Suslight’s choice of raw materials

Maurijn  |  29 November 2021

Material Suslight consciously chooses aluminium as the basic raw material for its housings. The advantages of aluminium over plastic:

  • Exceptionally good recyclability.
  • Good quality from recycled sources.
  • Impact resistant and strong material.
  • Lasts indefinitely.
  • Beautiful surface treatments for a beautiful result.

Recyclability Contemporary plastic is qualitatively of a better level than 15 years ago. The possibilities for recycling plastic have improved considerably. In addition, the lifespan of many types of plastic can also be called good in an outdoor environment. With the right coating, it can even get a luxurious look. So why does Suslight use aluminium as a basic product and not plastic?

  • Aluminium is infinitely recyclable.
  • Aluminium can be upcycled.
  • Aluminium is an extremely strong and impact-resistant material.
  • Aluminium is extremely suitable for a beautiful long-lasting finish.

Up-cycling Aluminium from a recycled source consumes only one-tenth the energy from a new source. In the recycling process, the process can be set up in such a way that the alloy becomes purer. As a result, aluminium as a raw material always has a value, regardless of its form. Thanks to the non-transmutating properties of aluminium, it can then be reused as new without the new product losing quality. Unfortunately, this is not the case for plastic. There are basically 2 types of plastic: thermoset plastics and thermoplastics. Thermoplastics can be reused. However, thermoplastics deform due to heat and are therefore not suitable for use in housings.

The aluminium Accusation estimates that at least 75% of the aluminium ever produced is still in use. 95% to 98% of the aluminium used in products can be recycled. About 90% of all aluminium used in a car in America is recycled, partly due to the dis-assembly design of cars.

Plastic is often produced on the basis of oil. Oil is a finite resource, combined with the poorer recycling properties of plastic, this leads to a resource with an enormous ecological footprint. Only 9% of all plastic is recycled!

Aluminium vs. thermoplastic Aluminium is itself very strong. Plastic only after which it is connected to other materials (think of fiber and resin combination). Because Suslight basically opts for exceptionally recyclable raw materials, only thermoplastics are an alternative to consider.

Three possible alternatives can be: PDCPD, Phenolic resins & polycarbonate. All these 3 thermoplastics are suitable for outdoor use. The thermoplastic will deform with heat and must be UV-stabilised. That is why different ingredients are added, giving the thermoplastic desirable properties. UV stability is achieved, for example, by adding carbon black. With every addition, the recyclability of the material becomes more difficult. Let alone up-cycling. Thermosets are indeed reused, but in the form of down-cycling. There are currently many techniques that make recycling possible, but require enormous amounts of energy for this. Also, many operations with chemical substances are required that the usefulness of recycling becomes questionable. Especially when compared to aluminium.

Long-lasting beautiful result In addition to the advantages, aluminium is also a beautiful product from an aesthetic point of view. In the first place, with a good surface treatment, the aluminium lasts a very long time (decades). In addition, it is perfect to bring to the desired aesthetic taste. By brushing the surface, a beautiful industrial and stylish look is created. Many types of colours and appearances can be achieved with anodizing and powder coating. All of this can be fitted into existing production techniques, and this offers endless possibilities. This means that Suslight can really give its products the appearance as designed. Not only for the 1st year, but also after 5 years the product still looks great!