April 12, 2012
TOKYO--In a world-first, Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. has developed a commercial version of a reflective sheet with a polycarbonate microcellular foamed structure. With a reflectance ratio above 99%, the reflective sheet features outstanding reflection performance and, at the same time, as a special feature of easy molding, it has outstanding formability suited to the optical design shapes for LED lighting equipment. The product will be displayed at Furukawa Electric Europe Ltd. booth 4.0 E91 at “Light + Building Show” in Frankfurt, Germany from April 15 to 20.
Microcellular foamed technology is a Furukawa Electric proprietary technology. We develop and sell MCPET as a reflective sheet for liquid crystal displays and lighting, but since the base material is the crystalline resin polyethylene terephthalate (PET), there are drawbacks with secondary formability. Although a non-crystalline resin like polycarbonate has outstanding formability, the problem is that it is prone to forming large voids (microscopic cavities in the body) during microfoaming. Furukawa Electric has solved this problem by extending the PET microfoaming technology to Polycarbonates.
Compared to PET, polycarbonate is outstanding not only in terms of formability, but also in terms of heat resistance, flame retardance and weather resistance. Consequently, it is the optimum material for reflective sheets for LED lighting equipment where these properties are required. The scale of LED lighting has been increasing every year, and since the earthquake, we have seen a major trend toward energy conservation.
In the past, Furukawa Electric has also mass-produced MCPET as a reflective sheet for liquid crystal display panels and billboards. With the MCPOLYCA product (patent application pending and trademark registration in JAPAN owned by Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd), we will also be making a full-fledged entry into the market for reflective sheets for lighting where we stopped at a relatively small-scale market introduction in the past. We will use the existing MCPET production line to manufacture this product. Since MCPOLYCA is also recyclable, it is an eco-friendly foam product.