Author: Christine Versluijs

Fast reactions
Customised speciality plastics compounder Witcom Engineering Plastics believes the ever-changing requirements of the EV industry means there is a need to be able to react quickly. “Even though new requirements for EV cars are not all known or set by Tiers and OEMs yet, our agility and material know-how help us build new solutions quickly together with our customers,” says Christine Van Bellingen, Business Development Manager, Conductive Compounds.

“Metal replacement for weight reduction, coupled with electrification and digitalisation, open new opportunities for EMI shielded plastics compounds. The challenge is to keep performance at lower thickness and at an acceptable cost. At Witcom, we have developed cost-effective EMI solutions to shield over various frequencies, making the switch from metal to functionalised plastics more attractive to the automotive industry. Final parts include sensors and housings,” she says.

“For over 15 years, we have been the worldwide reference supplier of radar absorption compounds used in RF absorbers and brackets for blind-spot detection and cross-traffic alert, for example. Our radar grades are based on many different poly­mers, including PA, PP, PBT and PC. This proven safety experience, together with the trust built over the years with our customers, make development engineers confident of specifying them for autono­mous driving systems up to the highest levels,” Van Bellingen says.

Aside from the obvious mechanical, electrical and fire properties, the move to electric vehicles brings some perhaps less obvious requirements. “EVs make no noise. This means that any squeaking noise inside the car is uncomfortable. For that reason, we have seen an increase in demand for low friction, low wear technical compounds. For instance, our lubricated PA compounds exhibit a stable coefficient of friction over time, which is also independent of temperature and humidity, resulting in constant low wear and low noise. Applications include gears and bearings. PTFE-free solutions are part of our offering,” says Van Bellingen.

“There is some hope – although movement is slow so far – that new developments in the battery field will include more speciality plastics solutions to reduce weight and fabrication steps,” she says. “The two major fields that have been overlooked are EMI shielding and thermal conductivity for battery housings and cooling systems. However, technical targets are complex and intelligent mixed materials solutions will certainly have to be considered.” Van Bellingen says she sees one of Witcom’s key strengths is its ability to formulate compounds with multiple properties, combining EMI shielding, thermal conductivity and flame retardancy, for example.

Click here to read the article from Compounding World

 

Wittenburg Group company Witcom Engineering Plastics specialises in development and production of electrically conductive compounds based on a wide range of polymers. It says conductive POM (acetal) is gaining a lot of attention for semi-finished materials used during manufacturing and assembly of electronic components.

“We can produce conductive POM that our customers can extrude safely up to more than 200 mm thick slabs and rod stocks without any stress cracking or gas bubbles on cross sections during further machining,” says Christine Van Bellingen, Business Development Manager for Conductive Materials at the company.

“In another direction, motivated by the corona pandemic, our conductive TPE grades offer touch-free solutions as well as tight profiles and sealing solutions,” she says.

Witcom has customers in the automotive industry already using its radar absorption compounds in the latest radar systems for blind spot detection, cross-traffic alert and more. Opportunities are also seen across the broader EV sector. “While electrifica­tion and digitalisation of cars generate more electro-magnetic interferences, the trend for lower energy consumption and light weighting calls for more plastics. Our latest generation of cost-effective EMI shielding plastics compounds clearly opens new perspectives for metal replacement as well as for metal coating alternatives,” says Udo Schwestka, Business Development Manager for Radar Absorbing Materials.

Read the full article from Compounding World here.

Read the entire Feb-March issue from Compounding World here.

 

Witcom Engineering Plastics has developed a broad range of lubricated engineering plastic compounds for such applications with what it describes as outstanding wear and friction proper­ties. “We see an increasing demand of low wear and friction compounds. In automobiles, buzzing, squeaks and rattles need to be kept to a minimum, as nowadays they are very noticeable, especially in electric vehicles,” says Bram Willemen, the com­pany’s Business Development Manager for Lubricated Compounds.

PPS 2014 316

Wear resistance has to be considered alongside other mechanical requirements, according to the company. A recent project for a metal/plastic bearing/shaft combination assembly incorporating a component in its Witcom PPS-2014/316 grade illustrates this. The compound contains a proprietary high-performance lubricant system in which the coefficient of linear thermal expansion is adjusted to be in the same range as the metal elements. As a result, the bearing/shaft combination remains within the required tight tolerance field over a temperature range from -40°C to over +200°C.

Read the full article from Compounding World here:
CW February 2021 – Careful selection is the key to defeating wear

Full February 2021 Edition Compounding World

Witcom Engineering Plastics, part of Wittenburg Group, worked closely with injection moulder Miki-Plastik in a project to make new PCB magazines, which house and transport PCBs during their automated assembly process. For its high temperature magazine, Witcom needed an electrically conductive high temperature plastic.

Witcom Miki Conductive PES

Marcus Weiland, Managing Director at Miki-Plastik, says: “The vertical guide rack is a large, flat part that needs to be moulded within tight tolerances without any warpage. It also needs to be electrically conductive for ESD protection, and withstand impact loads, and, for our high temperature range, temperatures in excess of 130°C. We consulted with a large number of suppliers for a suitable raw material; Witcom Engineering Plastics was the only one to pick up this challenge.”

