How Specialty Polymers Facilitate Sensors for Next-Generation Electronics
As today’s technology continues its push toward a more intelligent world, with market innovations including Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), cost-effective mobile and wearable devices and 5G high-speed communications, sensors become increasingly integral to the development of modern electronics. Additionally, AI is creating significant demand for a wider variety of sensor applications. These cutting-edge sensors must be able to give life to electronic devices through innovative materials, especially as the market demands increased sensitivity, reduced power consumption, miniaturization and system cost reduction.
OEMs require a variety of unique sensor materials to deliver these advancements, including plastic films, electro-active polymers, structural plastics and crystalline polymers. Solvay’s portfolio of materials for sensors provides OEMs with a selection of high-performance polymers, specially designed for both structural and sensing elements in some of today’s most advanced electronic components.
Specialty Films for Sensors
With extremely demanding specifications, sensor components are exposed to harsh environments during manufacturing and operation. Specialty materials, such as Solvay’s Ajedium™ Films and Fomblin® PFPE, provide sensors, such as auto pressure sensors, with both critical protection and performance properties. Fomblin® PFPE, a fluorinated fluid, imparts sensor films with low surface energy, water and oil repellency, anti-sticking properties and a low refractive index. Its unmatched chemical and solvent resistance and extremely wide temperature range make Fomblin® PFPE ideal for sensor materials when performance reliability at aggressive chemicals and high temperatures are involved. Ajedium™ films, made from a variety of specially engineered and fluorine-based polymers, offer exceptional mechanical strength and wear and abrasion resistance, optimal for sensing elements where longevity and resilience are essential.
Electro Active Polymers for Sensors
As the market continues to demand increased sensitivity and accuracy from sensors in electronic components, the materials utilized to manufacture sensors must deliver excellent electrical performance properties. Solvay’s Solvene® EAP, an innovative range of electro active polymers, provides OEMs with an unrivaled combination of electro-mechanical properties and ease of processing, which contributes to very low surface roughness to enable enhanced sensing accuracy. This family of ferroelectric polymers is equipped with intrinsic piezo, pyro, ferro and electric properties, making it an ideal material choice for touch sensors, printed sensors and more.
Crystalline Materials for Structural Sensor Components
Due to the nature of their operation, structural components for sensors must demonstrate significant dimensional strength throughout prolonged, high-temperature service. Semi-crystalline polymers, such as Solvay’s Ryton® PPS, are the optimal choice for OEMs seeking materials for structural sensor components, as they offer outstanding thermal and dimensional stability. Ryton® PPS also exhibits good chemical resistance and is inherently flame retardant, which is ideal for applications such as sensor module bracket or housings. Additionally, Solvay’s Xydar® LCP, a liquid crystal polymer, provides OEMs with an injection-moldable resin compatible with surface-mountable technology (SMT). This high-performance glass-fiber resin is an exceptional material for thin-walled components, facilitating further miniaturization in sensor housings and other structural electronic applications.