STEER & Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in partnership for collaborative research on processing special effect pigments

Scientists from two companies to accelerate development of appropriate technology for adoption by Plastic industry

BENGALURU, INDIA, February 21, 2017: STEER, creator of advanced materials platform technologies that effectively transform and functionalise materials in the fields of plastics, pharmaceuticals, food & nutraceuticals, biomaterials and biorefining, today announced a research collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science & technology company, on creating co-rotating twin screw extruder technology to process special effect pigments.

Accelerating development of an appropriate technology for the Plastic industry to effectively process special effect pigments is the focus of the research. STEER labs in India will carry out the research involving its process know-how, technology platform and knowledge of materials transformation while Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will contribute its understanding of pigments and core research work in plastics. The two companies will jointly validate the research before taking to market the technology platform.

Commenting on the collaboration, Dr. Babu Padmanabhan, Managing Director and Chief Knowledge Officer, STEER, said, “This is a major milestone for STEER, as the collaboration is an acknowledgement of our capabilities and technology by a global leader. Our 21st century, co-rotating twin screw processor with fractional lobed elements allows for work on materials using precise application of forces — kneading, stirring or shearing material at specific zones of the processor — resulting in a quantum jump in process capability. With its ability to work with sensitive materials, our technology ushers in a new age of advanced materials through Intelligent Compounding. Our rich legacy of research and patented technologies complement this unique venture.”

Gordon Price, Technical Service Manager, Pigments in Plastics, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, said, “STEER is pioneering materials transformation research in Plastics, and holds several patents. We believe in STEER’s technology platform and research capabilities, which enjoy proven track record. Through this research collaboration, we intend to master the co-rotating twin screw extruder technology to process special effect pigments and bring to market the most advanced platforms.”

Processing special effects pigments is a challenge, as pigment platelet structure gets damaged. Any alteration or change in size of structure hinders effective coloration and alters appearance of pigments in plastics. An appropriate process window is the way forward and STEER’s technology platform is customised for effect pigments compounds and masterbatch.


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