When changes in flame-retardance standards gave it reason to seek new materials for the PCBs in its front-loading clothes-washing machines, appliance manufacturer Vestel opted to switch from a halogenated flame retardant-filled polyamide to Noryl NH6020, a PPE/PA6 blend supplied by Sabic Innovative Plastics.
Shown are the face and backside of the Vestel washing machine’s control panel.
The new, tougher requirements of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 60355 standards for the testing and certification of electrotechnical equipment and components for unattended appliances prompted Vestel to change the materials used for molding of its printed circuit boards (PCBs) in its washers. The Noryl grade eventually specified meets the new requirements, but without the need for chlorinated or brominated flame retardants; reducing the use of these is one of Vestil’s sustainability goals.
Sabic IP offers a number of flame-retardant materials that achieved the tougher standard, which was upgraded to include Glow Wire Ignition Temperature (GWIT) testing for flammability. Because the materials have already passed compliance tests, OEMs need not conduct additional testing. Plus, said Ozgur Yilmaz, head of R&D for Vestel washing machines, the unreinforced polyamide previously used for the PCB molding had problems with warpage and needed to be processed within a narrow processing window. The new material allows for easier processing and less scrap. —[email protected]