SABIC high-performance materials for 5G infrastructure at CPME2020

4th September 2020
Alex Lynn

SABIC had a significant presence at the recent third annual 5G Terminal Processing Industry Chain Exhibition (CPME2020) in Dongguan, China, where the company exhibited for the first time its growing portfolio of high-performance materials for 5G base stations, terminals and mobile devices. SABIC experts also gave nine presentations at CPME2020 on the company’s specialised materials including LNP compounds and copolymers, ULTEM resin, and NORYL resins and oligomers.

These solutions address major industry challenges such as improving heat management and radio frequency (RF) performance, reducing weight and cost and raising production yields. Applications featuring these materials were displayed at SABIC’s booth.

“SABIC’s focus on innovation helps us to stay ahead of 5G networking trends to benefit our customers,” said Martin Tam, Director, Customer Fulfillment, APAC, Specialties, SABIC. “As we showed at CPME2020, our specialty thermoplastics and oligomers offer new and creative solutions for a wide range of 5G application challenges. Advanced material technologies that help ensure the reliable performance of parts under higher frequencies and heavier data loads are key to realising the full potential of 5G communications.”

As discussed in SABIC’s CPME2020 show presentations, the company’s LNP compounds and copolymers can help engineers improve active antenna unit (AAU) design and performance with customised dielectric constant and dissipation factor (Dk/Df) performance and superior weather resistance.

NORYL resins, based on polyphenylene ether, another SABIC presentation topic at CPME2020, deliver very low specific gravity, non-brominated/non-chlorinated flame retardance, hydrolytic and dimensional stability, chemical resistance to acids and bases, and excellent dielectric performance. NORYL resins are already used in many 5G applications, including full-frequency GPS antennas, microwave antenna reflectors, cooling fans in base band units (BBUs) and mmWave radomes, many of which were on display at this show.

Further, SABIC’s ULTEM resins feature a unique combination of properties: excellent dimensional stability, infrared (IR) transparency, stable Dk and low Df over a wide temperature range, and metallisation capability. Applications for these polyetherimide (PEI) resins in 5G components include fibre optic connectors and lenses, RF connectors, board-to-board connectors and RF filter components. In surface mount technology (SMT) assembly, ULTEM resins with low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) can be used for connectors and cavity RF filters.

Finally, NORYL oligomers help formulators produce high-speed copper clad laminates that enable multi-layer printed circuit board designs with ultra-low insertion loss. SABIC’s specialty dianhydrides offer polyimide film manufacturers a unique combination of properties including improved dielectric performance and improved copper adhesion.

SABIC materials are being widely used by leading manufacturers of 5G devices and components. The company closely collaborates with its customers on innovative designs, providing a broad range of value-added services. These include material recommendations and sampling, customised new material development, tooling review and design support, material data for design simulations, onsite technical support for mould trials and processing troubleshooting.

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