K 2022, the World’s No. 1 Trade Fair for Plastics and Rubber, held October 19-26 in Düsseldorf, Germany, has drawn to a close. It was an impressive event with more than 175,000 attendees and more than 3,000 exhibitors, including Envalior. At our booth, we featured innovative materials solutions and announced the launch of an industry-leading suite of digital tools and online services, along with two successful partnerships—one in the consumer goods industry and one in the automotive industry.
At Envalior's booth, many advances in the automotive, consumer goods, electronics and electrical industries were showcased. We also hosted our own online K 2022 event, October 19-20, featuring innovative applications, along with inspiring presentations. Plus, we had two exciting partnership announcements and the launch of a suite of digital tools and online services.
During K 2022, we showcased and announced the Envalior MaterialAdvisor, an online, self-service solution which gives design and material engineers instant access to material sciences information, data and expertise. This new solution was developed to help our customers and industry partners address their evolving industrial landscapes. More than ever, material engineers are faced with pivotal technological transitions and shortening product life cycles along with increasing regulatory and sustainability target pressures. As such, the need for timely materials science and application expertise, design support and technical consultancy has never been greater.
Han Nabben, Global Head of Digital Marketing & Marketing Communications at Envalior, said, “Our digitization journey started five years ago with the ambition to provide our customers with industry-leading online solutions for materials science and expertise, data and information. This new suite of digital tools and services is our latest step on this journey.”
To learn about the key elements of MaterialAdvisor, click here.
During both in-person and virtual booth tours, Tamim Sidiki, Envalior's global marketing director of mobility, described innovations linked to vehicle electrification and connectivity. He noted that 9 out of 10 full electrical vehicles (EVs) today use components made of Envalior solutions.
A focus of both Tiers and OEMs is making vehicles safer, lighter and more sustainable. During K 2022, it was announced that we scored in the “lighter” category with the introduction of an industry-first lightweight solution for hybrid vehicle fuel tanks.
Created jointly by us and Renault, and manufactured by project partners RM Technologies and MTS France, the tank is made from our Akulon® Fuel Lock, a polyamide 6 (PA 6) compound. It can be produced with a blow-molded monolayer construction that significantly reduces weight and cost without compromising safety or risking additional emissions.
A particular challenge for fuel cell vehicles is the high-pressure fuel tank, which, as Sidiki pointed out, “must actually contain the smallest molecules in the universe: hydrogen molecules.” We achieved this by creating a tank liner made in a blow-moldable Akulon Fuel Lock solution with the industry’s lowest values of permeation.
You can read more about the partnership with Renault to create an industry-first lightweight solution for hybrid vehicle fuel tanks here.
Connectivity is also important to the vehicles of the future. Sidiki noted that connectors can make a big impact on overall vehicle performance. He said that many technologies developed by Envalior years ago in the electronics industry are now transferring over to the automotive industry as cars “basically become computers on four wheels.”
“These technologies are being transferred from one industry to the other, and that’s what makes us such a good partner to work with, because we can quickly support customers in transferring these technologies without going through an expensive learning cycle,” he said.
Also, showcased at our booth were consumer goods, from athletic shoes and cookware to the Bugaboo donkey stroller. A cross-value chain partnership between Bugaboo, Envalior, Fibrant and Neste enabled the launch of an entire Bugaboo stroller portfolio made with bio-based materials. Most of the strollers’ plastic parts are made using our Akulon® 100% bio-based B-MB polyamide 6 (PA6), which in turn is made using bio-based feedstock from both Fibrant and Neste.
You can read more about the successful partnership and stroller portfolio here.
According to Patrizia Ferrando, Envalior's account manager for Italy, consumer goods, athletic shoe midsoles made from our TPC Arnitel, a high-performance thermoplastic copolyester, help make running shoes lightweight, supportive and responsive. Arnitel has a very high rebound rate of about 75- 80%, combined with very low weight. It offers a long lifespan and stable performance over a wide range of temperatures.
For in the kitchen, Envalior’s EcoPaxx is a low carbon footprint, high-performance polyamide that can fit many application requirements while meeting strict food compliance safety standards.
Ferrando noted that one of the materials widely used in kitchen utensils is PA66 , but regulators are increasingly concerned about the small cyclic oligomers that can leach from the material into food during high-heat cooking. Envalior offers two alternatives, PA410 (EcoPaxx) and PA46 (Stanyl) that can be used for this kind of application. Both have very low leachable content and can be used as a drop-in solution for PA66.
Ferrando also discussed how thermoplastics are increasingly being used to replace brass and copper in drinking water applications such as faucets, where lead leaching can create serious health risks.
“The trend is for manufacturers to replace metal with thermoplastic that can be cost-effective and environmentally friendly without compromising performance,” Ferrando said.
In the healthcare industry, Envalior offers thermoplastic elastomer materials for medical gas, inhalers, wound care, respiratory tubing and medical gowns.
Ferrando noted that health care materials must perform as excepted every time.
“The medical grades of Arnitel bring two unique benefits: a combination of breathability and 100% waterproof performance,” she said. “Using Arnitel on medical gowns can provide a full barrier against fluid, bacteria, and viruses, while also providing comfort for those who are wearing the gowns. For wound care dressing, having a breathable solution allows for a shorter recovery time. Arnitel provides the right compromise between strength and flexibility.”
04 November 2022
Re-live K 2022 presentations and booth tours
Global Manager of Messaging and Content Development
Candace Roulo is Global Manager of Messaging and Content Development for Envalior. Based in Troy, Michigan, she specializes in writing blogs and articles about advanced materials solutions. Prior to joining Envalior, Candace served in editorial roles at SME and Penton Media. Candace earned her bachelor’s degree in communication, specializing in public relations, at Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences.