Steer, Merck collaborate in processing special effect pigments

Steer, Merck collaborate in processing special effect pigments

9:40 AM, 23rd February 2017
Controlling shear to produce brilliant effect pigment masterbatches
Controlling shear to produce brilliant effect pigment masterbatches. (File photo)

BENGALURU, INDIA: Steer Engineering Pvt Ltd has entered a research collaboration with Merck, a leading science & technology company, on creating co-rotating twin screw extruder technology to effectively process special effect pigments.

Steer is a creator of advanced materials platform technologies that effectively transform and functionalised materials in the fields of plastics, pharmaceuticals, food and nutraceuticals, biomaterials and biorefining.

The research collaboration will focus on accelerating the development of an appropriate technology for the plastic industry. Steer labs in India will carry out the research work involving its process know-how, technology platform and knowledge of materials transformation while Merck will contribute its understanding of pigments and core research work in plastics. Steer and Merck will jointly validate the research before taking to market the technology platform.

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

"This is a major milestone for Steer. 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,” said Dr Babu Padmanabhan, managing director and chief knowledge officer, Steer.

"Steer is pioneering materials transformation research in plastics and holds several patents. We believe in Steer's technology platform and research capabilities, which enjoy a 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," added Gordon Price, technical service manager, pigments in plastics, Merck.

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