Traditionally, thermoplastics have served as thermal barriers or insulators--until now. LNP Engineering Plastics has introduced what it refers to as the first-ever line of thermally conductive thermoplastic compounds. The name: KonduitTM.
The compounds employ a composite of plastic resins and thermally conductive additives that the company says overcome the base resins' natural insulation properties and conduct heat. When compared to typical unfilled and reinforced thermoplastic materials, the compounds provide 10 to 50 times more thermal conductivity, according to Mark Kaptur, product marketing manager. He adds that the particular ceramic proprietary additives used in the new materials are what makes the difference.
In order to make this claim, Kaptur notes that LNP "did a fair amount of research to pick the ceramic that gave us the best balance of thermal conductivity and decent physical properties. As a result, the development of these new compounds opens up significant windows of opportunity in terms of metal re-placement and part consolidation in IC thermal management, direct encapsulation, heater systems, automotive components, appliances, and fiber-optic communications."
Kaptur adds: "Not only are these compounds thermally conductive, they offer the unique design freedom of injection molding, with its clear-cut advantages for intricate part design."
Prices of the new compounds range from $4-$6 per lb compared to conventional materials that sell in the 0.80 to 2.50 per lb range.