VAMP TECH SOLUTIONS FOR THE REFRIGERATION MARKET
The Grenfell Tower fire in London in June 2017 further raised public awareness of the need to increase the level of protection against the risk of fire, resulting from short circuits or failures of our appliances. For this reason, new regulatory standards have been studied and drafted, which have significantly changed what is in place.
The refrigeration sector is certainly one of the markets where more changes have been made than in the past: there are two regulatory standards of reference in this area, namely the European one and the US / North American one.
In Europe, starting from May 2019, the UL 60335 standard (already required for other household appliances) has become mandatory also for refrigeration and it is necessary that all parts in contact with the insulating foam pass a test called Needle Flame Test. Moreover, with effect from 2023 the same plastic parts in contact with the foam and with electrical connections must guarantee the 5VA fire resistance rating, unless a sheet of metal is placed between them (of thickness not less than 0.2 mm).
However, in the USA and North America any surface in contact with electrical connections must be protected by a sheet of metal with a melting temperature greater than 1000 ° C and, above all, must pass the so-called RADIANT PANEL TEST (ASTM E162 standard) with a value that does not exceed 70.
In this regard VAMP TECH, an independent Italian compounder, has developed two materials which respond positively to the needs of both markets.
They are VAMPLEN ™ 0024 V0 C (compound based on PP, unfilled, flame retardant halogen free) and VAMPSAB ™ 0023 V0 A (compound based on ABS, unfilled, flame retardant with halogens). Both solutions have yellow card and they show excellent fire resistance properties (5VA at 2.0 mm for VAMPLEN ™ and 5VA at 1.6 mm for VAMPSAB ™) and achieved a RADIANT PANEL TEST value much lower than 70 (RP50).
In this way, with a single material (PP or ABS indifferently), it is possible to produce refrigeration components that meet the requirements of both the European and American markets without the need to differentiate production for one or the other with significant economic and logistical advantages.