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Performance Chemicals


Antistatic additive LOXIOL® VPA 1726 for polyolefins

EMERY OLEOCHEMICALS, our long-standing partner for Green Polymer Additives, has published an extensive study in the new sales flyer for its antistatic agent LOXIOL® VPA 1726. The study focuses on the applicability in polyolefins in comparison to (former) standard antistatic agents, and pays greater attention to the regulatory approval for contact with food. LOXIOL® VPA 1726 proves to perform at least as well as the additives chosen for comparison, and comes out favourably in the regulatory comparison as the only antistatic agent for which no migration limit needs to be set. 

Below is a summary of the study. If you like, you can also check out the linked original by EMERY OLEOCHEMICALS for the exact test setup and full results.

Need for antistatic additives

All types of plastics and insulation materials tend to build up electrostatic charges. This can cause problems, especially when they spontaneously discharge. Aside from attracting dust, electrostatically charged materials present a particularly serious safety hazard when combustible or powdered substances are involved.

Benefits of LOXIOL® antistatics

Antistatic additives of the brand LOXIOL® are intended for adding to a polymer mixture of a masterbatch or compound, and generally not for subsequent external application. Instead, following thermoplastic processing, the antistatic agent migrates to the polymer surface. The residual amount of additive inside the polymer serves as a reservoir that will replace any additive that gets removed, for example by being washed or worn off. It is crucial to point out here that the antistatic action of the additive depends greatly on the environmental conditions, such as air humidity.

Antistatic agents tested for polyolefins

  • Ethoxylated fatty amines: from a technical perspective, these are currently the industry standard and now also plant-based.
  • Ethoxylated fatty alcohol: a well-known substitute for ethoxylated fatty amines (at least for PP).
  • Lauric acid diethanolamide: an antistatic used successfully in polyolefins, also known as LDEA and available from EMERY OLEOCHEMICALS as LOXIOL® 1010 EU. From a regulatory perspective, this chemical is not as critically questioned as fatty amines; however, due to its nitrogen-based composition, it is rarely used for new developments of polyolefin formulations such as masterbatches.
  • LOXIOL® VPA 1726: a 100% biobased antistatic from plant sources, for demanding applications. This additive is suitable for film extrusion as well as injection moulding. In addition, LOXIOL® VPA 1726 has an excellent regulatory profile. There is no dosage restriction and it is approved for contact with food. The underlying chemical composition is the only tested composition suitable for contact with food, although EMERY OLEOCHEMICALS dos not produce any products approved as food additives. It has no migration limit according to EU No. 10/2011

Test setup

The antistatic agents were tested in compounds/masterbatches based on PP (random copolymers and homopolymers) and LDPE, as well as during processing in the form of film extrusion and injection moulding. The concentration and work-in conditions are explained in detail in the sales flyer. The surface resistances of the polymers were measured and compared immediately after processing and up to 48 weeks later. These measurements are also given in the sales flyer.

Summary of the results

For PP films, both ethoxylated fatty alcohol and LDEA showed no convincing antistatic performance, which is why the remaining tests (PE films, PP injection moulding) focused on ethoxylated fatty amines and LOXIOL® VPA 1726.
In the direct comparison of ethoxylated fatty amine versus LOXIOL® VPA 1726, the latter impressed with its good antistatic performance in PP and LDPE films as well as during PP injection moulding. Surface resistance was comparable between the two candidates, however LOXIOL® VPA 1726 proved to be less sensitive to prolonged storage periods and changes in air humidity. Under consideration of the numerous universal regulatory and safety requirements, as well as the growing demand for sustainable materials, LOXIOL® VPA 1726 offers clear advantages for every polyolefin-processing company.

LOXIOL® VPA 1726 is available commercially and as samples. We will be very glad to help if you have any further questions.