Any time the word millennium is bandied about, we get a bit suspicious. But in fact, a new material from DSM Engineering Plastics (the Netherlands) called PA4T owns the distinction of being the first new polymer of the third millennium.
According to Roelof Westerbeek, Global Business Director, Stanyl, PA4T brings a unique balance of properties including dimensional stability, compatibility with lead-free soldering, high stiffness and mechanical strength at elevated temperatures, high melting point, and ease of processing. He says, “The new polymer was developed in answer to market trends for miniaturization and convergence of electronic devices like cell phones and computers. It will also _assist automakers in continued weight reduction efforts for better fuel efficiency and _lower costs.”
Target applications include electronics such as memory card connectors, CPU sockets, high temperature bobbins, and notebook computer memory module connectors, based on the material's compatibility with lead-free surface mount technology and its dimensional stability. In automotive markets, DSM believes it will support new developments in underhood electrical systems, air and fuel, and powertrain components. Dan Bishop, Marketing Manager, Stanyl, says, “PA4T addresses market needs for lead-free surface mount devices such as circuit boards used in personal computers, as well as the current move towards halogen-free electronics.”
DSM has filed patents on the new polymer, developed compounds, and held initial investigative trials with market leaders for various end uses. On April 25, the company opened a market development plant at the Chemelot site in Sittard-Geleen, the Netherlands, which is now providing pre-commercial quantities of the new polymer.