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Innovation | engineering thermoplastics


Above: A 15% glass reinforced grade of DuPont’s Sorona part-renewable polyester is used in this single-use biopsy punch from DTR Medical


flammability rating at 2.0 mm (V-1 at 1.5 mm). DuPont recently demonstrated the first application


for its Sorona partially bio-based polyester (poly trimethylene terephthalate, PTT) in a medical applica- tion. Sorona, which contains up to 37% renewable material made using a renewably sourced propanediol (PDO) derived from starch, is specified in six compo- nents in a Cervical Rotating Biopsy Punch made by DTR Medical, a leading manufacturer of single-use surgical instruments. The grade used incorporates 15% glass reinforcement for high strength and stiffness. Further attributes of Sorona in this application include resist- ance to gamma sterilisation and good dimensional stability, DuPont says. DTR Medical managing director Andrew Davidson says: “The surface finish of the handle is fundamental for instrument quality, replacing stainless steel and for good grip in the clinical setting. The part must deliver durable mechanical performance in use throughout the five year shelf life and the benefit of renewably sourced material is an added advantage for a single-use manufacturer.”


Electrical moves The Bayblend FR4000 series from Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) is a new generation of polycarbonate/ABS blends incorporating a more environmentally-friendly flame retardant package. The company has not disclosed details of the flame retardant system but claims that it offers better flame retardance performance than conventional PC/ABS blends. All FR4000 series products are said to display high thermal stability and can withstand high mechanical loads. BMS sees potential applications for the FR4000


blends in thin-walled components for the electrical and electronics industries, such as laptop housings. It says the grades show excellent resistance to hydrolytic degradation along with exceptionally good resistance to chemicals such as fatty acids and hydrocarbons. The material also possesses very high UV stability and notched impact strength is improved. In glow wire flammability tests according to IEC


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60695-2-12, FR4000 grades meet the requirements at the maximum glow wire temperature of 960°C and burn only briefly. They achieve a UL 94 V-0 rating at 1.5 mm. One variant of the material has been designed with good chemical resistance and low-temperature impact strength in mind, making it well-suited for encapsulating lithium- ion batteries in electric vehicles. A fibre-reinforced blend with very high stiffness and strength (elasticity modulus ≥4.2 GPa) is said to be suitable for use in large structural components with low wall thicknesses in some places. A third grade has particularly good heat resistance (ball pressure test ≥125°C, IEC 60695-10-2). BASF has just added its first carbon fibre-reinforced


grade of Ultradur PBT – B4300 C3 L3 – to its portfolio. The 15% reinforced grade features low electrostatic charge along with good conductivity, making it particu- larly suitable for automotive electronics. Duranex 475EV is a flame retardant impact resistant


grade of PBT from Japan’s Polyplastics, which the company is targeting at electric and hybrid vehicle applications due to its good balance of mechanical and electrical properties together with resistance to heat and chemicals. “Connectors used for charging electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles as well as in-vehicle connectors need to conform to UL 2251. Because the usage environment is often outdoors, it is difficult for plastics to be applied to these applications. Duranex 457EV satisfies the standard,” says the company.


In particular, Polyplastics says the new grade attains the highest ranking level of tracking resistance (Performance Level Category 0) with its CTI of 600V, making it safe for high voltage components. The grade has also obtained F1 certification under the UL746C standard for safety of polymer-


July 2015 | COMPOUNDING WORLD 75 Below: Part


consolidation was a key


factor in the switch to


Technyl resin by Mahle for its oil modules


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