PolyOne yesterday received a U.S. patent for a polyamide compound that has thermal conductivity, electrical surface resistivity, and flame retardancy. The compound uses pitch-based carbon fiber to achieve electrical resistivity as opposed to carbon fiber derived from polyacrylonitrile (PAN), which does not impart resistivity.
Other components of the new compound include boron nitride and a non-halogenated organic phosphinate. The compound has an in-plane thermal conductivity of more than 8 W/mK as measured using ASTM E1461. One application target of the new compound, which joins a large family of Therma-Tech compounds, is a molded LED housing, an area where PolyOne has already had substantial success.
The Turkish auto supplier Ayfar Otomotive working with processor Mars Otomotiv developed a high brightness LED housing for the automotive aftermarket, with a thermally conductive polyamide supplied by PolyOne Corp. Mars Otomotive is also the tooling supplier. The application received recognition in the 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers automotive innovation awards program.
Other examples of commercial applications using thermally conductive plastics in electrical applications include the Ledo Bulled lamp and Kruunutekniikka’s Coolics.
Therma-Tech compounds, which are based on a variety of engineering resins, cut weight up to 30 percent versus metals in auto applications, while also adding the design benefits of injection molding. They are said to improve thermal conductivity by 50-100 times that of conventional plastics and can be used in several thermal management applications.