Metal detector and X-rays: a comprehensive detection system

Metal detector and X-rays: a comprehensive detection system

LATI’s experience in detectability arises from intensive development of compounds with strong paramagnetic and ferromagnetic behavior.

Based on the excellent market acceptance of MDT compounds (Magnetically Detectable Thermoplastics), LATI’s R&D engineers have pushed forward the frontiers of detectability of plastic elements by formulating a new family of materials that offer both traceability in the presence of a magnetic field and opacity to X-rays.

Double detection is a common requirement in the pharmaceutical field, where the absence of any kind of contaminants is of paramount importance, and for this reason different safety measures are taken at the same time.
X-ray and magnetic detection at the same time are also recommended in the traceability of materials placed underground, such as electrical enclosures or special purpose enclosures.

The new products, called MDT09, are available on any base resin and keep the properties of many LATI MDT grades, including the suitability for food contact.
Despite the presence of special mineral fillers, MDT09 products provide excellent colorability and are formulated so as to provide laser markability.

Thanks to these non-common features, these materials are well suited to the most various application requirements, including the manufacture of identifying elements based on the color or presence of bar or alphanumeric codes.
Mechanical properties, too, remain excellent among filled compounds, with elongation at break and impact resistance exceeding, respectively, 10% and 17 kJ/m2 (unnotched charpy) in the PPh-based version.

MDT product range includes today over ten different formulations ranging from the simple detectability of 05 grades to the strong paramagnetic behavior of MDT16.

3D printing: LATI electrically conductive filament

3D printing: LATI electrically conductive filament

LATI recently decided to invest its own know-how in engineering thermoplastic compounds in the world of 3D printing, an exponentially growing sector with a future that is still in full evolution.

The collaboration with Ciceri de Mondel (Filoalfa) was born out of this inspiration and aims to design innovative materials for the production of filaments for frontier applications.
Products developed from this fusion of knowledge should be accessible to both the industrial and consumer market in order to ensure the feasibility of molded parts with not only a good aesthetic appearance, but also advanced technical features.

Filaments proposed should, of course, meet process requirements connected with conversion technology, that is, flexibility, dimensional stability, and 3D printability. So to ensure maximum usability of the offered product, a modified PLA was chosen, which is a biopolymer obtained from sustainable sources, processable by any 3D printer due to its physical properties.

LATI’s first proposal is an electrically conductive thermoplastic compound obtained by formulations containing frontier materials, among which carbon nanotubes. As observed experimentally, LATI electrically conductive filament allows the transfer of small currents, and thus of signal and information.
The deposition of conductive tracks by simple 3D printing potentially allows innovative applications, e.g. in the medical, electrical/electronic, and telecommunications sector.
The electrical behavior of the LATI filament is non-ohmic and has a typical volume resistance of about 10 ohm*cm.

This property is typical of many semiconductors and is still being studied, but it is already clear that the maker will be able to find answers for the development of new applications with high technology content.
This is the purpose of LATI and Filoalfa: to act in concert to offer 3D printers finally accessible to everyone, as well as filaments developed from high technology synthetic materials.

The push for innovation in the industry, along with the enthusiasm of individual makers, will lead to flexible and customizable applications accessible to everyone and technologically unthinkable until yesterday.

Thermoconductive and self-extinguishing: LATICONTHER 62 GR/50-V0

Thermoconductive and self-extinguishing: LATICONTHER 62 GR/50-V0

The rapid diffusion of LED-lighting systems is also supported by the possibility of developing lamp bodies made of thermoconductive technopolymers, because the conversion flexibility of these materials allows molding of efficient and versatile items.
Solutions available today provide for the use of thermoplastic compounds filled with thermally conductive ceramics or graphite. These solutions, in fact, showed equivalent to metal in terms of transport of the heat generated by LED electronics, at least when air circulation occurs under natural convection conditions.

Over time, the growing power generated by LED systems required materials ensuring absolutely safe heat removal even under high temperature and current, and hence in fire-risk areas. To meet these requirements, LATI now offers a self-extinguishing version of its LATICONTHER 62 GR/50 thermoconductive compound.

This material is LATICONTHER 62 GR/50-V0, PA6 with 50% graphite reinforcement. Its special formulation also ensures self-extinguishing properties without affecting thermal and mechanical properties of material.
In fact, LATICONTHER 62 GR/50-V0 features the same thermal conductivity as the material it is derived from – about 15 w/mK – but in addition it is flame-retardant, V0 certified according to UL94 standard from 0.75 to 3 mm.

