Dätwyler can now produce stackable electroactive polymers on an industrial scale. This has been made possible by its acquisition of CTsystems, which is based in the Greater Zurich Area. The spin-off from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology holds patents for electroactive polymers, which will be transferred to the internationally active industrial group based in the canton of Uri as part of the acquisition. The two companies have been working closely together since 2018.
This innovative future technology has the potential to become a bestselling product line over the long term. Dätwyler’s CEO Dirk Lambrecht commented in an ad-hoc press release: “Our electroactive polymers […] will enable completely new and diverse applications in the car of the future and in the markets of our General Industry business unit. With our strengthened expertise in electroactive polymers, we are a leading supplier for smart-rubber applications.”
Electroactive polymers convert electrical energy into sensitive, versatile mechanical motion via elastic deformation. They can be used to control switches, locks, and valves as well as to operate pumps. Their applications include temperature management in electric vehicle batteries and control of air vents on a dashboard or valves in seats with a pneumatic massage function for drivers and passengers, for example.
Dätwyler has stated that discussions with existing and potential clients as well as initial development projects have shown that both vehicle manufacturers and suppliers are highly interested in these new possibilities. A production facility is currently being built by the group at its existing plant. The first industrial prototypes are expected to be delivered at the start of 2024.