Applications for the Laser Direct Structuring Process (LDS) are growing as major resin producers put muscle into the technology.
In a new example, 2E mechatronic GmbH & Co. KG of Germany has designed a 3-D
molded interconnect device (MID) flow sensor for air conditioning systems that uses Vectra E840i LDS, a laser-activated grade of liquid crystal polymer (LCP). The part will be on display next week at DesignCon 2012 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California.
The tracks on the 12-by-10-by-6-millimeter device are etched with LPKF laser equipment that selectively activates the laser-sensitive additive in the LCP.
Use of the LDS process for sensors, microphone modules and ring contacts is booming in part because of flexibility. A change in layout is accommodated simply by reprogramming a laser. In other approaches, it may be necessary to manufacture a new tool.
2E mechatronic has developed a laser-structured MID-LED light component for dental lamps and sees potential for using MID-LEDs in house and street lighting. Another molder, Harting Mitronics, has developed MIDs such as a camera module MID for the Sick V300 Work Station camera.
Vectra E840i LDS is:
• 40% mineral filled with special LDS additive,
• Reflow solderable, and
• More isotropic than typical glass-filled LCP.
“Vectra E840i LDS enables efficient production of 3-D chip carriers when using the LDS process,” said Achim Hofmann, EU consumer market development manager. “The 2E mechatronic MID component is injection molded entirely from Vectra E840i LDS, a grade specially developed by Ticona for LDS.”