Bioplastic is TP(a) and TP(b) compliant
What’s believed to be the first bioplastic to pass the UK’s TP(a) and TP(b) flammability tests has been unveiled.
The PC Lexan EX9332T – a polycarbonate made from ‘tall oil’ from wood –has been tested by Warringtonfire and found to pass both standards.
The amount of the bioplastic is 44 per cent in the TP(a) plastic and 59 per cent in the the TP(b) plastic, due to the addition of flame-retardant material.
Saudi-owned, Netherlands-based chemical company Sabic developed Lexan EX9332T in 2019 in partnership Elkamet, a major supplier of extruded diffusers, lenses and tubes to the lighting industry.
Sabic says that, based on its cradle-to-gate peer-reviewed life cycle assessment, study, the polycarbonate resin can potentially result in reductions in carbon footprint of up to 61 per cent and fossil depletion reduction of up to 35 per cent.
‘Elkamet is the first in the lighting industry to offer an alternative for our customers in order to keep up with the trend towards more sustainability in the development of plastic components’, Lukas Platt of Elkamet told the Circular Lighting Report.
‘Diffusors and covers are one of the biggest parts of a luminaire that are made of plastic. By producing them using renewable resources, lighting manufacturers can make a huge sustainability impact.’
TP(a) and TP(b) are specified in the UK Building Regulations to classify lighting diffusers according to their flammability. TP stands for thermoplastic, and TP materials, such as polycarbonate, acrylic and polystyrene, are commonly used as diffusers in light fittings. These are classified as TP(a) or TP(b) and when a lighting diffuser is deemed to be part of a ceiling it must be made of either TP(a) or TP(b) rated material. No other thermoplastic material is compliant.
Polycarbonate diffusers over 3mm thick are automatically classified as TP(a), along with any other thermoplastic material that self-extinguishes within 5 seconds when a flame has been removed. TP(b) diffusers may burn, but not at a speed of more than 50mm per minute.
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