What are the areas where LED lighting is witnessing fast growth?
LEDs are quickly taking over from incandescent and even fluorescent lighting in buildings.
They offer many significant benefits, e.g., very low energy consumption, potential lifetimes – 50 times longer than the traditional bulbs, higher efficiency and reduced environmental impact. Therefore, there is a significant growth of LED as a light source worldwide.
Also, in the automotive industry LED shows its clear benefits.
Headlights are a key distinguishing feature for a car’s identity, and currently LED lighting, with its excellent performance characteristics, is the cutting edge of automotive head–lamp design.
How is DSM Engineering contributing to the process?
A key challenge that lighting manufacturers need to overcome with LEDs is the thermal management – the heat generated by the LED has to be dissipated, in order to ensure that their potential to provide high quality light over the years is fully realised.
Aluminium heat sinks are widely used to conduct the heat away from the LED, but designers are increasingly calling for alternative materials that can provide greater design freedom and lower the weight, without compromising on the safety.
DSM’s Stanyl TC was developed specifically to answer this call. It has a sufficient thermal conductivity (up to 14 W/mK) to successfully dissipate the heat generated by the LED.
It also has excellent flow properties, common to all the polyamides that enable it to be moulded into complicated shapes with high surface-to-volume ratios, enhancing the heat dispersion.
Recently, DSM has introduced another material to answer the growing need for thermos–conductive materials. Akulon TC bears complete certification including Reach, RoHS, UL yellow card and IEC standards.
When it is compared with aluminium heat sinks, Akulon TC heat conductive plastics are electrically isolative, which technically means it acts as the electrical insulator, making it safer and enabling the use of non-isolated driver to lower costs and improve the efficiency of the whole lighting apparatus.
For automotive LED lighting systems, DSM has been the proven material in the market. Other components in the headlamp assembly such as the bezel, lensholders or frames can suffer from outgassing, become distorted, damaged or can even melt under such severe conditions.
Aesthetic trim components extend the performance challenge by meeting the designer’s need for exacting the surface appearance in black or dark grey colours that increase the sun load issue. DSM’s Arnite XL-T with a Heat Deflection Temperature (HDT) of 250°C, low out – gassing and excellent textured surface and finishes in dark colours, offer the designer and engineer extended freedom in headlight LED and HID module construction.
How is your R&D effort to boost application of LEDs in new fields?
DSM has R&D all around the globe. We have research centers in the Netherlands, India, China and the USA to be close to our customers and translate their local and global needs into material specifications.
Our R&D consists of three pillars– chemistry, physics and mechanics. For the development of the LED materials specifically, DSM makes use of all three. By using these three competences, we are developing material solutions for LED application, in lighting as well as automotive. At the same time we are using Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) and thermal simulations to design and convert metal heat sinks to thermally conductive plastics.
Have you developed any proprietary material?
Yes, the Stanyl TC heat conductive plastics for the LED lighting industry. It has been widely used by leading lighting corporations, both at home as well as abroad and has an excellent reputation in the market. Our track record proves that DSM heat conductive plastics are completely qualified for the requirements of LED light apparatus for heat management and mechanical performance. Our indoor lighting products, which replace the traditional aluminium heat sinks, do not compromise performance in any aspect and have advantages over the aluminium radiators in quality, electrical safety, production efficiency, and appearance.
DSM launched the next generation of heat conductive plastics products – Akulon TC. Based on the DSM's patented formulation technology, Akulon TC succeeds Stanyl TC's long-term reliability, showing outstanding performance in our top customers' rigid circulative high – low – temp., heat duty test. Akulon TC maintains good mechanical performance, which is higher than similar products in the market, ensuring that our customers' goods will not fail due to cracks in the long term usage.
Arnite has been used successfully for many years in CFL lighting, and many other automotive electrical and electronic applications that demand high heat performance and low outgassing characteristics.
Through extensive experience and application understanding, DSM has developed proprietary technology that has extended the thermal conductivity of Arnite XL-T to outperform high heat resistance thermoplastics – such as polyether sulfon (PES), polyetherimides (PEI) and polyphthalamides (PPA) without the exotic price tag or other issues like critical processing and water absorption.
A key benefit of Arnite XL-T is its outstanding surface finish when textured, even when glass fibre is reinforced with grades and variations. Recently DSM has announced the use of Arnite XL-T in the new Audi Q7 for automotive headlight applications that can resist extreme thermal loads.
Please tell us about your LED application supporting (booster) projects in India.
DSM has been working with all the key LED lighting manufacturers in India with the standard Arnite solution. We are also working on the next generation, upcoming with thermally conductive solutions.
What kind of business potential do you see in this field?
Based on the demand generated by the EESL (Energy Efficiency Services Limited) through the DELP program and the increased awareness among consumers for energy efficient and green lighting solutions like LEDs, we expect the market to grow aggressively in the coming years.
How are you gearing up to help the LED users in India?
We are gearing up on two fronts. First, the market is still in the early stages of using thermally conductive plastic solutions, so we are leveraging our global knowledge in this area to promote and develop the solutions. Secondly, we are looking into the possibility of making these solutions at our site within India.
What would you say to the potential users from India?
The need to reduce the environmental footprint of LED manufacturing is growing fast. Also, there is pressure on cost and productivity, and there is a need for robust innovative solutions. By substituting traditional heat sinks with innovative solutions like Akulon TC and Stanyl TC, it’s possible to reduce cost, increase productivity, design freedom and lower the carbon footprint substantially.
This is the reason why growing number of LED lamps and automotive lighting manufacturers are using Akulon TC, Stanyl TC and Arnite XT. All three are supported by our global team of application experts.