SABIC Releases Innovative Eco-Friendly Thermoplastic Film for Manufacturers

Taking existing environmental restrictions, such as the European Union's Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive, a step farther, several global electronics manufacturers are voluntarily reducing halogenated additives in their products to benefit the environment.

Helping to support this, SABIC Innovative Plastics today at Chinaplas 2008, introduced EFR 735 film, the company's first thermoplastic film made without the use of brominated or chlorinated flame-retardants. EFR 735 film demonstrates how SABIC Innovative Plastics works closely with customers to create environmentally responsible materials that comply with both existing and upcoming electronics industry standards. The new EFR film also supports the trend toward smaller, thinner devices by delivering high performance at very thin gauges.

"Our first non-halogenated flame-retardant film has a dual purpose -to help electronics customers effectively take a strong stand on environmental protection, and to expand our robust portfolio of environmentally responsible materials," said Josh Ayer, global product manager, Film, SABIC Innovative Plastics. "We applaud major electronics manufacturers that are demonstrating their environmental concern by limiting or banning potentially harmful substances from their products and processes. We are confident that our EFR 735 film will make it easier for them to achieve this goal while also benefiting from enhanced performance and cost savings from down-gauging."

EFR 735 film is an excellent candidate for shielding and insulation barriers, printed circuits, die-cut spacers and insulators, labels, and overlays. It is also well suited for adaptors for computers, laptops, mobile phones, portable devices, battery packs, DVD players, printers, appliances, audio/video equipments, and many other electrical and electronics applications.

Exceptional Performance at Thin Gauges for Space and Cost Savings

EFR 735 film delivers VTM-0 flame resistance performance according to Underwriters Laboratories (UL 94) down to 152 microns without the use of potentially harmful halogenated additives. It also gives significantly better puncture resistance and tensile strength than flame-retardant polypropylene (FRPP). In fact, the material has triple the puncture resistance of FRPP and surpasses FRPP in tensile strength with double the performance. It also offers a higher glass transition temperature (340 degree C vs. 265 degree C) for high-heat environments. Further, FRPP is subject to three times greater shrinkage than SABIC Innovative Plastics' standard film. EFR 735 also offers low moisture absorption, high thermal performance, and excellent dielectric strength.

Thinner-gauge EFR 735 film can replace thicker FRPP film without sacrificing performance. At gauges as thin as 0.006 in. it equals the performance of 0.017-in.-thick FRPP. Thinner gauges give designers greater flexibility to create today's flatter, lighter-weight notebook PCs and other devices. They also help to reduce material costs through down gauging.

U.S. and European agencies continue to tighten regulations on EMI/RFI emissions. Effective shielding solutions include metal boxes, conductive paints, plating, metal chassis and conductive polymers. However, these methods add significant cost and unwanted weight to electronic devices. EFR 735 film provides a low-cost, lightweight solution to both primary shielding and secondary (problem area) shielding, while maintaining UL recognition. Laminated to a conductive foil, such as copper or aluminum, this high performance-insulating film allows creatively designed shields to be placed in close proximity to the emitting source, without fear of internal arcing. Using this material for die-cut insulators and spacers can give manufacturers greater fabrication ease and compatibility advantages with many fastening and laminating adhesives.

Ease of Fabrication

EFR 735 film provides easy fabrication using processes including thermoforming, embossing, clean-edge die cutting, scoring and bending. The product, in a matte/velvet finish, is available globally in 0.006 in., 0.010 in., 0.017 in., and 0.025 in. gauges.

Posted April 18th,2008

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