As a result, product manufacturers across industries are being increasingly challenged to meet demands beyond simple illumination, and the electronics industry is responding through continued innovation. Take lights, for example. Technological advances have pushed LED lights to properly distribute 20,000 hours of light, in comparison to the 750 hours offered by traditional incandescent bulbs, all while wasting significantly less energy. Developments such as this have raised the bar for lighting approaches, and subsequently created a need for new materials. Lighting today requires materials with superior performance characteristics: exceptional optics, easy to mold into complex designs, greater sustainability and increased energy efficiency. Furthermore, they need to be lightweight, low-cost and offer a strong price-quality ratio. Material solutions for the electronics industryTransparent specialty styrenics have emerged as an innovation enabler in the electronics industry, and designers are now relying on these materials to achieve excellence in both lighting design and functionality. Styrolution offers two materials: Luran and NAS that possess the unique properties necessary to drive forward innovations in lighting and electronics and provide customers with options in hazy and clear grades. Luran, a styrene acrylonitrile copolymer (SAN), features a very well-balanced property profile ranging from excellent transparency and good chemical resistance to high stiffness, high heat resistance and dimensional stability. NAS, a styrene acrylic copolymer, is a premium choice for applications demanding a strong, stiff, water-clear plastic. NAS also offers excellent thermal stability and less molded-in stress than other materials. In addition to their optical advantages, both materials offer cost savings due to lower density, shorter cycle times and lower processing temperature. As a result of their excellent process and flow properties, Luran and NAS can be used in larger, more complex molds, while reducing or even avoiding flow lines. This makes both products ideal for designs that call for thick-walled electronics parts and thin-walled, large-scale optics. Materials in actionEmbracing the important role of material suppliers to achieve lighting design excellence, Polyoptics has collaborated with Styrolution to develop a process for light guide development. The aim was to construct a light guide tool with a laser machined surface that ensured homogenous lighting without the necessity of polishing or laser treatment to achieve the desired optical appearance. Styrolution’s technical team and Polyoptics’ developers worked closely together to engineer the new technology. It was established early on that any material solution selected must meet the following photonic requirements: light control, light distribution and light transmission. Styrolution’s NAS offers these photonic properties that are essential to achieve homogenous lighting through a laser machined surface. Quality and innovation for the futureUsing a material solution that combines ease of processing, functionality and aesthetics is critical for success. The unique and customisable properties of styrenics offer designers and manufacturers a wide range of solutions and the ability to collaboratively innovate new options. As consumer purchasing habits and demands for technological innovations push the industry towards lighter and more brilliant applications, transparent specialty styrenics will continue to provide high value solutions for designers and manufacturers and enable progress in the electronics industry.
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