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PC/Silicone Copolymer Toughens Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus

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Biomarine, Exton, Pa., a manufacturer of self-contained breathing apparatus for rescue and hazmat workers, firefighters, and miners has improved the safety and durability of its new BioPal 240R Revolution rebreather by replacing the existing PC compound for the external housing. Its aim was to improve both the impact strength and electrostatic dissipative (ESD) performance of the unit’s housing. Biomarine opted for an LNP Faradex compound from SABIC Innovative Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass. This compound is based on Lexan EXL PC/silicone copolymer with electrically conductive stainless-steel fibers. The material substitution resulted in a tougher housing with excellent ESD and greatly enhanced aesthetics.
According to J.Douglas Anderson, v.p.of Biomarine, the previous material was often brittle which frequently led to part breakage, and there were major inconsistencies in ESD performance. “Because of this, we were rejecting entire lots, costing us a lot of time, money, and resources. SABIC’s experts provided a solution to both our problems in that the base copolymer in the Faradex compound gave us 25% higher impact resistance than PC alone, and was compounded in such a way as to support superior ESD performance.”