circuits are molded into plastic housings in a new technology introduced at K
2010 by A. Schulman, a plastics compounder based in Akron, OH.
showed an electrically conductive plastic compound developed for Hella KGaA Hueck &
Co., a Finnish lighting manufacturer.
tin are loaded at a very high level (60 and 25 percent respectively) in
polyamide 6. The tin acts like a solder connecting the copper fibers.
conductivity of the compound is 1,000 times better than the next most
conductive plastic compound available (plastic loaded with steel fibers)," says
Thilo Stier, innovation manager for A. Schulman.
production part is a light that can be used for automotive or other end-market
production process is novel.
ABS plate and the PMMA (acrylic) reflector are injection molded in a
three-component process. The electrical resistor, diodes, LED and contact pins
for the plug are inserted and connected with the new conductive compound, which
is called Schulatec
TinCo 50. The ABS-coated reflector is then mounted to ensure watertight
the material can be used for housings and lighting applications. The new
technology permits new design opportunities while also reducing costs through
integration of structural and electrical functions into one part.
electrical conductivity of the compound is in the range of 5 x 105
S/m. The conductivity of copper alone is 5.69 x 107 S/m.
the technology began with Siemens in 1998 and was later supported by IKV Aachen, a German research
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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