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News

New versatile high-performance polyester for lead-free soldering

Du Pont Engineering Polymers : 21 May, 2006  (New Product)
The high thermal and hydrolysis resistance of DuPont Thermx PCT, DuPont's new family of thermoplastic polyester resins, opens fresh ways for cost-effective solutions of problems in the electrical and electronics industries. With their high short-term thermal resistance, these resins can withstand temperatures which occur in surface-mount reflow or through-hole soldering with lead-free solders
The high thermal and hydrolysis resistance of DuPont Thermx PCT, DuPont's new family of thermoplastic polyester resins, opens fresh ways for cost-effective solutions of problems in the electrical and electronics industries. With their high short-term thermal resistance, these resins can withstand temperatures which occur in surface-mount reflow or through-hole soldering with lead-free soldersup to 265C. Flame-retardant types meet the recently introduced tougher requirements for glow-wire resistance which now apply to unattended domestic electrical appliances. Tyco Electronics uses this DuPont PCT (polycyclohexylene dimethyl terephthalate) for making many connectors and interconnection devices for the automotive and other industries.

'For many of our automotive applications, such as connectors for use under the bonnet or behind the dashboard, we use Thermx CG023,' says Tyco's Franz Janson, responsible for specifying engineering plastic materials in the EMEA region. 'This 20 % glass fibre reinforced type combines the heat resistance needed for lead-free soldering with the low warpage, dimensional stability, stiffness and toughness needed for such applications. It also meets the requirement for improved hydrolysis resistance which is often a requirement in the United States (USCAR Class 4 Tests). Taking these characteristics together, it is better than comparable PBT types and less expensive than many well-known high-performance thermoplastics.'

For white goods and other domestic electrical appliances, as well as for IT applications Tyco makes many connectors from flame-retardant Thermx CG923, which combines the advantages of the CG023 type with a V-0 UL classification.

'When we face higher thermal requirements, we can often process Thermx PCT in tools originally designed for PBT,' Janson adds. 'These two polyester types have almost the same shrinkage, so it is usually enough to optimise the processing parameters; if we switched to using a polyphthalamide, we would have to have higher tool temperatures, which would in turn require an oil temperature control system. And in addition, Thermx allows comparably short cycle times.'

Thermx PCT is an especially high-temperature-resistant and hydrolysis-resistant addition to DuPont's range of high-performance polyester resins, which also includes DuPont Crastin PBT and DuPont Rynite PET. All have certain properties in common: non-warping characteristics of moulded parts, good flow properties needed for making thin-walled components, easy colourability, good dielectric properties and high chemical resistance, for example to fuels, oils and cleaning fluids used in circuit-board production.

With a thermal distortion temperature up to 256C and high thermal aging resistance, Thermx can be a cost-effective alternative to liquid crystal polymers and semi-aromatic polyamides. When thermal requirements rise still further or if very thin-walled components with high thermal resistance are needed, DuPont's DuPont Zenite LCP types can offer advantages. If the stress is on further increased requirements for a combination of resistance to heat, glycol, oil and hydrolysis, DuPont Zytel HTN high-performance polymer can open further possibilities.

Tyco Electronics is the world's largest supplier of passive electronic components and a major producer of active components. The company's 320 000 products can be found in computers, telecommunications equipment, industrial machinery, aerospace and military applications, automobiles, household appliances and consumer electronics. Tyco has 88 000 employees in 54 countries; sales in 2004 were $ 11,8 billion.
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