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Embracing the 5G Era: CHINAPLAS Fostering Innovation in Materials and Processes in the Electrical and Electronics Industries

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In the past year, the scientific community has seen a surge in the use of terms such as 5G, curved monitors, foldable screen, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data. This rapid technological development is helping consumers to experience increasing conveniences in their lives. The number of tasks that can be performed with the Internet-connected device in our hand is beyond imagination. Innovation is changing our lives.

As manufacturing technology constantly advances, various electronic products keep rolling out, dazzling users with a broad range of intelligent hardware and devices. These products are in the form of smartphones, intelligent wearables, smart home devices, connected vehicles, advanced medical and healthcare equipment, intelligent unmanned systems, and so on.

CHINAPLAS 2019, a technology-oriented and innovation-driven trade fair, will return to the China Import and Export Fair Complex, Pazhou, Guangzhou, and run from May 21-24, 2019. The show will attract more than 3,500 leading exhibitors from all over the world, 1,100 of which will introduce state-of-the-art equipment and materials for the electrical and electronics industries. This strong line-up of exhibitors includes BASF, DuPont, Teijin, Sumitomo Chemical, Mitsubishi Chemical, LG Chem, SK Chemicals, Eckart, Arburg, ABB, Haitian, Chen Hsong, Engel, Brueckner, Topstar, Bohler, Fanuc, Sodick, FCS, Motan-Colortronic and Davis-Standard. They will showcase high-performance, trendy, environmentally friendly and versatile materials, as well as intelligent manufacturing solutions, including automated equipment, high-end robots, visual systems, 3D printing, and other advanced technologies, that can assist enterprises in achieving sustainable development.

High-performance Materials for Innovative Electronics Manufacturing

With the dawn of the era for 5G (fifth-generation wireless cellular technology), we are all excited about how plastics can be incorporated into new mobile phones and other wireless devices, as well as 5G base stations. At CHINAPLAS 2019, Seyang Polymer will showcase SEYANG® LCP, a material for 5G communication components. The material achieves low/high dielectric property ratings, LDS/MID grades for 5G antennas, and excellent extrusion grades for liquid crystal polymer (LCP) films. Shanghai Afaith Trading Co., Ltd. will introduce a polycarbonate-based material with a high dielectric constant, which can be widely used in small antennas and in particular in 5G communication applications.

New high-performance composite materials have now become the top choice for producing small, lightweight and portable electronic products. Chonqing Polycomp International Corp. will display a thermally resistant glass fiber (ECS303HR) designed and developed for polybutylene (PBT) plastics. This type of fiber is highly reactive and can enhance the interfacial bonding strength between glass fiber and PBT resin. After aging in 120℃ hot water, ECS303HR has an overall retained strength 20% higher than other common glass fibers, demonstrating its excellent thermal resistance and mechanical strength.

Zhejiang Xinan Chemical Industrial Group Co., Ltd. will exhibit an innovative foamed liquid silicone rubber, which can be widely applied to outdoor equipment protection, for cushioning electronic equipment and so forth. The product has a flame-retardant grade of V0. It not only has the lightweight properties of foam and the impermeability of traditional sponges but also is as safe and environmentally friendly as silica gel.

Moreover

, Japan’s Teijin Ltd. has developed a thermoplastic carbon fiber prepreg by combining their carbon fiber with thermoplastic resins like PC, polyethersulfone (PES) and polypropylene (PP). Compared to traditional metal and thermoplastic carbon fiber prepregs, the product is flame retardant, impact resistant, easy to shape, storable at room temperature, and suitable for large-scale mass production (with short production cycle times). It offers a good appearance, at lower overall cost, and can be widely used in, for example, the electrical and electronics, automotive, construction and medical fields.

Enhancing Life’s Quality with Green, Healthy and Versatile Materials

Consumers are paying increasing attention to their health and to environmental protection, and are prone to using products made of safe and green materials in their daily lives.

The cutting-edge antimicrobial material, evermoin®, from LOTTE Chemical of South Korea, not only effectively inhibits bacterial and fungal growth and retains antimicrobial ability and stability, but also maintains a consistent appearance under extreme conditions. It is safe, environmentally friendly and widely applicable to many potential uses.

