Innovation supported by information
At Schill + Seilacher Struktol GmbH, technological advancement is taken very seriously. Innovation is at the very core of its approach to business. The company recognises that tyre makers demand the most advanced solutions to their processing challenges. It has long been recognised as the leading additive producer and with Struktol rubber process additive range the company is well positioned to meet the global tyre industry need for excellence in processing.
“Today, the tyre industry faces targets that are ever more challenging; the need to offer the most fuel-efficient tyres in both passenger and increasingly in commercial vehicle markets grows in significance as end users seek to meet more stringent customer and regulatory expectations. Tyre compounders are therefore mandated to develop highly advanced, often tailored formulations in order to remain competitive,” Colin Clarke, Director Technical Sales, Rubber Chemicals & Release Agents, Schill + Seilacher “Struktol” GmbH, says.
“As an independent yet globally operating group Schill + Seilacher is well positioned to support cutting-edge technology. We have established multiple links with both polymer and silica producers; this gives us insight to the latest advancements in raw materials and ensures that our additives become aligned to the earliest stages of new product development.
“In order to maintain our position as the leading supplier of technological advancement we place great emphasis on the ability to demonstrate the impact on processing achieved by use of additives. We operate an extremely capable and well-equipped Rubber Application Laboratory for exactly this purpose. Today we are able to carry out internal mixing using both tangential mixing and intermeshing rotor mixers. The ability to program mixing cycles with complex time, temperature and energy input profiles and accurately record the mixing efficiency achieved is highly developed, with use of advanced mixer control systems. This capability provides our customers with the most detailed data available on the mixing process. We have been able to develop sophisticated tailored mixing solutions using Struktol additives for key customers, enabling significant time and therefore cost saving in their own production facilities, whilst at the same time maximising compound performance and uniformity,” he adds.
The company’s advanced laboratory capability extends to down-line processing. It has four rubber extruders available, the laboratory extrusion equipment ranges from two small yet highly flexible Brabender modular extruder units 19/10 DW, to a larger cold-feed 10-D extruder from Troester. It has also installed the latest in the twin-screw extrusion technology, with a configurable modular screw technology from Brabender
In addition to the advanced processability measurement capability, they are also able to undertake sophisticated DMA measurement over wide temperature and input ranges.
Clarke says: “We see our Rubber Application Laboratory resources as key to our development initiative, ‘Innovation supported by Information,’ our ability to interact with global tyre makers at the leading edge of technology places us in a unique position to better understand and react to their demands.
“ATRC 2017 is an ideal platform for us to discuss innovation, this year we will focus on advanced compounding and performance enhancement of energy-efficient truck tread compounds. Our presentation will include both smart mixing technique whereby staged additive addition throughout the mixing cycle yields significant benefit. Latest Struktol additives tailored towards natural rubber based formulations form part of our work.”