Ampacet Couples New Photoluminescent Masterbatches with Services to Use them Effectively


Tarrytown, NY, May 1, 2006 - Many fire laws call for long-lasting photoluminescent signs, strips and other markings to guide people out of enclosed spaces in a fire. These life-safety markings are generally made of plastic compounded with strontium aluminate, a difficult-to-process material. In light of this, Ampacet Corporation has introduced a line of improved strontium aluminate color masterbatches coupled with the support services needed to apply them effectively.

Ampacet photoluminescent masterbatches can be used with many polymers, including acrylic, polyethylene, and polycarbonate, nylon and other engineering resins.

Strontium aluminate poses processing challenges because it is as hard as tungsten and abrades screws and barrels during processing. The abraded metal fines block pores on strontium aluminate particles, so they emit less light in the dark. To avert this, Ampacet offers its customers a service package that includes production and testing support to ensure the items they make meet photoluminescence specifications.

"We've found a new way to configure strontium aluminate pigment in the masterbatch to promote high photoluminescence levels," says Rich Novomesky, Market Manager at Ampacet. "We've also identified a variety of molding and extrusion practices to help processors create products that meet set photoluminescent standards."

Life safety markings are required for escape routes in many settings, including ships holding more than 36 passengers, commercial buildings, buses, and subway and passenger rail cars. They are also mandated for the interior of trunk latches in automobiles. Products made to meet such regulations include injection molded arrows, extruded profiles for walls, extrusion coatings for tape to form glowing bands on walls and floors, and coated film for exit signs.

Independent testing found that acrylic and polyethylene compounds containing the new photoluminescent masterbatches exceed afterglow duration and brilliance levels in various standards. For example, the American Public Transportation Association standard for emergency signage for egress from passenger rail (APTA SS-PS-002-98 Rev. 1) specifies an afterglow of 7.5 mcd/m2 at 90 minutes. In testing the 90-minute afterglow luminance, Ampacet's product was 10.8 mcd/m2 for one acrylic formulation and 8.0 mcd/m2 for a linear low density polyethylene compound.

Similar results were gained in testing against DIN 67 510 Parts 1-4 for photoluminescent escape route systems and New York City Local Law 26 of 2004, which applies to commercial high-rise buildings over 75 feet tall.

About Ampacet
Ampacet Corporation is a global masterbatch leader and offers the broadest range of custom color, special effect, black, white and specialty additive masterbatches for extrusion, molding and a multitude of other processes and applications. Founded in 1937, it now employs more than 1,400 people and has revenues exceeding $650 million. Headquartered in Tarrytown, N.Y., Ampacet Corporation operates technical and color development centers and manufacturing sites throughout the Americas, Asia and Europe.

For more information on Ampacet's photoluminescent masterbatches and supporting services, contact: Rich Novomesky, Ampacet, 660 White Plains Rd., Tarrytown, NY 10591. Or call Rich Novomesky at (513) 247-5409. E-mail: rnovomesky@ampacet.com. Or visit: www.ampacet.com.

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