Are there detectable plastics with food approval for moving applications?
Marco Thull | 17. April 2020
In the food industry it is often necessary to use plastics that have food approval. Sometimes they are in the direct vicinity or above the open product. There is a high risk that parts of covers or other plastic components may break off and fall into the product. If the materials used are coloured blue, they can be detected visually in the product. Unfortunately these particles cannot be found with a metal detector. For this reason, many polymers are provided with particles in the compound that make this possible. But when it comes to moving applications, the possibilities are usually limited.
When is detectability necessary?
We have often dealt with this problem. Simple plain bearings are used in most applications. As these are usually seated with a positive fit and fixed in a housing hole, it is almost impossible for them to fall out or break. However, if the application is different and requires the use of spherical or fixed flange bearings, caution is required. The spherical bearings are open above the product and may well break in case of misuse or a crash. In such a case, there is a risk that fragments can get into the open product.
If, for example, we are at the weighing flaps of a bag forming, filling and sealing machine, such fragments can simply fall into the underlying packaging. Such fragments are difficult to detect in the subsequently sealed packaging. However, the contamination of the food must be immediately detected and indicated. Although an error message in the system prevents further production, it does not provide any precise information as to which product is or could be affected.
What do spherical plain and plain bearing solutions look like?
Precisely because of this risk and the close co-operation with our customers in the food industry, we have developed iglidur® FC and the products igubal® FC. Our aim was to develop a material that offers the best possible tribological specifications for moving applications and is detectable. But it must also comply with FDA and EU 10/2011. With the FC (Food Contact) programme we have found a good solution that combines exactly this. We offer not only spherical and fixed flange bearings from the igubal® range, but also plain bearings. This enables us to implement a large number of moving applications in the food and packaging industry that are safe and detectable.
Do you have any questions? We are happy to support you in your design and in the selection of the suitable product