Development of low Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) elastomers

Development of low Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) elastomers

We manufacture a range of specialty elastomer sheeting products, including toy-safe and child-safe materials that are incorporated into child car safety seats.

Striving for an ever cleaner personal environment, in Germany there is a desire to make all consumer products completely free from PAH contamination.

What are PAHs?
This is a very challenging target, as PAHs are widespread in the natural environment as well as industrial processes. In order to meet the German consumer target, we needed to develop a material that would deliver less than twice the current Limit of Detection across a family of 18 different contaminants. This number is so small it is essentially a zero-contamination limit.

New Product Development
Over a two-year period we carried out an extensive development programme, identifying ingredients that contribute to the PAH results, and replacing or eliminating them whilst retaining the final product properties. We made use of independent test houses to check and verify our findings, and after many twists and turns arrived at a formulation that gave consistently low PAH results, whilst maintaining the desirable properties for the component.

We were able to maintain superior fire performance, flexibility and resilience, all whilst achieving the desired aim of less than 1ppm total PAH (18 elements). (To put this figure into context, <10ppm Total PAH (8 elements) is the current accepted limit for PAH contamination in car tyres.) We are now able to offer an elastomer sheeting as feedstock material for a child car safety seat harness that will meet all current and future requirements both the EU and the US.