USB-C connectors are projected to become the consumer electronics industry’s most widely used data and power interface. According to Alchemy Market Research, the global market for USB-C devices was valued at $489.8 billion USD in 2019, and is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.8% leading up to 2028.
Built to process three times the power of previous connectors, USB-C is crucial to driving consumer adoption of applications that consume more power, and require higher battery capabilities and fast charging, such as 5G smart devices, dual screen laptops, and foldable smartphones
Yet, after thousands of insertion and removal cycles, worn connectors may drop connectivity – preventing the electronics they’re plugged into from fully charging. Since USB-C connectors process power levels from 40 to 100 Watts, they’re also more susceptible to electrical tracking, which may lead to premature part failure, or eventually create a fire hazard. As a result, consumer electronics developers need assurance that connectors designed to charge their devices won’t need to be recalled or frequently replaced.
Due to the need for thin-walled components, materials used to manufacture previous micro-USB generations including liquid crystal polymers (LCP) are unsuitable for producing reliable, long-lasting USB-C connectors. Material solutions need to demonstrate high-strength weldlines for the front of the plug, while the very thin ribs that separate the metal contacts for power and data transfer require high flow and durability. This poses a challenge for manufacturers, who need a robust plastic that strikes the optimal balance between toughness and stiffness.
We worked with customers to conduct extensive testing on how various materials performed in USB-C connector applications. After 10,000 mating cycles, Stanyl®-based connectors maintained the highest strength, with various force applied to insertions and extractions, as well as cable flexing, cable pull out, four-axis continuity, and wrenching strength testing. Stanyl connectors also demonstrated superior weldline strength up to 60MPa, compared to LCP, which failed at 17MPa. To further minimize the risk of premature connector failure, the material offers high blistering resistance, even in extremely thin-walled parts.
Stanyl is a high-performance polyamide that provides best-in-class wear and friction properties, excellent processability with high flow, and superior mechanical strength in high temperature applications. The material offers:
As electronics designs become more complex, our team at DSM remains focused on developing material solutions that enhance device durability and provide outstanding user experiences – while saving manufacturers time and cost. Each material grade accommodates trends towards thinner, more powerful and longer-lasting devices while also fulfilling our customers’ unique and ever-evolving design requirements.
Advanced Engineering Manager
19 October 2020
Advanced Engineering Manager
John Hsieh, advanced engineering manager for Envalior, has 20 years of product management and technical marketing experience within the entire electronics value chain. He has been with Envalior since August 2013 and has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering.
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