GE's LNP* Starflam* X-Gen Compounds Meet Today's Environmental Compliance Challenges with Tomorrow's High-Tech Materials


PITTSFIELD, Mass. - June 21, 2007 - GE Plastics today launched a new portfolio of high-tech LNP* Starflam* compounds that provide excellent flammability performance while meeting the requirements of halogen-free parts. The LNP Starflam X-Gen Z270 family of fiber-reinforced polyamides supports compliance with the European Union's Waste Electrical and Electronics Equipment (WEEE) directive, Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) regulations, and other environmental requirements. The new products offer high-end mechanical and electrical properties that exceed those of traditional materials that use brominated and red phosphorus additives, and provide easy processing, excellent surface appearance, and the ability to be laser marked for labeling purposes.

"Many different industries face increasingly stringent environmental requirements on the use of halogenated flame retardants," said Nitin Apte, general manager GE Plastics, LNP. "Until now, there were no good alternatives to traditional reinforced polyamides. But with our new LNP Starflam X-Gen compounds, GE has changed the game: customers across the electrical/electronics, transportation seating, and industrial devices industries now have a full range of high-performance, environmentally responsible compounds that can help ensure regulatory compliance."

The LNP Starflam X-Gen Z270 compounds combine non-halogenated flame retardance and low smoke performance, and meet UV94 V-0 standards at low thicknesses, as well as IEC60335 requirements. They also provide outstanding thermal performance with a RTI of 140 C and very robust electrical properties with a CTI of 600 volts. The materials deliver excellent mechanical properties - including ductility and low warpage - enabling the materials to be used in demanding applications of virtually any size.

Customer Successes

RoHS regulations have led to industry adoption of a soldering process that meets lead-free requirements for surface mounting of connectors onto printed circuit boards. To proactively address this, Winchester Electronics, a U.S. manufacturer of high-speed, high-bandwidth interconnect solutions, began developing a complete line of RoHS-compliant products. But the company found that the polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) resin that it was using could not withstand the higher temperatures generated by infrared (IR) reflow ovens used in lead-free soldering. Not only did Winchester need a plastic that could take the heat, but the material also had to comply with regulations mandating the elimination of halogens from flame retardants, plus provide an array of key performance properties. GE's LNP Starflam X-Gen Z270 compound was able to completely meet these needs. On top of this, the GE Plastics material could be processed in existing molds, saving tremendous capital costs and enabling fast implementation.

Similarly, French firm Trelec turned to the LNP Starflam compound to produce fuse holders for printed circuit boards. The GE Plastics material offered this demanding application high electrical performance and compliance with the RoHS regulation and WEEE directive.

In the transportation seating market, Franz Kiel, a German manufacturer, achieved its goals of flame retardance, stiffness, and chemical resistance for molded bus and tram seating with GE's LNP Starflam X-Gen compound. The colorability of the material allowed Franz Kiel to avoid the cost of secondary painting.

LNP Starflam X-Gen compounds have already proven their excellent fits in a range of other applications covering the electronics and electrical segment as well as transportation. The portfolio includes PA6, PA6.6, PA6.6/6 blends, and other polyamides such as PPA and PA12. The materials are available globally and are currently injection moldable; new extrusion grades are under development.

For more information on GE's LNP Starflam compounds, please visit the GE Plastics' website at geplastics.com.

About GE Plastics
GE Plastics (geplastics.com) is a global supplier of plastic resins widely used in automotive, healthcare, consumer electronics, transportation, performance packaging, building & construction, telecommunications, and optical media applications. The company manufactures and compounds polycarbonate, ABS, SAN, ASA, PPE, PC/ABS, PBT and PEI resins, as well as the LNP* line of high-performance specialty compounds. GE Plastics, Specialty Film & Sheet manufactures high-performance Lexan* sheet and film products used in thousands of demanding applications worldwide. In addition, GE Plastics' dedicated Automotive organization is an experienced, world-wide competitor, offering leading plastics solutions for five key automotive segments: body panels and glazing; under the hood applications; component; structures and interiors; and lighting. As a Worldwide Partner of the Olympic Games, GE is the exclusive provider of a wide range of innovative products and services that are integral to a successful Games.

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