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Speaker Interview with Julia Uth

Head of Design and R&D at UTH GmBH               

You're going to be presenting on “Sustainable and reliable processes for mixing, extrusion and straining of silicone rubber compounds” can you give a sneak peek of what people will hear about?

The demands for sustainable automated production processes for silicone compounds have grown continuously in recent years, while the requirements on machine technology have increased especially due to more and more sophisticated compound formulations. This requires new technologies which, on the one hand, enable gentle but process-safe material handling and, on the other hand, contribute to the conservation of resources and thus to sustainable management. We will have a look on the process technological basics for mixing, straining and extrusion of silicone compounds and the practical realization in different machine configurations like a conical twin-screw extruder or a combination of conical twin screw and single screw for especially abrasive compounds. Furthermore, a new possible process technology will be shown.

How important is the mixing, straining and extrusion of silicone compounds used for medical and healthcare applications?

To avoid a high scrap rate and achieve highly precise structures with immaculate surface quality, precise extrusion and clean, homogeneous compounds are essential. Especially the processing of sensitive compounds or compounds with abrasive fillers poses a challenge to the machines for the silicone elastomer industry.

What advancements in manufacturing processes do you see happening over the next 5 years?

Especially the safety and automation of existing mixing and processing procedures present producers with new challenges. The key to a successful operation is to use equipment specifically designed to match the application profile, taking into account the upstream and downstream equipment, the form factor of the material, the frequency of compound changes, the fraction of the material to be strained, the mixing/homogenization and other process technology requirements. Furthermore energy and resource saving processes are required more than ever before: The aim is to combine highest product quality with cost optimisation and the saving of valuable resources.

Why do you feel it is important for people to attend Silicone Elastomer World Summit 2022?

To inform about latest technologies and to have a personal, professional exchange.