UL CHEMICALS exclusive


Custom-defined services for automotive OEMs
and Tier 1 suppliers

Plastics are omnipresent in today’s automobiles, from resins and structural materials to whole finished components like steering wheels and engine covers. Along with the many advantages that plastics bring, including their light weight, impact strength and ease of molding complex shapes, the challenges of regulatory compliance and reliable physical properties are leading to an increased need for testing capacity, content verification and materials management.

With dedicated testing laboratories and materials databases, UL can provide automotive industry OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers with comprehensive services to help lower costs, improve reliability and simplify supply chain management. Instead of maintaining their own testing facilities, automotive plastics providers and purchasers can rely on independent – third party certified – support for a range of services precisely tuned to their needs.

UL offers testing services fulfilling many industry needs, including compounding and test specimen production, physical properties testing (e.g. scratch resistance, UV sensitivity, tensile strength), thermal analyses, VOC emissions testing, and content verification (e.g. as mandated by chemcial registration programs). Furthermore, customized "Under The Hood" programs can be created to address flammability, chemical resistance and physical properties testing of plastic components designed specifically for electric vehicles.

Dave Wuestmann, Business Development Manager, Automotive, UL Global Chemicals

Contact Dave Wuestmann at +1.631.546.3234 or David.E.Wuestmann@ul.com to discuss your automotive testing and supply management needs.

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New UL Business Development Manager highlights safety of food packaging

Ryan Houle is a new Business Development Manager within the chemicals industry. With 8 years of chemicals experience, his focus at UL is on packaging and labeling testing, compliance, consulting, and training services. He holds a BSME from Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Within the packaging field, Houle sees food packaging as one of the most urgent challenges. “Food packaging plays a critical role in our everyday lives,” Houle observes. “Primarily it’s a means of conveniently transporting food, such as from the farm to the store shelves. Yet more and more it also serves to keep food safe from contamination, while also extending shelf life. With food safety concerns on the rise, food packaging is being looked at as a further way to protect consumers.”

As food packaging has evolved from board, glass and cans to plastics that offer improved properties at lower costs and weights, UL has seen increased concerns about whether these newer materials are safe for consumers or the environment. Plastic packaging has especially fallen under heavy scrutiny by consumers and governments, making sustainability of plastic packaging a large concern for manufacturers.

UL understands this concern and is dedicated to working with customers to ensure food packaging is safe and meets the regulatory requirements for their intended uses and markets. In addition, UL will play an important role to ensure packaging is sustainable for the long haul.

Ryan J Houle, Business Development Manager Packaging/Marking & Labeling, UL Chemicals

For any food or other packaging concerns or inquiries, contact Ryan Houle at +1.847.664.2732 or ryan.j.houle@ul.com

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In-Mold Labeling as an alternative to display required safety information

As UL customers adopt new methods for displaying critical safety information on their end-products, UL has been developing new programs for evaluating these new types of markings. One of these alternative means of product marking is In-Mold Labeling.

In-Mold Labels consist of a paper or film label that is molded into a plastic part or container during the blow molding, injection molding, or thermoforming process. The label thus becomes an integral part of the final container/enclosure. In-Mold Labeling has been used for years on household cleaning liquids, hair and skin care products and other consumer goods packaged in blow-molded plastic containers, but UL is now seeing In-Mold Labeling applied in the durable label market.

Based on customer input, UL is expanding the current Marking & Labeling program to cover In-Mold Labels, with the goal of affording end-product customers a cost-effective means of displaying required safety information on their products – with In-Mold Labels that meet UL’s strict marking performance requirements.

Ryan J Houle, Business Development Manager Packaging/Marking & Labeling, UL Chemicals

If you are label printer and interested in being part of the development process with UL, please contact the Marking & Labeling System Business Development Manager, Ryan J Houle at ryan.j.houle@ul.com

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UL certifies elastomers to electrical equipment enclosure requirements

In addition to evaluating elastomeric gaskets and seals according to ANSI/UL 157, UL also evaluates specific end-use applications to meet differing requirements by governing standards. One example is UL 50E, which focuses on enclosures for electrical equipment. Many UL standards, in fact, reference UL 50E for gasket requirements (such as UL 508), so its implications extend well beyond electrical equipment enclosures.

