Resin charges battery technology
Elf Atochem North America has developed a binder and separator material specifically for use in Bellcore's plastic lithium-ion recharge-able batteries. Bellcore helped formulate the material, KYNAR POWER-FLEX(R) LBG resin, for its PLiONTM batteries. Components made with the resin remain stable at high voltages and at temperatures as high as 70Cconditions common in today's portable electronic devices, notes Mike Burchill, principal scientist at Elf Atochem's Technical Polymers operations. The batteries can be made into virtually any shape and size, including thin-sheet, foil-like products. Elf Atochem North America: Product Code 4750.
Polyester produces low-emission gelcoats
A resin technology introduced by Neste Polyester incorporates an unsaturated polyester-based polymer with good styrene compatibility. The Maxguard NP resin produces an easily sprayable gelcoat with a low monomer content with up to 50% less VOC emissions. The gelcoats are recommended for fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) applications that require high performance and UV and blister resistance, such as marine, recreational, and automotive vehicles. Due to its low styrene content, the polyester also has improved color retention and gloss. Neste Polyester: Product Code 4752.
Silicone extends spark-plug life
Race cars and street rods face harsh underhood environments. So do their spark plugs. To give the wire and spark-plug boot assemblies it produces longer lives, Taylor-Vertex has turned to a silicone rubber insulation that can withstand extreme temperatures, road debris, oil exposure, salt, water, and aging. The custom-compounded elastomers from Dow Corning STI are color matched and pigmented in an array of bright, heat-stable colors. The fast-acting catalyst in the silicone compound allows the material to be cured in 15 to 30 sec. The silicone's inherent flexibility helps prevent hardening, which keeps the inner jacket of the wires intact to prevent current leakage. Dow Corning STI: Product Code 4751.
Sample sheet enables touch tests
If seeing is believing, design engineers will have a chance to conduct hands-on tests of Bayer Corp.'s latest offerings of Texin(R) thermo-plastic polyurethane (TPU) resins. The resins are currently used to create supple oxygen masks and medical tubing, soft and pliable post-surgical appliances, and a variety of 0plays seven small tubes molded from seven different medical grades of Texin having hardnesses that range from 75 Shore A to 70 Shore D. The sheet also highlights the resins' key benefits plasticizer-free and low incidence of allergic reaction in applications that come in contact with the body. Other features: biocompatibility, sterilizability, abrasion resistance, low extractables, high tensile and tear strength, and chemical resistance. Bayer Corp., Plastics Div.: Product Code 4756.
Grommet reduces fuel-tank punctures
A grommet made of Geolast(R) thermoplastic rubber and polypropylene replaces a metal flange that secures the fuel filler to the vehicle body of the Cadillac Seville. The result: a reduction in weight and cost and easier assembly and disassembly than the previous flange. As an important added benefit, the newly designed part reduces the chance of a fuel-tank puncture in the event of a collision. If the car is hit from the rear, the flexibility of the grommet design allows the filler tube to be pushed out the side of the car instead of toward the tank. The grade 701-70 Shore A Geolast thermoplastic rubber selected for this application provides chemical resistance without swelling in the event of a fuel spill or prolonged exposure to sitting fuel. U.S. Farathane Corp.: Product Code 4753.
Non-halogen TPU retards flames
Estane(R) 58244 thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) from BF Goodrich Performance Material exhibits limited smoke and toxicity generation and good flame retardancy. The material contains no halogens as additives, providing an added environmental advantage. "The V-O rated, 90A polyether non-halogen flame retardant (NHFR) material is a soft compound that is ideal for use in cable jacketing, extruded profile and sheet, and injection-molded parts with a soft feel,'' says Daryl Davis, BFGoodrich commercial manager. A harder com- pound, Estane 58170 TPU, is available for applications that require more impact and abrasion resistance, as well as flame retardancy. Other benefits of the resins include: easy processability, good colorability, UV stability, flexibility, and resiliency across a wide temperature range. BFGoodrich Performance Materials: Product Code 4755.
Elastomers eliminate secondary painting
Teknor Apex has developed pre-colored thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) compounds that don't require painting. The Tekron LM(R) 4300 series has successfully completed molding and mar-resistance trials specified by Daimler Chrysler, GM/Saturn, and Honda for airbag covers. "Because these compounds provide the same resistance to marring and scratching as conventional soft-touch paints for vehicle interiors, they can save OEMs between $1 and $2 per airbag cover,'' reports Charles E. Gates, Teknor Apex industry manager. The compounds have a Shore hardness that ranges from 91 A to 42 D, an elongation of up to 660% at break, and a flexural modulus from 16,000 to 35,000. They come in gray, green, tan, black, brown, or color-matched formulas. Teknor Apex, Plastics Div.: Product Code 4754.