American Society for Testing Materials, an abbreviation that designates the US body that deals with the creation, editing and publication of standards and methods of analysis and testing of the different types of materials. Very authoritative worldwide, in Italy its norms have been accepted by UNI.
The CE mark names a set of mandatory practices for goods for which there is a community directive that includes, among other things, the application of a symbol with the letters “CE” on the product. The CE mark is affixed directly by the manufacturer of a regulated product in the European Union and certifies that this is in compliance with the safety requirements provided by the applicable Community directives or regulations.
The CE symbol does not have a declared literal meaning, so it is not an acronym, as the term “European Conformity” in the various nations of the Union is expressed in completely different words.
Certifications are certificates issued by competent bodies that declare compliance with certain production standards issued to organizations or companies that meet a set of internal, national or supranational standards.
In the field of plastics the most widespread certifications are: IEC, EN, ISO.
It is the acronym that identifies the standards developed by CEN, the European Standardization Body (Comité Européen de Normalization).
The member countries of the European Union are obliged to implement the rules introduced by the CEN. As for Italy, they become UNI EN.
The function of these rules is to standardize the technical regulations in all the countries of Europe.
ETP (engineering technoplastics) are those polymeric thermoplastic resins that possess properties that are clearly superior to the most common plastic polymers: such as polystyrene (PS), poly-chloride-vinyl (PVC), polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE), called “commodities”.
ETPs or technopolymers are distinguished by their mechanical, thermal and dimensional stability qualities. Being more performing than commodities, they are generally used in the production of objects with greater complexity and added value, often replacing traditional materials such as: glass, wood, metal in technical and safety applications.
The most well-known and sold ETPs include Acryl-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS) at the base of the pyramid, then, while increasing in temperature, we can find: PC / ABS alloy, Polycarbonate (PC), Polyamides (PA) 6 and 6.6, the Polybutylene-terephthalate (PBT), Polysulfone (PSU), Polyetherimide (PEI), Polyphenylene-sulfide (PPS). The increase in thermal performances corresponds to a reduction in sales volumes. For this reason the best performing products such as PSO, PSU, PPS, PEI, PEEK are also indicated as “exotic” polymers.
Among the examples of applications made with these ETP (Engineering Thermoplastics) or Technopolymers (Engineering Tecnoplastics), we can name the PC / ABS alloy and ABS which are widely used in the automotive industry for the internal parts of cars (dashboards, moldings and vents) ), the PC / PBT alloy (for high-performance bumpers and parabolic headlights for cars and for other lighting segments), Polycarbonate (for car headlight lenses, glasses, visors and helmets for motorcycles) Polyamides 6 , 66 and 12 commercially known as Nylon, used for elastic cable strips, connectors, industrial sockets and plugs and for ski boots and accessories. However, it should be noted that over the years one of the best-known commodities, the PP, has undergone a strong technical evolution taking on the dignity of technopolymer as well and subtracting space to ABS in many technical applications.
International Electrotechnical Commission: an international organization for the definition of standards in the field of electricity and electronics.
The IEC has the task to establish the standards concerning the units of measurement, in particular the Gauss, the Hertz and the Weber. The IEC was the first commission to propose a system of standards, the Giorgi System, which around 1960 evolved into the system of units of measurement of the International System.
IQ (Industrial Quality) is the acronym that distinguishes the high quality lower cost – both in CO2 and money – of products that 2Mila design for the industry.
In the transition phase from completely fossil-derived materials to fully Bio ones, IQs represent the intermediate solution when it is not possible to use raw materials exclusively coming from biological sources. The use of partially recycled materials makes it possible to reduce the polymer carbon dioxide content by up to 50%, without losing the key performance needed by moulded products. These are products made around the strategic elements (performances) discussed and agreed with the customer that go in the direction of the Circular Economy directive.
The English “International Organization for Standardization” is the most important organization operating worldwide in the definition of technical standards.
It is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and consists of members who belong to international standardization bodies from 164 countries around the world.
The ISO cooperates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), responsible for the standardization of electrical and electronic devices, and with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for what concerns the technical norms in the telecommunications sector.
From its inception until 2019, ISO has developed 22683 international technical standards.
The ISO also dealt with the development of different types of documents:
- Technical Specifications (Technical Specifications)
- TR, Technical Reports (Technical Reports)
- PAS, Publicly Available Specifications (Publicly Available Specifications)
- IWA, International Workshop Agreements (International Workshop Agreements)
European Union Regulation of 18 December 2006, relating to the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemical substances. The acronym REACH derives from the English terms: Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction of Chemicals.
Its main function is to improve the knowledge of the dangers and risks arising from chemical substances, to promote and consolidate competitiveness and innovation in the European chemical industry.
The RoHS Directive (from English: Restriction of Hazardous Substances, restrictions on harmful substances), adopted in February 2003 by the European Community, is linked to the directive on the scrapping of electrical and electronic equipment regarding their collection, recycling and recovery, to regulate the disposal of large quantities of such equipment at the end of their life cycle.
The RoHS directive was replaced by the RoHS 2 Directive on 3 January 2013.
UL (Underwriters Laboratories)
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. is an independent American organization that certifies the safety of finished products and develops tests for the verification of industrial products (materials, components and tools), with particular attention to safety. They create verification procedures (tests) of compliance and verify their application in all industrialized countries of the world that would like to export their products in the US. In particular for plastics, they produced the UL94 standard, which includes various flammability (ignitability) and self-extinguishing tests.
It has also produced the UL746B standard, which verifies and certifies the “continuous working temperature” or RTI (Relative Thermal Index) of any plastic material, according to different electrical scenarios.
The results of the tests are shown in a document that in the past was called “yellow card”, where the results obtained from the polymer or the compound are reported.
Scores obtained in tests of: flammability (class) and electrical insulation (index), conducted with and without proof shock after aging. Numerical indicators are not absolute, but rather represent a class (range) of belonging.
The RTI values simulate 100,000 hours (about 10 years) of material working operation. These values are extrapolated with accelerated decay tests (Arrhenius curves) in temperature, at a given thickness (specimen), which is also declared in card. These data, although indicative in an absolute sense, are very useful for designers who can thus include in their structural calculations an additional safety coefficient. The thermal value indicated in the card (expressed in °C) considers that after 100,000 hours the material still maintains at least 50% of it the original figures.
The Xvalue® Polymeric Compounds family (proprietary brand of 2Mila) is composed of amorphous materials, such as Polycarbonate and semi-crystalline such as Polyamide 6.
Xvalue® Compounds represents the synthesis of years of experience acquired in close contact with the printers and OEMs of various industrial sectors: from the Automotive sector to the Household Appliance, from Electrical to Lighting technology. These materials are meant to offer top-of-the-range performance.