Understanding the AURA PROCESS


AURA Infusion Technology, developed by Bayer MaterialScience LLC and licensed exclusively to OmniFusion, LLC offers a cost-effective and environmentally responsible way to deposit organic additives (“organics”) into post-formed polymers. OmniFusion is currently developing applications for color, UV resistance, anti-microbials, anti-static, surface energy and more on a wide variety of substrates.

The infusion process uses an aqueous based solvent system that infuses organics into the polymer matrix up to 5 mils deep – keeping it near the surface where it is needed most. The AURA process utilizes many organics not available for compounding due to their limited heat stability.

As you can see by the process diagram below, the AURA process requires no additional curing time and can be situated in-line to your manufacturing process. Solvents are reclaimed and continually reused to limit the emission of any VOC’s, making this process a “green” technology.

Infusion vs. Compounding

Infusion vs. Compounding

Compared to compounding, infusion provides a highly concentrated barrier layer, while using less of the overall additive. Additionally, the highly effective UV agent used by OmniFusion cannot be compounded because it is not heat stable at molder/extruder temperatures.

UV Protection Through Infusion


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    LED

    LED lights will continue to grow in popularity because of their energy-efficient operation.

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    Polycarbonate

    With proper UV protection, polycarbonate is the ideal material to use for lenses and covers for lighting fixtures.

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    Infusion

    Infusion provides the UV protection needed while ensuring durability and clarity.

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    A Bright Future

    Compared to compounding, infusion provides a highly concentrated barrier layer, while using less of the overall additive. Additionally, the highly effective UV agent used by OmniFusion cannot be compounded because it is not heat stable at molder/extruder temperatures.

Infusion Process

It’s actually pretty straightforward. Infuse, Rinse, Dry.

OmniFusion has developed automated processes for infusion technology that allow for batch or in-line applications of injection
molded or extruded products. The process eliminates waste with a non-toxic, low-VOC solvent that is reclaimed in a closed-loop
system.

FAQ

How Does Aura Infusion Work?

No. Infusion is not a coating and leaves no material layered on the surface.
Infusion is a process which impregnates organic additives into the polymer matrix up to 5 mils deep. Additives are fixed in the matrix as if compounded.
The Aura process uses a proprietary solvent system and heat to swell the surface of the polymer allowing the impregnation of organic additives through a phase transfer. When the component is removed from the process, the additive is concentrated IN the component matrix not on it.
The aqueous –based Aura solvent covers the entire surface of the polymer component uniformly, thereby assuring uniform uptake of the additive by the polymer component.
Aura infusion impregnates UV additives into the surface in much higher concentrations than compounding. Since UV light reacts with Polycarbonate at the surface initiating a chain reaction resulting in degradation, the protection needs to be concentrated where the reaction begins- at the surface.

How Is the Processing Done?

Batch, off-line immersion times are typically 30 to 60 seconds. In-line systems have shorter immersion times due to the latent heat from injection molding or extrusion. Subsequent rinse and dry cycles depend on the component and volume per cycle.
OmniFusion custom designs all infusion technology systems. Attempts are made to optimize batch sizes to minimize the cost of the process. This evaluation takes into account part size and configuration, handling requirements, cycle times and labor content.
OmniFusion systems have been designed for in-line (adjacent to the injection molder or extruder) and off-line (off-site tolling) applications, for injection molded components and extruded profiles. In-line systems reduce logistical costs and utilize latent heat to reduce cycle times . Off-line systems can be adapted to process multiple part configurations and aggregate parts from many processing locations.
OmniFusion can provide both toll processing services for UVA and color infusion and design, construction, set up, training and consumables for systems in your facility. OmniFusion’s lab is set up to support material and additive processing development.
Performed in properly designed equipment from OmniFusion and utilizing accepted industry procedures, the AURA infusion process is compliant with manufacturing and environmental regulations. OmniFusion designed systems retain, reclaim and reuse solvents and rinses leaving no waste solutions.

How Well Does it Perform?

Extensive physical testing of infused polycarbonates and other resins such as ABS show no discernable impact on physical properties including impact resistance, elongation and surface quality. No residual solvent is left on the component after rinse and dry operations.
Research and accelerated weather testing performed at Bayer MaterialScience LLC facilities in Pittsburgh PA and Leverkusen, Germany over 6 years, plus subsequent tests by customers to confirm these results, have generated a significant library of data comparing UVA infusion with the alternatives. Contact us with specific questions.
Yellowness Index like E is a measure of least perceptible differences in colors. Delta E (ΔE) equals discriminatory steps between colors and is proportional to the distance of the colors on the chromaticity diagram (CIE color space). Yellowness Index uses a part of that color space to quantify polymer degradation caused by light (UV), chemical exposure and heat.

Color and Effects

While the initial development of the infusion process was focused on Polycarbonate, subsequent work has demonstrated the ability to infuse organic dyes and additives into the range of engineering resins. The process cannot be used with olefins or Fluropolymers that are chemically inert. Some polymer additives and resin manufacturing processes can negatively impact the infusion process. The AURA process infuses transparent organic dyes which can be blended to match a substantial part of the color spectrum with over 400 color matches developed to date.

Contact


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Questions/Comments

For further information,
please contact:
Nathan Anderson
Manager, Product Development
OmniFusion, LLC
3226 Frenchmens Road
Toledo, Ohio 43607
419.531.9433 ext. 301
nanderson@omnifusion.com
www.omnifusion.com