Canadian Plastics

Coming to North America

Canadian Plastics   

Canadian Plastics Materials

Having made its name in the Indo-Pacific region, Bralco Advanced Materials is now offering its EMI-shielding thermoplastic polymers to processors in Canada and the U.S.

EMI gaskets for enclosures. Photo Credit: Bralco Advanced Materials Pte. Ltd.

Woody Allen once said that 80 per cent of success is just showing up. In that vein, a thermoplastic material supplier with a proven track record in the Indo-Pacific region is now hoping to make a big mark with molders in Canada and the U.S. by showing up here.

Bralco Advanced Materials Pte. Ltd., based out of Singapore and India, is a functional materials manufacturing specialist that designs, develops, and manufactures electromagnetic, electrostatic dissipative, and carbon fibre-reinforced structural composites using advanced ceramic and magnetic materials. For plastics processors involved in the automotive, space, aerospace, and 5G telecommunications industries – of which there are a great many – the firm offers a range of thermoplastics materials designed to combat one of the great enemies of successful part molding: static electricity that damages electrostatic-sensitive devices (ESD) and can even cause accidental ignition of flammable liquids or gases. “Electromagnetic interference, or EMI, happens when an outside source causes noise or interference in an electrical path or circuit,” said Bralco’s founder and CEO Amit Nanavati. “EMI can be generated from various things – such as wireless signals, electronic components, and power lines – and can disrupt the proper functioning of sensitive equipment. For electronic components that go into interconnected devices, EMI poses a big challenge to product performance, with consequences ranging from erroneous readings to permanent damage resulting in excessive equipment downtime and costly repair or total part replacement. Our EMI shielding materials, along with our ESD dissipative coatings, provide the protection that sensitive electronics need.”


Nanavati – who has a background in international business and material science – founded Bralco in Singapore in 2015, and the company has built a solid reputation working with some of the biggest automakers in India, including Suzuki and Toyota, to reduce part weight and enhance performance with customized functional materials. In 2019, the firm took a big step beyond the auto sector when it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with GE subsidiary GE Additive to develop 3D-printed magnets for applications in the aerospace, EVs, medical, energy, industrial automation, and robotics industries. The MoU led Bralco to establish a research and development lab and product innovation centre in Singapore and set the stage for the company to become a service provider for magnetic 3D printing components in the Asia-Pacific region. “We developed and obtained a patent for a process to additively manufacture magnetic materials and evolved into solving more general EMI part design problems,” Nanavati said. “And this led us into functional thermoplastic materials: We developed an EMI solution that uses ABS polymer as base matrix material and reinforced it with different EMI powder fillers to make it a more functional material. It’s available as filaments for 3D printing and pellets for injection molding, and additionally offers ESD and fire safety protection for automotive, electronics, aerospace, and other components.”


Staffed by a team of scientists and engineers with diverse backgrounds in material science, engineering, and technology, Bralco currently offers customized thermoplastic materials for a wide range of electronic applications, including high-temperature thermoplastics for components for the space sector; EMI shielding solutions for electronic, medical, and aerospace parts; and solutions for automotive applications. “All of the properties of our materials are customizable, including elasticity and shore hardness, which is something our competitors don’t offer,” Nanavati said. “This level of customization involves a lot of discussion with the customer up front to learn about what properties they need, and we’re happy to do it.”

With a firm foothold in the Indo-Pacific region, Nanavati said, Bralco is now ready to expand into North America, and has a careful strategy to do it. First, the company has put boots on the ground by hiring Emil Radoslav, who’s based in southern Ontario, as its director of strategic partnerships. Second, it has begun attending North American trade shows, beginning with the Detroit Auto Show in September 2023. “Just before that, in June 2023, Amit and I met with some Canadian federal leaders, including Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, to discuss how our materials can be used in Canada’s space, aerospace, automotive, and 5G telecom industries; and also discussed our plans for establishing a technology centre somewhere in Canada,” Radoslav said. “And in February of this year, we met with senior level defense personnel of the Office of Naval Research, within the United States Department of the Navy, at a meeting organized by the Singapore Space & Technology Ltd. space organization.”


Although they’re already casting a wide net, Bralco plans to target the auto industry initially, Nanavati said, to build up a North American customer base. “A good entry point for us is working with auto part molders on applications like battery casings,” he explained. “Once we get some traction in North America through automotive, where we can show proven success with components for Toyota and Suzuki, we want to expand into the aerospace components, satellite components, interior components for spacecraft, and defense electronics sectors, where we believe our ability to customize our materials will set us apart.”

And Bralco’s having selected a Canadian as its first representative in North America was no accident. “The U.S. is a bigger market than Canada, obviously, so we expect to do more business in the U.S., but we definitely want to keep Canada in focus,” Nanavati said. “I used to live in Canada, and I really like the country and I know it well.”

Bralco still does all its product development in Singapore and its industrial-scale manufacturing in Ahmedabad, India, and India currently remains its core market. “We have a very good standing in India, with reputable, regular customers, but we’re ready to take the next step, which is expansion into North America,” Nanavati said. “Electronic parts are becoming smaller and denser as far as the location of the chips and other electronic components in interconnected devices, and this proximity creates EMI issues that can hurt product performance. From ESD protection that prevents signal disruption to fire resistance and structural reinforcement, our materials can help ensure that products meet the highest standards of performance and safety.”

For Bralco, then, the plan isn’t just to show up in North America, but to put in the work to become a specialty material supplier of choice.


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