Saturday, August 25, 2012

UL Grants RTI Rating to Arkema's Black Kynar® Film Used for PV Backsheet

Arkema Inc. announces that Underwriters Laboratory (UL) has granted a final Relative Thermal Index (RTI) rating of 150°C mechanical and 140°C dielectric for its black Kynar® film, used in the construction of photovoltaic backsheet. This RTI rating is among the highest that has been granted by UL. The new, black version of Kynar® film will enable solar panel module makers to source black Kynar®-based backsheets to produce modules which can be more visually appealing and consistent in color to the dark silicon cells.

The backsheet provides insulation and protection from electric shock. The Kynar® film typically is the outer layer of the backsheet laminate structure, where PET film is used as the primary dielectric layer. However, PET weathering performance and hydrolysis resistance is poor.
"The primary function of the Kynar® film is to protect the PET such that the backsheet does not degrade over the life of the module," said Ron Partridge, senior business development engineer for Arkema's North American fluoropolymers photovoltaic market. "Kynar® film provides outstanding protection for the PET layer and resists degradation because it is extremely resistant to weathering and provides long-term UV protection for the underlying PET film. Kynar® film also resists moisture and environmental pollutants, Partridge noted. The low surface energy of the film provides excellent dirt shedding properties and is inherently resistant to mold and mildew growth," he added.

Kynar® PVDF polymer has been widely used in architectural coatings for more than 40 years and is an exceptional resin for weather-resistant coatings. Kynar® PVDF coatings showed excellent weathering performance after 42 years of continuous exposure in South Florida, based on Arkema's long-term weathering studies. This same weathering performance can be expected from Kynar® film and is seen in very aggressive and accelerated QUV-B weathering tests.
"The excellent thermal stability, coupled with the long-term weathering protection, will provide extremely durable protection for photovoltaic backsheets," said Partridge.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Quadrant to Design & Manufacture Customized PE Multi-flow Grating for 2014 CWG Pools

Quadrant Engineering Plastic Products (EPP) is riding on a wave of medal-worthy achievements, as it celebrates its part in the success of the 2012 Summer Olympics and in the forthcoming 2014 Royal Commonwealth Games in Scotland.

Chosen to design, manufacture and supply the deck pool grating & channel rail system for the three major pools and circular plunge pool at the London 2012 Olympic Park Aquatics Centre, Quadrant has also been awarded the contract for the development and manufacture of the innovative new pool deck grating used at The Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh. The venue will host the diving events for the Glasgow 2014 Royal Commonwealth Games. The grating provides the cover for the front end of the filtration system and substantially increases the return rate of water in all three major competition swimming pools.

Unlike the new build completed for the 2012 Summer Olympics, the Royal Commonwealth pools have been refurbished, presenting a different set of challenges for the Quadrant UK team to overcome.

The team developed custom multi-flow channel and rail grating designed to maximize the return rate of water for the unique design and construction of each pool. The overall dimension of the grating was slightly smaller than that of the Olympic pools, so the grating format was incorporated to cope with the flow of water back into the filtration system.
Polyethylene (PE) was chosen for the parts because of its strength, good chemical and corrosion resistance, and the fact that it is hygienic and easy to clean. Suitable for creating solid corner and angled sections, Quadrant was able to customize the parts according to the project's requirements. Ease of installation and removal were also important considerations for the customer.

