The Xelter range of sustainable products takes centre stage at the Sirmax Group’s stand at the Plastpol trade fair; Eastern Europe’s largest exhibition in the plastics sector, scheduled to take place in Kielce, a city in the heart of Poland, from 24-27 May (Hall E-49). Two are the innovations that Sirmax presents thanks to its thermoplastic elastomers marketed under the Xelter brand name, the Italian group’s production subsidiary established just three years ago. The first relates to the Frontsh1p project, a public programme financed by the European Union with the aim of fostering a circular economy. The programme involves 34 European companies, and Sirmax will supply its Xelter-V: a particular lightweight TPE designed for manufacturing coatings for insulating pipes (thermal and acoustic) intended for hot domestic and industrial heating. The second innovation centres on the new grades developed for the automotive sector. More and more car manufacturers are endorsing Xelter, the products developed by Sirmax and available in different formulations, attesting to the division’s significant maturity and competitive technological progress.
Frontsh1p, a sustainable and circular European projectSirmax Group, an Italian company based in Cittadella (Padua) and specialising in the production of polypropylene compounds, post-consumer compounds and bio-compounds, is committed to the «green» use of plastic materials, from the high recyclability of its products to its focus on greenhouse gas emissions. A challenge that has now added a new and ambitious chapter, thanks to participation in the Frontsh1p project, an initiative funded by the European Union as part of the Horizon 2020 framework. The focus is on fostering circular economy models through tangible projects and initiatives, identifying good practices for the ecological transition, and addressing topics such as decarbonisation and energy saving. Sirmax Group shall join forces with 33 other partners, ranging from industrial enterprises and public institutions.
The Padua-based group will work on a specific project in Poland in cooperation with the Regional Government and the University of Łodz, where two of the group's 13 factories are located. Sirmax has made its products from the Xelter family available for two goals: manufacturing insulation for domestic utility pipelines to achieve energy savings and using waste CO2 to process and transform the granule into insulation material. It is the only type of elastomer that can be expanded as much as necessary for such a purpose, thus avoiding the use of vulcanised rubber or other materials. As an example, when used in this form, the elastomer can go from a density of one thousand kilograms per cubic metre to around 50 kilograms per cubic metre. On top of that, the material is expanded by reusing the CO2 from industrial production waste, avoiding the emission of new greenhouse gases.
Xelter: this ever-growing brand stands the test of the automotive industryThe Xelter’s family of thermoplastic products draws its strength from its extreme flexibility and ability to adapt to specific customer requirements. The wide range (featuring five different types, plus one, called Hybrid, containing other sub-families) offers materials for soft components, rigid-soft couplings and integrations, thanks to the hi-tech
Hybrid type. The family also includes a product line made from bio-based sources, the Xelter Bio, and one from recycled raw materials based on post-consumer or post-industrial waste, the Xelter Green. All Xelter brand products, thanks to their thermoplastic recyclability, offer a viable and sustainable alternative to vulcanised rubber, contributing to the design of applications in a wide range of industries.
Only two years later, this start-up launched by Sirmax landed in the automotive world. The latest success story involves Renault, which has already endorsed eleven out of the twelve grades submitted by Sirmax, laying the foundations for an invaluable collaboration regarding under-bonnet components. Although they belong to the same product family, each grade is, in fact, a different Xelter granule, with specifications, such as density and hardness, designed for precise applications.