LIVING INNOVATION: THE NOVOTEC® EFFECT
Keen to promote a creative environment and develop ideas, GELITA has implemented a culture of integral innovation that enables every one of its 2500 employees to contribute to the company’s success. Continuous development in every business area is GELITA’s driving force and a key element of such success. Why? Because every innovation starts with just one thought. Or sometimes just a coincidence…
“We worked with a well-known automotive supplier on heat-resistant ceramic coatings for casting moulds. The ceramic coating should be particularly resistant to thermal shock, so we coated metal sheets with different ceramics, heated them to 300°C and then threw them into water. Each time, of course, it hissed violently. But by chance, a colleague had put a glass containing dissolved protein next to our glass for rinsing, and we accidentally threw the metal sheets into the wrong one. But instead of a hissing noise, there was just a quiet "pluff". We investigated further and realized that our proteins bind effectively to metal and form water-attracting films. That was the beginning of the NOVOTEC® story,” recalls Dr. Matthias Reihmann, Head of Global Product Management Photo/Technical at GELITA.
The discovery of this so-called “NOVOTEC® effect” is a shining example of GELITA’s innovative success and shows the true benefits of its interdisciplinary teamwork. But what exactly is this “NOVOTEC® effect”? It was found that certain functional proteins adhere to a broad range of surfaces, such as metal or glass. Once on the surface, these NOVOTEC® proteins form stable layers through interaction with each other and the surface. The resulting hydrophilic protein layers, attract water to their protein chain network which can be utilized for a new way of surface protection.
Today this way of surface protection is used in cleaners, metalworking fluids and release agents e.g. for die casting. In order to get innovative cleaning formulations, the industry is adding functional NOVOTEC® proteins to their cleaning formulations to provide them with easy-to-clean effects: Dirt is no longer reaching the original surface, but is floating on a water layer bound to the surface by the protective protein film.
GELITA’s performance additive for cleaning products, NOVOTEC® CB800 (Cleaning Biological) is so effective that it massively extends cleaning cycles, and provides savings in terms of water, energy, time and money to both manufacturers and end-users.
The product NOVOTEC® CL800 (Cooling Lubrication) contains similar proteins. These proteins are specifically designed to bind to metals which enhances the performance of metal-working fluids in terms of cooling and lubrication and facilitates subsequent cleaning.
NOVOTEC® CR800an is an ingredient mainly intended for cooling release agents for casting light metals. It has the potential for 30% savings of water, wastewater and release agent while the production time could be decreased by 20%. However, GELITA experts are still working on more ingenious ideas for further possible application areas.
Want to be part of the next innovation process? Please don’t hesitate to contact us.