Radiopaque filament for 3D printing

Radiopaque filament for 3D printing

The 3D printing as an industrial manufacturing tool is becoming a reality thanks to the extremely fast evolution of not only hardware equipment and control software, but also resins used for the extrusion of filaments.

After the 3D printing stage for the development of prototypes, the market is now beginning to demand materials able to process real functional products also valuable for their technical features, such as electrical conductivity or mechanical performance.
Driven by these requirements, LATI SpA (www.lati.com) decided to deploy its know-how in the field of thermoplastic compounds. The purpose is to create a range of filaments for special use, intended for the most demanding makers in the industrial and professional field.

Nanovia, a specialist company in the world of filaments for 3D printing with filament melting technique, decided to turn to LATI for the development of a compound suitable for the manufacture of X-ray opaque filaments for additive manufacturing in the field of personal care.
LATI successfully proposed its LATIGRAY range material based on suitably modified PLA or PC polymers filled up to 70% by weight with high density ceramics.

The presence of these ceramics ensures variable X-ray opacity to obtain the desired contrast.
Despite the challenging formulation as regards the composition, the filament is flexible and easy to handle and unroll, and is highly suitable for extrusion through the nozzle of the 3D printer.
The melt rheology allows, in fact, the rapid and safe deposition of precise layers without interruptions.
The molded part is compact, with firmly adhering layers without deformation. Despite the high filler content, the quality of the obtained surface, too, is remarkable.

This performance is the result of the joint effort of LATI and its partners in the world of 3D printing, an area that required the review of technological choices and usual production methods for a manufacturer of compounds for injection molding.
LATI’s range of materials for additive manufacturing also includes grades for electrically conductive, self-lubricating, self-extinguishing, and metal detectable filaments.

For further info contact LATI Spa – www.lati.com.

Antistatic belt conveyors with LATISTAT

Antistatic belt conveyors with LATISTAT

There are countless situations in which the presence of electrostatic charges is a problem for both the safety of persons and the integrity and functionality of electrical and electronic devices. It is known that the formation of even high voltage electrostatic potentials may be generated by the fretting of two surfaces made of materials of which at least one is electrically insulating.

To avoid the risks connected with the triboelectric effect described above, the company Dinalager based in Terrassa (Barcelona) has chosen LATISTAT 47/7-03 for the manufacture of the wheels of its minirails used in belt conveyors for the handling of light loads.

The rail consists of a sheet metal guide on which the rings are mounted by means of metal pins in order to obtain a perfect electrical continuity that allows to ground any electrostatic charges. Dinalager’s goal was compliance with the European ATEX standards, which provide for materials a maximum surface resistivity of 10^9 ohm. With LATISTAT 47/7-03, surface resistivity is about 10^2 ohm, so a wide safety margin is available. The selected compound is made from PP copolymer featuring excellent impact resistance, ease of processing, anhygroscopicity, and is suitable for working temperatures up to 80°C.

Antistaticity is obtained by filling the thermoplastic matrix with a special carbon black. The morphology of its particles provides high conductivity with a low filling quantity. This allows to preserve a good part of the mechanical strength of the matrix, which is an essential aspect for a wheel supporting the stresses arising from the handling of packages and the change of feed direction.

LATI’s range of electrically conductive compounds includes several hundreds of grades developed from any thermoplastic polymer modified by the addition of carbon black, graphite, and carbon fibers and nanotubes. LATI engineers are at disposal for advice about the solution that best meets not only electrical project requirements.

Reinforced PPS for precision electronics

Reinforced PPS for precision electronics

The requirements in the field of electronics and telecommunications are ever more stringent with the progress of technological development that characterizes this industry.
From the miniaturization of circuits at high operating temperatures and the integration of functions to the obvious cost containment requirements to keep pace with the mass diffusion of the most advanced engineering: the challenge for designers is always open.

Also in the field of materials, acceptable compromises are becoming less and less, and especially polymers are often required to perform at the limit of application possibilities.
Although all electrical machines and electronic systems are object of miniaturization processes, for inductors and transformers this trend has to come to terms with the ever-increasing performance requirements inevitably involving high operating temperatures.

