Anyone hoping to understand more about the innovation behind Quantix® ULTRA needs a basic grasp of the three main types of plastics – thermosets, elastomers and thermoplastics – and their characteristics. In the simplest terms, thermosets are hard and brittle plastics that can no longer be shaped thermally once they have hardened. Brake pads and handles on pans are two examples from everyday life. Elastomers can be deformed elastically under tension and pressure. Tires and sealing rings are made of these materials. Both kinds of plastic have something in common: They do not melt. Instead they break down when overheated.
On the other hand, thermoplastics can be melted within a specific temperature range thanks to their chemical structures – as often as desired. Among other things, they are well-suited for processing in injection molding machines. “Thanks to in-depth research and companywide cooperation across Freudenberg, we were successful in using our material to make products that can be manufactured economically in volume, and they don’t melt at very high temperatures in the subsequent application,” Hellbach said. “Instead, they behave much like a thermoset.” This innovative material allows the use of injection molded components that cannot be achieved with normal thermoset materials and whose durability in a fire surpasses all the flame-retardant thermoplastics. That creates the best of two worlds in a single material. This is made possible by a special patented formulation of the material from Freudenberg. It can be strengthened further with the targeted addition of filler such as glass or carbon fibers.