For the first time, a Makrolon® RE polycarbonate from Covestro is being used in the manufacture of switches, plugs and multimedia sockets. ABB – a leading international energy and automation technology group with a strong focus on sustainability – uses polycarbonate in its SAGATM product range. “Currently, around 75 percent of our SAGATM range is manufactured with attributed bio-circular materials. In the long term, this will reduce annual emissions by around 400 tons of CO2 equivalents.* We want to further increase the proportion of these attributed bio-circular plastics in the future. This is because as thermoplastics they can be recycled and therefore enable the creation of resource-saving material cycles,” explains Sven Werdes, Global Product Line Manager at ABB.
The Makrolon® RE used by ABB has a very low carbon footprint; at best, it is climate-neutral**. In addition, the raw materials used in the synthesis of its starting materials are largely derived from mass-balanced organic waste and residues such as used cooking oils and fats.
Climate neutral** across the entire value chain as a common goal
“We are delighted to be able to effectively support ABB in its ambitious sustainability goals. Basically, we are doing everything we can to help our customers and their clients with more sustainable product solutions in the development of climate-neutral and resource-saving material cycles,” emphasizes Lily Wang, Global Head of the Engineering Plastics Business Entity at Covestro.
ABB manufactures the majority of the SAGATM range in its climate-neutral factory*** in Porvoo, Finland. With the help of a highly efficient energy management system, the plant uses only renewable energy and processes low-emission materials such as Makrolon® RE. “Porvoo is one of the first milestones in our Mission to Zero™ program, which aims to achieve climate neutrality for both our own sites and those of our customers. Materials such as Makrolon® RE are an important building block in our sustainability strategy,” says Mikaela Ahlnäs-Mäkeläinen, Local Product Group Manager at ABB.
Highest quality standards met
The Makrolon® RE variant used by ABB is colored in signal white (RAL 9003) and is characterized by excellent UV stability. For example, it easily passed a test that simulates two years of horizontal, two-dimensional UV exposure under northern European light conditions. In addition, its electrical properties – such as high dielectric strength and tracking resistance – meet all electrical safety requirements. “The Makrolon® RE compound is a successful example of how aesthetics, performance and sustainability can be harmonized with just one material,” explains Dr. Niklas Meine, Senior Marketing Manager and responsible for Marketing Electrical Engineering and Electronics EMEA at Covestro.
Drop-in solution without compromising on performance
The proportion of attributed alternative raw materials in the compound is over 80 percent. It is mass-balanced and certified in accordance with the established ISCC PLUS standard (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification). In principle, the material variants of Makrolon® RE are completely identical to their purely fossil-based counterparts in terms of chemistry, physics and processing behavior. “Our customers can therefore replace these counterparts as a drop-in solution in ongoing production processes without having to change processing parameters on the injection molding machines,” explains Niklas Meine.
SAGATM is designed for the electrification of commercial and public buildings, private residential buildings and the hospitality sector. It can be integrated into the ABB i-bus® KNX and ABB-free@home® building automation systems and will initially be marketed in Northern Europe.