Thursday, April 05, 2012: 04:09:16 PM

Quick, Concentrated UV Protection for Polycarbonate

AURA™ infusion technology, developed by Bayer MaterialScience LLC, offers a cost-effective and environmentally responsible way to improve the UV protection of injection moulded or extruded polycarbonate parts. The company has licensed the technology exclusively to Radco Infusion Technologies LLC, for worldwide use.

Since ultraviolet (UV) light attacks polycarbonate at the surface, UV protection is most effective when concentrated there. Yet, with traditional compounding of additives it is not possible to concentrate protection at the surface. This limits UV absorber effectiveness in outdoor applications, such as lenses and covers for lighting fixtures, where protection from sunlight is essential to durability and clarity.

‘The new dimension of AURA™ infusion technology, made possible by Radco, can be used with any of Bayer’s Makrolon® transparent polycarbonate lighting grades’, says Kevin Dunay, Market Segment Leader, Electrical/Electronics (EE) Polycarbonates, Bayer MaterialScience LLC. He continued, ‘It is a breakthrough for lighting manufacturers, since it helps overcome the issue of yellowing after extended UV exposure.’

The infusion of UV additives via AURA™ infusion technology utilises the same process used to add custom colourants. In this new twist, finished plastic parts are immersed in a mostly aqueous solution containing UV additives. The parts are removed from the solution after a short period of time, rinsed with water to remove excess solution from the surface and then dried to produce a market-ready product.

‘Choosing the AURA™ infusion process allows for the use of heat-sensitive additives that break down at extrusion/moulding temperatures, but remain viable at the lower temperatures associated with infusion technology’, explained Rick M. Anderson, CEO, Radco Infusion Technologies LLC.

In addition to being efficient and cost-effective, it is also an eco-friendly process. AURA™ infusion technology works in a water-based medium with a minimum of organic additives. The liquid, constantly recycled and reused, does not add to the waste stream. Processing solvents are reclaimed and reused within the system, and the process produces no hazardous waste.

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