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Good diffusion is half the battle

Bayer MaterialScience AG : 15 June, 2004  (Company News)
Bayer MaterialScience AG has unveiled a new Makrolon
For the first time, light scattering film can now be used for backlit applications, which not only has the typical well-balanced properties of extruded polycarbonate film, but also attains – or even exceeds – the optical performance of PMMA film. Like all polycarbonate films, Makrofol® TP 243 has high heat resistance, good dimensional stability, ease of processing and excellent strength characteristics.

Hans Braun, an expert for polycarbonate film at Bayer MaterialScience, describes the new Makrofol® TP 243 as follows: 'Using the experience gleaned from our two established light scattering films, Makrofol® BL and Makrofol® LT, we have succeeded in decisively improving the balance between light diffusion and light transmission. The trick is to integrate innovative scattering particles into the new film that bring about intense, particularly homogeneous scattering of the light as it passes through. At the same time, the transmission remains high. The film also appears neutral in color.' Braun continues: 'With Makrofol® TP 243, we can offer our customers a film that is superior to conventional light scattering films and has all the advantages of polycarbonate film. For example, our new film is not brittle like PMMA, and is thus far easier to punch. In addition, Makrofol® TP 243 can be printed and thermoformed without problems. Because the scattering particles are embedded in the film, the diffusion capacity is also retained after printing.'

Light scattering film is used for backlit information carriers like dials and LCD displays to diffuse the light from point light sources when illuminating the film. To obtain uniform illumination of the information carrier over the whole surface, it is important that the light is diffused as intensively as possible. The aim is to achieve the lowest possible light loss, in order either to minimize the energy consumption of the light source or to get by with a lower-luminosity source. Braun explains: 'Particularly when LEDs are used as the light source, the cost of the light diodes rises at an exorbitant rate as the luminosity increases. The high transmission of Makrofol® TP 243 makes it possible to use lower luminosity, i.e. less expensive LEDs, while obtaining the same degree of brightness in the displays. The outstanding scattering power of our new film ensures a very evenly illuminated surface with a neutral color.'

Bayer MaterialScience is currently marketing the extruded film in thicknesses of 0.3 and 0.5 mm. Makrofol® TP 243 film has a translucent, white inherent color, and is available in rolls or sheets.
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