Zhejiang Java Specialty Chemicals Co., Ltd. will showcase a stain-resistant material, promoting “easy cleaning” for the home appliance industry. With a special organic, fluorine-containing silicone polymer structure, Javachem®AF can be uniformly and richly distributed on the surface of polypropylene, achieving reduced surface drag, excellent hydrophobic, oleophobic and antifouling properties, while offering easy-to-clean performance. Javachem®AF can effectively improve the performance of materials such as PP, thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) and thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs) by providing a soft-touch surface feel. At the same time, the surface enrichment property and hydrophobicity of organic fluorosilicone can improve material performance, providing excellent abrasion resistance, hydrolysis and chemical resistance, and extended service life.

NatureWorks LLC will display at CHINAPLAS 2019 a new rigid/durable sheet made of its Ingeo-brand polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymer that can replace traditional high-impact polystyrene refrigerator liners. This application has been shown to reduce the energy consumption of the appliance by 7 to 13 percent annually over the 15-year life of the refrigerator.

Intelligent Manufacturing and Industrial Design to Revolutionize the World

As technologies in the electronics industry mature, the implementation of automated equipment and smart production units can be seen everywhere. Manufacturers need to monitor the production equipment they are using, to track various performance parameters in real time to ensure effective equipment utilization and a reasonable application of resources. Visitors to CHINAPLAS 2019 can learn more about automated manufacturing and business operations by attending an event titled “Industry 4.0 Factory of the Future,” which will be held concurrently with the show. This event will demonstrate intelligent solutions in real-life settings with two themed areas, “Manufacturing Intelligence Control Room” and “Smart Factory”.

In the show’s “Smart Manufacturing Technology Zone”, well-known Chinese and foreign enterprises, such as Siemens, ABB, Delta, Bosch Rexroth, Baumueller, Mehow, Keqiang, and Weiss, will reveal leading-edge technologies for intelligent manufacturing. Arburg, for example, will showcase a complex turnkey system, an innovative and automated technology for manufacturing hydraulic, two-component wristwatches. Its Allrounder 570 S injection press produces bicolor liquid silicone rubber (LSR) wrist straps, and then its Multilift V robotic system removes the straps and sets them down into a cooling station, where they are fitted with the housing and a clasp. The entire process takes only 70 seconds. In line with Arburg’s focus on digitalization, all exhibits are networked via their host computer system ALS, providing operators with assistance, digital integration of production, as well as digitalization of processes and services.

In the fair’s German Pavilion, meanwhile, exhibitors will introduce customized services to facilitate smart upgrading. Goebel IMS, the manufacturer of the world’s widest slitter rewinder for biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) films, will showcase the Interslit BSF. This unit is designed for specific purposes in film production, like for processing ultra-sensitive materials such as battery separator films based on wet-processed biaxially oriented polyethylene (BOPE). The working width is up to 6,000mm, and its unwind diameter and speed can be customized.

Industrial design directs the development of the manufacturing industry. Advanced industrial design can effectively optimize product structures, improve product quality, increase technology content and boost the value added, which is crucial for the transformation and upgrading of the industry. CHINAPLAS will join forces with the Guangzhou Industrial Design Association to present “Design x Innovation”, which comprises three parts: “CMF Inspiration Walls”, “Design Forum” and “CHINAPLAS Designers’ Night”.

The “CMF Inspiration Walls” reflect three key elements – Color, Materials and Finish – and they reveal some of the emerging technologies being developed to advance CMF design for plastics. CHINAPLAS 2019 will also feature three sessions of Design Forums, fashioned around two themes, including “CMF Design”, a popular theme from last year, and “Design for Recycling & Sustainability” in response to the show’s focus on “Green & Circular Solutions”. The show is glad to introduce a new highlight – CHINAPLAS Designers’ Night, with the theme “Connect & Inspire”. Product designers, engineers, product developers, corporate decision makers, exhibitors, partners, and others from electrical and electronics and related industries are invited to enjoy food and wine at the Langham Place Guangzhou Hotel.

