Stahlin receives patent for SolarGuard SMC resin

Specialty additive minimizes effect of UV radiation for sheet molding compound (SMC) enclosures in outdoor environments.

Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures (Belding, Mich.) has been granted a U.S. patent for its SolarGuard sheet molding compound. SolarGuard reportedly enhances the molecular bond strength and crosslinking that occurs during the curing process in thermosetting polyester sheet molding compounds (SMC) to provide an additional benefit for non-metallic enclosures.

It provides additional protection with an additive that fights polymer degradation by making it more difficult for UV light to attack molecular bonds of both primary molecular chains and cross-links of the resin matrix. It was developed specifically to beat the effects of outdoor enclosure exposure plus provide superior chemical and flame resistance in a non-halogenated formula.  SolarGuard is said to require less maintenance than paint, wax or gel-coat alternatives used to prolong the life of electrical enclosures in outdoor environments.

The impact of UV radiation on electrical enclosures in outdoor environments has been a concern with non-metallic manufacturers for many years. Virtually all fiberglass products, when exposed to UV radiation, experience surface degradation. Visual changes to the composite fiberglass include surface fiber appearance, color change, and loss of gloss. This is a result of sunlight-initiated reactions with oxygen: photo-oxidation. Photo-oxidation occurs when the polymer molecules absorb sunlight and dissipate the excess energy by breaking chemical bonds. This UV exposure often resulted in a roughening of the exterior surface. Subsequent wind and rain can wash away this powdery byproduct and over time the glass fibers begin to show through to the surface.

The SolarGuard SMC formulation reportedly has undergone extensive material and product testing to insure it meets or exceeds all relative industry standards. Stahlin says the material has been successfully used with wine and must pumps for wine production, protective housing for a greenhouse control system, housings for outdoor digital video surveillance systems and outdoor enclosures for an uninterruptible power supply.