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Specialty Electrical and Electronic Engineered Material Advances

SpecialChem / Donald Rosato – Oct 19, 2011

The electrical/electronic (E/E) end-use market is the world’s 3rd largest market for plastics after packaging and construction, with applications ranging from miniature connectors to large electronic device housings. The E/E market requires that both materials and parts for each new product be evaluated against Underwriters Laboratories (UL) requirements. Plastic material must be offered in flame resistant formulations if the plastics are not already inherently flame resistant. Regulatory requirements (WEEE, RoHS) in Europe also mandate that flame resistance be achieved without the use of halogenated components. Clariant Masterbatches has developed three non-halogenated FR masterbatch products coined CESA-flam. Lanxess now manufactures Pocan DP 2004, a PBT with special FR properties based on organic phosphorus and nitrogen compounds together with DP 4035, a halogen free glass fiber reinforced FR PBT grade. BASF has added three halogen free polyamides to its Ultramid product line worth noting. Nanoclay is proving effective as a flame retardant synergist for E/E applications. DuPont has commercialized Aurum CNT, a high antistatic thermoplastic polyimide grade. Scientists from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG), working with the German Institute of Polymers–Darmstadt have succeeded in developing a shape memory polymer activated magnetically. Polyplastics Co., Ltd. and Otsuka Chemical Co., Ltd. have jointly developed a high dielectric-constant LCP/PPS/ceramic resin compound series for use in high end E/E telecommunications equipment. The dielectric-constant (Dk) in plastics is directly related to the polarizability of the polymer, thus nylons fall at the high end of the range while PTFE and PP have very low Dk levels.

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