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Engineering Materials

Delivering high-performance USB-C connectors in custom colors

Consumers expect the flexibility to purchase electronics accessories such as charging wires in the color of their choice. Yet, material solutions commonly used for manufacturing connectors are available in a limited number of colors. DSM offers engineering materials that are suitable for electronics and available in white and a broad range of Chroma Colors. Our material solutions enable manufacturers to produce USB-C connectors designed to process high voltage levels. 

Mobile commerce, which is expected to double its share of total US mobile retail sales between 2020 and 2025, is rapidly shifting consumer behaviour. Compared to in-store retail, mobile-commerce offers greater flexibility, including the option to customize the colors of phones and other devices. As a result, electronics manufacturers need to keep pace with shoppers’ expectation to be able to match the colors of their smart devices and their accessories, such as USB-C chargers.

Yet, manufacturers face challenges matching the colors of accessories and chargers, and preventing the colors from wearing out. During the manufacturing process, high-heat processing like reflow soldering has negative impacts on color—particularly whites, yellows and blues. And UV exposure over time can also cause yellowing and discoloration.

At the same time, USB-C technology is designed to process higher voltage levels compared to previous USB generations, and requires insulating plastic walls that are 0.1mm thick between pins. This requires manufacturers to select colorable materials that resist electrical tracking that poses the risk of fire. 

DSM recognized that providing thermoplastics that meet all safety, performance and design requirements can save electronics manufacturers substantial time and costs. Stanyl® PA46 is a market-proven material solution for USB-C connectors, while ForTii® PA4T, our breakthrough heat stabilized polyamide, is ideal for developing electronics with the most extreme electrical safety requirements. These solutions offer:

  • Availability in white and a variety of bright Chroma palettes
  • 550–600V comparative tracking index (CTI) to reduce tracking in thin-walled parts
  • High flow required to produce thin-walled parts and accelerate cycle times
  • High stiffness to ensure tight tolerances and strong pin retention
  • Lead-free reflow soldering without blistering
  • Certified UL 94 V-0 grades
  • Compatibility with high-speed signal transfer up to 40Gbps and USB4 standards
  • Halogen and red phosphorous-free grades

Our team conducted extensive testing to verify that Stanyl retains its color quality more effectively than competing materials. Our patented digital tool for new color developments will largely increase the first-time right ratio of new color samples, saving customers up to 50% of the time spent developing colors using traditional technologies.

At DSM, we work closely with our customers to understand how we can evolve our material solutions to help them reduce operational costs and deliver superior products. With our track record of delivering more reliable, versatile, and sustainable thermoplastics for electronics manufacturing, we’re well-positioned to help you meet end-consumer expectations for excellent quality and greater choice.   

View related data sheet
 

 Learn more about solutions for color matching USB-Connectors

Published on

21 March 2022

Tags

  • Electrical and Electronics
  • Notebooks
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Stanyl
  • ForTii

Manufacturing safe and reliable fast-charging connectors for smart devices

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

John Hsieh

Advanced Engineering Manager

John Hsieh, advanced engineering manager for DSM Engineering Materials, has 20 years of product management and technical marketing experience within the entire electronics value chain. He has been with DSM since August 2013 and has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering.

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