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I am a retired US Government analyst, currently residing in Germany. I am also a shareholder in the company called Integral Technologies (OTCBB: ITKG), and have a desire to enlighten and share its great and still emerging story. I am well read, focused and appreciate challenging interactions which spark creativity and develop enlightenment. That is why I created the ElectriPlast Blog, and the reason I am here.

April 27, 2007

ElectriPlast: The Shifting Focus...



By Tony Deligio
Reporter for Modern Plastics

Featured in web-periodical ModernPlastics--Apr 26th, 2007

Integral's conductive compounds charging ahead

Integral Technologies (Bellingham, WA) is shifting from research and development of its conductive polymer composite ElectriPlast to broader commercialization. Capacity is being increased, with one pelletizing line already in use and a second on order at its manufacturing partner Jasper Rubber Products Inc. Last year, ElectriPlast achieved its first commercial application with an internal hearing-aid component for Knowles Electronics LLC, and it sold another license to British Esprit Solutions Ltd., which just visited the company and is investigating several aerospace applications.

When MPW caught up with Integral chief technology officer and general manager, Thomas Aisenbrey, and Jasper president and CEO, Doug Mathias, in a mid-April conference call, the pair had returned from Detroit, where they emphasized the material’s new focus on wire and cable products, showcasing an ElectriPlast-based car-battery cable.

Potentially replacing heavier rubber-jacketed copper cables, the ElectriPlast cable, which suspends copper particles in a polymer matrix, is 80% lighter than its copper counterpart and has already completed life-cycle testing for one potential customer, enduring varying amperage loads and 24/7 operation for three months in an environmental chamber. The cables are non-corrosive, including their lugs, and maintain the conductive properties of copper.

Aisenbrey said that although Integral has signed 200 nondisclosure agreements and provided samples to interested customers, it has focused on 17 companies as viable leads, providing pellets and test plaques and in some cases even designing products. Working from a base of 12 resin matrices that are the most common in the electrical/electronics, aerospace, defense, and automotive markets it’s targeting, Integral, using Jasper as its compounder, has created more than 15,000 recipes. Aisenbrey says 113 U.S. patents have been filed, aiming to protect the material and applications, as well as their respective manufacturing processes. To date, 25 have been allowed, including one covering the compounding of an electrically conductive plastic pellet, vs. multicomponent conductive resin systems that require introduction of an additive.

Aisenbrey cites the Nov. 30, 2006 announcement of Jasper as a manufacturing partner as key to the momentum ElectriPlast has enjoyed of late, adding that many OEMs told him a full-scale production site, compared to his garage lab in Washington, “’is all we’ve been waiting for.’”

In business since 1949, Jasper entered thermoplastics in 1985, focusing on elastomers, although it works with some rigid materials. Mathias says it compounds all its own material, except silicone and FKM, a fluorocarbon elastomeric coating. Roughly 90% of the company’s sales come from compounded pellets, with the rest generated by molded products. Jasper is a licensed processor of ElectriPlast, and as such, it is already looking into full programs for some customers, including tooling and part production. “We can shorten the cycle time quite a bit,” Mathias says. “A lot of people would just assume have us mold the parts here.”—tdeligio@modplas.com


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