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12-18-2014

Colored Permanently Conductive Materials

Construction Site Safety

Colored hard hats are produced from a specially developed, permanently antistatic polypropylene compound (figure: Grafe)

The highest priority must be given to construction site safety, especially in the area of explosion protection. A protective safety helmet or hard hat is one of the most important items of safety equipment for the construction industry and associated trades. DIN EN 397 states that in all activities and work where a danger can be posed by toppling, falling, flying, swinging or thrown objects, the wearing of a hard hat is essential. This head protection is intended to minimize or better still completely eliminate the danger. To this end, hard hats must be resistant to thermal, chemical and weathering stresses and must also withstand both elastic and plastic deformation. Hard hats are exposed to low (down to -10 °C) and very high temperatures (up to 50 °C). These are the basic conditions under which the ball drop impact and penetration test is carried out. This test measures the penetration resistance and impact strength of a hard hat when struck by sharp and round objects.

Until now, permanently conductive materials could only be produced in a standard black. Colored hard hats did not possess electrical conductivity because they could not be antistatic-modified. The permanently antistatic polypropylene (PP) compound developed by the Grafe Group in Blankenhain, Germany, now makes it possible to produce a colored, electrically conductive helmet. This PP compound can be supplied in the brilliant blue, yellow, white, red, and brown colors of the Grafe Colorstat series. The PP material was specially developed for lightweight construction and can be combined with additional design elements in 2-component injection molding. These can include, for example, luminescent plastic elements that glow in the dark without requiring an additional light source. We should never forget that a hard hat can save lives.

Translated from Kunststoffe 12/2014, p. 12.

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