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Prototype LCP grades boast improved blister resistance

Prototype LCP grades boast improved blister resistance

Japan’s Polyplastics plans to commercialize a cutting edge liquid crystal polymer with high heat stability that generates minimal gas.

The Polyplastics Group has announced new developmental grades of Laperos liquid crystal polymer (LCP) which offer superior blister resistance for electronic connectors. The two grades – currently in pre-commercialization phase - have been confirmed to inhibit blistering more effectively than existing materials and show strong potential for improving productivity. Polyplastics has conducted experimental studies on different forms of blistering and is working to achieve an even greater reduction in blistering defects.

New grade with low blistering propensity targets telecom, automotive, home electronics, and office automation applications. Image courtesy of Polyplastics.

LCP compounds are widely used in SMT (surface mount technology) parts due to their elevated heat resistance and good flowability. Blistering is a common flaw for LCP, which takes the form of bulges that appear on the surface of molded articles due to heat. Blistering has a variety of potential causes including LCP decomposition gases, gases that get entrapped during molding, and separation between the skin and core layers.

Polyplastics noted that it is important to use materials with higher heat stability and which also generate minimal gas. Laperos LCP comes in a wide range of grades to accommodate customer needs, including ultra-high heat-resistant grades.

The company has also conducted studies on nozzle and sprue optimization with the aim of offering solutions to blistering. Other factors such as molding conditions and mold shape design also have a strong influence on blistering.

In addition to high flowability and dimensional accuracy, LCP exhibits high heat resistance and is widely used in connector applications in devices such as smartphones which are becoming more compact and trending toward SMT. The automotive, home electronics, and office automation industries have also increasingly implemented LCP in recent years due to demand for high dimensional accuracy and heat resistance.

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