Despite the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Röhm has so far come through and has produced continuously to supply its customers. “The economic situation is also good in almost all of Röhm's business units. Even in light of some challenges, like raw material shortages or the chip crisis in the automotive industry, the recovery from the pandemic will overall lead to a good performance of Röhm in 2021,” Mr. Siamak Djafarian, Senior Vice President Molding Compounds at Röhm GmbH
For the Molding Compounds business unit, Mr. Djafarian said that the demand for PLEXIGLAS® Molding Compounds is growing in all of its key industries such as automotive, construction, lighting and appliances. “PLEXIGLAS® is a very emotional product with which customers are immediately convinced and captivated by its properties and visual effects. They want to examine and experience the end product in detail and hold it in their hands. With the COVID-19 restrictions, we had to look for new ways to transform on-site workshops with customers into attractive online events while still allowing customers to experience the inspiring material PLEXIGLAS® and its properties with live demonstration. In order to enhance the touch and feel effect for customers and designers, we send upfront the live workshops the samples and demonstration material packages. Then we show the effects in details and discuss with them in an interactive way,” Mr. Djafarian explained.
Mr. Siamak Djafarian, Senior Vice President
Molding Compounds, Röhm GmbH
The automotive industry is one of the major markets of the business unit Molding Compounds. This industry faces profound changes leading to new requirements. These demands relating to the quality and functionality of plastics in automotive manufacturing are becoming ever stricter. And vehicle design requirements are changing in line with the huge trends in the industry, such as electric drivetrains and autonomous driving. Materials manufacturers are preparing for this and are developing custom materials. PLEXIGLAS® is light and robust, has a high-quality surface and excellent optical properties and can be processed in all common injection molding and extrusion procedures. “We also follow design trends requiring special effects such as diffusion of light with complex shapes or dark panel effect where we transform the glossy black plastic surface into a display or a lit surface, where light can go through. Moreover PLEXIGLAS® is ‘sustainable by design’: The extraordinary weather resistance and corresponding durability contribute to the gentle use of resources. Moreover, PLEXIGLAS® does not require any solvent-based coatings to improve UV properties or appearances reducing VOC impact of the finished part,” Mr. Djafarian added.
For 2022, the Business Unit Molding Compounds is set to highlight its PLEXIGLAS® Optical HT, a new heat-resistant special molding compound providing the best possible optical quality, even at increased continuous service temperatures. The product provides the high optical standard of a very clear PLEXIGLAS® 8N, in combination with an increased heat deflection temperature similar to the PLEXIGLAS® Heatresist product family. This makes it a durable material for the automotive and the lighting industry. The product launch results from the increasing market requirements and the new design trends such as the use of high-performance LEDs with simultaneously smaller component depths.
The Röhm group expands in various fields to become the leading Methacrylate Verbund. “Röhm is the only PMMA manufacturer in the world that has fully integrated MMA/PMMA production networks with downstream compounding in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. To strengthen the Verbund, Röhm has started the detail engineering and construction of a new production plant for MMA in Bay City (Texas/USA) which will significantly expand our global capacities for MMA. We expect to go into operation in 2023. This will secure the raw material supply for our ACRYLITE® and PLEXIGLAS® PMMA globally. Though built in the US it will serve global markets,” according to Mr. Djafarian.
As to business unit Molding Compounds, Röhm will strengthen its technological leadership with two new state-of-the-art Technology Centers in China and the USA, which will further expand its leading market position. Located in Shanghai, Röhm Asia Technology Center will open a new modern technical application and development labs for innovative applications for PLEXIGLAS® molding compounds customers. A second flagship Technical Center in Wallingford (Connecticut, USA) is scheduled to go into operation in 2022.
For 2022 the Molding Compounds business unit plans to launch two products in the medical application. The first one is CYROLITE® CP offering unique properties to protect the drugs going through the medical device from UV. The second one is CYROLITE® CR where Röhm improved its CYROLITE® product range in terms of chemical resistance in particular for IPA (Isopropyl alcohol) which is used as cleaning procedure in hospitals. “We will also launch several coloured PMMA grades in particular piano black colours to meet specific OEMs requirements,” Mr. Djafarian added.
Tel: +49 6151 863-7157
Website: www.roehm.com; www.plexiglas-polymers.com
*Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) products are branded as PLEXIGLAS® in the European, Asian, African and Australian continent, and branded in the Americas as ACRYLITE®
- This article also appears in the International Plastics News for Asia, December issue. Click here to read the full special report.
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