March 26, 2012
PolyOne Corporation chose the VDI Plastics in Automotive Engineering conference in Mannheim, Germany, to introduce a series of innovations for automotive engineers. The launch included three new grades of Therma-Tech specialty engineered materials based on PBT, PPS and polyamide resins for automotive lighting systems now available globally.
With their outstanding heat dissipation functionality, the three new Therma-Tech formulations offer automotive OEM lighting engineers more design options. In addition to expanded design freedom, lightweighting potential and efficient manufacturability, these formulations help to manage hot spots and enable designers to employ high brightness light-emitting diodes (HB LEDs) in lighting systems for new cars and trucks. The new materials offer customers varying degrees of heat stability, enabling them to select the solution most appropriate for their application.
Kendall Justiniano, global automotive marketing director for PolyOne, said, "Our new Therma-Tech solutions for HB LED systems will be a welcome development for automotive OEMs as they incorporate this technology into new cars to reduce vehicle weight and CO2 emissions, create appealing new designs and improve driver safety."
The market for HB LED lighting systems is rapidly expanding as automobile manufacturers increasingly choose these systems for their vehicles. HB LED lighting systems consume up to 90 percent less energy than current automotive light bulb technologies. They also contribute to a reduction in total system costs, with reduced maintenance costs thanks to improved performance over the life of a vehicle, as well as the use of a smaller alternator. In addition, the compact designs possible with HB LED systems mean designers and engineers can develop smaller lighting systems without compromising safety. The increased design flexibility and simplified reflector design possible with HB LEDs can also help automotive OEMs better differentiate their brands.
For road users, HB LEDs also offer a number of advantages compared to established automotive lighting systems. Because these lights switch "on" at full brilliance, drivers are provided with additional reaction time in critical situations. Drivers also have more control over HB LED systems. For example, the lights can be dimmed to prevent glare or offer increased brilliance when road conditions warrant.
In order to leverage the significant advantages of HB LED, lighting systems engineers must design for effective thermal management. Heat emitted by these systems needs to be efficiently dissipated in order to maintain the integrity, performance and life of the LED. Marc Mezailles, automotive market manager in Europe for PolyOne Global Specialty Engineered Materials, explained, "The three new grades of Therma-Tech thermally conductive polymer solutions can support the design and performance requirements of HB LEDs to effectively dissipate heat and eliminate hot spots."
For automotive lighting manufacturers, the three new grades of Therma-Tech offer an economical alternative to metals, thermosets, and more costly thermoplastic alternatives such as high-heat plastics. Initially, HB LEDs will see use primarily in high-end passenger vehicles with standard gasoline or diesel motors, and are likely to be used in new electric passenger vehicles longer term. Therma-Tech is suitable for use in lighting systems for all of these vehicles.
Source: Plastic Today