Shining Bright

Static Dissipative Compound Provides Ideal Conductivity Balance

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Koehler-Bright Star shines in hazardous sites all over the world with the largest array of safety-listed flashlights available. They introduced the first plastic industrial flashlight 60 years ago, and today they are recognized as the standard by which all other industrial flashlights are measured.

Maintaining a global reputation for excellence requires constant innovation, especially when products are used in potentially explosive environments and must comply with the European ATEX directive. An oil rig platform is one of those dangerous places where lighting is vital and safety workers depend on Koehler-Bright Star to provide safe lighting. When their Bright Star 2317 flashlight’s housing required improved performance to meet ATEX conductivity requirements, Koehler-Bright Star turned to RTP Company for the solution.

The challenges presented to the engineers at RTP Company included formulating a static dissipative compound with tighter control over electrical properties while maintaining or improving processability. Their solution an RTP 100 Series polypropylene compound engineered to provide ESD protection without sacrificing the easy processing of polypropylene materials. The custom compound features high impact properties with a notched Izod value of 12.0 ft lbs/in (640 J/m) coupled with surface resistivity of 105-108 ohm/sq.

"Formulating an ideal compound was a balancing act," commented John Devaney, Mechanical Engineer at Koehler Bright-Star. "If the material was too conductive, it would drain the battery. And, if not conductive enough, it would not meet the ATEX directive for dissipating static charges, thus potentially becoming a source of ignition," said Devaney. "RTP Company reacted quickly and developed their formulation to provide the right compound for our application."

RTP Company engineers have recently developed high flow conductive polypropylene compounds and made use of that technology in the Koehler Bright-Star product. They formulated a new compound with improved flow over the original material, while still allowing use of existing tooling with only minor adjustments.

Every demanding requirement in the 2317 Model Flashlight was met. Once again, Koehler-Bright Star has stayed at the forefront in industrial lighting technology for the most dangerous occupations. And, once again, RTP Company found an ideal solution to a challenging application.

Koehler-Bright Star, Inc. is a leader in industrial lighting technology. They currently offer more than 180 models of industrial and safety-listed flashlights, lanterns, spotlights and headlamps. For more information, visit www.flashlight.com.

New High-Flow Conductive Polypropylene (PP) Compounds

RTP Company’s high-flow conductive PP compounds are ideal for thin-wall injection molding where parts have a restrictive flow path leading to narrower processing windows.

  • Tooling or part design does not need to be modified
  • Easy-to-mold, typically achieving melt flows of 20 g/10 min (230 °C/21.6 kg)
  • Designed to minimize warpage
  • Retains robust physical properties with a "no break" unnotched IZOD impact strength.
  • Offers surface resistivity of 104 ohms/sq (maximum) and volume resistivity of less than 25 ohm-cm.

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