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Rethinking LED heat sinks with thermally conductive Makrolon® TC

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LEDs consume way less energy than conventional lighting and emit less heat too. This opens up new opportunities for designers in terms of materials they can use as heat sinks for replacement lamps or next-generation luminaires. We developed Makrolon® TC as the optimal LED heat sink.

Task

Anticipate the increasing need for LED lighting materials

The LED market is growing rapidly as consumers switch from incandescent bulbs to more energy-efficient LEDs. We set ourselves the objective of anticipating lighting designers’ and manufacturers’ needs by ensuring that we have the ideal heat sink materials readily available for LED lighting development and production.
Challenge

Offer a heat sink to increase LED performance and lifespan

When a LED reaches a high temperature, its color attributes change, the lumen output decreases and its lifetime shortens. This makes an effective and durable heat sink critical to the performance of a LED. We set ourselves the goal of providing a superior solution to aluminum, which is heavier than the materials we have at our disposal.  
Solution

Offer all the advantages of aluminum with added benefits

Collaboration with lighting industry partners led to the development of Makrolon® TC, a thermally conductive polycarbonate especially for LED heat sinks. The material has sufficient thermal performance with the added benefits of being lighter and more durable than aluminium. It also reduces production costs by eliminating assembly steps. Because the material is injection molded, it also gives designers the freedom to create non-traditional shapes, use in-mold processes and optimize joining techniques.

Why Makrolon® TC was the right solution for LED heat sinks

  • Flame retardant: Has an Underwriters Laboratories 94 flame class rating of V-0.
  • Thermally conductive: Material acts as a channel for heat to pass through.
  • Ultra-durable: The material is corrosion, abrasion and heat resistant.
  • Light weight: Helps to reduce the overall weight of the LED lamp.
  • Design freedom: Allows shapes and features not possible with aluminum.

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