Superex Polymer Inc. will promote applications for oriented liquid crystal polymer blown films in a deal with machinery supplier Brampton Engineering Inc. of Brampton, Ontario. Superex of Waltham, Mass., said it has developed multiaxially oriented LCP film with high machine- and transverse-direction strengths. Brampton Engineering will make and sell dies and LCP film extrusion systems while Superex licenses the technology for electronics, packaging and other applications.
Superex said it expects LCP film's first commercial use will be in laminations with copper foil for multilayer printed circuit boards and multichip modules. In electronics, where its potential market is estimated to be $30 million to $50 million per year, the films will compete with thin fiberglass-epoxy laminates and polyimide film.
Potential food packaging markets are much larger if LCP resin prices fall. Markets include laminations with other thermoplastics for high-barrier pouches, trays and lids, the company predicts.
Superex President Rick Lusignea said previously available LCP films were limited by low transverse-direction strength, which caused film splitting and poor thermomechanical behavior.
His firm's die controls molecular orientation in the film, making transverse- and ma-chine-direction strength about equal at more than 30,000 pounds per square inch.
Balanced orientation also provides ``a flat, biaxial film in one extrusion step,'' Lusignea said in a telephone interview.
Brampton Engineering President Bill Wybenga said the LCP film relies on a trimodal die in which the film core rotates in a different direction from the film's two outer skins. His firm will install a developmental LCP extrusion line in Brampton within the next six or seven months. The line will make film about 24 inches wide that Superex will market for evaluation.
Superex claimed its process is suited to all major LCPs on the market, including DuPont Co.'s Zenite, Hoechst Celanese Corp.'s Vectra, and Amoco Performance Products Inc.'s Xydar.
Lusignea said Superex also has developed LCP sheet, tubing and molded containers. It is a subsidiary of contract research company Foster-Miller Inc., which began developing LCP processing for government contracts in 1983.