In 2001 Bentley Chemicals began working with Astucia, a company that specialises in the development of traffic management systems. Astucia had created an “Intelligent Road Stud” (IRS) which, unlike traditional cat’s eyes that are only reflective, uses a solar powered LED to project light that is visible up to 900 metres away. The studs, developed to reduce accidents and increase road safety, are light sensitive and automatically switch on at dusk.
The challenge for Bentley was to supply a resin for the encapsulation of all the electronics that had a high refractive index, a high heat distortion temperature and which was UV resistant.
Working with Smooth-On, Bentley’s principle suppliers of liquid urethane casting resins, a new resin was developed that could be poured for the encapsulation process and post cured at 80 degrees without “cooking” the sensitive electronic system. Crystal Clear 220 was the eventual result.
Approximately 20,000 of the new studs have been fitted to a 60 mile continuous stretch of road in South Africa and there are now just over 200 installations in the U.K on selected road sections. Today, as a full production line product, Crystal Clear 220 is used for encapsulating, potting, for making lenses and prototype models.