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SABIC Launches Thermoplastic Compound for Laser Direct Structuring to Reduce Weight of Mobiles

SpecialChem / Jun 10, 2011
LNP* Thermocomp* Thermoplastic
LNP* Thermocomp* Thermoplastic

BERGEN OP ZOOM, The Netherlands -- The Innovative Plastics strategic business unit of SABIC has announced the first new custom-colorable LNP* Thermocomp* thermoplastic compound for laser direct structuring (LDS) to save space and reduce the weight of mobile devices. LDS is a sophisticated process for integrating electronic and mechanical functionality into a single module, such as mobile phone and notebook antennas. Previously, only black plastic materials were available, typically forcing designers to confine LDS components to the device's interior. The introduction of the company's new colorable LNP Thermocomp compound vastly expands device design options. This new material introduction demonstrates Innovative Plastics' pioneering leadership in advanced technologies for the design and manufacture of tomorrow's portable devices.

"LDS is a powerful technology for achieving greater miniaturization in mobile phones, notebooks and tablets, but until now, it had aesthetic limitations," said Cathleen Hess, Global Product Marketing Director, LNP, Innovative Plastics. "By developing a colorable material for LDS applications, Innovative Plastics has improved upon an already successful technology."

Innovative Plastics has worked with LPKF Laser & Electronics AG, one of the industry leaders in LDS technology for a number of years, first introducing the original black material technology solution. With the addition of Innovative Plastics' new colorable LNP Thermocomp compound and LPKF's LDS expertise, the companies are uniquely positioned to help drive customer growth.

"This breakthrough from Innovative Plastics opens the door to many new possibilities for designing molded interconnect devices using our patented laser technology," said Nils Heininger, Vice President Cutting & Structuring Laser, LPKF Laser & Electronics. "The ability to integrate antennas, sensors and other functionality into the housing of a device can help drive greater part consolidation and enable slimmer, smaller designs. Moving from basic black to custom colors is a huge step forward and promises major competitive advantages for our joint customers."

LPKF's LDS technology uses specialized lasers to scribe the circuit layout of a component onto a molded plastic part. The layout is then plated, with the resulting circuit pathway conforming exactly to the laser pattern. Innovative Plastics' new colorable LNP Thermocomp compound has been validated and certified by LPKF for use on their equipment. Potential application areas include integrated light emitting diodes (LEDs) and connectors.

LNP Thermocomp Offers Top Performance and Aesthetics

In addition to its custom colorability and excellent surface finish for attractive aesthetics in external housings, LNP Thermocomp NX11302 specialty compound provides desirable performance attributes for electronics applications. These include high impact resistance for durability, high flexural modulus for thin wall and good dimensional stability. This polycarbonate/acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (PC/ABS)-based compound offers a wide processing window and is easily plated.

About SABIC Innovative Plastics

SABIC Innovative Plastics is one of the leading, global suppliers of engineering thermoplastics with an 80-year history of breakthrough solutions that solve its customers' most pressing challenges. SABIC Innovative Plastics is a multi-billion-dollar company with operations in more than 35 countries and approximately 9,000 employees worldwide. The company continues to lead the plastics industry with customer collaboration and continued investments in new polymer technologies, global application development, process technologies, and environmentally responsible solutions that serve diverse markets such as automotive, electronics, building & construction, transportation, and healthcare. The company's extensive product portfolio includes thermoplastic resins, coatings, specialty compounds, film, and sheet.

About Saudi Basic Industries Corporation

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) ranks among the world's top petrochemical companies, and is a global market leader in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene, advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers. SABIC manufactures with a global footprint in Saudi Arabia, the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. The company operates in more than 40 countries across the world with 33,000 employees worldwide. It has significant research resources with 18 dedicated Technology & Innovation facilities in Saudi Arabia, the USA, the Netherlands, Spain, India and China.

Source: SABIC Innovative Plastics


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