Cross-industry Interaction to Ignite Bright Ideas

More than 70 additional compelling technical seminars will also take place during CHINAPLAS 2019, including the “2019 Battery Separator for Electric Vehicles and Aluminum Plastics Film Technology and Application Forum”; the “2019 Optical Films for Photoelectric Display and Related Raw Materials Technology and Application Forum”; “The 3rd Smart Supply Chain Summit 2019”; “Automobile and Rail Transit Lightweight Materials and Application Technology Seminar” and “Low VOCs Technology and Application for Automotive & Rail Transit Materials Seminar”.

It is expected that the show will attract nearly 180,000 professional visitors from 150 countries and regions. Many well-known enterprises in the industry have already signed up for the show. As of now, enterprises that have confirmed their participation in this annual event include: Skyworth, Midea, Gree, ZTE, Sichuan Changhong, Haier, Huawei, APPLE, OPPLE Lighting, Panasonic, Lenovo, Konka, Royole, Xiaomi, Shenzhen Senior, TE Connectivity, Foxconn, BYD, VTech, Wistron and more.

Visitors can enjoy admission discount through online pre-registration from now till May 13, 2019, at an early-bird rate of USD 7.5 for a four-day pass. To pre-register, please visit www.ChinaplasOnline.com/prereg. For more information about CHINAPLAS 2019, please visit www.ChinaplasOnline.com

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Events

Green, the Theme Color of CHINAPLAS

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The advent of the “dual-carbon era” has triggered further efforts in reducing carbon emissions. Many countries, regions and chemical enterprises have set the goal of net-zero emissions and carbon neutrality. Green and low carbon has become a hot topic in the plastics and rubber industries. CHINAPLAS 2022, to be held from April 25 to 28, will bring together more than 4,000 prominent exhibitors from all over the world to launch innovative green solutions. A lot of can’t-miss concurrent events will be organized during CHINAPLAS 2022, focusing on green topics such as carbon neutrality and sustainable development.

Plastics Recycling & Circular Economy Conference: Inspiring Green Ideas

What are the macro trends in the global circular economy? What are the hot topics and technologies? By attending the 3rd CHINAPLAS x CPRJ Plastics Recycling and Circular Economy Conference and Showcase, to be held one day prior to CHINAPLAS 2022 in Shanghai, you can get the answers from the renowned speakers, who are to share their insights on relevant policies and industry trends, as well as the showcase of innovative solutions.

Government officials, representatives from industry organizations, brands, machinery and material suppliers from different countries and regions are invited. They will deliver more than 50 speeches online and offline to 400+ industry elites, of which over 60% are end-product /targeted manufacturers. The conference will outline the landscape and prospect of the plastics recycling industry in Asia and worldwide at large, by focusing on topics such as international trends and latest policies for plastics recycling, successful cases and achievements in recycling experiences and innovative ideas.

Thematic seminars will be held in the conference to facilitate the discussions on carbon neutrality, PCR/PIR renewable plastics, recycled ocean plastics, mono-materials, eco-design/design for recycling, chemical recycling, innovative solutions for plastics recycling, and new technologies for recycled materials. At the same time, world-leading enterprises in the scope of plastics recycling will showcase their latest solutions for new materials, technologies and automation. Experts will also introduce their latest technological achievements and interact with the participants.

Sustainability Resonator: a Chorus of Green Development

A crowd-generating installation art named Sustainability Resonator will be set up at CHINAPLAS 2022. Thousands of speakers participated in the creation of installation with their voices. Every voice cell is unique. When audiences enter the Sustainability Resonator and, the voice stored in each “voice cell” is generated. They can listen to the voices by mobile phone to trigger the resonance by themselves.

Sound waves (sounds) are one of the basic carriers of thoughts. Most communication, knowledge, feelings and ideas find its origin from the transmission of sound. The organizer of CHINAPLAS is collecting voices for environmental protection and sustainable development from all over the world. Through sustainable materials, 3D printing and parametric design, the collected sounds are visually presented as a crowd-generating installation art.

