At Chinaplas 2015, DSM announced its high performance polyamides have been approved for use in next-generation mobile storage devices.
The company says that its polyamides, Stanyl and Stanyl ForTii, have been approved by global producers for use in the next generation of USB Type-C connectors, adding that the materials meet the need for improved levels of safety and reliability.
USB is the industry bus standard used for transferring data and power to and from digital devices and is the most popular and successful means of connecting peripherals, with some five billion ports being produced each year.
The introduction of the USB Type-C connector is the result of the need to reduce electronic waste, as legislation in Europe is enforcing the use of standardised charging interface, so that one charger and its associated cable can be used for multiple devices.
As a result, the USB Type-C connector will be obligatory from 2017, however some OEMs, including Apple and Google, have already launched equipment that incorporates Type-C ports.
The new USB Type-C standard has a wall thickness at only 25 percent of previous generation connectors,, meaning the performance properties of the materials used for their housings are especially critical.
Stanyl (polyamide 46) and Stanyl ForTii (polyamide 4T) have high CTI (Comparative Tracking Index) ratings well above 400V, which DSM says are a measure of their ability to provide electrical insulation.
Alternative materials show a short break during CTI testing, resulting in a serious performance and safety issue for the complete device when in use and exposed to particles, moisture, sweat or other pollution due to electrical tracking, however DSM says its high performance polyamides offer an ideal balance of toughness and stiffness and the flame retardant additive systems that they incorporate to provide a UL 94 V-0 rating contain no halogens.
In addition, the materials offer excellent processability, a broad colour portfolio and the ability to withstand very high temperatures.
Stanyl ForTii and Stanyl are already approved by global producers for the use in USB Type-C connectors; among them is Acon, based in Taiwan.
According to a spokesperson at Acon: “We specifically value the high CTI of DSM materials which allows us to provide OEMs with higher end product safety against potential fire hazards caused by electrical tracking. We have now started mass production and are winning new business from many OEMs.