Sustainability played an important part when Maltese chose recyclable Recoboard from Diab for their new plugs.
Providing cutting-edge technology and quality products and services, Maltese is a leading manufacturer of plugs and moulds for the Glass Fibre Reinforced Plastic (GRP) industry, especially within marine applications. The company, with its head office in Naples, Italy, believes in a careful choice of the best materials and adds true professionalism and expertise to its offer. With extensive experience and a passion for boatbuilding, Diab explains that Maltese’s products form an international benchmark in the industry. Thanks to innovative technologies that allow for quickly made moulds, it is possible for shipbuilders to decide the design of a complete boat hull and deck in a very short time. The models can be checked for flaws before the shipbuilder invests in a high-volume mould, hence saving time and money.
Diab says that Maltese is already using its core material for its production of composite moulds, so the company decided to try a new kind of material for its plug production. The project was focused on the substitution of a standard EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) foam material. The core product formed the base of the plug, but Maltese wanted to try to replace it with a more sustainable product that could easily be recycled. Diab, through its distributor Chimpex Industriale, proposed the Recoboard. “We started to cooperate with Diab experts directly in this project and our joint focus was sustainability,” says Mr Palombo, General Manager at Maltese.
Maltese used blocks of Recoboard and glued them together to create a cubic structure. The large cube was subsequently trimmed with CNC machinery to ensure the correct geometry of the plug. When the base had been trimmed to exact measurement, structural paste for the plugs were spread on top and trimmed again to reach a high-quality finishing gloss.
The goal to achieve a more sustainable product was successful, but the recycled material turned out to offer other advantages as well, such as superior stiffness and stability. Says Mr Palombo, General Manager, “Diab sold a sustainable product to Maltese, and Maltese produced a sustainable product for the market.”