Advanced thermoplastic composite technology - a sustainable solution for reduced carbon footprint in the electronics industry

Advanced thermoplastic composite technology - a sustainable solution for reduced carbon footprint in the electronics industry

July 23, 2019

A recent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has found a laptop cover made of Maezio™ continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites from Covestro that can significantly reduce the carbon footprint by more than 70 percent compared to one made from conventional aluminum-magnesium alloy.

Maezio™ composites are based on continuous carbon or glass fibers impregnated with polycarbonate, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) or other thermoplastic resins.

The LCA study, conducted in line with ISO 14040/14044 standards and reviewed by an independent panel of LCA experts chaired by DEKRA Assurance Service GmbH, compared a comprehensive range of parameters to assess the environment performance of a laptop A-cover made from the two materials which are typically used for premium laptops. The composite laptop A cover shows better environment performance than the aluminum-magnesium alloy cover from the extraction of raw materials until the end of life.

Even after the implementation of current technology developments – use of low impact cover gas for aluminum-magnesium alloy and potential benefits of recycling for both materials – the composite carbon footprint is still more than 30 percent lower.

Dr. Frank Buckel, responsible for sustainability at the Polycarbonates segment at Covestro said: “Covestro is commited to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and is committed to sustainability as one of the pillars of its corporate strategy. The ecology impact of novel materials like Maezio™ during the complete lifecycle is assessed to ensure that these materials reduce the impact on the environment.”

Lisa Ketelsen, head of the thermoplastic composites business at Covestro said: “Thermoplastic composites are ideally suited for producing thinner, lighter and more robust parts for IT devices that meet the needs of tomorrow. The fact that Maezio™ thermoplastics are not only mechanically competitive but also environmentally advantageous will provide the electronics industry and many other industries with a powerful solution for reducing carbon footprints and reaching their sustainability targets.”

Maezio™ composites can also achieve weight reductions of approximately 15% in compared to aluminum-magnesium alloys, and the composite A cover exhibits a similar good bending and torsional rigidity compared to the metallic material. Moreover, the composite A cover meets the v-0 classification of Underwriters Laboratories’ UL 94 standard.

The composite technology also enables fast and efficient production of electronic parts, by combining the three conventional steps of preheating, thermoforming and functional integration into a single process. There are positive results of substantially lower costs and shorter cycle times.

 

Source: Covestro

Author : Meha Prasad

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