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Engineering Materials

Making electronic & mobile phone components thinner, stronger and integrated

Electronics and smartphone components manufacturers are placing many requirements on the materials used to make the parts found in a host of applications. The materials utilized must be strong, have functional integration, and overcome the design challenges often faced when designing very small and thin pieces. The trends of miniaturization, increased structural strength and design freedom by integration put an ever higher demand on engineering plastics. 

Miniaturization & increased strength

At DSM, our materials and strong application understanding of the electronics industry can help a design engineer design thinner parts and still achieve structural properties. For example, materials like our ForTii® maximize the strength, stiffness and durability of mid-frames in both smart phones and tablets—allowing the parts to be thinner and lighter, as well as more versatile and efficient to manufacture.

Designing the mid-frame for minimum thickness without compromising on stiffness and durability is well addressed by utilizing ForTii. It not only makes thinner parts with strength, but it is easier to process thanks to its excellent flow. 

The trend for thinner devices means that the sizes of connector receptacles and plugs are being reduced, and so is the space for these parts. USB Type-C receptacle walls are 25% of the previous generation. For the plug they are even thinner at 0.12 mm. Stanyl® and ForTii have the mechanical performance and environmental properties for the new generation USB Type-C. By thinning these parts, more design freedom is given and also adds to reducing e-waste. 

Integrated electronics 

The trend of needing more design freedom is driving more integration across the electronics industry. One solution shows promise—the integration of electronic functionality into plastic parts. One of the main ways this is done is through Laser Direct Structuring (LDS), which prints conductive traces on a 3D plastic part. An example of this is printing an antenna onto the frame of a mobile phone.

Performance during use is essential, yet we must look at the challenges posed by production processes. Achieving electronic integration can expose materials to peak temperatures above 260°C in processes like reflow soldering. When we develop different material grades, we must consider both the production of the part, and its performance in the application.

Our ForTii® product line is a proven polyphthalamide (PPA) material that meets the demands of these ever-evolving industries. ForTii demonstrates excellent mechanical properties over a wide temperature range, with good chemical stability, and peak temperature resistance that has set the benchmark across the industry. The material is preferred for use in SMT connectors that go through reflow soldering.

For LDS part production, three characteristics are key to success:

  • Plating index
  • Adhesion
  • Design freedom

Our portfolio of LDS grades of ForTii delivers a consistently high plating index for fast and reliable processing, superior adhesion that ensures the integrity of the 3D circuitry, and tight weldlines with very high resolution to ensure design freedom while maintaining the quality of the circuitry design. Plastic PCBs boost design flexibility and cut manufacturing cost.

Find out related datasheet

Learn more about Electronics

Published on

25 June 2021

Tags

  • Blog
  • Electronics
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Stanyl
  • ForTii

Enhancing USB-C connector performance and reliability with Stanyl®

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vikram Patil

Territory Manager

Vikram Patil is currently managing Sales & Marketing for Territory of India (SCW), Middle East & South Africa. Previously Vikram worked in various roles such as Application Development, Market Development, Product Management and P&L responsibilities for SBU’s. He studied Mechanical Engineering from University of Pune, India and has a Master’s Degree in Material Science and Engineering from University of Mississippi, USA. He has been with DSM since 2015.

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