Somtimes, we have received some quotations where a customer needs a flame retardant plastics, and/or with determinated homologated brand, due to several reasons. Nevertheless It is necessary to take account the type of flame retardant as you can see below, based on depeding on thickness.
An example, one request for quotation where we must us the homologated raw material “x”. But if we inject this thermoplastic we cannot meet the customer’s requirements due to the part had about 1,5 mm of thickness and the mentioned raw material was flame retardant grade V0 based on a test piece of about 3 mm of thickness. By these reasons, we consider necessary to talk about this additive used in several sectors like electronic, electrical or household appliances. We are talking about the flame retardant plastics.
According to UL94 classification (Underwriters Laboratory in EEUU, with their known yellow datasheets) and based on test where the test tube is burned in vertical by flame analyzing up to the fire is self-extinguishing. Therefore the different grades of flame retardant are as follow:
There are other nomenclatures such as 5VA, 5VB with vertical test tube, too. In these cases a burn can produce a hole or not. These cases are not so common than three mentioned nomenclatures before. The lower UL94 classification is for HB grade, where the sample is placed in horizontal. It is known like self-extinguished although this type burn like wood (to understand the simile).
Below you can see a good video from youtube (source:Filoalfa 3D) with different behaviours in final parts (ABS in this case), alhtought obviously there are more flame retardant engineering plastics like Polyamide (PA),Polycarbonate (PC)…
The flame retardant agentes more common to get some grades that we are talking about it are: antimony trioxide, red phosphor (common for dark colors), halogens (fluor, chlorine, bromine, iodine, astatine)… for example. But, sometime these elements can produce harmful smoke for human beings during combustion. By this reason each time is more usual to use flame retardants halogens free, from biological raw materials sustainably manufactured, decreasing the fossil resources besides of carbon emissions to atmosphere.
If you need technical support to chose the adequate enginnering plastic based on your application, we are glad to help you working together from initial design (bearing in mind our injection molding process) up to serial plastic part
Unfortunately, today is very difficult to talk without saying the word of COVID-19. Despiste of this, laying aside the santitary situation, where we do not pretend deepen now(although we understand this is the most important), but obviously we must to take a conscience of near future based on this eventually moment, due to automotive market has changed dramatically in few time, affecting to all supply chain, since OEM to final Tier-n company.
This year 2020 it already was complicated and strange. Zatec like injection molding company of technical parts in engineering plastics for automotive(mainly), we are seeing each day too many bad news about the stop in the manufacture industry in Spain, there is much uncertainty about the come back to the work in OEMs companies without a clear date. Anyway in ZATEC we will try to be optimistic, because we are looking to return with relative normality and with more force than before based on adequate safety measures, analyzing the current situation:
The pause in the production of several OEMs at national level(we can say global, in multinational companies), affecting to Tier1 companies, where the common is to cancel or postponed the ongoing orders, and therefore this situation generates more uncertainty increasing the “snow ball” kwnown like crisis, rolling down to the next companie in the supply chain. Logically, to avoid the quick spread of virus.
Almost all Tier1 companies have stopped their manufacturing process, many of them wihout previous advise, therefore there are several parts in transit wihout possibility to download up to new message or several orders in injection machines, but these parts cannot be sent. This is more stock, which we do not know what will be the date of delivery.
Talking about stocks, car dealers will decrease their sales. The reason is simple, the people will spend less money or spend the money in other things based on Maslow’s pyramide. Besides there is the battle betwwen electrical car versus Diesel cars, but this is not the adequate moment to open other debate.
All of this mix implies as follows, if the company does not invoice or the payment terms with their customers are very stifling, the companies will be problems with cash flow. Therefore this is an important value to take in count at this moment, and it would be necessary an action from government to promote this sector or others. As you know, everything is connected. By this reason, this mentioned action from government must be available first for Little and Medium companies, preserving the business fabric. The last crisis began wiht a financial collapse but now we think there is still margin to act.
Anyway, we already working thinking to return with a relative normal activity based on preventive safety plan. This is an oportunity to improve in all departments, adapting our work according to new situation.
We want to communicate you, the technical and sales areas continue at your disposal with a know-how of more than 25 years of expertise in injection molding, collaborating with customers since deign phase to serial plastic part.
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