Tuomas Kiikka, Business Development Manager at Premix, shed light on Premix’s future at the Fakuma trade fair. His message was simple: Plastics have changed for good and the new Premix solutions offer plastics even a bigger role in the future.
These next-generation solutions ensure that plastics will continue to be an effective substitute for conventional materials and solutions in industrial production processes. The overriding fact is that plastics as a material and industry have changed significantly in recent years. Today plastics exhibit a greater range of functional properties than in the past, which means that the impact of plastics on our everyday lives is growing rapidly. The future of the plastics industry can be expressed with three simple ideas: More possibilities, faster production, improved cost-effectiveness.
The future made today
Premix recently signed an important sales agreement with a major antenna manufacturer in China. The Chinese company decided to rethink their existing solutions and use Premix’s PREPERM product family in their new antenna designs. “More than half of major antenna manufacturers are already testing Premix solutions in their products,” says Tuomas Kiikka with a smile.
The PREPERM product family launched by Premix is a unique combination of outstanding dielectric performance, good heat resistance, and first-rate processability. In the past, antenna manufacturers were faced with a huge challenge. There were no compounds optimized for the plastic injection molding of antenna parts. Today they have a choice! The dielectric loss of Premix PREPERM grades is extremely low (0.001or less in most cases) compared with commonly used plastic compounds like PC/ABS and LCP. This means that the operating efficiency of antennas grows significantly and devices consume less power. One payoff is that your smartphone battery now lasts longer even in heavy use. And for mobile network operators in particular, the benefit of using materials with low dielectric loss is considerable. As power consumption at base stations is a major cost item for wireless carriers, the use of energy-saving materials saves money throughout the product lifecycle.
The PREPERM product family features several plastic grades, which cover the dielectric constant between 2.55 and 10. The dielectric constant of each plastic grade can also be adjusted to the desired level. For example, antenna designers can take advantage of the fact that as the dielectric constant increases, wavelength decreases. This allows for the design of even smaller antenna units. Frequency also has an impact on antenna size. At lower frequencies, the wavelength of radio waves increases, resulting in the need for bigger antennas. With the PREPERM product family, antenna designers can now find the right material to meet their operational and space requirements.
Things move fast in plastics and at Premix. Although only a few weeks have passed since Fakuma, the solutions we presented at the fair are already in production. There is a simple explanation for this rapid development: We have made progress on several fronts. We are not only developing new products, but also telling our customers how these products can make a difference to their businesses.
New properties – more cost-effective solutions
Next-generation plastics are replacing conventional metals and ceramic materials in industrial processes. The ability of these new plastic compounds to conduct electricity and heat ensure that plastics can be used in a wider range of applications. That’s why more and more designers and manufacturers are enjoying the lower cost and weight of next-generation functional plastics and the benefit of increased production output. For example, cell phone manufacturers can now use functional plastics to make antennas and switches, instead of having to rely on metal or ceramic solutions.