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BASF at FAKUMA: Seven with one blow


* Students of the Royal College of Art (RCA) with design ideas in Ultradur

* The latest in styrenics: ASA/PA-blend

Seven works by students at the Royal College of Art in London will be exhibited by BASF at its booth 4308 in hall B4 at the FAKUMA trade fair that will be held from October 13 – 17, 2009 in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Design is one focal point of this year’s appearance of the company and what young designers are able to create using the plastic Ultradur® (PBT). In addition, a new blend of ASA and polyamide (Terblend® N BX 13043) will be introduced. A wide range of product concepts for applications in food contact, building & construction and medical technology as well as the automotive and electrical/electronics sectors rounds out the information spectrum.

From light fixtures to irons and wash basins

Early in 2009, employees from the designfabrik™ and application development engineers from BASF started a project with lecturers and students in the product design working group at the renowned Royal College of Art in London, the fruits of which can now be seen at the FAKUMA. The task: to develop household products based on a specific BASF engineering plastic. The starting point was Ultradur B4300 M12, a mineral-reinforced, especially high-value PBT grade that exhibits good thermal conductivity and a pleasant feel . The tasks also focused on Ultradur B4300 G6, which is especially tough and dimensionally stable .

André Klauser, Sam Hecht und Durell Bishop, the three lecturers, are proud of their protégés’ results : “The approach that BASF took to familiarize our students and ourselves with the material was exciting and very useful for the individual projects. Developing new applications can proceed only on the basis of sufficient knowledge of the material.” Based on the aspects of appearance, feel, function and manufacturing process, the students attempted to come up with ideas for new products and then convert them into prototypes.

Christine Ammann, Sandra Hermanns, Mark Voelkel and Andreas Maegerlein, the support team from BASF, found the variety of ideas especially inspiring: Tom Stables from England devoted his efforts to ergonomic and well-designed multi-use plastic cutlery, Dirk Winkel from Germany focused on an appealing light fixture that offers stability and concealed cables as well as built-in switches, while Emil Rosen from Sweden developed a rugged yet functional wash basin that can also be used in public facilities. Teresa Glimskar, from Sweden as well, had the idea for a cordless clothes iron that operates on the basis of electroplating and induction; Alejandro Villarreal from Mexico thought up a delicate and window frame system that can be customized to individual requirements. In the area of electrical/electronic applications, Min-Kuy from South Korea proposed an especially space-saving, fold-up plug for electronic/electrical devices and Georges Moanack from Colombia presented a modular, color-coded cable and connector system for private and office applications. Each of the individual design projects is based on one or several of the versatile material characteristics of Ultradur and in this way demonstrated the wide array of possible applications of this engineering plastic from BASF.

The latest in styrenics: An ASA/PA blend

At this year’s FAKUMA, BASF will be presenting a blend of ASA (acrylonitrile-styrene-acrylate-copolymer) and PA (polyamide) for the first time. This material belongs to the Terblend N product family and has a few extra advantages over the known Terblend N (ABS/PA): along with its pleasant feel, its good acoustic properties and its ability to precisely replicate mold surfaces, Terblend N BX 13043 (ASA/PA) also has greater UV-stability and resistance to chemicals. At the same time, this product is very impact-resistant and easy to process. These aspects open up even more advanced areas of application for this product line.

In this blend, the ASA accounts for the good dimensional stability and the enhanced UV-resistance, while the PA contributes the high dimensional stability under heat and the especially good flow properties. This technically clever combination yields a product that merges the advantages of both types of plastic. In the automotive, household and gardening sectors, the new material can be used without being coated, making it very cost-effective. Starting in October, sample amounts can be obtained for experimental purposes and this product is expected to be made commercially available as a new Terblend N grade still this year.


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