Sustainability and innovation
Plastic is a material as well as a valuable substance. The diversity and high quality possible today would hardly be achievable without masterbatches. As we move away from disposable products, such as single-use plastic bags, the future belongs to well-designed, durable and recyclable plastic products. In this context, the masterbatch manufacturer becomes an innovation partner who supports its customers to develop new applications.
Ever new masterbatches make it possible to save raw materials and create sustainable products: from cost-effective greenhouses and high-tech plastics for the means of transport of the future to individual consumer products using 3D printing. Special additives improve plastic sorting in recycling plants or support LiDAR technology for autonomous driving.
It is impossible to imagine mobility of the future without plastics. They enable lightweight construction and thus determine the range which is a decisive criterion for acceptance, especially in electric vehicles. While they initially replaced only the glass of the headlights and wood and metal in the dashboard area, today even important safety components such as the brake pedal can be made of all-plastic. Masterbatches not only contribute to the colour effects and better feel of a vehicle. They also ensure heat resistance for parts under the bonnet, weather and light resistance for the various exterior components and interior surfaces that do not emit unpleasant odours due to VOC emissions.
3D printing can be used to create shapes that are not achievable using conventional manufacturing methods. Individual pieces are already being used in medicine as prostheses. Currently, masterbatchers supply the colours to the manufacturers of the printing filaments or even produce the filament themselves. Once again, it is important for 3D printing that material developments are supported and promoted quickly and flexibly. Since product development always involves small quantities, masterbatchers are an important partner in this innovative industry.
One special application is biodegradable plastics for medical technology: for example, for suture material and screws that decompose in the body and therefore no longer need to be removed. Special plastic formulations also enable many other medical advances, for example skin replacement material for open wounds or highly durable polymer dental prostheses. Medical grade plastics must meet strict regulatory requirements. Patient safety is paramount. In the future, not only the materials, but also the production processes will have to be increasingly "perfect" and, above all, well documented, which goes hand in hand with a high level of data collection and data processing.