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Conductive plastic for high-conductivity applications

By Scott Jenkins |

Electrically conductive plastics have been available for several years, but the use of carbon black as the conductive agent in the plastic resins limits their use to low-conductivity applications. Now, newly commercialized plastic pellets impregnated with metal-coated carbon nanofibers allow the resins to be used in applications requiring much higher conductivity. These conductive plastic pellets, developed by Electriplast Corp. (Canton, Mich.; www.electriplast.com), are available in a range of different resin types and can contain several different types of metal-coated carbon fibers. The conductive agents can be either long-fiber (6µm) carbon nanofibers coated with metals (such as nickel or copper), or stainless-steel fibers. The fibers are compounded into one of several common plastic resins, including nylon, polypropylene, polycarbonate, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and others. Plastic components molded from the pellets can be used in place of cast aluminum to shield computer and electrical components from electromagnetic interference (EMI) in transportation applications, where the plastics can reduce weight by up to 60%. Electriplast is on the verge of launching products for a host of other applications as well, including…
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