New “Ultra Detectable Plastic” Designed for Food Equipment Components

Engineers designing parts for food processing equipment can better support quality control efforts aimed at detecting contaminants.

Ultra detectable plastic polymerHydex 4101 UD Blue PBT is made by Ensinger
Ultra detectable plastic polymerHydex 4101 UD Blue PBT is made by Ensinger

A new ultra-detectable PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) plastic is available for food equipment engineers seeking to better support their customers’ quality control efforts. Hydex 4101 UD Blue PBT is visible to optical, x-ray and metal detection systems—three methods of quality control typically used to keep food products free from foreign particulates.

Hydex 4101 UD Blue PBT is made by Ensinger, a maker of high-performance thermoplastic compounds, as well as semi-finished stock shapes and complete finished parts and assemblies made from plastics. Hydex 4101 UD Blue, available in both rod and plate stock, is said to be visible to all three detection systems while maintaining the improved physical property and chemical resistance profile inherent to polyester-based engineering plastics.

Ensinger plastics are routinely used for components in food product machinery and packaging equipment in a wide variety of food processing applications.Engineers will likely want to use Hydex 4101 UD Blue in applications such as food processing pump impellors, filler valve parts and food-forming plates. The product works well for parts subjected to cleaning chemicals that are chlorine- or caustic-based and provides good wear resistance and toughness.

In 2012, Ensinger introduced Tecaform UD Blue, its first material to address all three methods of quality control typically used to keep food products free from foreign particulates. Tecaform UD Blue is a porosity-free acetal co-polymer in an FDA compliant blue color that is FDA, USDA, 3A Dairy, and European agency compliant. It is appropriate in certain applications where lightweight plastic components replace stainless steel in food processing equipment.

Ensinger has more than 25 production and sales facilities around the world. Ensinger's facilites in North America include several manufacturing facilities in New Jersey, Delaware, Texas, Connecticut, and its U.S. manufacturing and sales headquarters in Washington, Pa.

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