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Macromelt Chosen for Next Gen Hybrid Vehicle Popular Low Pressure Molding System Ideal for Green & Portable Energy and Medical Applications by Michael Pierce, Henkel Already well known as a viable alternative to traditional potting materials and processes, the robust Macromelt low pressure molding solution from Henkel is now making huge inroads with applications for the green and portable energy and medical electronics sectors. The streamlined processing is certainly a factor for Macromelt’s widespread adoption, but its exceptional performance and ability to meet some strict requirements has accelerated its acceptance, particularly in the hybrid automotive market. Macromelt is a low pressure Traditional Macromelt molding system that replaces traditional injection molding or potting. The polyamide hotmelt provides a fast and convenient packaging solution that both encapsulates the circuitry and forms the outer shell of the device, delivering a self contained, integrated assembly. Use of Macromelt also dramatically reduces the number of process steps required by conventional potting and reduces the manufacturing time, cost and complexity of the encapsulation process. Macromelt’s low viscosity is key to the success of the molding process. With an application pressure of between 20 to 500psi, the low pressure in the mold cavity does not risk damaging the sensitive electronic surface mount components. The hotmelt polyamide adhesive is able to flow around the tightest dimensions without the high levels of pressure required by traditional materials, significantly reducing stress even for highly miniaturized components. Taking these advantages and extending them to address the unique requirements of the hybrid automotive sector, Macromelt OM341 has been formulated with a new color – safety orange – and was chosen by one of the Big Three Automakers for use with key components in their vehicle. The development effort for this material was intense as color variations can impact viscosity. But, after a six month formulation process, the Macromelt team was rewarded with a huge win. “Developing the safety orange colored Macromelt OM341 was no easy feat”, explains Henkel’s Michael Pierce. “After nearly 60 different modifications, we finally hit color, viscosity and UV stabilization perfection. And, our perseverance helped further our partnership with a major supplier to one of the Big Three US automakers.” Not only is Macromelt OM341 being used for easy identification and access to the main power connector for the new hybrid vehicle, but other Macromelt formulations are also part of the vehicle’s electrical sensor system, as the popular hotmelt brand is being used for seven different components within this automobile. These include the main electrical outlet, seatbelt tension sensor, occupancy sensor, steering position sensor, strain relief receptacle and base, and the vehicle plug for the travel set and charge station. The UV stabilization chemistry used in the safety orange Macromelt OM341 ensures that the color remains vibrant, easily identifiable and will never discolor from exposure to UV light. This same UV stabilization characteristic, along with new solvent resistant technology, has also been incorporated into Macromelt materials employed by the medical industry. Used to encapsulate numerous medical monitoring devices, Macromelt 2384 is highly solvent resistant, which resolves the sterilization dilemma many medical manufacturers face with alternative materials. What’s more, all of these new formulation advances have been developed without altering any Macromelt OM341 of the performance or ease of use benefits associated with the established Macromelt brand. These latest Macromelt systems are just further evidence of Henkel’s commitment to innovation and the company’s perseverance when it comes to enabling customer processes. There likely aren’t too many suppliers that would have undertaken such an intense development process, but Henkel delivered. For more information on Macromelt portfolio of products, including Macromelt OM341 and Macromelt 2384, contact Henkel at 949 789 2500 or watch the video at http://www.henkel.com/macromelt video 30850.htm .
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