What are Electrically Conductive Plastics?

The difference between normal plastic and conductive plastic

Plastics are normally insulators in their nature. They charge very easily and even when grounded the plastic material stays charged with static electricity.

Conductive plastic compounds, unlike normal plastics, have the ability to conduct electricity. When grounded conductive plastics remain in zero potential and do not accumulate static electricity.

conductive vs insulating_conductive

Electrically conductive (antistatic) plastics conduct the spare charges away and remain neutral. There is no risk of uncontrolled electrostatic discharge (ESD).

Electrically conductive plastics are right material choice for applications where static electricity will cause the risk of explosion or malfunction of electrical components.

conductive vs insulating_insulating

The grounding does not remove the electrical charges from normal plastic material.

The charging plastic materials cause a risk for uncontrolled electrostatic discharge (ESD).

Static electricity and Electrostatic Discharge i.e. ESD

Every time two objects touch each other the movement of electrons will cause imbalance of charges i.e. static electricity in both parts. When the charged object touches e.g. metal with different potential the static electricity will be discharged. This phenomena is called ESD -electrostatic discharge.

Practical example about ESD is a man walking across the floor. Every time his shoes touch the floor more electrical charges are built into man’s body. When he finally get’s to the door and touches the metallic door knob the static electricity will be discharged and man experiences a “static shock”.

In our example the electrostatic discharge will not cause a greater damage than an unpleasant experience. But in other occasions the static electricity can cause severe risks for people, facilities, processes and products. The electrostatic discharge can easily be so powerful that it will break an electrical equipment or even ignites a fire or an explosion.

Why conductive plastics?

The use of normal plastic materials is restricted in applications where uncontrolled electrostatic discharges have to be prevented and eliminated. Non-charging conductive plastic compounds ensure safe dissipation of electrical charges. The biggest application areas for electrically conductive plastic compounds are found from electronics industry and explosive environments.

Controlling ESD with electrically conductive plastics

In the electronics production the most critical production steps are carried out in special “ESD Protected Area” called EPA.

Inside EPA all the objects as well as workers have to be grounded into same potential. All the plastic parts inside EPA should be made out of electrically conductive plastic compounds.

Electrically conductive plastic compounds are also required for intimate packaging of sensitive electronics components.

esd-sign

Protecting sensitive components and people from uncontrolled static discharge with electrically conductive plastics.

ATEX – Eliminating explosion risks in hazardous athmospheres

Ensuring people and environment safety is the most important issue when vapors, gases and dusts are processed, transported and used.

ATEX directive (1999/92/EC) regulates the use of plastic materials both in hazardous areas (ATEX zones) and in the equipment used in those areas.

Electrically conductive plastic compounds are ATEX applicable plastic materials. They fulfill the surface resistance requirement set for plastic materials in used ATEX applications.

safe-working-enviroment

Ensuring a safe working environment in explosive atmospheres with electrically conductive plastics.

Premix is a pioneer in development and production of electrically conductive plastic compounds. Today we offer a comprehensive portfolio of electrically conductive PRE-ELEC® compounds and concentrates and static dissipative PRE-ELEC® ESD compounds.