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The alchemist's kitchen in the plastics industry

Compounding is one of the key processes in the plastics industry. Formulations are currently becoming increasingly complex, new materials and fillers are being tested and special technical process features are being developed. The SKZ Plastics Center does not shy away from this challenge: thanks to extensive knowledge in formulation and process development, even unusual compounds with additives such as microcapsules or enzymes are possible.

How the SKZ overcomes compounding limits

Compounding is something like the alchemist's kitchen of the plastics industry. After all, the secret to optimum product performance lies in the formulation. The desire for higher proportions of recycled material and increasingly specialized compounds tailored to specific applications is increasing both the demands on compounding and its importance. As a result, there is also great potential for compounds with unusual ingredients - such as microcapsules with lubricants, metals such as copper or aluminum, ceramics or enzymes. Industrial companies are now increasingly using the potential of experienced and technically well-equipped institutes to solve challenges or test new ideas.

Long compounding tradition at SKZ
Compounding has a long tradition at the SKZ in Würzburg and the employees have a wealth of experience. The institute also transfers this knowledge to industry via research projects and educational events. At the same time, the researchers at the SKZ also compound sample quantities according to customer requests when it comes to testing new process technology or formulations. Thanks to the in-house testing technology, industrial customers can also have various tests carried out and receive detailed material data. As part of the search for sustainable plastic solutions, natural ingredients and colorants are generally used for bioplastics in particular, which are produced as residual materials and are not currently processed further. Closing the product cycle of plastics also leads to pilot plant trials - from grinding to compound production with various additives. 

Looking at the entire production process
“We often receive inquiries that a compounder is unable to implement due to small quantities or unusual requirements. These projects in particular are challenging, but also exciting. We have already had one case where the dosing technology was twice as large as the system. Thanks to our extensive equipment, we can look at the entire production process and thus solve even complex cases,” explains Hatice Malatyali, Group Manager Compounding and Extrusion at SKZ. Exciting projects have already been completed. Whether paper compounds, resins or recyclate: the solutions in compounding can be as diverse as the ideas for potential fillers and ingredients. 

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