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Düsseldorf - Mars Otomotiv, a supplier of advanced lighting systems for the transportation industry, has selected Therma-Tech thermally conductive polymers from PolyOne (8a/J13) to replace metal in the heat sink of LED lighting for construction vehicles, heavy trucks, and trailers. The announcement was made at the K Show.

PlasticsToday Staff

October 20, 2013

2 Min Read
K 2013: Conductive plastic heat sinks molded in aluminum die-cast tooling

The transition from metal to PolyOne materials helped Mars Otomotiv significantly reduce total part cost, remove weight, and optimize its manufacturing and logistics. Moreover, with technical support from PolyOne, the existing mold, which was used to cast aluminum parts, was able to be modified to mold the polymer heat sinks, eliminating the expense and delay of building tooling from scratch.

High brightness light emitting diode (HB LED) lights are reportedly much more efficient than incandescent bulbs at transforming electrical power into light, but also generate considerable heat. HB LEDs are sensitive to high temperatures, so heat sinks are often used to ensure optimal performance over time. Metal heat sinks, typically made of aluminum, are common. However, aluminum parts are heavier and more costly to manufacture than specialty polymer solutions.

By manufacturing HB LED heat sinks with Therma-Tech solutions instead of aluminum, Mars Otomotiv reduced part weight by more than 30%. Daily production rates were also increased by up to 50%, and secondary operations, which were needed for the aluminum parts, were eliminated, reducing cost by more than 20% per unit.

"The experts at Mars Otomotiv quickly recognized the innovative potential of Therma-Tech polymer solutions and worked closely with us to complete this project in less than four months," said Holger Kronimus, vice president Europe and general manager, Specialty Engineered Materials, Europe at PolyOne. "This success clearly demonstrates how close collaboration and technical prowess can deliver exceptional outcomes. It is another example of the way that PolyOne helps customers maximize performance and streamline manufacturing operations while also reducing total systems cost."

"Mars Otomotiv is an industry leader, and to remain a leader we must continue innovating," explained Abuzer Binici, a director and board member of Mars' parent company, Ayfar Otomotiv. "Working with PolyOne introduced us to the opportunity to replace metal with advanced polymer formulations that can streamline our manufacturing processes and differentiate our products in the marketplace without compromising part performance."

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