These are the reasons why F.lli Motta Srl decided to manufacture the spool of a series of transformers on ferrite using the LARTON G/40, a LATI S.p.A. material based on PPS thermoplastic resin with 40% glass fiber reinforcement.
All the components that make up a transformer are subject to a host of equally imperative project requirements.
First, the temperature resistance is set, in this case, at a minimum of 150°C in continuous.
Second, self-extinguishing properties for this project are engineered to meet UL94-V0 at 0.42 mm.

Dimensional stability of the product and the molten compound’s ability to fill even very thin cavities (less than half a millimeter) during the molding process are also fundamental.
Finally, the possibility to insert current-carrying pins without incurring problems of breakage or deformation.
LARTON G/40 is the perfect response to these demands due to the intrinsic self-extinguishing properties of polymer, the excellent thermal performance and resistance to aging that stands comparison even with synthetic materials of the upper price range.
LATI offers PPS-based compounds suitable for every application need and industrial sector: LATI’s engineers and R&D specialists are at disposal to examine any request.

LATIOHM for structural ATEX applications

LATIOHM for structural ATEX applications

The risks inherent to the accumulation of electrostatic charges have long been known and are subject to strict regulations, such as the ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU.
If the effects of an electrical discharge of several thousand volts are dangerous to persons and equipment, they may have devastating consequences in industry, especially in the case of electrical and electronic equipment.

To prevent the formation of high local electric voltages, all parts of the structure to be protected must be properly grounded. This delicate step is a challenge for polymeric materials, since the electrical resistivity of plastics prevents static discharges from ground leakage, thus contributing to the formation of localized electric potentials.

The compounds of the LATIOHM family of LATI S.p.A., www.lati.com, are proposed as a definitive solution to these difficulties due to their formulation using electrically conductive additives able to lower the surface and volume electrical resistivity of the product well below the limits set by the ATEX directive.

This is the reason why the Plastijet company decided to use LATIOHM 62-03 PD01 G/20 for the manufacture of a series of leveling feet for industrial machinery.
The selected compound is a PA6 made electrically conductive by means of carbon fiber, and at the same time it is glass fiber-reinforced.

The feet have not only to ensure the equipment grounding, but also to provide the mechanical strength required to withstand over time the continuously applied static load consisting of the machine weight, without incurring creep phenomena and consequent stability loss.
Besides electrical properties, excellent mechanical performance protects the machinery from all stresses typical of these applications, especially fatigue and vibrations, not to mention excellent appearance, which is now an indispensable factor in even the most technical parts.

The LATIOHM range includes electroconductive compounds also made of high thermal performance resins meeting all requirements in terms of safety and design.

Thermahood chooses Lati flame retardant compound

Thermahood chooses Lati flame retardant compound

UK company Thermahood, based in Co. Down, Northern Ireland, has chosen LATENE 7H2W-V0 flame retardant polypropylene as the ideal material from which to manufacture its innovative plastic Downlight Attic Seals.

Downlight covers already exist in other materials and allow loft insulation to be continued over downlights thereby reducing heat loss and draughts.
The Thermahood Downlight Attic Seal, made from flame retardant polypropylene, uses a combination of unique design and material selection to provide an airtight seal.
This overcomes any risk of condensation as a result of water vapour transmission into cold attic voids, as well as optimizing the sealing properties.
A strong consideration in the choice of material was the UL 94 certification available for the chosen grade of LATENE 7H2W-V0.

The yellow card certification provided by UL shows the excellent self-extinguishing properties of the polymer which has a flame rating of V0 down to a thickness of 0.75 mm.
Also certified by UL is the Relative Thermal Index which shows that the physical properties of the compound are not unacceptably compromised at a continuous use temperature of 115°C.

LATENE 7H2W-V0 is also free from halogenated flame retardant additives, RoHS compliant, and manufactured by Lati Industria Termoplastici S.p.A. whose environmental management system is certified to ISO 14001.

