dcsimg LED (Light-emitting diode)

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Polycarbonate materials and expertise for LED lighting

From where we work and live to the vehicles we drive and the places we go, LED lighting is replacing traditional lighting in diverse markets due to its low energy consumption, low maintenance and long service life. Covestro develops innovative polycarbonate materials well-suited for LED lighting applications.

LED Luminare

Different parts of a LED lamp require different properties of materials. There are four different product types for the various requirements.

LED grades

With transparent polycarbonate, it’s possible to efficiently design and manufacture LED parts with complex geometries that would not be producible with glass. Makrolon® LED grades are specially developed for use in lenses and secondary optics. They have an extremely high purity and thus a much better stability against LED light in comparison to standard or optical grades. Yellowness index and haze after long-term illumination with LED light are highly reduced, transmission remains on high levels. The lifetime of a lens made of Makrolon® LED2245 or Makrolon® LED2643 is thus longer than with standard Makrolon®.

Diffusion colors.

For ambient lighting materials with high diffusion are desired that have at the same time a high transmission value. Those two basically opposing properties can be balanced by our color formulation experts according to customer needs with our special diffusion color recipes. Close collaboration with customer in terms of desired transmission values, wall thickness of the diffusor, half power angle and lighting setup leads to perfect match for almost every customer requirement.

Grades with and without UV protection and different viscosities  are available in diffusion colors as well as diffusor sheets Makrolon® DX and diffusor films Makrofol® LM297.

Highly reflecting materials

Diffuse reflectors can be used for indirect lighting. Covestro has developed special grades called RW (reflective white) that have high efficiency in reflecting visible light. Compared to standard white grades, increased total reflection values up to 96% are reached leading to very high brightness. Use of Makrolon® RW or Apec® RW materials allows a high design freedom as the thermoplast can be injection molded in almost any shape you need. Also FR (flame-retardant) grades are available in RW color. 

Products: Makrolon® RW2405, Makrolon® RW 2407, Makrolon® RW6265X, Makrolon® RW6267X, Apec® RW1697 

For specular lighting metallization of standard grades is possible. Makrolon® and Apec® grades are available for metallization. Special Bayblend® grades for electroplating are Bayblend® T65PGBayblend® T45PG 

Thermally conductive materials

Heat management in LED lamps is of big importance. It requires thermally conductive materials. Traditionally, metals are used which limit design possibilities. Covestro has a special development with thermal conductivity of around 20W/K*m. This is an extremely good value for a thermoplastic material allowing replacing alumina in LED heat sinks.

At the moment, black color only is available. More research in other colors is ongoing.

Case Study
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