Glow wire performance is also excellent; this compound was certified for 960°C at 1.5 mm in both GWFI and GWIT thanks to the highest-level flame retardant compound.
All this is obtained without affecting the good mechanical strength and robustness properties of standard LATICONTHER 62 GR/50, and ensuring extremely easy molding.

Designed to solve the problems connected with the technically most demanding applications, LATICONTHER 62 GR/50-V0 is best suited to the manufacture of recessed lamp bodies and radiators, e.g. in sectors such as furnishing, industrial machines or transport, that is, where fire risk is absolutely to be avoided.
LATI specializes in thermoconductive compounds since 2004, and offers today a wide range of grades engineered on many different resins, from PP to PC, from PA to PPS, and from PBT to PEEK.

LATILUB self-lubricating technopolymers adopted by the boating industry

LATILUB self-lubricating technopolymers adopted by the boating industry

Applications for the boating sector are among those subjected to the most severe mechanical, thermal, and environmental stresses.
In addition to the stresses due to the use, corrosive effects of water, weathering, and sun radiation are to be considered, even if difficult to quantify.
So the use of thermoplastic compounds for nautical products is rather challenging, and has to be carefully addressed.

Viadana Srl, an Italian company operating in the production and sale of boating accessories since 1961, chose LATILUB 66-20T G/20 for the manufacture of the front fairlead of its ball bearing cam cleats.
The selected compound is self-lubricating and structural at the same time, so particularly suitable for situations where mechanical strength and low sliding resistance are necessarily required.

Formulation of LATILUB 66-20T G/20 contains 20% powder PTFE on a 20% glass fiber reinforced PA66 base.
The result is a technopolymer not only reliable in the management of static and dynamic stress due to the rope, but also resistant to friction and wear generated by the sliding on the contact surfaces due to the speed of relative motion and the rope tension.

To address the heat generated by the rope sliding, base polymer should also provide good temperature resistance, and LATILUB 66-20T G/20 is not a concern up to over 100°C.
The fairleads were subjected to tests provided for in the sector, and are now available in black, yellow, blue, and red.

Electrically conductive and colorable for ATEX

Electrically conductive and colorable for ATEX

Safety in explosive atmospheres has been regulating for years by the European ATEX Directives, which identify, among many other parameters, the maximum surface electric resistivity below which the accumulation of electrostatic charges is not observed.

The problem is particularly acute for plastic products, on which the formation of high electric potentials may cause dangerous discharges as being a potential ignition source for fire and explosion.
The traditional solution for antistatic compounds is the use of carbon black, graphite, and carbon or steel fiber based fillers.
These approaches are all valid, but strongly limit the image of the finished product, which is available only in black.

LATI’s wide range of electrically conductive products includes LATIOHM PD02 grades, in which electrical resistivity is reduced by the presence of special polymers ensuring, in addition to antistatic properties, colorability without the need of special painting.
A modular torch made of yellow-colored LATIOHM 62-08 PD02 G/35 in compliance with ATEX was developed and marketed for professional use.

Safe and lightweight, but sturdy due to the 35% glass fiber reinforcement, the LATIOHM torch is composed of different interchangeable parts for a very flexible and varied use.

The base resin selected for this project is PA6, a polymer that is chemically resistant to oils, greases, and hydrocarbons, very fluid and versatile, suitable for the molding of aesthetically pleasing parts.
In the choice of formulation, LATI distances itself from solutions with antistatic properties limited to a few weeks, since PD02 compounds permanently ensure a resistivity of less than 10^9Ω.

Despite the presence of glass fibers, pigments and dissipative polymers, all LATIOHM PD02 products are suitable for the manufacture of parts of even large size and thickness without the need of special equipment or measures.

Automotive and thermally conductive compounds

Automotive and thermally conductive compounds

Weight reduction is an essential requirement for automotive and transports in general.
It is in this context that the project of metal replacement was developed by a major multinational company operating in this sector for the manufacture of a vacuum pump housing (EPV pump) for the brake oil circuit.

This product is required to perform a number of structural tasks, and is the result of a significant sum of functions, as evidenced by the many connections on the cover.
The area of use is the underhood, close to the engine, which is a chemically challenging environment with temperatures ranging from -40°C to +120°C.