Self-extinguishing compounds and rail industry: a growing dual concept

Self-extinguishing compounds and rail industry: a growing dual concept

Recent innovations in LATI S.p.A. self-extinguishing thermoplastic compounds have caught the interest of designers operating in the world of rail transport.
In this regard, a factor of primary interest is the absence of halogenated flame retardants and red phosphorus that characterizes the new HF1 formulations.

This is an essential first step towards the reduction of danger of fumes produced by the materials in case of fire.

Equally important are the certifications of conformity to the requirements of the European industry standard EN45545, which states for each tested compound the suitability for use inside or outside of the car based on the fire behavior, as well as the opacity and toxicity of fumes produced during combustion.

Consisting of PA66 with 25% glass fiber reinforcement, LATAMID 66 H2 G/25-V0HF1 is one of the materials expected to become most successful in the railway sector due to its environmentally friendly self-extinguishing formulation, excellent mechanical properties, and especially its compliance to Hazard Levels HL1 – HL2 – HL3 set out in the EN 45545 standard for use both inside and outside of the car body (R22-R23).
The German world-leading company in the field of filtration systems for gases and liquids, has chosen LATAMID 66 H2 G/25-V0HF1 for the manufacture of the fastening systems used in filter elements for air purification of train compartments.

The choice was conditioned not only by the material approvals as per EN 45545, but also by the excellent self-extinguishing properties of the compound, i.e. UL94-V0 up to 0.75 mm, and high resistance to static and dynamic mechanical stresses.
Finally, dimensional stability is critical for the fastening system, which consists of brackets for which the absence of deformation and compliance with geometric tolerances is a necessary condition for proper functioning.

V0HF1 compound family includes grades developed on PA66, PBT, and PPA.
In particular, V0HF1 compounds based on PA66 are offered with 25-50% glass fiber reinforcement and UL certification so as to meet even the most demanding mechanical requirements as, for example, in the case of thermoset replacement.

GUIDEnano

GUIDEnano, European research project

GUIDEnano is a European research project funded under the 7th Framework programme developing a web-based guidance tool, which will help the nano-enabled products users to design and apply of the most appropriate risk assessment and mitigation strategy for a specific product.
GUIDEnano will provide a Tool to be used by industry with the aim to complement existing regulations in different frameworks.

By using this Tool, industry will be able to evaluate and efficiently mitigate possible health risks for workers, consumers and the environment associated to the use of nanotechnologies.
The report generated by the GUIDEnano Tool will be designed to ensure transparency of the process and facilitate communication and acceptance of the Tool outcome by regulatory agencies, occupational safety and health agents, insurance companies, and consumer protection associations.

LATI Industria Termoplastici S.p.A. is proud to be part of this International consortium with top level universities, qualified research institutes as well as important industrial partners.

More information can be found on the project website: http://www.guidenano.eu/

Technopolymers and drinking water: Latigloss proposal

Technopolymers and drinking water: Latigloss proposal

Replacement of metal with polymers is now an established process in the sector of drinking water transport.
LATI’s proposal for these markets is represented by LATIGLOSS, a wide family that includes structural grades based on PA66 and PPA with 40 to 60% glass fiber reinforcement, all certified for contact with hot and cold drinking water according to the strictest international NSF, KTW, ACS, and WRAS standards.

IDRAL, an Italian leading manufacturer of sanitary appliances for public environments and communities (schools and kindergartens, gyms, hospitals, etc.), has chosen LATIGLOSS 66 H2 G/50 for the manufacture of the self-closing tap for a new shower panel.
Material performance for this project should be the same as conventional metal solutions, that is, primarily excellent mechanical strength in order to ensure not only safe assembly, but also stability over time and in the presence of hot and cold mains water.

Excellent dimensional stability of products is also extremely important to prevent leakage and ensure the best seal between the linked parts.
Resistance to even hot mains water should also be considered, which is not a trivial aspect for polyamides due to the possible presence of disinfectants containing active chlorine.
Good aesthetic appearance is also a requested feature, which with highly reinforced plastic compounds is often difficult to obtain due to the presence of the fibers, unless the formulation has been optimized to this purpose, as in the case of LATIGLOSS.

