Advanced Materials Forum Europe highlights

The Advanced Materials Forum Europe, a 100% online forum about materials solutions, held on Thursday, April 23, featured a full day of educational sessions about material science, material trends and industry applications.

Attendees learned about the latest innovations in sustainable post-consumer plastics recycling; sustainable mobility, connectivity, safety and EMI shielding; PA46 in gears; fiber-reinforced thermoplastic materials; thermoplastics in food contact grades; and more.

Below are some highlights from Envalior’s Advanced Materials Forum Europe

The forefront of technology

During the session Hydrogen: A Scientific Approach to Dealing with Concerns about Safety and Reliability, Alexander Stroeks, Principal Scientist, discussed material factors governing hydrogen permeability and practical tank requirements.

“When looking at hydrogen fuel tanks, crucial elements to consider include weight, mechanical performance and hydrogen permeation,” said Stroeks.. “When you look at the evolution of tank development, you see a replacement of metal by polymer materials. The biggest driver here is weight reduction along with a higher volume and recyclability.”

Envalior has been on the forefront of hydrogen fuel cell technology—doing extensive research on and development of hydrogen storage tanks and fuel cell components. Envalior offers polymer materials for fuel cell and peripheral material applications, plus a lightweight high pressure tank that combines a blow-molded inner liner made from Akulon® polyamide 6 (PA6) with an outer composite structure made from EcoPaXX® polyamide 410 (PA410) tapes.

Mobility & connectivity

During the session Sustainable Mobility, Connectivity, Safety and EMI Shielding, Michael Villet, Scientist, discussed how connected cars will require electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding to protect sensitive electronic components.  

“Connected mobility is already happening—this is just the beginning of a disruptive transformation,” said Villet. “There is much discussion and opinions of how fast this transformation will be and how safe and reliable will it be to trust that cars can drive themselves. This comes down to the reliability of the electric systems and communications that will manage all of this. All the electronics need to receive all these different signals without interference.”

The challenge is that metals are ideal for shielding. However plastics offer many design advantages for cost down and lightweighting, plus plastics are insulators. Lightweight shielding designed can be delivered with the combination with materials properties, EMI physics, and CAE design, ultimately, delivering engineering solutions that deliver on performance, weight and overall cost.

Sustainability initiatives and solutions

During the session A Realistic Roadmap for Sustainable Post-Consumer Plastics Recycling, Gerard Kwant, Senior Scientist, discussed the challenges of decarbonization and  greenhouse gas emission reduction and how recycling polymeric materials is a potential solution.  

Kwant talked about the importance of sustainability at Envalior, and the initiatives the company is taking to overcome the challenges of climate change, accumulating plastic waste and depleting fossil fuel resources. Envalior initiatives include:

  • Reduce energy required to produce polymeric materials
  • Apply mass balance concept, which will facilitate the transformation
  • Purchase bio-based and recycled based raw materials
  • Facilitate design for recyclability by offering recycled based materials and setting up recycling routines

He also discussed Envalior’s supplier program CO2Reduce. “In this program we reduce total carbon emission with the supplier. “Our products often help reduce the energy needed or help prolong life of products for products of our customers. In the end, we would like to have 30% reduction in this program in 2030.”

Stanyl® in lower temperature gear applications

During the session PA46 Stanyl® in Gears: Expanding to Low Temperature Applications, Martin Wolffs, Global Product Manager, presented recent gear application tests where various plastic materials at different temperature conditions were tested. The tests' findings show that Stanyl not only finds its use in automotive high temperature applications, but also in lower temperature range applications.

There are two unique reasons why Stanyl offers three unique benefits. “It is the only polyamide with a perfectly symmetrical structure and has the most compact structure, resulting in unique crystallinity (70%) and fine crystal spherulites. The three unique benefits are strong high temperature mechanics, fast flow, and wear and friction,” said Wolffs.

Stanyl is the best plastic gear material at all temperatures, according to Wolffs. For non-automotive applications it is used in household, kitchen and office appliances. It can also be used in applications for robotics and ebikes/two-wheelers.

Safe for use food & water contact applications

During the session Safe for Use & Sustainability Trends in Food & Water Contact Applications with Thermoplastics, Pim Janssen, Market Development Manager, and Judith Muijtjens, Application Development Engineer, shared insights on food contact standards. They discussed how regulations, toxicology insights, developments in analytical techniques, and differing standards from county to country are constantly evolving.

Because of the market’s globalization, manufacturers can benefit by working with Envalior’s global experts teams—they understand the regulations in the different regions and have relevant application and material expertise.

“Envalior’s EcoPaXX® PA410 and Stanyl® PA46 are safe for use in kitchen utensils and can mitigate PA66 risks while bringing additional value,” said Muijtjens. “Some additional values include safe for use in kitchen utensils, biobased content of up to 70% with EcoPaXX, and a higher peak temperature resistance with Stanyl.”

Other topics discussed during the Advanced Materials Forum Europe included:

  • Understanding Why & How Thermoplastics React to Liquids in Automotive Applications
  • Material Challenges in New E-Mobility Electrical Systems
  • Future of Mobility
  • Material Solutions for Automotive Air Management Applications
  • Toward Large-Scale 3D Printing of Engineering Materials: PBT Powder Sintering
  • Light-Weighting: Optimizing Part Design via Reliable Lifetime Prediction of Thermoplastic Components
  • On the Road with High Voltage
  • Trends & Developments in Automotive Thermal Management Systems (TMS)
  • Expanding Functionality of Fiber-Reinforced Thermoplastic Materials
  • How the Next Generation Materials Will Allow OEMs to Develop Cars that are Cleaner, Safer, Smarter
  • Pushing the Boundaries of Metal Replacement with High Tg Engineering Plastics
  • Making & Breaking the Electrical Power Distribution

To learn more about the presentations or connect with one of our subject matter experts, feel free to contact us.

Candace Roulo

Global Manager of Messaging and Content Development

Published on

23 April 2020


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Candace Roulo

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.

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