Specialty polycarbonates light the way to improved LED performance and quality

Adoption of LED technology continues to accelerate. To keep pace with the ever-evolving technologies and expanding applications, LED manufacturers need materials with outstanding properties. Covestro’s materials tailored for LED applications play a key role in improving LED performance and quality.
Because of its superior energy efficiency, long life span and excellent durability, it’s really no surprise that industrial, commercial and residential lighting applications are increasingly utilizing LED technology. LED technology has been rapidly advancing, resulting in reduced costs and better performance. To continue to improve the technology, LED manufacturers need materials with outstanding properties.
Polycarbonate materials are utilized for LED optic and lens applications, especially when heat, flame or impact resistance is required. One issue that is hindering even higher LED performance capabilities is the discoloration of the traditional materials used.
Conventional transparent polycarbonate can show signs of hazing and yellowing when exposed to intense LED radiation in the 400-500 nanometer (nm) range and long-term direct outdoor sunlight exposure.
To overcome this challenge, Covestro has developed unique grades of polycarbonate especially for use in LED applications. Makrolon® LED polycarbonate from Covestro should be used to extend product longevity and minimize absorption in wavelengths between 400-500 nm.
Ultraviolet (UV) yellowing during outdoor exposure is mitigated by Covestro’s AURATM UV infusion process. In this process, molded parts are immersed in a solution that penetrates into the surface of the plastic. The resulting parts exhibit reduced yellowness similar to acrylic after UV exposure.
Nicolas Sunderland, principal scientist, electrical, Polycarbonates, Covestro LLC, will delve further into this topic in his presentation: “Polycarbonate LED Optics: Enhanced Stability for Long Term Performance” at 2:15 p.m., Thursday, March 3, during Strategies in Light 2016 in Santa Clara, California. Attendees of the show are encouraged to attend and learn more about Covestro’s specialty LED polycarbonate grades.
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