The grating is visible around all three major competition pools adding appearance as an important design element in addition to strength and durability.
Stefan Willing, Commercial Director Quadrant EPP Europe, comments: "The multi-flow grating is an excellent product. The material has an extremely low moisture absorption rate and as a result will not swell or de-laminate. It is strong and keeps its "new look" for years to come. For both the Aquatics Centre and Royal Commonwealth Pool, the team worked closely with all parties involved to help give the end client a spectacular and impressive venue. We were all excited to see our work in place at the Olympic Park Aquatics Centre and are proud to be involved in the next Commonwealth Games."
Winning the contract for the Royal Commonwealth pools marks the second prestigious leisure industry-related project for the company and further establishes Quadrant's growing reputation as the authority in solving complex issues relating to the design, development and manufacturing of polymer solutions for various sectors of this industry, in addition to the many demanding markets using Quadrant products.
The £37m refurbishment program included the complete reconstruction of the largest and longest swimming pool in Edinburgh with an eight lane 50 meter pool, 25 meter dive pool & 25 meter training and warm up pool. The pools were used by the British Swimming squad for training in July 2012, ahead of the London Olympics. Originally opened in January 1970 by Princess Anne, the venue has already hosted two Commonwealth Games. It was closed for major refurbishment in June 2009, and officially reopened by former Olympic swimming champion David Wilkie in April 2012.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

VICTREX® 90-Series PEEK Eliminates Use of Metals, Thermosets & Ceramics in High-end Markets

Aerospace, automotive, and electronics engineers have been tasked with finding material solutions that can reduce weight, improve functionality, and help consolidate or miniaturize parts in some of the most demanding environments. VICTREX® 90-Series high flow PEEK polymers were developed specifically for thin-walled, intricate component applications and offer higher mechanical properties with improvements in modulus, toughness, and coefficient of thermal expansion. Available in unfilled, carbon and glass-filled grades, these specialty polymers help facilitate the replacement of metals, thermosets, and ceramics due to their ability to reduce weight up to 80% and improve reliability due to their inherent thermal and mechanical properties.
When Mold Craft, a mold designer that specializes in small, intricate components, was challenged with molding a funnel tip with a 0.038cm (0.015in) wall by 0.945cm (0.372in) long followed by a 0.020cm (0.008in) wall by 0.254cm (0.100in) long, they selected VICTREX 90G as their material of choice for the application. According to Justin McPhee, Vice President of Engineering for Mold Craft, "the VICTREX 90G materials was chosen due to its high strength properties and the polymer's extremely high melt flow." As this was no easy task for the designer and molder, Mold Craft worked hand-in-hand with Victrex during the design and process development phases of the program. "There was much work done by Victrex in defining the exact material to use and supporting us to get the temperatures correct to optimize the parts. With their assistance, we were able to build an application that is working well for the customer," says McPhee.
VICTREX 90-Series polymers are widely specified in applications like brackets, clamps, stand-offs and fasteners for the aerospace industry due to the significant weight savings achieved that increase the fuel economy of the aircraft. Automotive bearings and bushings made fromPEEK thermoplastics also help to reduce vehicle weight and have no creep deformation after running at 5,000 RPM continuously for more than 2,000 hours, which improves the overall fuel economy and reliability of the vehicle. In electronics, VICTREX 90-Series grades are used in connectors, capacitors, sensors, bobbins and switches due to lower outgassing, increased ductility, higher knit line strength, and the ability to withstand the lead-free soldering process which can reach temperatures up to 280°C (536°F).

With higher filler loadings, up to 60% of the total polymer weight, the VICTREX 90-Series grades are outperforming materials like liquid crystal polymers (LCP), polyphenylenesulfides (PPS), and ceramics because of their enhanced mechanical properties and toughness. Also, these highly-filled PEEK compounds have similar, or sometimes lower, viscosities versus LCP, PPS, and epoxy thermosets. This leads to shorter cycle times and lower manufacturing costs due to faster crystallization and smoother melt flow during the injection molding process. VICTREX PEEK polymers exhibit outstanding chemical and hydrolysis resistance including showing no loss of tensile or flexural strength after conditioning at 200°C (392°F) in 1.4MPa (203psi) steam for over 2,500 hours. VICTREX 90-Series PEEK also shows very consistent electrical properties after high temperature exposure.