Witcom selected PES as the base polymer, as it can withstand temperatures of up 180°C, is inherently flame retardant and can be moulded within tight tolerances. Piotr Zgnilec, Lead Engineer in conductive thermoplastics at Witcom, says: “To achieve the conductivity needed for the ESD protection and some reinforcement, we could not use carbon fibre, because that would cause the parts to warp. Using conductive carbon black however, causes PES to become rather brittle. In close co-operation with Miki-Plastik we developed a new formulation based on a unique conductive carbon black, which did not show brittleness and had enough flow to fill these large tools. Witcom PES-EC is a multi-purpose grade which can be injection moulded as well as extruded.” Christine Van Bellingen, Business Development Manager for conductive applications, adds: “Other potential market areas we are looking at include conductive high temperature sheet and other components for electronics manufacturing.”

Read the full article from Injection World here.

Or view the full November/December 2020 issue from Injection World here.

In order to operate safely, it is vital that equipment that runs in explosive environments does not generate sparks or arcs. Electro static discharge results in sparks, for this reason plastics that are used in these environments have to be electrically conductive, so that it is impossible for electro static charges to build up. Industry standards refer to ATEX norms: the resistivity of the parts must be <109 Ohm/sq for ESD control, no spark generation, no explosion.

The Wittenburg Group is a leading supplier of conductive compounds based on a wide range of plastics, from polyolefins up to PEEK (PP, TPE, PA, POM, PBT, PPS… ). Most conductive materials are black, because many conductive additives are carbon based. There are conductive applications however, where coloured material is required.

Case in point: the WIKA Universal Process Transmitter (UPT) to measure pressure, volume and tank height even in extreme conditions. Apart from conductivity (ATEX and electro-magnetic compatibility), WIKA needed this material to meet an exacting property profile: low flammability, good impact resistance, high dimensional stability to ensure fluid/dust tightness, UV resistance and coloured in the signature blue colour. Christine Van Bellingen, market development manager for conductive materials at Witcom-Wittenburg Group, comments: “Together with WIKA, we developed a solution that fitted the extensive property profile. Our R&D department, together with our colour lab were able to tweak the formulation to get the colour within the WIKA specification.”

The compound is based on a PC/PBT blend which has been modified to reach a UL94 V0 rating. Christine Van Bellingen adds: ”This product exemplifies what Wittenburg Group excels at. Each property individually is not too difficult to achieve, but getting the combination of all requirements is really challenging.”

The Wittenburg Group is a leading supplier of speciality engineering plastics compounds. For more information on our products, please contact conductive@witcombv.nl

On May 1st, Anne Looije-Traa, Deputy Director Wittenburg Group and Harold Pauwels, Business Unit Manager NEN, concluded a cooperation agreement on behalf of INK.next. INK.next will support Wittenburg Group in realizing its strategic direction, using the new organization development model of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM). Wittenburg Group will assume a pilot role for INK.next as part of the collaboration. Besides Signify that participated in the test phase of the EFQM model, the organization is the first Dutch company to work with the model.

Anne Looije-Traa: “Wittenburg Group has always set high standards for its own performance, but with the recent refinement of our strategy we raised the bar and explicitly stated that we want to be an excellent organization. We expect INK.next and the application of the new EFQM model to help us do that. ”

“Wittenburg Group is a great development partner for INK.next. The company is innovative, has appealing customers and is active internationally. In addition, it is a family business that operates quickly and agile in the market, “said Harold Pauwels.

Jeroen Vaartjes, Global Quality Assurance Manager, accompanies the development process on behalf of Wittenburg Group. His ambition: “Take the lead in transformation, in-depth improvement and delivering value, business excellence!”

Ruud Stassen will supervise the development process from INK.next. “A great challenge to be able to use the power of INK.next and the new EFQM model in an organization with ambition and the willingness to learn together. A challenge to perform excellently also for INK.next “.

Wittenburg is proud to have participated in the Hospital study which is published on Dec 12th on Nature!

Impact of alternative materials to plasticized PVC infusion tubings on drug sorption and plasticizer release.
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Witcom will give a presentation on the potential of lubricated plastics compounds for noise reduction. This has become a major criterion especially in the automotive industry. Come and join us to the event or contact us to get the  perfect solution to your needs.

For more information, click here

To register yourself, please click here

Wear Resistant Plastics 2019, AMI Conference, Düsseldorf (Germany), 11-12 December 2019

Wittenburg in Zeewolde is nominated for entrepreneur of the year 2020!

The three candidates for the title “Entrepreneur of the Year” are known. They are: (dairy) livestock farming Ik Ben Boer; manufacturer of infant formula Picomel and plastic developer and manufacturer Wittenburg.

The winner will be announced on Thursday, January 16, 2020 during the New Year’s meeting of the Bedrijfskring in the Lux conference center in Zeewolde.

The Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 is automatically nominated for the “Flevopenning Top Onderneming 2020”. This medal will be awarded on 21 February 2020 during the Flevopenningen Gala by Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Wittenburg Group will be present at Compamed 2019 exhibition. We will be happy to welcome you from 18 untill 21st of November at our booth.

Our booth is located Hall 8-A / P31

See you then in Düsseldorf !