Milton, WI - (August 7, 2007) - .When Biomarine Inc., a division of Neutronics, Inc. was designing the
housing for its revolutionary new BioPak 240R Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), it turned to
Premix Thermoplastics, Inc. for help in developing a thermoplastic compound that would meet the unit's
demanding requirements for withstanding even the most rugged use while providing protection against radio
Certified by NIOSH/MSHA, EN136/EN137/EN145 and the Chinese Mining Authority, the new 4-hour
BioPak 240R is the industry's most advanced and easiest to use long duration rebreather on the market.
With its 6-liter tidal volume, disposable solid CO2 scrubbers, and quick-change coolant, the 240R represents
the most significant advancement in closed circuit, self-contained breathing apparatus technology in over a
decade. Overall user safety and comfort has also been dramatically increased over standard SCBA
with an ergonomic design and advanced status/warning systems. The BioPak 240R rebreather is designed
for use in mine and tunnel rescue, industrial accidents, Hazmat clean-up, search and rescue, and military or
homeland security actions.
For the housing of the BioPak 240R, Biomarine needed a material whose properties included
the ability to handle impact requirements and withstand continuous temperatures of 190°F (88°C) without
deforming. In addition, the material had to withstand 15 seconds of direct flame without burning or showing
after glow, or flame after the flame is removed. It also needed to have a surface resistivity of less than
1-e9 ohms in order to control static buildup and charges.
Using a matrix approach to developing a customized compound for the housing, Premix engineers
considered a number of options. Initially, they thought PRE-ELEC ESD 14-000 would be an excellent
choice due its high impact resistance, heat deflection and colorability. However, they quickly ruled
it out because the flame test showed that the inherently dissipative polymer (IDP) in this PC alloy would
release some of its chemically bound water molecules and cause blistering on the surface of the BioPak
which was unacceptable.
Another option considered was PRE-ELEC 14-000, a carbon black polycarbonate compound that
met all the physical, thermal and electrical requirements. However, this was ruled out because Biomarine
wanted to manufacture BioPak with some color in it.
Next on the list for consideration was PRE-ELEC 14-031, which could be easily colored gray for
the housing but its impact resistance was too low. Even with impact modification, PRE-ELEC 14-031
would not meet the requirements for the application.
This left only one option, PRE-ELEC 14-040, a stainless steel fiber polycarbonate - but even
this compound needed impact modification to meet the impact properties. After strenuous testing,
the impact-modified compound, PRE-ELEC 14-040-HI, became the product of choice. Premix supplies
it in three colors, black, gray and yellow.
The ability to offer so many conductive and static dissipative compounds allows Premix
to utilize this type of matrix approach when customizing compounds. By tabulating the requirements
versus the abilities of its individual compounds, it is possible to develop special compounds very
quickly. It took less than 12 weeks to have a material qualified for the housing of Biomarine's SCBA.
Biomarine Inc., a division of Neutronics, Inc., is the market leader in the development and
production of reliable and easy-to-maintain positive-pressure, closed-circuit, SCBAs. For more information,
For more information about Premix Thermoplastics, please contact Premix at 1-888-284-3304,
e-mail email@example.com or visit the website at. www.premix.fi.