For supply assurance and peace of mind for engineers, designers and sourcing professionals, Victrex has the ability to provide PEEK polymers at a time when many other polymer manufacturers are struggling to keep up with customer demand. Victrex has a proven track record of investing in capacity ahead of demand, creating a stable supply position for its global customers. Victrex offers delivery for its standard products used in the transportation and electronics markets including VICTREX 90G, 90GL30, 90GL60, 90HMF20, and 90HMF40 with a maximum lead time of 5-7 days around the globe.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Luxfer Acquires Dynetek to Expand CNG Presence

Luxfer Holdings PLC (Luxfer Group), the global materials technology company serving the environmental, healthcare and protection markets, has entered into an arrangement agreement with Dynetek Industries Ltd. (Dynetek) to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Dynetek. The Dynetek board of directors, led by Executive Chairman Douglas Pigot, has unanimously recommended that Dynetek shareholders approve the transaction.
Luxfer Group is a manufacturer of high-pressure gas cylinders through its Luxfer Gas Cylinders division. Six manufacturing plants in the US, UK, France, China and a joint venture in India produce cylinders for a diverse range of applications, including containment of compressed natural gas (CNG).
Dynetek produces CNG cylinders and alternative fuel (AF) systems for buses and heavy-goods vehicles and is a global authority on portable hydrogen containment. The company operates manufacturing facilities in Canada and Germany. Dynetek’s 2011 sales revenue was just under USD 26 million.
Brian Purves, CEO of Luxfer Group, said: “The area of alternative fuel systems and transportation modules is one of the strongest growing sectors of the gas containment industry, and the acquisition of Dynetek’s intellectual property, strong brand in this area and manufacturing capacity, coupled with Luxfer’s expertise in large-scale production techniques and global distribution, will help Luxfer Group to maximise its presence in, and improve the economics of, this growing market.”

Friday, August 3, 2012

igus Presents Metal Detectable igubal® Plastic Bearings to Prevent Food Contamination

One way to effectively protect food from metal-particle contamination is to install an electric metal detector. Any goods affected are then rejected.
Plastic bearing expert igus®, located in East Providence, Rhode Island, has developed its range of available self-aligning bearing materials to meet this requirement. At this year's Hannover Industrial Fair in Hanover, Germany, igus presented a new extension to its igubal® product line; a polymer material that can be recognized by metal detectors. The complete igubal® range includes lubrication and maintenance-free rod end bearings and clevis joints, flanged units, press-fit and pedestal bearings. Both the housing and spherical balls are made from detectable plastic. Standard metal-detection systems can detect all potential plastic residues, even down to the tiniest particle, and then select these for rejection.
The self-adjusting bearings are manufactured completely from tribo-optimized polymers. They are easy to install, adjust to all angular misalignments and can replace metallic components in many applications. igubal bearings from igus are up to 80 percent lighter than traditional metal bearings, allowing machines and systems to work more efficiently and the number of duty cycles to be significantly increased.

The detectable bearings are dry running, unaffected by dirt and dust contamination, can operate in liquids and a variety of chemicals, and are corrosion resistant. Application temperatures can range from -40° to 176° Fahrenheit. In addition, the components can absorb very high forces. This is due to the fact that the plastic material of the two-part combined bearings can absorb vibrations, in contrast to their steel counterparts.
igubal spherical bearings from igus are a unique solution for a wide array of industries such as packaging, sports equipment, food processing, and automotive manufacturing. Frequently, other alternatives such as roller bearings fail prematurely and may require readjustment, reaming or retrofitting to compensate for alignment errors. igubal spherical bearings eradicate the need for exact placement of shafts and housing, making them an ideal solution for simple to even the most complex designs.
igus, igubal, Energy Chain, Chainflex, iglide, and DryLin are registered trademarks of igus Inc. All other company names and products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companie

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

LANXESS Offers High-tech Rubber & PA Products for Athletes Participating in Olympic Games 2012

Faster, higher, stronger! In 2012, the UK capital of London will, for the third time, embrace the Olympic motto. When some 15,000 athletes from all over the world congregate in London to battle it out for medals in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, LANXESS products generally will not be very far away. Specialty chemicals are found in balls, mats, running tracks, gym floors, shoes and much more. They make sure that the athletes can trust their equipment. Without LANXESS products, top performances and world records would often simply not be possible.

