Revolutionary Laminated Film Speaker Cone Competes with Aluminium Speaker Cones

Audio Technology Engineering (ATE), a German-based provider of innovative solutions for the acoustic speaker market, has developed P2C, a revolutionary speaker cone made with laminated Victrex APTIV™ film.

The P2C sandwich cone made with APTIV is already being widely recognised as the ideal technology solution for cones used in speakers of all types.

ATE’s innovative P2C propriety design using APTIV has a number of key acoustic properties, including lower distortion and ringing, no break-up-modes, very simple crossovers, and a flatter frequency response in comparison to cones made from conventional materials such as polypropylene, paper and aluminium cones. The use of APTIV film has enhanced ATE’s design process by enabling free surface design capabilities. Further, the ability to thermoform APTIV film into intricate details in the speaker cone design means that the manufacturing process is fast and efficient, allowing it to be used in high volume and cost competitive applications.

Commenting on the use of APTIV film, Norman Gerkinsmeyer, general manager of ATE said, “Our work with Victrex on the implementation of APTIV film, with its superior “tunable” acoustics, has been integral to the success of our P2C cone design. Interestingly, APTIV films also offer a unique combination of properties for a range of other speaker applications including diaphragms, domes, and voice coil bobbins.”

The P2C cone with APTIV film has been shown to deliver superior acoustic results in third party testing. Vance Dickason Consulting conducted an analysis of the P2C cone against both polypropylene and aluminium cones. It was found that the P2C cone with APTIV film has a very smooth rising response, and is easier to work with in developing a crossover than the aluminium cone woofer. After looking at the objective data and performing a listening test, VDC concluded that APTIV film, in this application, is a viable and desirable material for use in loudspeaker cones.

John Getz, APTIV Film Commercial Leader, Victrex plc, said, “We are encouraged by the results that ATE is achieving with its P2C speaker cone design using APTIV film. The inherent acoustic, high temperature, mechanical, fatigue and processing attributes of APTIV film are well suited for use in acoustic applications and present numerous opportunities for OEMs, designers and processors in the manufacture of leading edge, high performance speaker systems.”

ATE is initially targeting the automotive speaker market, but APTIV film technology is suitable for a wide range of advanced design and high performance speaker applications.

Notably, APTIV films meet the long term fatigue performance required for a speaker diaphragm. The semi-crystalline nature of VICTREX PEEK provides a relatively high modulus from the crystalline phase as well as a degree of damping from the amorphous phase. Speaker diaphragms can be designed in different thicknesses which gives a great deal of flexibility in the design process. In examples where metal foils have been replaced, the lower density of APTIV film allows a faster response and less mass of inertia in the whole speaker system. This is of particular interest in compression driver applications. Additionally many of the latest generation of mobile phones require higher power speakers which increases the operating temperature of the voice coil and diaphragm, eliminating the lower temperature films which were used in previous generations.

Getz concluded, “The unique value of Victrex materials solutions lies in our ability to tailor high performance PEEK-based polymers for our customers such as ATE. The Victrex reputation is built upon our depth of expertise with PEEK polymers, and our ability to work alongside global customers to help accelerate their application development by thoroughly understanding their engineering requirements. Our aim is to achieve improvements in product performance, quality, market differentiation, and cost all of which we have been able to deliver successfully by working with ATE on the P2C speaker cone.”

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