A simple yet technically sophisticated household item shows how playfulness, design and functionality can be combined with engineering plastics: the foldable trivet Krempel® from oha-design, Germany. This kitchen helper consists of four flexible, flat plastic strips, which are connected to each other with rivet joints. By pushing or pulling the original flat shape, it can be turned inside out or bent in a variety of ways to create stable, three-dimensional shapes like a circle, pillow or fish. The company oha-design is now using the high-performance plastic Ultrason® P to produce the extremely loadable plastic strips. The polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) from BASF ensures that the trivet always retains its shape, is flame retardant and can be easily cleaned in a dishwasher.
In order to ensure that the lightweight Krempel® is flat and flexible, but also dimensionally stable and durable, the materials used must interact well: In addition to Ultrason® P, the trivet also consists of stainless steel rivets and silicone disks, which make it slip-resistant. Due to the PPSU, the trivet is characterized by high temperature resistance, good flexibility and recovery, very good notched impact strength and high chemical resistance. The multi-functional trivet cannot only be employed for domestic use, but also in catering and camping – just like Ultrason® P, which is suitable for durable and safe components in household appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, air fryers, food processors, coffee machines and juicers, but also for catering and microwave dishes: It is temperature resistant up to 220°C, tough and shatter-proof, yet light and flexible as well as resistant to oils and cleaning agents. Ultrason® P is approved for food contact and can also be processed into transparent or opaque components such as refrigerator drawers or display covers.
“For a year and a half I puzzled over it, experimented with wood and metal and finally implemented the Krempel® in plastic,” says Andreas Anetseder, owner of oha-Design and inventor of the Krempel®. “By the time it was ready for serial production, I had learned a lot about plastics – and also that, even with such an apparently simple design object, everything has to fit together perfectly: the properties and thickness of the materials, the diameter of the disks and rivets as well as the exact processing in injection molding. Only then can the trivet be turned into different shapes in this astonishing way, as if by magic.” The name, too, contributed to the success of the design object, which was awarded the German Design Award in 2017: “There’s always room for a bit of irony. The name Krempel is not only derived from the German verb ‘krempeln’ meaning ‘to fold’ or 'to roll something up', but also from the noun ‘Krempel’, meaning useless household items or stuff. Hopefully that’s not the case for the Krempel® trivet, even if you don't just use it in the kitchen, but simply fool around with it,” says Anetseder.
The playful adaptability also has a function: The Krempel® can be adapted to different saucepan sizes and shapes with diameters between 13 and 28 cm. In its flat starting shape, the Krempel® is designed to fit in conventional drawers – or can simply be hung up on a kitchen unit.
Ultrason® is the trade name for BASF’s product range of polyethersulfone (Ultrason® E), polysulfone (Ultrason® S) and polyphenylsulfone (Ultrason® P). The high-performance material is used to manufacture lightweight components in the electronics, automotive and aerospace industries, but also in water-filtration membranes and in parts that come into contact with hot water and food. Because of their extraordinary property profile the Ultrason® brands can substitute thermosets, metals and ceramics.
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About BASF’s Performance Materials division
BASF’s Performance Materials division encompasses the entire materials’ know-how of BASF regarding innovative, customized plastics under one roof. Globally active in four major industry sectors – transportation, construction, industrial applications and consumer goods – the division has a strong portfolio of products and services combined with a deep understanding of application-oriented system solutions. Key drivers of profitability and growth are our close collaboration with customers and a clear focus on solutions. Strong capabilities in R&D provide the basis to develop innovative products and applications. In 2018, the Performance Materials division achieved global sales of €7.65 bn. More information online: www.plastics.basf.com.
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 122,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of around €63 billion in 2018. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at www.basf.com.