Products, Materials & Tools | Sep 10, 2010

Bayer MaterialScience Develops New UL-94 V0 Rated Flame Retardant Polycarbonate Plastic for LEDs

The latest flame retardant polycarbonate plastic from Bayer MaterialScience LLC enables LED (light emitting diode) and other electronics manufacturers to slim down lenses and covers. Makrolon® FR7067 polycarbonate plastic meets UL-94 V0 rating at 1.5 mm. By comparison, most traditional flame retardant polycarbonates meet this key flammability rating at a thicker 3.0 mm. It's noteworthy that this new grade achieves the UL-94 V0 rating at 1.5 mm while offering light transmission of nearly 90 percent.

"When it comes to LED lenses and covers, thinner is better," said Gerry DiBattista, market segment leader, IT, Electrical/Electronics Polycarbonates, Bayer MaterialScience LLC. "Thicker lenses or covers translate into an unnecessarily heavier and bulkier part. This additional thickness is also undesirable because more light will be lost as it is transmitted through the lens or cover, making the component less efficient."

Thinner lenses and covers require less material, which can create a real cost advantage for molders and OEMs, leading to quicker adoption of this technology, DiBattista explained.

"Another added benefit is that when a lens meets the required UL flame ratings, the OEM can avoid costly power supply isolation or a separate UL test on the final component," DiBattista continued.

This material breakthrough comes at a time when, according to Strategies Unlimited, the high brightness (HB) LED market is forecast to grow more than 30 percent, reaching $20.2 billion by 2014. The growing LED market presents a tremendous opportunity for lighting manufacturers.

"Bayer MaterialScience's latest flame retardant polycarbonate plastic provides OEMs a transparent, UV-stabilized material that not only meets key industry guidelines and regulations but does so with a thinner profile and environmental benefits, too," DiBattista said.

In addition to offering a glass-like appearance, excellent impact strength and ease of moldability, Bayer MaterialScience's Makrolon® FR7067 polycarbonate plastic meets Underwriters Laboratory guidelines (UL 8750) for non-class 2 and direct connected LED lighting, according to DiBattista. "Last year we introduced Makrolon® FR7087 polycarbonate which meets UL-94 5VA rating at 3.0 mm with good transparancy. Now we introduce a thin, V0-rated material in Makrolon® FR7067 polycarbonate plastic. This builds on several other new products geared toward this industry, underscoring our commitment to support advances in the LED lighting industry."

The environmental benefits offered by Makrolon® FR7067 polycarbonate include easy recyclability, re-processing and re-usability. LED technology is, in itself, a more eco-friendly lighting alternative. LEDs offer a significant energy savings, whether the application is computers, mobile phones, interior and exterior automotive lighting, architectural lighting, or as simple as replacing the traditional incandescent light bulb. For instance, an LED light bulb can save as much as 80 percent in energy compared with a traditional 100 watt incandescent light bulb, according to a federal Congressional Research Service analysis.

Makrolon® FR7067 polycarbonate is currently available in North America and Asia. It will be available in Europe, Middle East, South America and Africa at a later date.

For more information about Bayer MaterialScience LLC's Makrolon® polycarbonate resin, call 1-800-662-2927, e-mail or or visit

About Bayer MaterialScience LLC:
Bayer MaterialScience LLCis one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with approximately 14,300 employees at 30 production sites around the world and 2009 sales of 7.5 billion euros. The company manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries. Sustainability is central to Bayer MaterialScience LLC's business and is based around the key areas of innovation, product stewardship, excellence in corporate management, social responsibility and respect for the environment.


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