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In its UL 94 certification testing, BMC 0204 achieved level V0 at a thickness of only 0.4mm.
In its UL 94 certification testing, BMC 0204 achieved level V0 at a thickness of only 0.4mm.
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With BMC 0204, Lorenz Kunststoff GmbH has developed a thermosetting plastic that is flame-resistant and demonstrates good mechanical properties, allowing components to be made with just one type of plastics.

"Our customers are often faced with the problem that a component must fulfill different standards and regulations," explained Thomas Lorenz, Managing Director of Lorenz Kunststofftechnik. "They then need to use various types of plastics, which is laborious and expensive."

In the UL 94 certification test, a procedure to classify the flammability of plastics by an independent USA-based institution, BMC 0204, with a width of only 0.4mm, achieved the level V0. During the test, an open flame is applied to a sample of the material. Afterwards, the burn-time after removing the flame is graded – for 0204 this was less than 10s.

"What is really astonishing is not just the very short burn-time, which clearly demonstrates how difficult it is to ignite BMC 0204; above all it is the fact that this is possible with such a thin sample of the material," Lorenz said.

In Limited Oxygen Index (LOI) tests, the material achieved a top score of 100% - a result which is twice as good as with other plastics which are rated as extremely flame retardant. In addition, the ball pressure test, where a temperature of 150°C is applied to the material, confirms that BMC 0204 can withstand extreme conditions.

The thermosetting plastic is free of halogen, chloride, cyanide, and bromine- substance. It complies with a wealth of fire protection standards and has already received several important European certifications. For example, with I0/F0/M1, it sits at the highest level of the French standard NF F 16-101 for fire protection in railway vehicles.

Also during tests for the newly implemented standard EN 45545-2, which is an EU-wide railway standard, BMC 0204 performed at the highest level: HL3 for R1/R5/R6/R10/R11/R22/R23/R24/R25.

"Producers of small electronic components, such as completely normal light switches, are faced with difficulties due to the fire protection requirements for railway vehicles," explained Lorenz. "Because in trains, different requirements apply from those which apply for houses, which is why the same plastics cannot be used. As 0204 covers such a large number of standards, however, with its help, only one plastic is required for the series production of components in trains as in buildings."

Compared with other flame retardant plastics, BMC 0204 also exhibits better flow, with a flow value of at least 1,000mm in the spiral. "It is very unusual for a flame-resistant plastic to flow so well," said Lorenz. "Thanks to this characteristic, the material is suited for the production of large-scale, as well as very delicate components."

Wide fuse strips are just as small of a problem as components for electrical appliances, which must be made as small and accurate as possible. Thanks to the very low injection pressure, BMC 0204 can also be used for the overmolding of delicate electronic components and sensors.

In addition, BMC 0204 has a CTI value of 600 volts. The thermal conductivity of 1.35W/mK is the highest which can be achieved for a standard plastic. Other features include an arc resistance of more than 240s.

In extremely low or high temperatures of -30° up to +180°C, BMC 0204 has an impact resistance of more than 20kJ/m². The material is therefore suitable for applications such as connection boxes, MCBs, fuse strips or household appliances.

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