Originally Published MPMN June 2005
Films Offer Alternative to Injection-Molded Plastics and Coatings
Thermoformed products provide conformal electrical insulation
|Films with gauges less than 0.001 in. thick are suitable for battery sleeves in electronic devices.|
Films with gauges less than 0.001 in. thick are available for applications that require mobility, small size, and good functionality. Welch Fluorocarbon (Dover, NH) has begun producing the products on its latest generation of custom thermoforming machines.
Increasingly, mobile electronics include a battery, which has forced manufacturers to search for new materials to provide electrical insulation and protection between components and harsh user environments.
According to the company’s vice president, David Midgley, “As many of today’s electronic device manufacturers produce smaller and smaller units, the space available for a powerful battery is extremely tight. In this environment, the advantage of thin-film battery sleeves over thicker traditional injection-molded plastic sleeves becomes significant.”
When thermoforming thin-gauge materials, maintaining control of process parameters becomes critical to producing a quality part. Fluoropolymers such as FEP, PFA, and ETFE are thermoplastics that must be processed at extremely high temperatures. Having a complete understanding of the thermoforming process and how these films react in the melt is key to continuously meeting the extreme tolerances required from device manufacturing.