Tritan™ and Eastar™ copolyesters offer clarity, toughness and chemical resistance to POU, POE filtration systems
Kingsport, Tenn. — April 8, 2014 — Brands that market point-of-use (POU) and point-of-entry (POE) water filtration systems and components know that the ability to clearly see the filter at work can result in more frequent filter media replacement — and greater sales. Brand owners can now select Eastman Tritan™ copolyester and Eastar™ copolyester from Eastman Chemical Company for carbon filtration and reverse osmosis systems. Tritan and Eastar meet the requirements of the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) for water filtration units and deliver the benefits of transparent filter housings with excellent durability, improved chemical resistance and toughness. Unlike polycarbonate (PC), both materials are made without bisphenol A (BPA), a big advantage for brand owners looking to answer consumers’ needs for BPA-free products.
Satisfying an unmet need
Growing consumer concerns about water quality and lack of confidence in municipality processes have led to a growing market for POE and POU water filtration products.
Opaque products are the most common material in the water filtration housing market. Clear or transparent housings make up less than 10 percent of the market because most clear materials fall short of NSF performance requirements for hydrostatic and burst pressure, and pressure fatigue.
Consumers prefer a transparent housing that allows them to see the filter working and indicates filter replacement timing.
“Clearly seeing the filter can drive more frequent replacement, resulting in additional sales and higher customer satisfaction,” said Rob Costella, global market development manager, consumer durables, Advance Materials-Specialty Plastics, Eastman. “Eastman is excited to be entering a new market, meeting this need — and more — for the residential and commercial water filtration industry.”
Combined clarity and toughness
Eastman Tritan™ copolyester and Eastar™ copolyester meet NSF performance standards, a critical part of fitness for use. Tritan and Eastar provide a clear view of the filtration media, without the breakage and durability issues associated with some clear plastics, including styrene acrylonitrile copolymers (SAN). The glasslike clarity of Tritan and Eastar also allow for greater tinting flexibility, compared with the noticeable blue cast of SAN.
The toughness of Eastman Tritan™ copolyester and Eastar™ copolyester helps ensure longer filter housing life and can reduce issues related to breakage, cracking and product failure. Certain housings are designed with replaceable media, requiring the housing to be sanitized with each filter change, which is ideal for the dishwasher durability of Tritan.
In addition, when put up against two competitive materials — talc-filled polypropylene and SAN — in a rigorous drop-impact test, Eastman Tritan™ copolyester outperformed. After housings made from each of the materials were filled with water and dropped at heights of 1-foot intervals from 3 to 10 feet, the median failure height for the talc-filled polypropylene was 9.8 feet, and the SAN was 4.2 feet. Tritan housings had no failures through the maximum test height of 10 feet.
Eastman Tritan™ copolyester also outperforms polypropylene with better organoleptics, as it provides low or negligible odor and taste contributions.
Enhanced chemical resistance, processability
Chemical resistance is increasingly important in applications in which the filter housing comes into contact with chemicals, such as those used in sanitation, pest control, and water system winterization.
Eastman Tritan™ and Eastar™ copolyesters provide greater resistance to cracking and crazing, which diminish clarity and reduce functional integrity. The materials offer superior performance and durability for filtration systems in RVs or boats, which require routine winterization with food-contact-grade glycols. For filtration systems with replaceable filter media, the chemical resistance and hydrolytic stability of Tritan enables cleaning of the housings in a dishwasher as an alternative to hand-cleaning with bleach.
Manufacturers who choose Eastman Tritan™ and Eastar™ copolyesters have the potential to simplify processing by eliminating the need for annealing to relieve residual stresses, which is often required with PC and SAN. The toughness of Tritan and Eastar can reduce scrap from breakage that can occur during processing SAN and other brittle polymers, and open more options for secondary operations, such as welding.
“Eastman is committed and prepared to collaborate with brand owners early in the design process to ensure optimum results when working with Eastman Tritan™ or Eastar™ copolyesters,” Costella said.
For more information about Eastman Tritan™ copolyester, visit www.eastman.com/tritan. For more information on Eastman Eastar™ copolyester, visit www.eastman.com/eastar.