MATERIALS: High-Performance Shielding Compounds

Lehvoss' new shielding compounds offer higher performance and at smaller wall thicknesses.

A ‘new generation’ of thermoplastic shielding compounds from Lehvoss North America, Pawcatuck, Conn., boast outstanding performance against electromagnetic waves and at smaller wall thicknesses. The Luvocom ES electrically conductive compounds are engineered for the housings of electric and electronic devices including computers, radios, phones, and lab equipment.

            Thus far, according to business development manager Robert Healy, conductive compounds have been less effective in their shielding effect particularly as devices become smaller and smaller. This has resulted in manufacturers having to design their housings with thicker walls or having to use additional metal coatings or steel sheets to protect against the electromagnetic waves.  The Luvocom ES compounds--which are based on the company’s nylons, including PARA, nylons 6 and 66—are said to feature evenly distributed conductive additives that ensure an efficient network of shielding throughout the polymer. As a result, they eliminate the need for secondary operations/installation of other conductive materials, offering potential for reduced system costs.

            The rheology of these ready-to-use compounds is said to have been optimized for easy processing and thin walls. Due to their inherently high electrical conductivity, these compounds allow  small contact areas for necessary electric grounding. Overall shrinkage, flow, and mechanical properties for some of these compounds are said to be close to PC/ABS with 20% glass fibers.

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