The campaign is initiated by the organizer of CHINAPLAS and Alex Long, a young artist, with the participation of enterprises from the plastics and rubber industries, organizations, academic bodies all over the world. It is designed to disseminate the ideas of “environmental protection, recycling, jointly shaping the future of the plastics industry, additive manufacturing, crossover innovation, biodegradation and sustainable development”

, drawing the attention of whole industry, the whole society and all mankind on plastics recycling technology, environmental protection and sustainable development. Please long press the QR code or click here to make your “voice for sustainable development” heard around the world.

Tech Talk: a Showcase for Green Technologies

“Green” will be seen as a focus of CHINAPLAS 2022 from the topics of Tech Talk. This concurrent event is a series of open forums under 8 themes, including antibacterial solutions, surface treatment solutions, in-mold electronic solutions, 5G applications, eco-friendly solutions, lightweight solutions, innovative materials, of which the last three are more relevant to the green technologies and development.

Leading enterprises from the plastics and rubber industries will participate in the event. Gunagdong Guangshan New Material Co., Ltd. will deliver a speech on flame retardant development ideas in the context of the dual-carbon goals/the plastic bag ban; Ningbo Topcentral New Material Co., Ltd. will explore the innovation and application of zero-carbon, customized and comprehensive PCR materials as well as future opportunities; Cathay Biotech Inc. will show its thermoplastic high-temperature-resistant bio-based polyamide engineering plastic products and green lightweight materials; KRAIBURG TPE (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. will share how new low-density TPE helps customers to achieve the goal of product weight reduction; Wanhua Chemical Group Co., Ltd. will launch a thermal management system for new energy vehicles; DuPont China Holding Co., Ltd. will introduce its comprehensive vehicle electrification solution.

In this edition, Tech Talk will incorporate the previous Medical Plastics Forum under the theme of “Medical Plastics”, which focuses on the sustainable development of medical plastics in particular. Beijing Tiangang Auxiliary Co., Ltd. will discuss the development of targeted anti-mildew, anti-algae and antibacterial masterbatch and its application in polymer materials; KRAIBURG TPE (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. will talk about THERMOLAST® H, a new range of TPE designed exclusively for healthcare and medical devices in the Asia Pacific.

CHINAPLAS has become a product debut platform for the plastics and rubber industries, where exhibitors launch a wide range of new products. Tech Talk is the annual stage for the plastics and rubber industries, to bring the spotlight to the new and edge-cutting products, helping new technological products to gain more exposure while visitors can get quick access to the resources of quality suppliers.

Under the theme of “New Era· New Potential· Innovation for Sustainability”, CHINAPLAS 2022 will proudly return to the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Hongqiao, Shanghai, during April 25 – 28, 2022. For more information, please visit www.ChinaplasOnline.com.

About CHINAPLAS 2022

CHINAPLAS 2022 is organized by Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd., Beijing Yazhan Exhibition Services Ltd., Adsale Exhibition Services (Shanghai) Ltd., Adsale Exhibition Services (Shenzhen) Ltd. and co-organized by China National Light Industry Council – China Plastics Processing Industry Association, China Plastics Machinery Industry Association, Messe Düsseldorf China Ltd. and the Plastic Trade Association of Shanghai. The event is also supported by various plastics and rubber associations in China and abroad.

First introduced in 1983, CHINAPLAS has been approved by UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) since 2006. CHINAPLAS is exclusively sponsored by the Europe’s Association for Plastics and Rubber Machinery Manufacturers (EUROMAP) in China for the 32nd time. CHINAPLAS is currently Asia’s leading plastics and rubber trade fair.

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150,000+ Visitors Joined the Journey of Innovative Plastics & Rubber Tech

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On April 16, Chinplas 2021, the first post-pandemic international trade fair for the plastics and rubber industries, has come to an end in the Greater Bay Area. It was the first time that Chinplas was held at Shenzhen, PR China, and the result was remarkable! With an exhibition area of over 350,000sqm, Chinplas 2021 attracted the participation of 3,576 leading exhibitors from 41 countries and regions, and 152,134 professional visitors from 85 countries and regions! Amongst the visitors, 2,363 were from Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and overseas.

“Both exhibitors and visitors were satisfied with the outcome of the event! This is a year full of uncertainties and challenges. Grateful that we have achieved such a satisfactory result through the collaborative efforts of all supporting parties!” said Ms. Ada Leung, General Manager of Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd., organizer of Chinplas.

