What does it take to revolutionise a safety helmet? Chemistry!
Martogg Group of Companies is Australia’s largest privately owned polymer distribution, resin compounding and plastics recycling company. Martogg has been manufacturing and marketing polymer compounds, engineering and commodity resins and recycled plastics for the Australian plastics industry and export markets since 1975.
The company is committed to the ongoing development and quality assurance of its products. Research and development is a focus through which the company aims to improve its existing products and develop new ones to meet its customers ever expanding requirements.
Martogg worked with BASF to develop a plastic compound for a customer, Sureguard Safety Australia, seeking to produce a translucent safety helmet. The helmet was designed to be translucent with a see-through peak. The see-through peak allows the wearer to look upwards without the need to tilt the head back, causing discomfort in the neck over a prolonged period of time. It also stops the need for the wearer to reverse the head harness in the helmet, whilst looking upwards. This allows for safer working conditions, and a much safer working environment.
The plastic compound needed to be strong and safe and meet strict regulations, which was where BASF came in. Martogg have partnered with BASF for over 20 years to develop innovations for the construction, packaging, mining, agriculture and life-cycle management sectors.
Exposure to sunlight, and some artificial lights, can have adverse effects on the life of plastic products. Ultraviolet light can initiate chemical reactions in polymers which result in discoloration and the breakdown of chemical bonds and loss of physical properties. To prevent this effect occurring, and the integrity of the safety helmet being compromised, BASF’s UV stabilisers were added to the polymer formulation.
BASF’s range of light, or UV, stabilisers include UV absorbers that act by shielding the polymer from ultraviolet light and hindered amine light stabilisers (HALS) that act by scavenging the radical intermediates formed in the photo-oxidation process.
“With our long partnership with Martogg in technology and innovation, we were pleased to be involved in the development of such an innovative product,” said Yvonne Mah, Business Development Manager Plastic Additives, Australia and New Zealand.
“Our UV stabilisers have a unique chemical structure to deliver enhanced UV radiation cover to block the sun’s rays and more effective stabilization to extend the life of the polymer compound.”
“In addition our stabilisers improve manufacturing productivity with low volatility, better chemical resistance and wide product stewardship compliance and are environmentally friendly during the manufacturing process.”
The finished product, the Clearview helmet, is available in a wide range of exciting translucent colours.