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Polycarbonate Resin, Sheet and Films Satisfy Requirements of LED Lighting Market

LED lighting is experiencing increased adoption in many residential and commercial applications, and customers are demanding more energy-efficient options without sacrificing design. To meet these needs, Bayer MaterialScience LLC offers a portfolio of polycarbonate resin, sheet and film materials for LED lighting applications that satisfy a variety of design and performance requirements.

For LED lighting applications requiring high lumen efficiency and stability to heat, such as lenses and optics, Makrolon LED2643 polycarbonate fits the bill. Compared with standard clear polycarbonate grades, Makrolon LED2643 has higher light transmission and increased efficiency of up to 6 percent, which provides higher lumen output. Additionally, Makrolon LED2643 polycarbonate is impact resistant, has a UL 94 flame class rating of V-2 at 0.75 mm, and is f1 rated for outdoor use (in accordance with UL 746C). For outdoor luminaires, AuraTM UV infusion into Makrolon LED2643 polycarbonate maintains optical properties (light transmission and haze) with minimal changes in yellowness index.
Makrolon FR7087 polycarbonate is an excellent choice for flame-retardant applications requiring clarity, including lenses, optics and electrical enclosures. Available in transparent and diffusion colors, Makrolon FR7087 plastic has a UL 94 flame class rating of 5VA at 3.0 mm and V-0 at 2.2 mm. This material was chosen by TerraGlo for the inner lens cover of its Alba Series luminaires, and by TerraLUX Illumination for the lens of its Line-Voltage Linear LED Light Engine.

Makrolon RW2405 and Makrolon RW6265X polycarbonate grades offer high diffusive reflectivity (up to 96 percent), excellent surface quality and molded-in color to eliminate costly secondary operations such as plating, painting and coating. Makrolon RW2405 polycarbonate has a UL 94 flame class rating of V-2 at 1.5 mm and is available in a UV-stabilized grade (Makrolon RW2407 polycarbonate). Makrolon RW6265X polycarbonate is an excellent choice for applications that require more stringent flame resistance ratings and is available in a UV-stabilized grade (Makrolon polycarbonate RW6267X). Both grades have a UL flame class rating of V-0 at 1.5 mm.

Bayer also offers a selection of heat-resistant plastics for housing and heat sink applications. Makrolon TC8030 polycarbonate, for example, is a thermally conductive grade that is UL 94 V-0 rated at 2.0 mm, and f1 rated for outdoor use (in accordance with UL 746C). Compared with aluminum, a common material in heat sinks, this grade of Makrolon polycarbonate offers similar thermal performance in low power applications while helping reduce costs and enhance design freedom. Because Makrolo® TC8030 plastic is processed by injection molding, it gives designers the freedom to create non-traditional shapes, use in-mold to reduce costs, and optimize joining techniques.
In addition to these polycarbonate resins, Bayer offers OEMs a range of Makrolon polycarbonate sheet products that give lighting designers technical freedom to create LED lights that enhance the design elements of many applications while providing high functionality and low energy use.

Makrolon Lumen XT and Makrolon DX-NR sheet, designed specifically for LED lighting, offers a range of diffusion levels for interior and exterior applications, with optimized light transmission delivering unsurpassed quality and performance. A lighting lens made with Makrolon exhibits higher impact strength than glass or acrylic, and has superior temperature resistance when compared to acrylic lens.

Makrolon Lumen XT translucent polycarbonate sheet has an optimized surface texture and advanced diffusion technology that eliminates hot spots and shadowing for interior fixtures. The product’s high optical performance maximizes the fixture’s performance in new or retrofit lighting applications. An additional advantage is the ability to cold form Lumen XT in various shapes for design and functionality without sacrificing high-diffusion performance. Another key attribute of Lumen XT is a UL listed flammability rating that is higher than competitive products.

Exterior light fixtures present a new opportunity for polycarbonate sheet materials and Makrolon DX-NR is an excellent choice. Like Makrolon Lumen XT, it has high impact strength compared to glass and acrylic. Diffuser technology helps provide uniform luminance and ensure the elimination of LED hot spots while maintaining high light transmission. The non-reflective textured surface eliminates specular reflection enhancing fixture appearance when unlit. The advanced UV resistant side of the sheet provides long lasting weathering. An added benefit of DX-NR sheet is its high flammability resistance and temperature resistance over acrylic diffusers.

Bayer also offers Makrofol LM polycarbonate films for light management. Classic applications include lamp shades and covers for ceiling lamps, mixing boxes and reflectors for down lights and diffuser lenses for LED strips. Makrofol is appreciated for its high transparency, its break-resistance and its heat deflection temperature of as much as 135°C. Furthermore, it can be used to make components that are not only lighter than their glass counterparts but also generally flatter, thus saving space.

Makrofol LM line includes films with various surfaces and thicknesses for diffusing, guiding and reflecting light. The product portfolio of diffuser films extends from translucent products with a high light scatter to highly transparent ones with a low light scatter, and covers the standard requirements for LED manufacturing. Bayer offers a reflector film with an unusually high light reflection of 97 percent. In addition, the Bayer product line includes specialties, such as lenticular films that can be used in conjunction with a finely imprinted grid of lenses to direct light as a function of the angle and optically merge the points of light from individual LEDs into a band.

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