Friedrichshafen, Germany — The main Fakuma highlight for Lüdenscheid, Germany-based KIMW Kunststoff Institut Lüdenscheid was a presentation of electromagnetic and radio frequency interference (EMI/RFI) solutions.
Researcher Torsten Urban showed two approaches: copper particle-filled nylon 6 and nickel-coated short-carbon-fiber-filled nylon 6.
These two solutions have potential to substitute conventional zinc-coated plastic housings. Urban says the aim is to achieve a high degree of shielding, especially for lightweight plastic enclosures in electric drive vehicles, replacing aluminum housings, as such vehicles involve cable systems carrying much higher currents than in combustion engine vehicles.
It is a tricky balance, choosing between the two approaches. A lower filling level may be adequate with nickel-coated CF, but the material would presumably cost more than the copper one. That may need a higher copper load for a given EMI/RFI effectiveness, making processing by injection molding more difficult, Urban said.
A second highlight at Fakuma was the display of structural foam molded sample parts coated with a self-healing high gloss or matte polyurethane layer. This approach is well known, but so far on simple flat surfaces. KIMW has however been able to create relatively deep and high definition 3D-structured self-healing surfaces.
KIMW first showed paper injection molding at the 2019 Fakuma show, but there have been several further developments.
The process uses a Bioform starch, cellulose fiber and mineral-based compound produced by Schwerte, Germany-based Nature Compond GmbH.
For the October 2023 event, KIMW showed paper injection-based protectors to its range of steel bite protectors for young plants and trees. These long, complex plastic parts are produced on a KraussMaffei KM 1300 8100 MC injection molding machine in a mold developed by Gladenbach, Germany-based Zimmermann Formen und Werkzeugbau GmbH.
KIMW works with Nuremberg, Germany-based recycled plastics producer Sysplast GmbH in development of recycling solutions for chromed plastic parts. Urban showed three bags of granulate, one containing granular form plastic and aluminum particles, another one with the aluminum removed and a third with just colored plastic granulate, which can also be used to produce chromed plastic articles such as shower heads.
Plastics News separately met Udo Dobberke, managing director of Sysplast, at Fakuma, at the booth of Aichach, Germany-based mold maker Deckerform Technologies GmbH where Sysplast supplied recycled plastics for several of Deckerform's Fakuma molding demonstrations. Dobberke said Sysplast took up recycling activity previously developed and conducted in-house by Nuremberg-based TV and radio producer Grundig, which was founded in 1930, but became insolvent and closed in 2003.