A talk with Sandro Gusi, General Manager at API – A Trinseo Company

11 January 2019

Trinseo is a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber, and its affiliate companies in Europe. We met Sandro Gusi, General Manager at API – A Trinseo Company.

trinseo interview sandro gusi

Sandro Gusi, General Manager at API – A Trinseo Company

How did the Fakuma 2018 go for Trinseo?

As every year, we were delighted to be a part of the world’s leading trade event for industrial plastics processing. The Fakuma is an important technical trade fair with an international charisma. At the event, we introduced four new thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) chemistries that include 16 new overmolding grades specifically developed for automotive applications. Overmolding technology is used to form plastic parts with a distinctive visual and ergonomic appeal. Today’s customers are looking for a broader range of material grades to serve different overmolding functions and our new product grades are designed to deliver optimum adhesion to Trinseo’s MAGNUM™ ABS, PULSE™ PC/ABS and other polar substrates. These products demonstrate the innovative approach we take to various TPE solutions.

How is the Italian market acting in the last 6 months?

The Italian market for plastics is doing very well. The booming packaging industry, the main consumer of plastic raw materials, is one of the key factors in the performance of the Italian plastic industry.
But other plastic segments are also doing pretty good. The footwear industry has always been our number one business when it comes to thermoplastic elastomers. Earlier this year, we launched APILON 52 EXP and APILON 52 LIGHT. These thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) materials are soft to the touch, aesthetic and light. We are also addressing sustainability and are putting a strong emphasis on bio-based and biodegradable product solutions for TPE materials.
With regard to overmolding technology or the combination of soft-touch and rigid thermoplastics, the acquisition of API has proven to be a perfect match for Trinseo. The demand for TPE and rigid material combinations continues to grow and in many cases special expertise is required to ensure optimal overmolding adhesion and functionality. Optimal adhesion is best achieved if you have the control and expert knowledge about the technology of both the rigid- and soft-touch plastics. With the new location in Mussolente, we have now gained this in-depth expertise in TPEs.

Can you tell us about the importance and position of the Italian facility in the Trinseo world?

Our Italian facility in Mussolente has a long tradition. Since decades, the manufacturing plant has been active in research, development and production of tailor-made thermoplastic compound materials and elastomers. The facility has long-standing customers and an experienced supplier base.
Since API was acquired by Trinseo in 2017, the Mussolente site continues to offer the complete product range of elastomeric thermoplastics in addition to a portfolio of innovative bioplastics. The facility’s strong position in soft-touch polymers complements Trinseo’s strengths in rigid polymers. The site also accommodates a Specialized Overmolding Center (SOC) for Research, which has been designed to ensure optimal adhesion between TPEs and rigid thermoplastics in accordance with VDI 2019 standards.

2019 is the year of the K, are you pointing on that event?

We will definitely take part in the 2019 Düsseldorf K. The K is the number one event and a great place to meet people. We are looking forward to many interesting talks with customers. We are excited to participate with a broadened portfolio aimed at a much wider customer base. At this year’s K 2019, we’ll focus on sustainability. This commitment to sustainability will be aligned with our corporate and innovation strategy.

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