Interesting applications prove that selecting the right material can help improve product quality.
There are so many new materials being launched on a regular basis that it is challenging to keep up with them. Here are a few examples that describe innovative uses of a variety of materials. For instance, Sabic Innovative Plastics and Motorola co-developed Lexan EXL 8414 polycarbonate (PC) resin. It is a sustainable, high-tech, and custom thermoplastic resin made specifically for Motorola’s MOTO W233 Renew mobile phone – the first certified carbon neutral device. The eco-engineered product contains up to 24% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content from discarded water bottles.
The MOTO W233 Renew phone housing is 100% recyclable. One million Renew phones will prevent plastic water bottles from entering landfills.
The new phone is the first one to incorporate PCR plastic. Lexan EXL 8414 resin production uses 20% less energy versus standard processes. It is also resistant to impact, temperature extremes, and harsh weather. Its flow properties enable thinner wall designs for today’s ever-smaller electronics Sabic claims it can co-develop similar customized resins for other portable consumer electronic applications including personal digital assistants (PDAs), laptop computers, digital cameras, gaming devices, and other mobility and hand-held gizmos.
Sabic Innovative Plastic helps Gocycle cruise to success with durable parts made from lightweight LNP Verton specialty compound.
Sabic also announced that its customer Karbon Kinetics Ltd (KKL) used Sabic’s Verton RV00CE specialty compound to make parts for its Gocycle electric bicycle – the world’s most lightweight electric bike. Components made with the compound include the front fork/controller plug, Pitstopwheel hub attachments, tolerance ring and wave spring applications, and the rear shock absorber.
Ocean Images & Co. perfected the process for precision molding by using high-performance polyurethanes to reduce weight, optimize function, and improve durability of its underwater video cameras. The polyurethanes from Innovative Polymers produce robust housing components that can reportedly withstand exposure to corrosive marine environments and underwater pressures at depths of up to 200 ft.
Ocean Images & Co. reports that polyurethanes support its ability to quickly produce high quality housings for a variety of new underwater cameras. Aluminum housings are sometimes heavier and more cumbersome for photographers to handle than polyurethane housings.
The IE-70D black polyurethane resin and hardener are mixed in a 2:1 resin:hardener ratio and vacuum degassed to remove air bubbles that might cause voids in the final housing. The low-viscosity product is poured into a silicone mold and the filled mold is placed into a pressure tank where the housing cures at 60 psi room temperature for approximately three hours. When the housing is fully cured, the mold is opened and a hydraulic press removes the core. The cured polyurethane has a Shore 70D hardness, flexural modulus of 250,000 psi, notched Izod impact strength of 0.5 ft-lb/in., and tensile strength of 5,300 psi.
The federal German printing office, or Bundesdruckerei Group, developed a process called Innosec Fusion to tamper-proof identification cards. It uses raw materials from Bayer MaterialScience including Mikrofol, a polycarbonate film, combined with special inks derived from polycarbonates. Innosec Fusion uses a digital printing process that yields high color brilliance. Color motifs are applied to a core film. The ink creates a bond between the print image and the surface of the film. The film is laminated with overlays without the use of adhesives. The individual layers of film form a “single slice” of polycarbonate. The layers cannot be separated from one another without destroying the whole card.
Counterfeiters are unable to access the inner layer where all the information is stored. The new technology can also be combined with laser engraving to add an extra dimension of protection. The mechanical and thermal properties of the polycarbonate films used to ensure the cards have good resistance to general wear and tear. It is reported that they remain tough even when exposed to low temperatures.
Other news and product updates
Huntsman Advanced Materials recently introduced Araldite EP1000 A/B epoxy adhesive. It is a two-part paste with a 2:1 mix ratio and low viscosity that makes for easy handling. The product is supplied in dual-barrel cartridge mixing kits for waste-free application. The product is heat-resistant to 212° F (100° C).
It reaches a stable maximum glass transition temperature after gelling at room temperature followed by a mild heat cure. It requires no autoclave cycling. Once cured, the company claims that the product has a very high lap shear strength and good peel strength. It also maintains approximately 90% of its shear strength after exposure to aviation fuels and hydraulic
fluids. It retains approximately 25-30% of its physical properties at temperatures of up to 300° F (150° C).
In addition, Huntsman and GrafTech International Holdings co-developed fuel cell resin systems as part of a US Department of Energy sponsored program. The resins meet requirements for use in manufacturing graphite composite fuel cells for large scale production of automotive, stationary power, and back-up power applications. For automotive fuel cells, Huntsman created a benzoxazine resin for building bipolar plates with good corrosion resistance, low contact resistance, high thermal conductivity, and an extended operating life at high temperatures. The system is based on a phenolic-like substance and operates at a continuous temperature of 248° F (120° C).
For stationary power and back-up power applications, Huntsman developed a flame-resistant bismaleimide resin. It is for fuel cells that operate at temperatures of up to 356° F (180° C) in concentrated phosphoric acid. The product is said to have good thermal and electrical conductivity, low ionic content, and can be applied in continuous high volume manufacturing processes using conventional prepregging techniques. The fuel cells are expected to be available in late 2009/early 2010.
Enhanced polytetrafluoroethylenes (PTFEs)
Products manufactured by Bal Seal Engineering can help solve sealing and connecting issues in medical devices. The company uses SP45, a general purpose, wear-resistance, polymer-filled PTFE material. It has a low abrasion effect on mating parts and its high pressure/velocity (PV) values make it suitable for sealing most media including liquids and gases at high speeds and low pressures. This material is recommended for applications where temperatures range from -320° F (-196° C) to +475° F (+246° C). SP45DT, a variation of SP45, is heat-treated to relieve or redistribute stress and add dimensional stability.
A seal made with Bal Seal’s polymer-filled PTFE sealing material SP45 is used to ensure proper pressurization and protect against motor damage caused by leakage in an insulin pump application.
Master Bond UV22 is a nanosilica reinforced, UV curable epoxy system that offers a combination of properties that are apparently not available in conventional epoxy systems. The nano-sized filler (<50 nm) gives the cured system good abrasion resistance, optical clarity, low shrinkage, and good physical strength properties. It has a low viscosity of 4,600 psi and its tensile modus is greater than 500,000 psi.
Master Bond’s UV22 epoxy is a single component system and requires no mixing.
The product cures rapidly upon exposure to UV light at room temperatures. It has a low coefficient of thermal expansion and is said to be a superior electrical insulator. The company claims that post curing, UV22 enhances its temperature and chemical resistance properties. For example, post curing at 90-125° C for 30 min. will give it a glass transition temperature of greater than 120° C. Its ability to withstand exposure to solvents, acids, and bases is also greatly improved. UV22 has a service temperature range of -60° F to +300° F.
The manufacturer reports that the product is easy to apply and is available for use in syringe applicators. Environmentally friendly, UV22 is solvent-free and not oxygen inhibited. It is also available in a specially formulated, dual-cure version called UV22DC, which can be cured by UV light or by the application of heat.
Sabic Innovative Plastics
Ocean Images & Co.
Huntsman Advanced Materials
Filed Under: Materials • advanced