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Evonik Develops PLEXIGLAS® PMMA to Fabricate Crystal-clear LED Lighting Covers

Published on 2015-10-20. Author : SpecialChem

  • PLEXIGLAS® guides light to where it is needed
  • PLEXIGLAS® LED for edge lighting: specialty molding compounds bring light to the surface
  • PLEXIGLAS® LED for backlighting: molding compounds for uniform illumination, with no LED hot spots and with maximum luminous efficiency
Fig. 1: Evonik

LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are meanwhile a ubiquitous light source. They offer higher luminous efficiency paired with lower energy consumption, come in a wide range of colors, and enable new design options due to their small size. But all of these advantages only come to the fore when the light fixtures are adjusted to the LED technology. The Evonik Performance Materials Segment developed PLEXIGLAS® LED for precisely this purpose. It can be used to produce crystal-clear, structured or light-diffusing lighting covers.

Efficient Light Guiding

PLEXIGLAS® guides light efficiently to the point where it is needed. Lighting applications serve different purposes. Street lights are designed to light up the street, not the space around the light source several meters up in the air. For this, light fixture manufacturers use covers that guide the light through fine structures in the material. The crystal-clear grade of PLEXIGLAS® offers extremely accurate mold surface reproduction for manufacturing these structures.

Uniform Light Output Despite Flat Shape

In other types of lighting, though, light needs to be diffused in order to distribute brightness uniformly throughout the room.

PLEXIGLAS® LED was optimized for this purpose. It contains special embedded diffuser particles, which ensure that the light fed in via the edges is evenly emitted across the surface. This edge lighting enables slimmer structures and requires smaller fitting depths, as in the panel lights that are becoming more and more popular. These are ultra-flat light fixtures that can be installed directly in the ceiling as recessed lights.

PLEXIGLAS® LED is also highly suitable for transparent applications. When the material is unlit, it looks crystal-clear. As soon as light is fed in via the edges into the material, it appears as a uniformly illuminated surface in the same color as the LEDs. This technology can be used, for example, to produce elegant partitions for exhibition booths and store fixtures. Another field of application is ambient or contour lighting in vehicles.

Uniform Direct Lighting

Other light fixtures operate by backlighting rather than edge-lighting. Backlighting is often used in illuminated signs. If the light is not sufficiently diffused, this gives rise to undesirable brightness in certain areas, so-called hot spots. Because of their small size and lower heat generation, LEDs enable compact fixtures in which the light sources are installed closer to the covers, thus posing a greater risk of LED hot spots. A special color of PLEXIGLAS® LED molding compound is ideally suited to meet these requirements.

These light-diffusing specialty molding compounds transmit over 60% of light and therefore prevent fluctuations in luminance even at extremely low wall thicknesses.

Evonik is a worldwide manufacturer of PMMA products sold under the PLEXIGLAS® trademark on the European, Asian, African and Australian continents and under the ACRYLITE® trademark in the Americas.

About Performance Materials

The Performance Materials Segment is managed by Evonik Performance Materials GmbH. The segment focuses its global activities on developing and manufacturing polymer materials and intermediates, especially for use in agriculture and in the rubber and plastics industry. In 2014, the segment’s roughly 4,400 employees generated sales of €3.83 billion.

About Evonik

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. In its business activities, which are spread across three segments—Nutrition & Care, Resource Efficiency, and Performance Materials—Evonik’s greatest resources are its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms. In 2014, over 33,000 employees generated sales of around €12.9 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €1.9 billion.

Source: Evonik
 


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