More than just compounds. This year, Sirmax Group, a company that is among the world’s top producers of thermoplastic granulates for all areas of use – automotive, appliance, power tools and household, electrical, electronics, construction, and furniture – is focusing on customer service more than ever before. The Italian company will attend the 2022 edition of K, the world’s number 1 plastics trade fair, which will be held in Düsseldorf from October 19 to 26, with a brand new innovation: GAPP (Gas-Assisted Push Pull) technology. This innovation allows for the injection moulding of thermoplastic material without weld lines. Through Smart Mold, a university spin-off company that Sirmax acquired 50% of in 2020, the Group has developed an innovative system that eliminates weld lines in plastic products, bringing time and cost savings to the customer. Sirmax Group will present GAPP on Thursday, October 20 from 5 p.m. at booth C69, Hall 8B.
The presentation, with Professor Giovanni Lucchetta of the University of Padua, will be followed by refreshments starting at 5:30 p.m. GAPP favours the interpenetration of weld line flow fronts in a way that modifies the shape of the interface, promotes interdiffusion between flow fronts, and realigns reinforcing fibres. Weld lines are some of the most critical structural defects in parts made by injection moulding fibre-reinforced thermoplastics. In a weld line, reinforcement fibres adopt an orthogonal orientation to the filling direction, which results in a significant reduction in the strength and stiffness of the moulded part, adversely affecting its structural performance. With GAPP technology, pressurized nitrogen is used to displace the molten thermoplastic material across the weld line interface without leaving cavities in the moulded part during the packing stage. Experimental tests have shown that GAPP can increase weld line strength by 240% in polypropylene reinforced with 35% short glass fibres, almost reaching the nominal resistance of the compound. GAPP technology is an addition to the many technologies that Sirmax Group offers in order to give its end customers customized products that increasingly conform to their needs. A global company, Sirmax delivers its products and technology equally to all parts of the world through its 13 plants and 5 R&D centres.
Sirmax will also bring its latest product innovations to the K trade show. Among them are new grades of Xelter®-brand thermoplastic elastomers. The Sirmax Group’s Xelter® family of thermoplastic products finds its strength in its extreme flexibility and ability to adapt to specific client needs. The wide product range (which includes five different Xelter® types plus Hybrid, which contains other sub-families) is able to provide materials for soft components, as well as for rigid-soft couplings and integrations, thanks to the high-tech Hybrid type. Also in the family is the Xelter® Bio range made from bio-based sources, and the Xelter® Green range made with recycled raw materials from post-consumer or post-industrial waste. Thanks to their thermoplastic recyclability, all Xelter®-branded products offer a viable and sustainable alternative to vulcanized rubber, finding multiple applications in a wide variety of commodity sectors. In the world of household appliances, for example, an ongoing collaboration with a major industry player has led to the production of gaskets for washing machine baskets. Again, this is a viable alternative to rubber, as Sirmax elastomers are the only elastomers with the same physical characteristics as rubber currently available on the market. However, there is one key difference: Xelter® products are all recyclable. Other sectors of application include construction, where Xelters are used for insulation and sealing systems, and Sport & Leisure, where Sirmax’s new-generation polymers are used in ski boots, technical soles and in all sport equipment that requires a secure grip (for example, Pro Grip branded grips). In every case, Sirmax products are tailor-made and capable of adapting – just like Xelter® – to client requirements, in total proximity to their wishes.