September, 10, 2022 - Munich-based chemical group Wacker will introduce an additive masterbatch for polyethylene compounding at K 2022. Wacker claims that this silicone product, marketed as Genioplast PE50S08, makes it easier to manufacture ready-to-use polyethylene molding compounds. The company says it also improves the surface properties of the resulting plastic products. The polyethylene masterbatch can, for instance, be used for extruding films or for improved processing of recycled polyethylene compounds.
With Genioplast PE50S08, Wacker is adding a product developed specifically for use in polyethylene molding compounds to its portfolio of silicone-based compounding additives. The additive masterbatch in pellet form is an active component that contains a non-reactive, ultra-high-molecular polydimethylsiloxane. The active ingredient’s carrier is a low-density polyethylene. The silicone content of the masterbatch is 50 percent.
According to Wacker, Genioplast PE50S08 is used as a highly effective processing aid. Its silicone active ingredient improves filler distribution in filled formulations and the flow properties of the polymer melt which leads to an increased extruder throughput, the company claims. It also reduces the energy needed for compounding – a clear advantage for compounders.
Where mixtures of different polyethylene grades are compounded, as is the case in the processing of recycled polyethylene, Genioplast PE50S08 ensures uniform mixing without any major torque or temperature fluctuations, Wacker says. Thus, polyethylene recycling is one of the new additive’s key application areas.
All the process-enhancing properties also come into play when the compound is molded. According to Wacker, in blown film extrusion, manufacturers of polyethylene film formulations can substantially boost productivity. In the extrusion of cable sheathing, hoses or profiles made of filled polyethylene, there are fewer die deposits, the company says.
Furthermore, Genioplast PE50S08 improves the surface structure of polyethylene products. Wacker says the additive reduces the coefficient of kinematic and dynamic friction of the plastic formulation, giving it a surface that feels silky and dry. As a result of the reduced surface friction, the products feature higher scratch and abrasion resistance, making it easier to unroll films, the company assures. The additive also improves the plastic’s impact strength in the final product.
Generally, the dosage of Genioplast PE50S08 is 1 to 3 percent. The product is easy to feed with a standard system and is readily incorporated into polyethylene mixtures on a twin-screw extruder even when mineral fillers are added.
Other Compounding Additives at K 2022
At the trade fair, Wacker will also be showcasing several other additives for thermoplastic compounding:
Genioplast Pellet S: this additive is universally suitable for compounding all thermoplastics. As active component, it contains a non-crosslinked ultra-high-molecular silicone polymer mounted on pyrogenic silica. Its main application area is flame-resistant cable sheathing.
Genioplast PP50S12: this silicone-additive masterbatch improves the scratch resistance of polypropylene products, Wacker says. Its most important applications are packaging films, garden furniture and components for car interiors.
Genioplast Pellet 345: according to Wacker, this silicone-based additive for thermoplastic polyurethanes imparts a pleasant feel to smartphone covers, wearable armbands and other items made of these plastics. It also increases dirt resistance.
K 2022 will take place in Düsseldorf, Germany, from October 19 to 26. .