UL CHEMICALS exclusive

PLASTICS

Powerful Prospector searches add UL Yellow Card information

With a free online database currently comprising 85,244 technical data sheets from 874 plastics manufacturers, Prospector by IDES (now UL IDES) is a powerful search tool which has long been assisting engineers, product designers and OEMs to find the right polymer for their application. Since July 2012, Prospector searches additionally offer integrated access to 44,000 UL plastics recognition Yellow Cards and their invaluable safety information. All data in iQ for Plastics is thereby now available in this one, unified database.

Relied upon by nearly 330,000 design engineers and processors – as well as over 35,000 other industry professionals – Prospector uses a single intuitive interface to simply and efficiently search, filter and mine its comprehensive plastics database. Users select the search criteria appropriate to their needs from an extensive range of options, including material properties, process requirements, regional origin, global availability and now also UL safety certification.

Current iQ for Plastics users are encouraged to switch to Prospector. While new registration is required, it is fast and easy to do.

Josh Dorrell, Business Development Director, UL IDES

For further information on the UL IDES Prospector Plastics Database, please contact Josh Dorrell at josh.dorrell@ul.com.

Register or login to Prospector now to view UL Yellow Cards

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LABELS

Standard Register Company first to achieve Recognition in UL’s new In-Mold Label (IML) program

Increasing use of In-Mold Labeling (IML) may be attributed to cost savings, smoother/integrated look, as well as the ability to provide resistance to wear and tear. Durability is certainly important when it means that critical safety information is better protected.

To address the demand for additional labeling options, UL has recently unveiled a new Marking & Labeling System Recognition program specifically for IML. The new program evaluates IML in combination with generic plastic surfaces and molding processes in accordance with UL 969, Canadian C22.2 No. 0.15, as well as a number of IEC-based UL end product standards that require a marking durability rub test.

The program also allows end product manufacturers to obtain IML parts from the molder of their choice, as long as the parts are molded within the prescribed molding process parameters, and the molder provides the required traceability documentation.

The Standard Register Company in the U.S. is the first to qualify for the new UL Recognition. “By partnering with UL in this new program, Standard Register demonstrates its commitment to help our customers communicate warning information and provide durable and attractive additions to their products using In-Mold Labels that meet UL’s rigorous permanence of marking requirements,” says Standard Register’s Steve McDonell, VP for Engineering and Sustainability.

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

Manufacturers can learn more about UL’s new IML Recognition program at www.ul.com/labels or by contacting ryan.j.houle@ul.com.

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PACKAGING

UL testing and validation ensures toxics-in-packaging compliance

Originally drafted in 1989, the Model Toxics in Packaging Legislation seeks to reduce and eventually eliminate the presence of certain heavy metals in packaging. Legislation based on this Model has been adopted in the United States – in California, New York, Illinois and many other states – and by the European Union, where it forms the basis for the packaging requirements of Council Directive 94/62/EC. Manufacturers and suppliers of packaging and packaging components sold or distributed in these jurisdictions may be required to present a certificate of compliance to governmental authorities and/or packaging purchasers.

Packaging and packaging components are responsible for an increasingly significant share of the waste stream in many countries. With much of this packaging containing heavy metals, the Model Toxics in Packaging Legislation aims at curbing the amount of heavy metals entering municipal landfills and incinerators. It specifies that the sum of incidentally introduced lead, mercury, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium in any package or packaging component shall not exceed 100 parts per million (ppm) by weight, and prohibits the intentional introduction of these four heavy metals during manufacturing or distribution. For recycled materials, the limit for the sum of the four regulated metals is 200 ppm.

To help ensure regulatory compliance of packaging and packaging components, UL works closely with manufacturers, suppliers and distributors to develop test programs, as well as monitor and assess product quality and safety throughout the production process.

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

For more information on packaging, please visit www.ul.com/packaging or contact Ryan Houle at +1.847.664.2732 or at Ryan.J.Houle@ul.com.

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AUTOMOTIVE

Automotive polymer certification: Under the hood and in the cabin

Through the practice of automotive light weighting, new materials are finding their way under the hoods and into the cabins of electric, hybrid, and traditionally powered vehicles. UL provides targeted testing in order to ensure that these materials, and the components made from these materials, fulfill safety requirements as well as manufacturers’ demands for performance and durability.

Testing needs will vary depending on where and how a material or component will be used. For instance, a V-0 flame rating (UL 94) may be perfect for one application, but not the best choice for another. New challenges, such as growing concerns over vehicle indoor air quality, are also requiring larger and more sophisticated set-ups for Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions testing of subassemblies or even whole cars.

From the emerging demands of electric vehicle equipment (see following article by Naoki Ishihara) to the drive for ever lighter and stronger components, UL is able to provide customized testing and certification services to address the unique requirements of each vehicle, manufacturer and market.

Examples of individual performance and safety tests available at UL include dedicated testing of labels, adhesives, cable ties (positioning devices), as well as interior air quality.

For plastics materials, flame class testing at UL ranges from horizontal burning (HB) for materials not in the proximity of typical ignition sources to 5-inch vertical burning (5V) for materials that need to contain or directly mitigate a fire hazard. UL also offers specific flame class testing for foamed materials (HBF, HF-1, HF-2) and very thin materials (VTM).

Other plastics tests relevant for automotive components  include hot wire ignition (HWI), dielectric strength, surface resistivity, comparative tracking index (CTI) and heat deflection testing.

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

For further information on materials and component testing for the automotive industry, please contact David Wuestmann at +1.631.546.3234 or David.E.Wuestmann@ul.com

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EV

UL Japan facilitates plastics sector access to EV application knowledge

With over 100 years of experience in product safety for E&E applications, UL is committed to contribute to product safety in electric vehicle (EV) related equipment, as well, particularly since EV applications are becoming a source of considerable growth for the plastics industry around the world. The cascade of new developments, however, also poses significant challenges to both plastics suppliers and manufacturers of EV end products such as charging system equipment, connectors & plugs, batteries, or wireless-charging systems for components completely housed in plastic.

In order to help customers better meet these challenges, UL Japan initiated a series of high-level meetings with primary stakeholders. In addition to coordinating the events, UL Japan accessed its global knowledge base to offer an independent view of present and future concerns and opportunities.

Two critical common denominators for success emerged from the meetings: safety and communication. Participants at the meetings were keenly aware that building confidence in the safety of EV technology is essential to maintaining industry momentum. They were therefore pleased to receive an in-depth review of EV-related UL safety standards, such as UL 2202 (EV Charging System Equipment), UL 2580 (EV Batteries), UL 2251 (EV Plugs, Receptacles and Couplers) as well as UL Subject 2750 (EV Wireless Charging System Equipment).

Ongoing communication between stakeholders – plastics suppliers, OEMs and UL – can help everyone stay ahead of the curve of market change. Improved communication can also help speed up the UL certification process, and more quickly get products to market.

Naoki Ishihara, Business Development Manager – Japan, UL Chemicals

If you have any questions about this article or plastics testing for EV applications in Japan, please contact Naoki.Ishihara@ul.com.

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EVENTS

Visit UL at the following events

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UL TTC

UL Thermoplastics Testing Center

UL has been testing plastics since 1941. As an accredited ISO 17025 testing laboratory, the UL Thermoplastics Testing Center (UL TTC), located in Krefeld, Germany, has been defining and redefining state-of-the-art in plastics testing for over 65 years. Discover our unsurpassed capabilities in plastics technology, capacity, quality and expertise.

Learn more at: ulttc.com

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UL KNOWLEDGE SERVICES

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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