New Grades of Polycarbonate Specifically for LED Lighting Applications24 Sep 2009 • by Natalie Aster
With the growing trend towards the use of LEDs (light-emitting diodes) for innovative lamp and lighting concepts, Bayer MaterialScience has developed new grades of its transparent Makrolon polycarbonate specifically for the production of these modern light sources.
One important application for Makrolon in this segment is that of lenses that bundle and guide the light from the LEDs. The specifications for such products are very strict: high purity, optimum light transmission, economical processing and, depending on the particular end use, additional properties such as flame retardance. The latest research product in Bayer MaterialScience's LED portfolio is a material that is resistant to UV radiation and also has better transparency than the conventional polycarbonate grades currently used in outdoor applications in the lens segment.
Bayer MaterialScience already manufactures a number of polycarbonate grades for the LED market which boast not only very high light transmittance but also good heat resistance and excellent stability under LED lighting current. All these products have special characteristics that are ideal for many LED applications.
Makrolon LED2045 is the product with the highest light transmittance and is ideal for refractive optics, lenses, and light pipes and guides where, despite greater wall thicknesses or longer light paths, high transmission is specified. The Makrolon LED 2245 grade has similar overall characteristics but slightly improved physical properties and a lower melt flow index. Both grades conduct white light up to a length of around 300 mm without any significant transmission losses.
"Bayer MaterialScience is constantly working on the development of new products for LED applications because we are convinced that this growing market will continue to demand superior customized materials," says Dr. Klaus Reinartz, Senior Technical Manager and global head of the LED project at Bayer MaterialScience. "Our goal is to provide our customers with materials that offer the highest clarity and quality for their applications, and to be the plastics materials solution provider for the entire LED sector, not just for optical materials."
Bayer MaterialScience also offers solutions for other LED-based light applications. These include transparent materials with excellent diffusion properties and materials with highly reflective surfaces. Colored grades for blocking out the light are also available, and are almost entirely opaque at a thickness of 0.5 mm.
LEDs are playing an increasingly important role in the interior and exterior lighting of buildings, but also in street lamps and vehicle headlamps. That is not surprising because these light sources consume less energy than conventional lamps and offer new and exciting possibilities in light design, extending from media facades with moving illuminated displays and special color effects to brighter street lamps for greater road safety.
Apart from materials for components for creating and guiding light, Bayer MaterialScience's portfolio also includes products that are ideally suited to the electronic and electrical infrastructure, such as housings for electrical components, cable ducts and all kinds of connection systems.
These materials are noted in particular for their halogen-free flame retardance.
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