Stahl on Automotive Elastomer & Plastic Coatings
Automotive IQ interviewed Mel Micham, Global Market Manager Automotive Elastomer & Plastic Coatings at Stahl, on elastomer coatings and Stahl’s dedication towards sustainability.
What is your background, and how did you come to work in your current position at Stahl?
I spent the first five years of my automotive career in R&D at a Tier 1 automotive supplier, during which a significant amount of my time was spent on test tracks and proving grounds, performing qualitative squeak/itch research and testing methodology.
In 1999, I was fortunate to begin managing an engineering materials development group, whose responsibilities included the development of coatings and adhesives for elastomers, metals, plastics etc. The group was also responsible for process development and manufacturing equipment with an eye on the future for environmental regulations and restrictions.
Additionally, beginning in late 2000, I began studying coating formulating, hybrid polymers and haptic technologies that really provided me the additional knowledge required, to move to Stahl in 2006. I knew that Stahl provided me with a unique opportunity based on their core competencies and polymer development capabilities, and combined with my experiences in squeak/itch and manufacturing; I knew that it would lead to a successful future for both of us.
Can you explain what the functions of elastomer coatings are to the automotive industry?
Weather stripping is commonly made from vulcanized EPDM rubber or one of many thermal plastics elastomer. The purpose of weather strippings is to prevent water, wind or noise from entering into the cabin. Cars often go over bumps and the vibration cause relative motion between the relatively fixed body, weather stripping and movable parts such as doors, windows and sun roofs. And Iit is this relative movement that can cause noises such as squeaks and rattles to be heard within the vehicle. It is in this area of anti-squeak coatings that Stahl has proved itself to be an innovative leader in the automotive industry.
What are Stahl’s latest innovative solutions within weather strip coatings?
Stahl has developed a new line of RelcaSil™ automotive elastomer coatings, each individually tailored to meet particular challenging environments or specific customer requests. One of which is this state of the art RelcaSil™ 400 silicone hybrid.
We have also developed the RelcaSil™ 310, which exhibits a significant leap in abrasion resistance, over the past generation of anti squeak and coatings commonly found in the industry.
The RelcaSil™ 023 is our new 1-component next generation version of our popular wt91023. We have also developed new structure or texture coatings, low marring and low silicone transfer offerings.
What more can you tell me about the RelcaSil™ 400?
At Stahl, we consider ourselves as experts in surface technology and we have an extensive haptic technology toolbox. Our knowledge and know-how enables us to create a unique silicone-based hybrid with truly innovative chemistry that breaks new ground in premium soft touch noise suppression technology. We view the RelcaSil™ 400 as disruptive technology to the current expensive, five or more component solvent or water-based silicone coatings. The RelcaSil™ 400 has only been commercially available for a few months and we have already seen a tremendous response.
How does Stahl ensure sustainability in the elastomer coatings business unit?
Sustainability requirements are becoming more and more stringent in the automotive sector. For this reason we developed our RelcaSil™ product line using a building block approach, that enables us to cost effectively produce coatings in a sustainable way, and in line with latest trends. The RelcaSil™ products do not contain any hazardrous classified substances and offer innovative leading performance OEMs are used to. The latest product offers are 100% water-based, they’re single components to reduce waste, and they are NMP-free and NEP-free.
What can you tell me about Stahl’s commitment to the automotive industry?
I am very fortunate to work with a very talented group of hardworking people at Stahl, and everyone has contributed a great deal of effort to make it successful in a challenging automotive industry. We are all committed to our Tier 1 and OEM partnerships to ensure that we all share in this success. We hope our new RelcaSil™ and RelcaBond™ products reflect upon our past achievements and our visions of the future.
For any business enquiries, who should be contacted in your company?
For business enquiries, please feel free to contact our Market Managers in Europe, North America and China. For more information about Stahl's solutions for Automotive visit www.stahl.com.
+49 179 9016222
Market Manager-North America
+1 978 317 3437
+86 135 0182 0847