New cyclo-olefin polymer grades target auto market

Zeonex and Zeonor cyclo-olefin polymer (COP) resins from Japan’s Zeon Corp. (Tokyo) are commonly associated with transparent vials and other containers in the medical field but recent development work at the supplier targets exploitation of other attributes of the resins, specifically heat resistance, flexibility and adhesivity towards glass.

New cyclo-olefin polymer grade targets automotive flat flexible connector applications as well as lightweight glazing.

Speaking to PlasticsToday at the recent Automotive World show incorporating the 7th Automotive Lightweight Technology Expo in Tokyo, Zeon’s Koichi Ikeda, Product Manager, Specialty Plastics & Components Division, said a development grade dubbed L-24 was being tested as a material for use in automotive flat flexible connector (FFC) systems. One specific example is a 77-GHz band millimeter wave radar system for autonomous vehicles.

Grade L-24 reportedly results in substantially less transmission loss compared with liquid crystal polymer (LCP) and polyimide (PI) resin alternatives. L-24 is also insoluble in 30% caustic soda, unlike LCP and PI. Further electrical resistance is also reported to be superior to the two other competing resins. Dielectric breakdown strength is 250 kV/mm versus around 150 kV/mm for both LCP and PI.

Another COP development grade unveiled by Zeon is L-3PS. This light-stable grade is being touted as a potential lightweighting material for automotive glazing because of its strong adhesion towards glass. Zeon’s theory is that L-3PS could form an interlayer material between two glass sheets, thereby realizing lightweight glazing with the exterior durability of glass. L-3PS also adheres strongly to metals. Light transmission properties also remained unchanged even after 2000 hours of irradiation with a xenon lamp.

The automotive supply chain has a new rendezvous. UBM America’s newest design and manufacturing trade show and conference debuts in Cleveland, OH, on March 29 and 30, 2017. On one show floor, Advanced Design & Manufacturing (ADM) Cleveland showcases five zones—packaging, automation and robotics, design and manufacturing, plastics and medical manufacturing. Hundreds of suppliers and numerous conference sessions offer sourcing and educational opportunities targeted to the automotive and other key industry sectors. Go to the PLASTEC Cleveland website to learn more and to register to attend.

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