Compounds for laser direct structuring  -  TECACOMP LDS 

Moulded Interconnect Devices (MID) integrate conductors and electrical circuits directly into three-dimensional plastic components which can be moulded practically at will. This makes the components both a housing and an electronic circuit in one. These injection moulded circuit carriers enable companies to develop components which are smaller, lighter and less expensive than is possible using classical circuit boards. Three dimensional MID systems are also simpler to mount and enable the integration of additional functions.


Extremely high requirement profile:  High temperature thermoplastics

There can be hardly any other application which poses such widely differing demands on a compound than MID technology. LDS requires the compound to have high thermal resistance, good isotropic component beha­viour and, most importantly, good capacity for metallization.

Dural and firmly fixed metal pathways due to new fillers

During the LDS process, polymers are bonded to metals. The difficulty here is that plastics fundamentally demonstrate much higher thermal expansion than metal. If components are exposed to alternating thermal stress, there is a considerable risk of the conductor becoming detached over time.

Low thermal expansion

Material developments are focused on the implementation of reduced conductor widths and improvement of thermal expansion and conduction. The choice of polymers is consequently restricted to highly thermally ­stable plastics. The matrix polymers used by Ensinger are polyphthalamides (PPA), poly­etheretherketones (PEEK) and liquid crystal polymers (LCP). They have a dark greyish-black colour as standard, but thanks to the special filler concept from Ensinger it is also possible to produce very light-coloured LDS structures without a copper base.

High-tech plastics are characterized by their excellent dimensional stability and rigidity, even at extremely high temperat­ures. LCP also comes with good chemical and flame-retardant properties, and is the thermosetting plastic with the lowest thermal expansion. The use of fillers further reduces expansion.

TECACOMP PEEK LDS

Ensinger is the only plastics processor worldwide able to offer a PEEK for the LDS method that has been certified by LPKF Laser & Electronics AG. The high-performance polymer stands out for its high thermal stability up to 300 degrees Celsius. It also has very good weld line strength, good adhesive strength and good chemical resistance. Plated through hole bonding is possible. Important applications for the material TECACOMP PEEK LDS are aerials, sensors and safety applications.

TECACOMP LCP LDS

TECACOMP LCP LDS is particularly suitable for very thin-walled components. The liquid crystalline material LCP stands out for very good dimensional stability and rigidity. Furthermore, the plastic has good chemical and flame-retardant properties. Target industries are electrical engineering and LED light technology, mechanical engineering and the automotive sector.

TECACOMP PPA LDS

The LDS portfolio is completed by TECACOMP PPA LDS which is easy to process and has thermal stability up to 250 degrees Celsius.



LDS process Steps with TECACOMP PEEK LDS


3D HIPMAS Project

The MID manufacturing process is complex and comprises several production steps from the development of the base material, injection molding, metallization, assembly and quality assurance. In Community research, 12 international companies are developing a European pilot plant for 3-D micro-components by 2015. They have set themselves an ambitious goal: more than 50 percent of today's production costs are to be saved.

As part of the research project, Ensinger performed extensive test series in order to reconcile the material properties (thermal expansion) of polymers with those of the metal used. This has culminated in the development of special mineral and ceramic fillers which are new both in terms of their size and shape. The compound formulations optimized in this way ensure durable, firmly fixed and functionally reliable metal pathways.

3D HIPMAS is supported by the European Comission through ist Seventh Framework Program under the Public Private Partnership „Factories of the future“ initiative.

Laser structuring
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