5 / 6 / 2015
Caputure: Maria Stangoni, Process Engineer and Stephan Ott, Head of R&D Low Frequency
Interview with Stephan Ott, Head of R&D Low Frequency
What characterises R&D in the railway sector?
This market is very much focused on the safety and durability of products. Our greatest strength lies in developing polymers and electronbeam-crosslinked insulation as it is used in the RADOX product families. Generally, railway applications have very high requirements, such as a service life of up to 30 years, minimal fire propagation and low toxicity of combustion gases. To demonstrate this, we test materials in product development for up to 10 000 hours, which means for over a year.
Are there other markets with similar requirements for products?
Absolutely. We orientate our activities on markets that have similar requirements in order to expand our technologies there. Thus, we mainly see our growth potential in the automotive sector – both passenger cars and commercial vehicles – and in the shipbuilding industry. Oil and gas platforms also offer an attractive market potential.
What focus is the Low Frequency division currently pursuing?
We are continually working to improve product properties and resilience through ongoing materials development. At the same time, we seek to expand our product range for new markets and applications and for specific customer needs. We are working to optimise our robust system solutions – particularly for the automotive segment. These are primarily focused on the needs of electric vehicles. Our systems offer customers reliable cable connections with low transmission losses even in cramped conditions.
Why does plastics development play such an important role in the Low Frequency division?
The right jacket materials for cables are essential for their insulating properties, especially in harsh environments, i.e., under extreme conditions such as heat and cold, or even under the highest mechanical stress. That is our strength. Thanks to our electron-beam-crosslinked polymer mixtures, we can provide very thinwalled insulation that optimises material properties and thus creates benefits for the customer. In this respect, we are constantly working on new and improved solutions.