The solution offered by IDRAL to the market is IDRALSave – SLIM, a shower panel with a slim, lightweight and modern design, suitable for any bathroom style thanks to the solidity of all its functional, innovative, and reliable parts.
LATIGLOSS compounds were also engineered to provide maximum versatility in converting processes. Molding requires no special equipment or technical measures, and the management of shrinkage and deformation is relatively straightforward.
LATI’s website provides a comprehensive overview of the possibilities offered by LATIGLOSS compounds, and engineers are at disposal for the development of any new project.

Flame-resistant zippers with General Zipp

Flame-resistant zippers with General Zipp

General Zipp is a company specializing in the world of zippers for the clothing industry, also intended for technical applications. So these systems are designed to meet the performance and safety requirements of the different application sectors.

The company’s wide product range includes fire-resistant zippers intended, for example, for the clothing of operators working in the presence of open flames, such as, for example, firefighters. In addition to the flame-retardant requirements, a zipper intended for such a critical use should be mechanically reliable even after exposure to high temperatures, contact with chemical substances, and ill-treatment.
For the manufacture of these zippers, General Zipp has chosen self-extinguishing thermoplastic materials, in which LATI is a leading player. In particular, LATAMID 66 H2 G/25-V0CT1 was chosen for the teeth and sliders, while LATAMID 68 H2-V0 was preferred for accessories.

The two compounds, respectively based on PA66 and PA6.66, offer not only outstanding flame resistance certified by UL94 approvals, but also the strength and toughness required for the safe use of the cloth.
The polyamide base resin ensures the intrinsic self-lubrication, which allows the slider to easily move on the teeth, thus supporting the effectiveness of firefighters at work. Finally, considering the size of the elements composing the zipper, in order to fill the cavities that constitute the teeth, the fluidity of the compound in the molten state is critical.

This is not a trivial peculiarity, since the formulation of LATAMID 66 H2 G/25-V0CT1 includes 25% by weight of glass fiber reinforcement and a considerable amount of self-extinguishing agent. The safety zippers have undergone the necessary type tests in accordance with EN ISO 14166, EN ISO 11612, EN ISO 11611 and EN 469; the latter expressly reserved to fireproof clothing for firefighters.
Certifications are completed by the compliance with the ministerial specifications. Once again, LATI compounds for special purposes prove themselves in an application sector with special technical requirements.

In particular, it is interesting to note that the compounds chosen by General Zipp ensure high performance even in other fields than those for which they were designed, typically the electrical and electronic field, where the high flame resistance is required by the safety standards for live equipment. LATI’s and General Zipp’s engineers are at their customers’ disposal to design the most reliable solutions for their respective industrial sectors.

PPS flow meters for liquid foods

PPS flow meters for liquid foods

LATI is paying close attention to the development of areas related to the food industry, from vending to coffee machines, from the transport of drinking water to food processing.
In order to be present in these markets, many LATI engineering compounds have been certified according to the regulations governing contact with drinking water and food.

DIGMESA, a Swiss leading company in the field of flow sensors, chose LARTON G 40 NAT:0169F1 for the manufacture of the housing and nozzles of a high precision meter meant for large household appliances.
Application requirements are among the most critical, because the material requires not only mechanical properties supporting 20 bar of measured fluids, but also resistance to high temperature, which in this case is between -10° and +100°C. Chemical resistance of base resin is also necessary to safely manage any type of liquid food without the risk of unwanted transfer, pollution or corrosion of the device.

Utmost compliance with dimensional tolerances of each part and coupling is also critical for precision instruments to ensure not only proper machine functioning, but also the absence of leaks and pressure losses.
In these cases, the use of a reinforced structural compound may present uncertainty due to differential shrinkages.

Usually, PPS-based compounds provide the best compromise between mechanical strength and dimensional stability. Hence, LARTON G/40 NAT:0169F1, a branched PPS with 40% glass fiber reinforcement, is the best solution for the project requirements.
This proposal is completed by the NSF51 certification for food contact. LATI’s range of compounds approved for contact with food and water includes not only the PPS described above, but also structural grades based on PP, PA, and PPA. LATI engineers are at disposal for any further information.