“China’s economy continuous to see a robust recovery, with the first quarter’s GDP increased by 18.3% comparing to the same quarter of last year. Under the effective pandemic prevention and control measures together with the speeding up of the ‘dual circulation’ development, Chinplas achieved success through the unlimited potential of China’s domestic market and the increased demand for high quality innovation technology.”

“Compared with the Guangzhou edition of Chinplastwo years ago, the number of local visitors has increased by 23.46%, exceeding our expectations. The drop in the number of overseas visitors was anticipated, and was sufficiently understood by most exhibitors.”

“To enable the participation of local and overseas buyers who couldn’t join Chinplas in person, we proudly presented live streaming broadcast which has attained nearly 1 million online views! We felt closely the passion of the exhibitors and visitors, the vitality of the plastics and rubber industries, and the enthusiasm of the industry practitioners.”

Assembled a huge amount of cutting-edge technologies

After two consecutive years of technology development and advancement, a significant number of innovative solutions were launched at the fairground, indicating the future advance development of the industries.

With the coming of the “dual carbon” era, “carbon neutrality” related exhibits were put under the spotlight. A large number of solutions for efficient production, energy-saving and emission reduction, biodegradable plastics, bio-based plastics, recycling technologies, etc., were the focuses of visitors at Chinplas. Single-material solutions and post-consumption recycling (PCR) technologies in the packaging sector were also gaining momentum. There are growing demand for LCP for 5G application, low dielectric PP, PC modified materials, electroplatable PPS, etc.. Consumption upgrade inspires innovation; automotive lightweight materials and techniques together with smart surface decoration processes, such as IMD & IML and high sensory materials applying to AI cockpits were hot at Chnplas. With regards to COVID-19, there is a rise in health awareness, which speeds up the advancement of medical technology. The new generation of cold chain packaging materials for vaccine, PEEK, COC materials, antibacterial and antiviral nylon 66 and melt blown materials to meet evolving needs were popular during the show.

In the machinery halls of the fairground, visitors were able to see plenty of impressive machine demonstrations, such as high-speed printing machines, ultra-high-speed thin-wall packaging machines, data management for intelligent injection molding factory and remote control enhancing the production automation production, etc..

Innovation never stops. Transformation has no limit. Plastics is widely introduced to various downstream application industries, including electronics & electric, automotive, packaging, building materials, medical, sports and leisure etc., shaping a better and more sustainable future for humanity.

Outstanding results won praises from both exhibitors and visitors

Due to the pandemic, exhibitors and visitors reunited after two years since the last edition of Chinplas held in Guangzhou in 2019, making this “face-to-face” large-scale event even more precious for all participants. People in the industries learnt, explored, inspired and improved here. Visitors not merely broadened their horizons and refreshed their knowledge, but also discovered resources & technologies and expanded business network. Many exhibitors signed new orders with visitors at the fairground. Exhibitors and visitors are generally satisfied with Chinplas

Ms. Zhao Xuemei, Brand Manager, Guangdong Yizumi Precision Machinery Co., Ltd., “The Yizumi booth was immensely popular throughout the 4 show days. This surprised us a lot! We believe this fully demonstrated the strong industry influence and charisma of Chinplas. Even in difficult times, the organizer still adheres to their original motive for promoting the development of the industries, to provide exhibitors with a platform to present the latest technological achievements and to facilitate industry exchanges.”

Ms. Wang Huaqian from Nordmeccanica Machinery (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., “Despite reduction in the number of overseas visitors as compared to previous years due to the pandemic, local visitors came with clear targets and objectives. We have received just as many inquiries and orders at Chinplas as in previous years. Both the pre-show organization and the post-show results were very satisfactory.”

Ms. Eve Cai, China Marketing Manager of HP Indigo Digital Printing Division of China Hewlett-Packard Co., Ltd. said, “From online orders to workflow automation, from environmentally friendly materials to successful business model demonstrations to customers, HP Indigo and our partners together with some successful customers have showcased end-to-end solutions for digital flexible packaging. Meanwhile, we also connected to the Singapore demonstration center for cloud-based equipment presentation. The sharing from HP Indigo customers and partners has attracted great attention from potential customers; seemingly received an endless flow of visitors.”

