UL CHEMICALS exclusive


New applications, standards and trends in the global chemicals sector

Flash is required!

Welcome to “Chemicals Exclusive” a new service of UL Chemicals for our valued customers and partners.

Our mission at UL Chemicals is to work closely with manufacturers, industry associations and governmental authorities on wide-ranging safety and regulatory issues related to the chemical industry’s products and applications. As a part of this, UL Chemicals tests and certifies in three general areas:

Plastics – helping resin manufacturers, OEMs and brand owners protect their plastics against mechanical, electrical or fire hazards.
Labels – ensuring that safety-related information labels meet requirements for permanency, legibility and adhesion.
Insulation Systems – evaluating the performance of insulation materials both as individual components and a system as a whole.

Another service we provide is our powerful iQ for Plastics database, allowing users to search over 60,000 UL-certified plastics, e.g. by product, company, family, or grade. Our recently added iQ for Labels database allows users to perform a similar search of appropriate labelling materials for their products.

This is the very first issue of Chemicals Exclusive, a newsbrief we plan to publish at regular intervals to inform manufacturers and partners about new developments at UL and in the industry. Please note that if you do not wish to receive these publications, simply unsubscribe here. However, we sincerely hope that you, our readers, will enjoy reading this newsbrief and also use it as an opportunity to share your suggestions, news and ideas with us and the rest of the industry. We look forward to hearing from you!

Manish Bhatnagar, Vice President & General Manager, UL Global Chemicals Industry

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Keeping current – assessing the effects of DC on polymers

Plastics have long been commonplace in electrical equipment and household appliances, which, although plugged into an alternating current (AC) outlet, operate mostly with direct current (DC) components inside. Now, as the number, size and voltage of DC environments is increasing dramatically, new opportunities and safety issues are arising.

Interest in the behavior of polymers in DC applications has been on the rise since the late 1990s, when the automotive industry began to look for higher voltage DC batteries. Today, the most important driver of DC is the success of the photovoltaic (PV) industry. While PV systems generate DC electricity, typically a DC/AC power inverter is required to feed the electricity to residential or industrial wiring systems, or back to the electrical grid. At the same time, demand is growing for portable solar cells and building-integrated PV, so the concept of deploying DC in micro grids, without the need of an inverter, is gaining momentum, especially in areas where stand-alone remote powering is needed.

With the increasing size and voltage of DC environments, the need for appropriate safety testing is also growing. Since most test methods were designed using equipment plugged into an AC outlet, the question is whether those same tests adequately assess the potential safety issues of a purely DC application environment. For instance, while there is no expected difference between AC and DC with regards to resistance or Joule heating, there is an anticipated difference in arc heating: AC allows the arc voltage to pass through zero and cool twice on each electrical cycle, while unidirectional DC arcing is difficult to interrupt and delivers more energy per unit time to a potential arcing fault.

UL 1703 currently lists PV systems with operating voltages up to 1000 V DC, while UL 746 A and UL 746 C include DC electrical resistance test methods for plastics in general. In the next phase, UL will propose to include a DC dielectric strength and breakdown test for polymers (UL 746A), while continuing to conduct research on DC arcing and tracking.

Noe P. Navarro, Principal Engineer, UL Chemicals

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New database simplifies search for UL Certified Durable Labels

UL has just added a helpful new service to the popular UL iQ Family of Databases. iQ for Labels is an online search tool designed to help product compliance engineers quickly find and obtain UL Certified Durable Labels.

The database flexibly enables searches by company name, file number, model/system designation, surface type, temperature, special conditions, applications, exposures and trade name. The result is easy identification of all UL Recognized Labels that meet the selected search criteria.

Launched in response to customer requests, this new service will be of particular interest to those looking for UL Recognized Labels certified under the categories of Marking & Labeling Systems (PGDQ2, PGDQ8), Marking & Labeling System Components (PGGU2, PGGU8), Printing Materials (PGJI2, PGJI8), Limited Use Labels (PGIS2) and Authorized Label Suppliers (PGAA).

Currently, access to any UL iQ database is free, including iQ for Labels. Registration is required, however, for anyone who does have an active MyHome@UL account.

Keith J. Gilbert, Industry Manager for Marking and Labeling, UL Chemicals

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New TTC molding capacity streamlines FUS testing of plastic flame bars

UL Follow-Up Services (FUS) have simplified testing of plastic flame bars by offering sample specimen molding at UL's Thermoplastics Testing Center (TTC). The new molding capacity at TTC is designed to accelerate testing, increase speed to market and enhance customer satisfaction.

For testing in accordance with the Standardized Appendix Pages for Component Plastics (QMFZ2), customers may send their materials as thermoplastic polymer granules (pellets) directly to the TTC, which carries out the required molding. As a result, customers no longer need to shut down their production line for test bar molding. For even greater convenience, customers may simply submit the chemical formula of the compound to be tested.

TTC is a state-of-the-art plastics testing center located in Krefeld, Germany (north-west of Dusseldorf). The laboratory tests for all major plastics applications, ranging from polyethylene to high-performance thermoplastics. TTC recently added compounding and injection molding services to produce both granules and test pieces, using fully automated machines and approximately 100 different molds.

Information on ordering FUS samples can be found at the iQ Database website.

Georgios Ousios, FUS Administrator, TTC and UL Chemicals

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New improved online home for UL’s Thermoplastics Testing Center

UL’s dedicated TTC website has just been completely redesigned for improved user friendliness. It is now easier to navigate and provides visitors with a quick impression of the testing center’s different fields of expertise – it’s interesting to learn how thermoplastics are applied in widely diverse industries.

Another advantage of the website is that now all texts are available in four languages: German and English (as before) as well as French and Italian. Have a look!

Visit www.ulttc.com

Marlene Stezinar, Marketing Manager, TTC and UL Chemicals

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Enhance your competitive advantage with technical training from UL University

What do you need to know to stay on top in the global chemicals business? UL University, 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 University’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 University 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 University 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.ULUniversity.com for workshop dates and locations and to learn more about the many ways UL University 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 University

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Visit UL at the following events

21-22 March 2012 | Mannheim, Germany

Plastics in Automotive Engineering

1-5 April 2012 | Orlando, USA NPE
The International Plastics Show | Booth 37042

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