March 2012

Bac2’s Graham Murray wins TOPCON ‘Best Technical Presentation Award’ for revealing economical new way to produce fire-retardant SMC and BMC

Bac2, a polymer innovation company, announces that The Society of Plastics Engineers’ Thermoset TOPCON 2012 conference made the ‘Best Technical Presentation Award’ to the company’s technical director, Dr. Graham Murray. At the recent event in San Antonio, Texas, USA, Dr. Murray demonstrated how low fire, smoke and toxicity sheet moulded compounds (SMC) and bulk moulded compounds (BMC) can be produced more economically using phenolic resins activated using a novel latent catalyst, dubbed CSR.

The process can be used in the manufacture of electronics and electrical packaging, electrical insulation, interior fittings for transportation, stadia seating, and many other products.

Today, SMC products are predominantly polyester based, due to the low cost and processability of the resins. Despite superior fire properties, phenolic resole based SMC parts are not commonplace due to the material’s poor storage and processing characteristics. Bac2’s CSR latent acid catalysts enable the cost-effective production of resole based SMC products with low fire, smoke and toxicity values. The latent catalyst allows storage stable moulding compounds to be produced containing highly reactive phenolic resole based polymer binders. The catalysts enable phenolic SMC to be formed into rolls that thicken after a few days, without the need for additives, to a consistency that allows easy cutting, stripping and moulding of a wide range of GRP parts. The rolls can be stored at ambient temperature for up to 2 months. It has recently been found that the CSR latent catalysts work equally as well with bio-based furan resins.

Mechanical and fire properties are excellent for the newly developed phenolic moulded parts. In order to demonstrate to the composite industry that a phenolic option for storage stable SMC is available and can produce mechanically strong, fire safe products for many applications, a video demonstration is available here:

Bac2 offers both standard and process-specific CSR latent acid catalysts, working with customers to optimize the formulation for each application.