SABIC's Tough LNP FARADEX Compound and What is Does
Rescue and HAZMAT workers, fire-fighters and miners depend upon self-contained breathing apparatus when working in extremely hazardous environments. So when Biomarine, an SCBA manufacturer based in Exton, Pa., needed to improve the impact strength and ability to dissipate static electricity for the external housing of its BioPak 240R Revolution rebreather, it turned to SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business. SABIC recommended replacing the existing polycarbonate (PC)-based compound with LNP FARADEX compound – which leverages proprietary LEXAN EXL copolymer technology and features electrically conductive stainless steel fibers – and provided world-class design and molding expertise. The result is a tougher apparatus housing with excellent electrostatic dissipation (ESD) and greatly enhanced aesthetics. The SABIC-Biomarine collaboration showcases SABIC’s ability to help solve key performance, quality and cost control challenges, giving customers a competitive edge in the markets they serve.
“The previous material was frequently brittle which often led to part breakage, and there were major inconsistencies in the electrostatic dissipation performance,” said J. Douglas Anderson, vice president, Biomarine. “Because of this we were rejecting entire lots, costing us a lot of time, money and resources. SABIC’s experts provided a solution to both problems in that the base copolymer in the FARADEX compound gave us 25 percent higher impact resistance than PC alone, and was compounded in such a way as to support superior electrostatic dissipation performance. SABIC also provided a wealth of application and engineering resources that were invaluable to the success of this project.”
“People who use Biomarine rebreathers need the highest standards of electrostatic dissipation and impact performance for protection and durability, especially in life-threatening situations,” said David Wildgoose, general manager, Innovative Plastics. “We were able to provide Biomarine with a stronger, more impact-resistant base material in LEXAN EXL copolymer, with the real key to the success being SABIC’s extensive compounding knowledge, which allowed us to co-develop a next-generation breathing apparatus for Biomarine that was safer, better and higher performing than the previous model. This innovation in polymer science is a major achievement, and we are proud to play a part in protecting those who risk their lives daily in some of the most hazardous and dangerous working conditions in the world.”