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K-Interview: DOMO Chemicals pushes the boundaries of polyamide
Source:Adsale Plastics Network     Editor:VC    Date:10.Aug.2022

Sustainable polyamide player DOMO Chemicals will be guiding visitors to achieve circularity at K this year, through the “Xperience” path with its polyamide-based solutions and services. Ludovic Tonnerre, Chief Commercial Officer for Engineered Materials (EM), told CPRJ that automotive will be one of the application focuses. He also talked about the company’s progress in embracing sustainability.

 

What is the meaning behind the theme “Xperience” for DOMO’s show presence at K 2022?

 

Ludovic Tonnerre: CO2 reduction continues to be a major challenge for the plastics industry. Recent developments in lightweight metal replacement, thermal management and e-mobility reinforce the global need for sustainable polyamide-based performance solutions.

 

Our “Xperience” path with dedicated presentations, discussions and stations at the trade fair will provide answers to these megatrend challenges. We are not just using Xperience as one of the main themes at our booth, but we also offer unparalleled experience in polyamides.


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DOMO Chemicals will be presenting its latest sustainable solutions at its joint booth with Circularise in the outdoor area of K.

 

At the trade show, the company will present new solutions based on the TECHNYL 4EARTH brand. What are their special characteristics?

 

Ludovic Tonnerre: At DOMO Engineered Materials, we offer a polyamide made from recycled scrap and waste. At K 2022, we will take the next step and launch our PA 66 TECHNYL 4EARTH grade specifically designed for glycol resistance applications.

 

What sets TECHNYL 4EARTH apart from other recycled plastics? It makes no compromises in terms of material and aging performance, as well as heat and chemical resistance – properties we all appreciate from a polyamide solution.

 

Comparable to virgin polyamide 6 and 6.6 (PA6 and PA66) grades, it delivers on the most demanding applications, including in the automotive sector. After rigorous testing at OEMs and tiers level, it is fully approved for use in applications throughout the vehicle, including structural, exterior and interior, under the hood, and electrification functions.

 

DOMO’s goal with TECHNYL 4EARTH is to accelerate the use of sustainable plastics by providing better-performing grades to meet today’s ever more demanding technical requirements and broaden the scope of target applications.

 

Therefore, applications of polyamide in the automotive industry will be one of the focuses of the company at K this year. Why is polyamide important in shaping future mobility?

 

Ludovic Tonnerre: Vehicles and their parts are evolving to meet critical requirements for lower carbon footprint, lighter weight, as well as improved performance, safety and comfort, all of which require cutting-edge manufacturing materials. This is where polyamide plays a key role.

 

In fact, polyamides offer a full portfolio of solutions over a broad range of temperature and operating conditions. In the near future, we will see advanced polyamide-based developments in cooling, connectivity, power electronics, structural, and vibration damping, all of which are key focus areas for safer and more efficient fuel cell systems and electric vehicles (EVs). 

 

For example, our TECHNYL fire resistant product family for powertrain electrification systems is available in the color orange, and these are the materials of choice for high voltage applications in EVs. Most of these grades are UL941 V0 certified and feature excellent color stability and processability, low mold deposit and a comparative tracking index (CTI) of 600 volts or greater.

 

Meanwhile, exterior applications require superior esthetic properties and easy paintability, for which our polyamides with improved surface finish are particularly well-suited. Thanks to the outstanding resistance to UV radiation and light, as well as enhanced wear resistance, exterior parts can stand up over time.

 

In addition, thanks to its excellent recycling capabilities, polyamide-based engineered materials such as TECHNYL 4EARTH will widen the application of sustainable plastics in the automotive sector.


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TECHNYL fire resistant product family is available in the color orange.

 

Visitors can also experience the SERVICE HUB at K. Please tell us more about this platform.

 

Ludovic Tonnerre: The SERVICE HUB is a distinctive factor for DOMO as a polyamide supplier. It consists of interconnected simulation, 3D prototyping, and parts testing services, which is designed to help customers push parts performance to new boundaries.

 

We can offer new development realizations in incredibly short timeframes. A special corner will be dedicated to our part testing lab at K, where visitors will be able to virtually visit our 300sqm lab. Here we test prototypes or customer’s samples to measure their performances while in use.

 

With DOMO’s MMI (Multi-scale modelling, Mechanical simulation, and Injection molding), we have built the largest polyamide database in the industry, with over 42,000 files covering more than 50 grades. We are the only supplier also able to provide these data for our circular solutions. This allows our customers to digitally design parts with TECHNYL 4EARTH.

 

MMI simulates a wide range of in-use conditions to accurately predict the performance of injection-molded parts using our digital material cards. If the models of material behavior are oversimplified, there is insufficient data which makes OEMs more reluctant to adopt the technology. For this reason, we provide predictive models – so that engineers can use Computer Aided Engineering to optimize their designs and make the best possible use of our polymers.

 

DOMO has recently announced its new sustainability targets. How can these ambitious targets be achieved in its business model? What are the main drivers along the transformation journey?

 

Ludovic Tonnerre: Four of our objectives reinforce our strong commitment for 2030 and beyond include:

 A reduction of 40% of direct CO2 emissions by 2030

- 20% of materials sales will be based on recycled content by 2030

- Strategic discussions with key partners in creating sustainable ecosystems

- Unlock polyamide collection systems and use innovative technologies such as chemical recycling

 

The main drivers continue to be a mix of process efficiency, renewable electricity, steam decarbonization and electrification. Currently, energy efficiency projects are being implemented at all our plants while decarbonization of our biggest plants in France and Germany is also making significant process, for example, through green hydrogen. Among these initiatives, we also have a project with key partners to decarbonize steam in France.


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Ludovic Tonnerre, Chief Commercial Officer for Engineered Materials (EM), DOMO Chemicals.

 

Is the company considering relying on direct, long-term supply contracts with large energy suppliers?

 

Ludovic Tonnerre: As part of our renewable electricity roadmap, we want to increase our share of renewable electricity to 50% by 2030 and run fully on renewable electricity by 2040.

 

Indeed, we are in discussions with companies about supply contracts and have already secured key initiatives for renewable energy. Here are some examples:

- Decarbonized steam at Lyon production site as the outcome from a waste treatment unit project

- Co-investing in a low carbon hydrogen unit to replace a natural gas-based production unit in Lyon for future mobility needs

- Discussion with several solar operators to connect our German operations to photovoltaic sources of electricity, more partnerships to be announced this autumn

- Looking at our smaller sites, for example, the site in Blanes will run on renewable electricity as of this year

 

What are the latest developments and trends in polyamide recycling? How can DOMO contribute to chemical recycling of polyamide?

 

Ludovic Tonnerre: In terms of polyamide recycling, our ambition is to move into the next generation. As an integrated player, DOMO has the know-how and assets to fully invest and partner in chemical recycling and new technologies while continuing to optimize existing mechanical processing for film, fiber, airbag waste as well as potentially new post-industrial and post-consumer feedstock.

 

However, polyamide recycling does not stop with the production. New regulations will make it necessary to trace all materials back to the raw material supplier. There will be an increasing trend to use digital end-to-end supply chain traceability technologies such as Circularise to fully trace prime and sustainable materials back to where they started.

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