STEER & Merck in partnership for collaborative research on processing special effect pigments

BENGALURU, INDIA, February 21, 2017: STEER, creator of advanced materials platform technologies that effectively transform and functionalise materials in the fields of plastics, pharmaceuticals, food & nutraceuticals, biomaterials and biorefining, today announced a research collaboration with Merck, a leading science & technology company, on creating co-rotating twin screw extruder technology to process special effect pigments.

The research collaboration will focus on accelerating the development of an appropriate technology for the plastic industry to effectively process special effect pigments. While STEER will use process know-how, technology platform and knowledge of materials transformation, Merck brings to the table its understanding of pigments and their behaviours and core research work in plastics. STEER labs in India will carry out the research work. STEER and Merck will jointly validate the research work before taking to market the technology platform.

Commenting on the collaboration, Dr. Babu Padmanabhan, Managing Director and Chief Knowledge Officer, STEER, said, “This is a major milestone for STEER, as the research collaboration is an acknowledgement of our capabilities and technology by a global leader. 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 truly ushers in a new age of advanced materials through Intelligent Compounding. Our rich legacy of research and patented technologies will complement the objectives of this unique venture.”

Gordon Price, Technical Service Manager, Pigmentsin Plastics, Merck, said, “STEER has beenpioneering the materials transformation research in Plastics and holds severalpatents in this sector. We believe in STEER’s technology platform and researchcapabilities, which enjoy proven track record. Through this researchcollaboration, we intend to master the co-rotating twin screw extrudertechnology to process special effect pigments and bring to market the mostadvanced platforms.”

Processing special effects pigments is still a majorchallenge for the plastic industry, as the pigment platelet structure isdamaged in the processing stage. Any alteration or change in the size of thestructure hinders effective coloration and alters the appearance of thepigments in plastics. An appropriate process window to process pigments ofvarious sizes will benefit the industry. STEER’s technology platform iscustomised for producing effect pigments compounds and masterbatch. 

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