High-tech shoes

The most important equipment for a runner is the shoes. Today's shoes use a technology similar to that used in modern, fuel-saving tires: "Silica technology that gives the tires good grip and makes them economical also ensures that the soles of the running shoes have good grip on a wet track," says Martin Mezger, a rubber expert at LANXESS. The LANXESS material is called Krynac: It is particularly durable, flexible — and popular. Long-distance runners, in particular, also need special damping properties. "With each step, the loads can amount to around three times the body weight," says Mezger. "Over a long period, that puts enormous pressure on the joints." To serve as a cushion between the foot and the ground, the midsoles are made of state-of-the-art, high-performance rubber. Levapren from LANXESS is one such material. This ethylene vinyl acetate rubber (EVM) has a springy, stabilizing effect. "Depending on the running style, softer material is often used for damping in the heel region, while more elastic material is used on the ball of the foot to ensure that as little kinetic energy as possible is lost," explains Mezger. Every shoe manufacturer has its own recipe for success, and all the big names use LANXESS components.

Hot tires

Anyone bidding for a place on the podium in disciplines performed with two, three or four wheels is particularly dependent on LANXESS technology. This includes track cyclists, mountain bikers, triathletes and BMX riders as well as the wheelchair athletes in the Paralympic Games, whether in fencing, basketball, rugby, tennis or track & field. As with the running shoes, a lot is inspired by modern-day car tires. The high-tech casing of the wheelchair wheels, for example, does not leave black streaks and smears on the gym floors thanks to the use of silica rather than carbon black in the material compound. They are also exceptionally abrasion-resistant, offer optimal grip even in wet conditions, and reduce rolling resistance.

Always on the ball

Of the 60 or so Olympic and Paralympic disciplines, around one third of them use a ball of some kind: from beach volleyball to tennis, from wheelchair rugby to water polo; even rhythmic gymnastics do not get by without a ball. Butyl rubber (BTR) is a LANXESS specialty and the material of choice for the bladder in all types of balls. The synthetic rubber is particularly impermeable to moisture and air, which is why it is used, for example, in car tires, bicycle inner tubes and balls when it is important to keep moisture out and air in.

Color in the stands

Spectators in the stadiums frequently find themselves sitting on LANXESS products, as Durethan polyamide is used to for the production of stadium seats. A seat of this kind has to be able to withstand a weight of up to 600 kg just in case a jubilant fan decides to jump up and down on it. It also needs to be immune to the effects of hail, ice, rain, snow and long periods of sunshine. The shells, which are produced in one piece by injection molding, have no dangerous edges or seams. And through combination with other LANXESS products such as Macrolex, Levagard and Disflamoll, they are not only colorful and attractive; they also have outstanding flame retardance.

On your mark...

Whether tennis, soccer or hockey, top-quality sports are simply impossible on a poor pitch. With the arrival of artificial turf and modern hard court coverings, the athletes no longer have to worry about unpleasant surprises. Since the end of the 1980s, for example, professional field hockey has been played exclusively on artificial turf. The perfectly even playing field allows a faster game and better ball control. Polymers such as polypropylene have proved ideal for the artificial blades of grass, and, to ensure they stay green despite the rain and sunshine, many manufacturers opt for the inorganic pigments Bayferrox or Colortherm from LANXESS. Furthermore, Keltan granules are incorporated into some artificial turf surfaces. The ethylene propylene rubber (EPDM) makes the substrate softer and reduces the risk of injury.

Soft landing

In some track & field disciplines, gymnastics and the martial arts, the contestants are also protected by mats made of an EPDM rubber or Levapren ethylene vinyl acetate rubber. The mats protect the athletes from hitting the ground too hard. While EPDM rubber is used in conjunction with other plastics — for example in running tracks — Levapren is also used in gym floors, where it provides both double protection in the form of slip resistance and flame retardance.