SABIC Innovative Plastics has announced that LTK Industries, a leading Hong Kong-based wire and cable OEM and long-term customer, is driving the use of SABIC Innovative Plastics' eco-progressive Flexible Noryl* resin into appliance wiring material (AWM) applications used in consumer electronics. The advanced flame-retardant (FR) resin passes the stringent Underwriters Laboratories (UL) VW-1 flame test, and is helping manufacturers like LTK meet tough global requirements for halogen-free parts while delivering a virtually perfect balance of exceptional high-performance properties. By upgrading from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) - which can release hazardous toxins when burned - to Flexible Noryl resin, LTK has further strengthened its position as a leading global provider of wire and cable solutions.
“LTK is one of the most influential wire and cable OEMs in China, clearly evidenced by our receipt of the Environmental Performance Certificate of Merit for the 2008 Hong Kong Awards for Industries and our outstanding reputation,” said Tak Lok Cheng, group technical director for LTK. “Our relationship with SABIC Innovative Plastics - a strong environmental ally that shares our unbending commitment to protecting the planet - has been instrumental in helping us meet our goals, such as achieving RoHS compliance. With their support, we continue to expand the use of Flexible Noryl resin into new application areas to meet toughening world-wide environmental standards and take advantage of its superior performance and easy processing on existing extrusion equipment vs. lower performing competitive plastics.”
Flexible Noryl resin not only provides a much better environmental choice vs. halogenated materials like PVC, but also surpasses other non-halogenated materials, including thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) and polyethylene (PE), with an excellent balance of mechanical properties, flexibility and color retention for which the material is known. It is also recyclable in the original extrusion manufacturing process while retaining a high level of mechanical performance.
“Flexible Noryl resins epitomize SABIC Innovative Plastics' leadership in creating material technologies that can reduce environmental impact,” said Wilson Chan, general manager of Noryl resin, SABIC Innovative Plastics Greater China. “They offer customers like LTK an entire spectrum of advantages over competitive wire and cable coating materials - not just environmental advantages, but also significant performance enhancements.”
Environmental Advantages and Performance Enhancements
Many different wire and cable constructions make up Underwriters Laboratories' AWM category, including single- and multi-conductor constructions in a wide range of conductor sizes, insulation and jacket materials. Examples include USB cable, HDMI cable and audio/video cable for consumer electronics. The basic standard used to evaluate AWM is UL 758, the Standard for Safety of Appliance Wiring Material.
Previously, LTK used PVC for its AWM products, but recognized the environmental drawbacks of this traditional wire and cable coating material. However, the company wanted to substitute a material that provided non-halogenated FR and could be processed on its existing extrusion equipment to keep costs down. Finally, for a competitive advantage, LTK required high-end performance, including excellent tensile strength and elongation, flexibility, heat aging, cold bending and aesthetics.
Based on its longstanding partnership with SABIC Innovative Plastics and previous experience with Flexible Noryl resins in its AV cable for flat-screen televisions, LTK selected several grades of the material for the AWM components. In addition to meeting all of the company's performance and environmental criteria, Flexible Noryl resin offers a lower specific gravity than PVC, reducing the weight of the AWM parts.
SABIC Innovative Plastics' Flexible Noryl resins have achieved the UL 80dc rating for VW-1 flame retardance, provide Shore A hardness of 80 to 89, and can be customized for different levels of flexibility. The resins offer easy processing and fast throughput, and do not require secondary processing.
For additional information on SABIC Innovative Plastics' Flexible Noryl resin, please go to www.sabic-ip.com.