -196°C.

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