First Semi-Transparent Polyamide
BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany, has now succeeded in developing a semi-crystalline polyamide that allows light to pass through largely unhindered. Ultramid Vision combines very high light transmission with low light scattering.
According to the manufacturer, this makes it the world’s first semi-crystalline polyamide for semi-transparent or transparent components in chemically challenging environments. The new polyamide is UV and temperature resistant, scratch-proof as well as suitable for flame-retardant requirements. Ultramid Vision can be used in various application fields: It recommends itself especially for parts for visual check, illumination or light design. Ultramid Vision presents a versatile alternative to commonly used materials such as amorphous aliphatic polyamides, polycarbonate or styrene-acrylonitrile copolymers.
Ultramid Vision has physical and thermal properties which are similar to conventional unreinforced polyamide 6 compounds. However, according to the manufacturer, it stands apart from these compounds significantly thanks to its exceptional visual properties. While semi-crystalline standard polyamides are nearly opaque, that is visually hazy, at a wall thickness of only one millimeter, one can see easily through parts made of Ultramid Vision at wall thicknesses of up to several millimeters. Even if components made from Ultramid Vision are exposed to elevated temperatures and moisture, the haze and transmission values hardly change compared to being freshly molded.
The semi-transparent polyamide has outstanding UV resistance and is also suitable for applications involving direct exposure to sunlight. The UV resistance was tested both for indoor use and under outdoor weathering conditions using conventional accelerated weathering tests. Ultramid Vision also shows very good stress cracking resistance to sun screen, cleaning agents and solvents as well as fats and oils.
In addition to the uncolored base grade Ultramid Vision B3K un, there is the option of producing specially equipped products featuring diffuse light scattering along with high transmittance. Customers can also obtain specially colored grades. Alternatively, Ultramid Vision can be colored with polyamide-based color masterbatches which can be procured from e.g. BASF Color Solutions. In addition, the highly light-permeable Ultramid Vision can be combined with other polyamide materials in a multi-component injection-molding process. This leads to easy production of multifunctional parts with transparent or illuminated sections.
Patents encourage innovation: Stay on the ball with the latest innovations in the plastics industry in our patents section.
Would you like to subscribe to our Newsletters on plastics technology and profit from the latest information?
You know the trade name but want to know the material manufacturer, type of polymer and delivery form? Search here!