“From smartphone cases to medical device housings and mass transit interior panels, there is an urgent need on the part of OEMs to replace metal and other traditional materials to reduce weight, expand design freedom and cut processing costs and complexity,” said Joshua Chiaw, director of compounds at Sabic.
“Thermocomp HMD-D compounds not only avoid the drawbacks of metal, they also add value with breakthrough ductility performance and excellent stiffness, which open opportunities for use in a wide range of structural applications. Based on enthusiastic and widespread adoption by our customers in Asia, we are expanding the availability of these materials to the Americas and Europe.”
Balancing Ductility and StiffnessTo achieve lighter weight and thinner geometries in structural applications, Thermocomp HMD-D compounds deliver high performance in key mechanical properties that previously were mutually exclusive. The materials offer both better ductility and dimensional stability/warpage control than other high-modulus PC-based materials. This distinctive combination of attributes allows, for example, the creation of thin-wall devices that may withstand stringent drop testing without cracking.
The new compounds use special glass fibers that minimize warpage. Grades with different glass fiber loadings (10 percent through 50 percent) are available to meet various modulus requirements.
Thermocomp HMD-D products also deliver good strength for metal replacement while reducing weight due to their low specific gravity. They provide an excellent surface appearance by minimizing the floating of glass fibers to the surface and improved melt flow, which, unlike parts made with various competitive materials, are not affected by heat and moisture aging. Together with good color-matching capability and color stability, these characteristics help manufacturers appeal to fashion-conscious consumers of electronic devices and to patients who use home medical devices. All grades feature halogen-free flame retardancy to support sustainability efforts.
Optimizing ProductionThe new Thermocomp HMD-D product family can help customers lower total system cost by supporting part integration, process simplification and potential elimination of secondary operations, such as painting. The materials’ good flow and easy processing help reduce cycle times and boost productivity. In addition, these compounds have excellent thermal stability that allows them to be processed at a relatively high temperature.