17 Sep 2018

Fakuma 2018: Controlled use of electrical conductivity

Controlled use of electrical conductivity: Plastics are electrical insulators by nature. This is a feature that is desired in many products but can also lead to problems. For example, if an end product is electrostatically charged by friction, it can then discharge when touched to cause a small electrical “shock”.

MARFRAN® E CD TPE compounds from FRANCESCO FRANCESCHETTI ELASTOMERI srl (FFE) are based on styrene block copolymers and are excellent insulators, yet it is possible to exhaust the build-up of electrostatic charge thanks to the use of specific additives.
The most important processes for modifying the electrical conductivity in a thermoplastic elastomer can be achieved by adding three different types of substances:

Conductive fillers

Electrical conductivity results from the contact of conductive particles that build up a network within the thermoplastic material. Some examples of such particles are conductive carbon black, metal microfibers and carbon nanotubes.

Ionic and/or hydrophilic additives

These additives migrate to the surface of the material, which generates an electrical surface conductivity that decreases over time and is therefore not permanent.

Intrinsically conductive polymers (ICP)

Conductivity is achieved by the homogeneous dispersion of the polymer components in the TPE matrix. The conductivity is independent of mechanical and environmental stress on the material and guarantees a much more stable and permanent level of electrical conductivity.

Custom-fit range

FFE has developed the following products for this application:

MARFRAN® E CDP: TPE-S compound based on SEBS, modified with specific intrinsically conductive polymers. The mechanism ensures that the electrical conductivity is permanent regardless of the operating conditions of the product. MARFRAN® E CDP also guarantees good physical and mechanical properties.

MARFRAN® E CDT1: TPE-S compound based on SEBS with antistatic migrant additives. The antistatic effect decreases over time and is not permanent.

MARFRAN® E CDT2: TPE-S compound based on SEBS with mineral filler and antistatic migrant additives. The antistatic effect decreases over time and is not permanent. The compounds of this product range offer an excellent price-performance ratio.