Tejin Ltd. develops PC resin for in-mold decorating applications

Development of new materials is pushing the envelope of applications for in-mold decorating. Tejin Ltd., a global company providing advanced solutions in the areas of sustainable transportation, information and electronics, and healthcare among others, announced the development of a polycarbonate resin suitable for in-mold decoration of plastic parts. Some of the possible applications include housings for mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and notebooks, as well as medical devices and automotive parts.

Reducing the weight of mobile device housings demands a combination of thin-wall molding and high rigidity, and materials that currently meet these requirements include carbon fiber-reinforced plastics and magnesium alloys. However, these materials require additional steps for pattern printing, coating or other post-processing after the housing has been molded. These added production costs have limited use to some high-end models, Teijin said.

Conventional PC or nylon resin composites are commonly used for the housings of mass-market models, but these materials are prone to wrinkles, cracks or other degradation in surfaces during in-mold decoration. Also, it has been a challenge to achieve desired levels of dimensional stability, coating and flame retardancy in this-wall molded components made of these materials.

By incorporating special glass fibers and additive agents, the new PC resin achieves excellent rigidity and dimensional stability for thin-wall molded casings, as well as optimized surface flatness for in-mold decoration and 40% higher fluidity than conventional glass fiber-reinforced PC resins, said Tejin's information. Additionally, Teijin's proprietary flame-retardant technology enables the new PC resin to achieve increased flame retardancy, equivalent to UL94V-0 at 0.6mm.

Teijin's primary businesses include high-performance fibers such as aramid, carbon fibers and composites, films, resin and plastic processing, and polyester fibers. The group has 150 companies and approximately 17,000 employees across 20 countries worldwide.

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