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K 2013: RadiciGroup - a special kind of chemical company

Düsseldorf - With the launch today of three totally new product families at the international K Show, Radici is considerably expanding its offering of high-end engineering plastics. "Our core business is polyamide," explained Erico Spini, director of marketing and application development. "We've developed these three new families because we wanted to enter the market with specific materials tailored to applications that would bring higher profitability for Radici."

RadiciGroup's chemical business makes the raw material, in this case polyamide, and "we produce compound," Spini said. "We're vertically integrated."

That's only part of what differentiates Radici from its competitors. Spini: "Because of our comparatively small size, we are extremely flexible and can respond fast and effectively to specific demands of our customers. This is what gives us our competitive advantage." He added: "This is something not everyone can do."

The three new polyamide families are: a new high-heat resistant line called Radilon XTreme, a new family of long-chain PA6.12 polymers named Radilon DT and the Radistrong specialty line of long-fiber reinforced PA6 and PA6.6.

The new high-heat resistant Xtreme specialties are targeted specifically at automotive and electrical applications, including turbo air ducts, exhaust gas recirculation heat exchanger components, resonators, high-temperature electrical insulation components and lead-free soldering components.  They offer enhanced heat resistance for hot-air applications at operating temperatures of up to 230°C.

The new PA 6.12 product family offers superior chemical resistance,  even to salts such as zinc chloride and calcium chloride. "We envisage application such as cooling pipes and thermo-sanitary fittings," said Spini. "Because it's a long chain polymer, it's also resistance to hydrolysis. It absorbs much less moisture, so is relatively unaffected by humidity. As a result of this property, the dimensional stability of the part is also very good, which makes it suitable for applications such as piston housings and connectors."

The Radistrong long-fiber reinforced PA6 and PA6,6 have been developed with metal replacement applications in mind.  According to Spini: "They have excellent impact strength, higher creep and fatigue resistance and better mechanical resistance and stiffness at high temperatures compared to conventional polyamides." 

The new long-fiber specialties are available with 20%-60% glass-fiber fill.

"Right now, because we have only just today introduced them, these families are still small," Spini said. "There are only a few grades in each. But just give us time, and they will grow - and that's a promise."

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