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  • PermaStat PLUS® Meets Sensor’s Stringent ATEX Requirements

Capacitive SensorsTaking precautions during the transfer or mixing of flammable or potentially explosive materials is not only important, it’s required under the ATEX Directive. Carlo Gavazzi, a leading manufacturer of sensing devices, has developed a new family of ATEX approved products by redesigning its Tripleshield® Capacitive Sensors. Capacitive sensors are used in industrial and agricultural applications to detect both conductive and non-conductive materials, such as water, glass, plastics, and metals — without physical contact.

In order for the sensors to comply with ATEX regulations, special requirements had to be met for the conductive housing. It required a surface resistance between 106 and 107 ohm and the ability to withstand impact testing. These presented challenges for Carlo Gavazzi during development, which forced them to look for alternative plastic materials. They turned to Nordic Plastic Service and RTP Company for a solution.

RTP Company answered the challenge with a PermaStat PLUS® 1000 series glass-reinforced PBT compound. This compound was ideally suited for the application and fulfilled the demands of the ATEX standard. The permanently static dissipative PermaStat PLUS™ compound provides the necessary surface resistance to meet the ATEX requirement of less than 1 Gohm and has high impact properties. Being a PBT compound, it also has excellent resistance to a broad range of chemicals and the glass reinforcements provides a two-to threefold increase in tensile, flexural and compressive properties.

“The thermoplastic compounds from RTP Company are more consistent than our other possible choices,” said Michael Nolsøe Larsen, Quality Manager at Carlo Gavazzi Industri A/S. “Because of our decision to specify an RTP Company compound, we believe that the risk of critical errors in our sensing devices will be minimized.”

RTP Company has been at the forefront of developing conductive solutions to meet the ATEX requirements and offer its expertise readily and rapidly to those manufacturers faced with the stringent requirements. “RTP Company through Nordic Plastic Service provided all the necessary technical assistance and service,” said Michael Nolsøe Larsen. “We have been very grateful for the speedy response from RTP Company with the ATEX testing and reports, which have been extremely useful in our approval procedure.”

Carlo Gavazzi is a diversified internationally active electronics group designing, manufacturing and marketing electronic equipment targeted at the global markets of industrial automation and information processing.

ATEX approved Tripleshield® Sensors have set a new market standard by operating continuously and reliably in the most difficult environments, making them ideal for level detection in raw plastic delivery systems and in agricultural applications.