Besides possessing a mechanical strength in an entirely different class, LCP has a unique attribute in that the thinner the product becomes, the greater the mechanical strength. Moreover, it has a linear expansion coefficient close to that of metal. In addition, despite its high elastic modulus, another trait is that LCP possesses superion vibration absorbing properties.
- There is little entwining of molecules, and application of a slight shearing force orients them in one direction. Liquid crystal polymer’s name comes from the fact that it exhibits crystalline properties as a liquid. Once cooled and solidified, it retains a stable state.
- Molecular chains align themselves when molded, and this generates a self-reinforcing effect, thereby resulting in extremely high strength and elastic modulus.
- Despite having a high elastic modulus, very much superior vibration absorbing characteristics are exhibited.
- Linear expansion coefficient in the flow direction in particular is very small, exhibiting a value an order of magnitude less than conventional plastics and on a par with steel.
- The thinner the product, the higher the proportion of the oriented surface layer, so greater strength and elastic modulus can be achieved the thinner the product.
- Because of its microcrystalline structure, LCP possesses superior deflection temperature under load (180-260°C), continuous usage temperature (200-240°C), and solder heat resistance (260°C for over 10 s, 310°C for 10 s), despite its relatively low melting point.
As an engineering plastic that transcends the common wisdom of traditional engineering plastics and approaches steel, VECTRA LCP can be said to be the epitome of next-generation advanced engineering plastics. Making full use of its mechanical properties in AV and OA equipment components, its vibration-absorbing characteristics in application such as CD pickups in IT and audio equipment, and its solder heat resistance in SMT components, application development is proceeding rapidly.