Of particular significance in the migration of tensile strength, elongation and volume change requirements from UL 50 (Standard for Enclosures for Electrical Equipment) to UL 50E (incl. Environmental Considerations) is the incorporation a new “Compression Test”. The UL 50E Compression Test specifically applies to cellular gasket materials used in Periodic Recompression applications, where the seal may periodically be broken and must be reestablished, such as around doors or covers of electrical enclosures.

UL certifies gaskets to UL 50E requirements with the following ratings:

UL 50E: for solid gaskets that need not comply with the Compression Test, yet are are considered suitable for either Continuous Compression or Periodic Recompression applications.

UL 50E Continuous Compression: for cellular gaskets that have not been evaluated to the Compression Test requirements and are considered suitable only for Continuous Compression applications.

UL 50E Periodic Recompression: for cellular gaskets that comply with the Compression Test requirements and are considered suitable for either Continuous Compression or Periodic Recompression applications.

Richard C Winton, Principal Engineer, UL Chemicals

Find out more about the UL Gaskets & Seals Program

To comment or ask questions, contact Richard C Winton at Richard.C.Winton@ul.com

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Lack of data hinders expansion of bio-based plastics development

Up until recently, bioplastics have mainly been seen in biodegradable packaging and simple, non-biodegradable articles. Yet now interest is shifting to more ambitious uses – for instance, in offices, automobiles and building sites. The potential for new products, new applications and new materials remains largely untapped, however, due to a lack of data on the behavior of the new compounds in processing and design scenarios.

Along with leading plastics producers, processors and machinery manufacturers, UL was at the 5th BioKunststoffe (Bioplastics) Congress (9-10 May 2012, in Hannover, Germany) to exhibit the services of its Thermoplastics Testing Center (TTC) and give a technical presentation on the urgent need for more bioplastics processing and design data. The presentation focused on the expansion of existing and the development of new fields of application for bioplastics. While the properties of petrochemical-based and bio-based plastics are similar, when it comes to technical applications, differences in process stability, durability and weathering, for instance, demand exact specifications before investing in new or modified manufacturing processes.

As the chemicals industry balances the advantages of sustainability and price-performance factors, UL TTC is cooperating with the competence center IfBB (Institut für Biokunststoffe und Bioverbundwerkstoffe) at the University in Hannover to help lay the foundation for the successful implementation of bioplastics in the widest possible range of applications.

As a part of this, UL TTC offers manufacturers testing services to determine the processing and design data of their bioplastics. TTC’s core technologies include the analysis of processing properties (plastification, filling pressure, freezing time, mold release behavior, shrinkage and processing window) as well as design properties (high and low speed tensile testing, influence of temperature, long term loading and weathering).

Dr. Bahman Sarabi, Managing Director, UL International TTC GmbH

Contact us for further information on UL testing services for bioplastics

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Enhance your competitive advantage with technical training from UL Knowledge Services

What do you need to know to stay on top in the global chemicals business? UL Knowledge Services, with its worldwide presence and flexible content delivery, offers safety standards training solutions across all chemicals sectors, including plastics, insulation systems, labels, flammable and combustible fluids.

Scheduled public workshops form the backbone of UL’s comprehensive curriculum. Learn from the experts by attending a workshop on evaluating plastics for use in PV module applications (UL 746C and SU 5703) or for use in electrical, electronic and mechanical applications (UL 94, UL 746 A-D). UL Knowledge Services also offers workshops dedicated to Long Term Thermal Aging (UL 746B), Electrical Insulation Systems (UL 1446), Evaluation of Flammability and Short- and Long-Term Properties (UL 94, 746A, and 746B), as well as on REACH Essentials – providing an overview of the new EU chemicals policy.

UL Knowledge Services can also tailor all training offerings to your individual business needs. Private seminars, custom workshops or round-table discussions can be organized to address unique training requirements, even at short notice, e.g. when time is critical and you need immediate assistance with regulatory Standards. We also offer a variety of advisory services designed to provide strategic structures for accelerating product development, streamlining testing and reducing time to market.

Visit www.ulknowledgeservices.com  for workshop dates and locations and to learn more about the many ways UL Knowledge Services can help you produce safe products, increase efficiency and remain on the cutting edge of emerging technologies.

Karen Dubiel, Lead Engineering Instructor for Chemicals and Environment, UL Knowledge Services

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