As in all pressure circuits, maximum dimensional stability is an essential requirementto avoid pressure losses to be compensated with seals, and the risk of pump malfunction.
In this case, the body should also provide high thermal conductivity to allow for the best braking system operation.

LATI accepted the challenge and developed the LATICONTHER 62 GRG/500, a PA6-based compound with 50% graphite and short glass fiber reinforcement.
With a thermal conductivity of 15 W/mK, this compound was chosen to mold covers featuring not only mechanical strength and dimensional accuracy, but also able to remove part of the heat generated by the hydraulic circuit drives.

The pump body made of conductive thermoplastic material successfully passed even the most feared stumbling block to metal replacement projects, i.e. fatigue strength tests under operation to determine product reliability over time. Ease of molding, possibility of production waste recovery, and the absolute compliance with the most stringent regulations on the protection of human health and the environment made this a winning project also from the point of view of the final product cost.

Conductive compounds temperature cools down

Conductive compounds temperature cools down

Between reality and false myths, here are some recommendations to take best advantage of the properties of thermally conductive compounds.

Almost ten years after their introduction to the market, the success of thermoplastic compounds with improved thermal conductivity can be considered as established. Despite the inevitable initial mistrust and difficulties connected with the use of such materials, today many manufacturers of technical compounds include in their range at least one series of grades for injection moulding items requiring a better heat removal.
However, the approach to these new proposals is not always correct, especially by users accustomed to historically proven materials, primarily aluminium or copper. So some “myths” have to be dispelled not to incur common design errors.

Main evaluation mistakes
A first mistake is to expect the same thermal performance of metals.
This is a wrong assumption, as many successful applications showed that metals, in terms of heat exchange, are often oversized, and the same results can be reached by thermally conductive compounds with one-tenth thermal conductivity. This is especially true in the natural convection regime, i.e. when heat extraction is not carried out by forced ventilation. The second typical error is to continue to think about “standard” geometries – e.g. for heat sinks – i.e. designed for a good heat transfer, but always using metals.

A new and more flexible mindset is to be entered into, which allows to understand that thermoplastic compounds are completely different materials, in particular with regard to their compositional inhomogeneities resulting in an physical anisotropic behaviour.
Not considering this fact and treating plastics in the assumption that they behave like metals, may lead to significant design errors, sometimes ending in the failure of potentially viable projects.
For this reason, it is extremely important that the most intimate properties of these materials are understood, “tamed” and capitalized on, especially in the design phase.
In addition, requirements are not limited to thermal performance.

Conductive compounds temperature cools down

There are, in fact, aesthetic constraints imposed by marketing and product designers, as well as electrical and mechanical properties. The development of increasingly efficient compounds even from this aspect, as well as the freedom of design, flexibility and efficiency of operation offered by these materials, are consolidating their increasing success in the most advanced technology sectors…

Click to download the full article…

The new SPDs by ABB for the surge protection

The new SPDs by ABB for the surge protection

ABB’s expertise in electronics and LATI’s expertise in the world of special thermoplastics have given rise to a new product for the protection from transient voltage surges and lightning: PM EP 15 15-275 RES is a pre-wired protective device (SPD or surge protection device) featuring modern design and small dimensions.
Designed for use in control housings and compact power supplies, the new SPD is ideal for use in the new LED systems, especially those dedicated to public spaces, such as parking lots and parks, road signage and lighting, decorative lighting etc.
In fact, these are the light sources that are mostly affected by power grid disturbances, specially industrial or natural (lightning) surges that are captured and amplified by the long electrical connections with power supplies.

Voltage peaks may easily cause failures in LED units if not stopped, thus resulting in service disruption and often expensive and complex maintenance requests.
So here is the perfect ABB solution to be combined with residual current circuit breakers and fuses to preserve the integrity of the systems to be protected.

Both the envelope and terminal blocks of PM EP 15 15-275 RES are made by injection molding of LATAMID 66 H2 G/25-V0HF1, a PA66-based thermoplastic compound formulated by LATI to be self-extinguishing and structural thanks to a 25% glass fiber reinforcement.
The performance of the V0HF1 grade is appropriate from both the structural and flame safety point of view as confirmed by UL and VDE certifications attesting the excellent self-extinguishing properties, as well as the resistance to incandescent wire with GWFI = 960°C at 1 mm.

ABB’s choice fell on the LATI compound not only for its technical performance and the versatility of the material, but also for its total safety and respect for the environment, backed by a RoHS compliant formulation completely free from halogenated flame retardant additives.