HANAU, Germany — Heraeus Epurio and Plast Composite Consulting (PCC) have jointly developed the industry’s first antistatic coating that protects lighting units in electrostatic discharged (ESD) and explosion-proof areas. Utilizing Clevios, the conductive polymer from Heraeus, the two companies were able to successfully create the first coating to combine conductivity with transparent surface sealing for lighting covers in electrostatic discharge and explosion-proof areas.
In ESD environments or areas with an explosion hazard, the requirements placed on lighting units are extremely high. They must remain durably resistant to chemicals and scratches - and reliably dissipate static charges. In cooperation with Plast Composite Consulting (PCC), Heraeus Epurio has introduced the first coating that contains Clevios – a conductive polymer – for sealing plastic covers of lighting units. This offers all-round protection, is transparent and cost-effective to manufacture.
"Our solution is unique in this combination and quality," said Wilfried Lövenich, Head of Innovation at Heraeus Epurio. Clevios is a conductive polymer additive that is suitable for various plastics such as PC, ABS, PMMA and SAN. The additive gives the coated material its dissipative properties so that no static charges can arise that could, in the worst case, cause sparks and thus an explosion hazard.
The Clevios coating can be applied to plastic surfaces using all conventional methods, after which the components are dried. Surfaces coated with Clevios become antistatic, static dissipative or conductive – with precisely adjustable coating resistances. “For the first time, Clevios makes it possible to give a 3-D plastic body a glass-like surface that is also highly conductive,” explained Lövenich. “Compared to the possibilities offered by current substrates, the new property profile of the Clevios-based coating represents a big step forward in materials technology.”
PCC is an expert in plastic coatings and a long-standing partner of Heraeus in the field of coatings for automotive parts. The idea for the new coating developed from cooperation on existing products. “We combined Heraeus’ knowledge of conductive polymers with our expertise in chemical resistance and scratch resistance,” explained Carolus Bremer, Managing Director of PCC.
The new formulation is an important addition to Clevios’ existing portfolio. As an established product for application in windows, instrument housings, special papers, photographic films, construction and building materials, and release coatings, it is now also used in lighting units - with potential for future developments. “Thanks to its special composition, Clevios is very flexible and can be adapted to a wide range of customer requirements - whether it be conductivity, coloring or other application areas,” said Lövenich.