What is your main task as a compounder?
We act as support for the rest of the company on matters concerning quality, but most of our work is about compound recipes. There can be 10-15 ingredients in a rubber compound. They all affect the properties of the compound and they are all there for a reason, so you have to find the right balance to get the right properties.
How is your work organized?
I am given a compound specification from the customer, but if it’s a project to create something new it’s more of a collaboration with the customer. But the goal is always the same: to provide a compound with the qualities that the customer wants.
Are you working on any exciting projects at the moment?
Yes, several. For example, we are in the process of trying to lower the density of a sponge rubber compound. The aim is to modify the compound and make it lighter, while retaining the desired properties – and that’s certainly a challenge!
How is working on rubber compared to plastic?
Rubber is far more interesting than plastic! I worked mainly with polyethylene and all we did was heat it up, change the shape and cool it down again. Rubber is a compound, there are more ingredients and things change in the material during vulcanization – it involves more chemistry