Milestones in corporate history will be in the focus of the trade fair presence of LATI Industria Termoplastici S.p.A of Vedano Olona/Italy (www.lati.com) at this year's ‘K’ scheduled from October 24 - 31 in Düsseldorf. In the '60s the company was among the first compounders to market long and short glass fibre reinforced thermoplastics. Today, its portfolio comprises a broad range of flame-retardant, self-lubricating and radiopaque compounds, in addition to thermally and electrically conductive polymers. Among its new developments are highly filled thermoplastics delivering a very high surface quality and which are now commercially distributed under the LATIGLOSS product name.
Glass fibre reinforced composites from the LATIGLOSS family are available with filler concentrations ranging from 50 to 60% by weight. The matrix material employed is polyamide (PA) 6 or 66. A special modifier ensures that the moulded part will exhibit a uniform, smooth and glossy surface. In addition, the material features a very high mechanical strength along with a high fatigue resistance and creep resistance over a broad temperature range. Available in a variety of colour shades, the products are suitable as a metal substitute in applications calling for very good mechanical properties plus a very high surface quality. Typical fields of use include housings for electric power tools, sports equipment, furniture, and visible automotive components. Composites providing an antistatic and electrically conductive finish, now marketed under the LATIOHM brand, have been part of LATI's portfolio since 1980. Surface resistances of between 108 and 103 Ω can be achieved with these polymers, depending on application needs. By way of additives, the manufacturer uses conductive carbon black as well as carbon and steel fibres and inherently conductive polymers (ICP). LATIOHM composites based on a PA or polyoxy-methylene (POM) matrix are noted for their good mechanical and thermal characteristics and very high impact strength even at low temperatures. In addition, these materials are characterized by their outstanding resistance to fuels and lubricants while exhibiting a low permeability to hydrocarbons. One typical field of application for these electrically conductive composites is the manufacture of fuel filter housings and other automotive components which will come in contact with fuel. Key application examples will be showcased by LATI at their trade fair stand; these include diesel fuel filters as fitted in a number different vehicles.
The LATICONTHER family includes thermally conducting composites which can provide approximately 10 times more thermal conductivity than conventional engineering plastics. Available in an electrically conductive or electrically insulating formulation, these products are based on, e.g., poly-propylene (PP), polyamide (PA) or polyphenylene sulfide (PPS). The electrically insulating versions contain up to 85% by weight ceramic fillers. One pioneering application consists in the ribbed heat sinks for LED devices marketed by the Italian manufacturer IdeaLed s.r.l. Made of LATICONTHER 83 CP/85 with 85% by weight ceramic fillers, these heat sinks ensure a reliable dissipation of the heat built up during service so that the lamp will maintain its optimum operating temperature.
For more than 60 years, LATI has been supplying processors with ready-for-use compounds based on standard, engineering and high-performance polymers. Today this family-owned enterprise generates annual sales of about EUR 120 million and is present in eight countries worldwide with its own branch establishments. The German subsidiary, LATI Deutschland GmbH, is based in Wiesbaden and was founded 25 years ago.