Digital Pressure Gauge Uses Static Dissipative Compound from RTP Company to Provide Safety in Explosive Environments


WINONA, MINN., USA - (January 28, 2009) - When GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies, a leading innovator in advanced measurement, sensor-based and inspection solutions, wanted to develop a microprocessor-controlled digital pressure gauge that could meet the static dissipation standards established by the European ATEX Directive, they worked with specialty compounder RTP Company to find the best static dissipative compound for the gauge's exterior housing.

"Keeping workers safe by preventing accidents in environments with potentially explosive atmospheres is absolutely critical," explained Jim Henke, Global Product Manager at GE Sensing & Inspection. "The ATEX regulations ensure the gauges will not be a source of ignition for flammable fumes or media being monitored."

Requirements for the intrinsically safe DPE 104-IS gauge included ESD protection, good impact strength, and colorability for brand identification. RTP Company recommended using a PermaStat PLUS 2500 Series static dissipative PC/ABS compound precolored bright yellow for the gauge's exterior housing.

According to Dr. Joel Bell, product development engineer at RTP Company, "PC/ABS alloys exhibit excellent impact strength, and their easy processability provides a smooth surface finish. PermaStat PLUS materials meet ATEX Directive and IECEx Scheme static dissipation requirements with a surface resistivity of 10E7 to 10E8 ohm." All PermaStat grades from RTP Company are capable of providing permanent static protection at all humidity levels and are fully colorable because of their all-polymeric chemistry.

"Using the RTP Company compound allowed our gauge to comply with the ATEX standards for equipment that's used in potentially explosive environments," said Henke. "In addition to providing necessary ESD protection, the material gives us the impact strength we need for rugged industrial use and a custom yellow color consistent with our existing product line."

GE Sensing & Inspection's DPI 104-IS is a simple-to-use digital pressure gauge with a large, easy-to-read display. It can be used for both process monitoring and testing and calibration applications. When used for process monitoring, explained Henke, the medium might be a gas (air, nitrogen, or propane), a liquid (LNG, heating oil, or machine oil), or virtually anything conveyed or stored under pressure. "In process applications," said Henke, "our gauge is typically mounted directly to a pipeline or storage vessel."

When used for testing and calibration, the pressure gauge is used as a portable device in conjunction with a hand pump to calibrate dial or mechanical gauges and pressure switches. "The DPI 104-IS is the only gauge of its kind available in pressure ranges up to 20,000 psi (1,400 bar)," added Henke.

For more information on RTP Company custom engineered thermoplastic compounds, call (800) 433-4787 or (507) 454-6900, or visit their website at www.rtpcompany.com.

About RTP Company

RTP Company, headquartered in Winona, Minnesota, is a global compounder of custom engineered thermoplastics. The company has nine manufacturing plants on three continents, plus sales representatives throughout North America, Europe, and Asia/Pacific. RTP Company's engineers develop custom compounds in over 60 different engineering resin systems for applications requiring color, conductive, elastomeric, flame retardant, high temperature, shielding, structural, and wear resistant properties.

Contact: Kris Jommersbach
Gemini Communications
PH: +(1) 610-935-1633
Email: krisj@geminiinc.com

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