Resistance to UV light and aggressive media
General information on UV resistance
The products of Better Basics Laborbedarf use components made of polyamide-12 (PA12) in the selective laser sintering process (SLS-3D printing) as well as metal parts powder-coated with plastic. Both processes deliver long-term UV-resistant components.
Polyamide-12 (PA12) components made by the selective laser sintering process (SLS)
PA12 is an extremely resistant polymer with very good weathering resistance. Weathering tests (ISO-4892-2) have shown that even after 10 years of continuous outdoor use, there is no reduction in the tensile strength of test specimens made of PA12.
PA12 components from the SLS process are dyed green by Better Basics Laborbedarf before use in the laboratory. To protect the colour from fading, the components are treated in a second step with a UV-absorbing protective agent from the industrial sector. This absorbs radiation in the UV range very effectively and thus protects both the dye and the underlying component.
Figure 1: Absorption spectrum UV treatment agent PA12-SLS components
Weathering tests (ISO 11507) have shown that PA12 components treated with the UV protection agent have not shown any decrease in colour intensity after 500 hours of UV radiation exposure. It can therefore be assumed that the UV protection is very effective.
In a third step, the coloured PA12-SLS components are infiltrated with a protective polymer layer. This protects both the colour and the UV protective layer from detachment on contact with solvents and provides additional protection for the component.
Figure 2: 3-level protection for PA12 components at Better Basics Laborbedarf
Powder-coated metal components
The metal components used by Better Basics Laborbedarf are protected from corrosive environmental conditions by means of powder coating. Depending on the application, polyester or epoxy powder coatings are used, which are known for their high resistance to weathering and chemicals.
Resistance of the SmartRack® to aggressive media
The SmartRack® consists of a frame, the slot rails and modules suspended in the slot rails. Three different types of materials are used in the SmartRack®:
- Black powder-coated aluminium parts (frames, metal components of the tub and the hybrid modules)
These components are aluminium parts, which are protected by a powder coating of epoxy resin. The powder coating is stable against a large number of halogenated and halogen-free solvents from the laboratory sector. However, prolonged exposure of the solvents to the powder coating should be avoided. The powder coating is stable against short-term contact with acids/bases. The components are completely autoclavable.
- Black anodised nut rails
The slot rails are black anodised aluminium parts which are resistant to halogenated and halogen-free solvents. Aggressive acids/bases can destroy the anodising layer. The components are completely autoclavable.
- Green plastic parts (feet, slide rail handles, modules, plastic components of the tub and hybrid modules)
These components are 3D-printed (laser-sintered) components made from the high-performance plastic polyamide-12 (PA12). The components are stable to halogenated and halogen-free solvents such as, for example, chloroform, dichloromethane, chlorobenzene, hexane, methanol, ethanol, acetone, ethyl acetate and toluene. The components are stable to most acids and bases, but strong, concentrated acids such as concentrated nitric and sulfuric acid lead to damage to the components during prolonged exposure, as with all organic materials. After prolonged exposure to aggressive media, discolouration of the components may occur, but this is only superficial and does not limit their functionality. The components are completely autoclavable.
Overview of the resistance of the SmartRack® to aggressive media
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