Speaker interview: Klaus Rathberger, Georg H. Luh
The next speaker interview is with Klaus Rathberger, Managing Director of Georg H. Luh. He is speaking at Compounding World Expo.
Klaus has almost 20 years of experience in the graphite market. He is currently the Managing Director at Georg H. Luh, one of the leading European suppliers of graphite and mica for industrial applications.
What are the biggest challenges facing the market today, and how can this be overcome?
Rapid changes have become “normal” during recent years. The war in Ukraine, the impact of climate change, the pandemic, supply chain issues are just some examples. The lesson seems to be: expect the unexpected.
In your opinion, what do you consider to be the greatest development in your industry in the last decade?
The tremendous increase of demand for graphite in Lithium-ion batteries has created a lot of new players in the market for graphite mining and processing (purification to 99.95% carbon, sophisticated micronising) worldwide. China is still dominant in that market, but this could all change, with a lot of companies moving into that field.
How do you see the sector developing in the next five to ten years?
Due to the unique property combination of graphite (heat conductivity, electrical conductivity, oxidation resistance, lubricating) it has a huge potential to play an important role in key developments of next 5–10 years. Like Lithium-ion, graphite can be used in batteries and fuel cells for energy storage, and other thermal management tasks in the automotive industry and for new energy applications.
You will be speaking at AMI’s plastics industry expos in Europe in September, could you give us a preview on what you will be talking about?
I will be speaking about conductive applications in polymers. This covers thermal management applications as well as bipolar plate compounds and heat exchanging pipes. The presentation will include up-to-date information from a research project currently underway with the SKZ in Würzburg, as well as a new approach to optimize mechanical properties of highly filled graphite compounds.
Klaus Rathberger from Georg H. Luh will be at the Compounding World Expo theatre.