Düsseldorf, Germany — Photon, an educational robot that learns, has been around for the past couple of years, scooping awards for its design and the product itself.
But this year at K, German thermoplastic elastomers compounder Kraiburg TPE unveiled how it helped Bialystok, Poland-based Photon Entertainment Sp. zoo bring the interactive robot to reality.
The compounder is supplying two compounds from its flagship Thermolast K series for several functional components of Photon, for applications in the running surfaces as well as the feelers of the interactive robot.
These compounds include a highly transparent product from Kraiburg's FC/ht series that complies with the DIN EN 71-3 toy standard, CEO Franz Hinterecker explained in an interview.
Photon is steered using a centrally placed castor and moves on two laterally mounted rear wheels, the running surfaces of which are made of a GP/FG Thermolast K compound.
Two transparent feelers at its head serve as antennas and light sensors, respectively.
To provide "emotional feedback," the robot's feelers, made of FC/ht Thermolast K, can change color.
While TPEs are increasingly in demand for consumer applications, Kraiburg TPE's products are widely used for automotive purposes.
At K 2019 in Düsseldorf, the Waldkraiburg, Germany-based company introduced four new Thermolast K compounds, primarily suited for hard-soft composite components, offering high surface quality and permanent weather resistance.
"High insulation with the corresponding temperatures and a potentially harmful share of UV radiation is a particular challenge for plastics. Consumers are expecting perfect surfaces that still look good after many years," Hinterecker said about the materials and automotive exterior parts.
In addition to UV stability, in multicomponent composites, adhesive strength must also be permanently maintained and ensured.
"Our new materials address the increased requirements for exterior vehicle components," Hinterecker added.
With automotive covering almost half of the company's sales, Kraiburg TPE also presented its thermoplastic elastomer hybrids (TEHs), launched last year at Fakuma.