Ms. Jessica Chen, Marketing & Communications Director, Amcor (China) Holding Co., Ltd., “Not only a large number of upstream suppliers like us, but also a great amount of active participations from the downstream brand owners and their teams have participated in Chinplas. As far as for Amcor, Chinplas is not merely a good opportunity to showcase products, but also an excellent platform to enhance upstream and downstream communications in the flexible plastic packaging industry. From the   total numbers of visitors and exhibitors, we can recognize that China’s economy remains strong in the post-pandemic era, serving as a ‘booster’ for many multinational companies to continue exploring business opportunities in China and invest into the Chinese market.”

Mr. Reus Wang, Marketing Manager of Wanhua Chemical Group Co., Ltd., “Although number of overseas visitors has dropped sharply due to the pandemic, the quantity of local visitors has significantly increased and reached a record high. Material solutions are evolving and enhancing, advancements in the automotive lightweighting and degradable plastics fields are apparent! In addition to the promotion of environmental protection policies, how to thoroughly achieve ‘emission peak’ and ‘carbon neutrality’ are adequately worthy of our further exploration.”

Mr. Gerhard Böhm, Managing Director of Sales and Service, Arburg said, “The Chinplas trade fair was a great success for us. The number of visitors to our booth was consistently high! They came to us with specific projects and presented us with their task parameters, all are very interesting and with great future potential.”

Not only exhibitors showed their appreciation

, visitors were also impressed by the fruitful trips.

 Mr. Lin Conglong, Senior Engineer of Fuyao Group, “I bask in different achievements every time I visit Chinplas Chinplas 2021 makes me even more impressed. As an automotive manufacturing related company, I am able to find materials and equipment of the era at Chinplas, for instances, carbon fiber, continuous fiber, etc. which can achieve materials lightweight; environmentally friendly materials such as low VOCs materials, pray-free, two-platen machine and bi-colour machine, etc.. The understanding of existing technology and development trends allows our company to enhance independent research and development capabilities. Thanks to Chinplas for providing an accessible, efficient communication platform that leads everyone to shape the future together and catch up with our dreams.”

Mr. Wen Chunli, Equipment Department Manager of Shenzhen Chuangwei – RGB Electronics Co., Ltd., “We look for HIPS/PC/ABS and other raw materials, as well as injection molding machines, material-feeding machines, robotic arm, mold temperature machines, shredders, central feeding systems and other equipment. Steam-heated injection molding, gas-assisted injection molding, foam molding and water-aided injection molding are all at the forefront of the industries. Here at Chinplas, we can fully understand the market trends and products, which provide a good reference and guidance for our equipment selections.”

Fang Liuying, Vice General Manager, Southern Packaging Co., Ltd., “Chinplas 2021 totally demonstrated the technical strength of China’s intelligent manufacturing. Industry 4.0 digital production and 5G technology industrial applications enabled the realization of unmanned factories and remote control. Whereas, green and recycling closed-loop technology has become more and more mature, supporting the national environmental protection development. On the other hand, technological breakthroughs in the medical and health industry have created new growth points for the company. These technologies have refreshed us and opened up a new direction for the development of packaging companies!”

Mr. Zhang Baofeng, Vice President Assistant of China Lesso Group Holdings Ltd., “At Chinplas, we visited a lot of advanced injection molding machines, extruders and other equipment and materials, which will greatly improve our product quality and production efficiency.”

Mr. Emil Lau, Manager of Tooling & Technology Group of Philips Respironics Medical Products (SZ) Co., Ltd., “This visit is purely out of my expectation. I did not expect that there were so many exhibitors, especially with materials that we were interested in, e.g. liquid silicone molds, injection molding machines and feeding system. It is absolutely brilliant to be able to collect all of the relevant information at one go! Chinplas eally takes the lead in driving the development of the plastics and rubber industries!”

The official live streaming of CHINAPLAS also received plenty favorable comments from our visitors. Many online visitors reckoned that watching live streaming helped them understand industry trends & innovative application areas and obtained a wealth of new product information. The official live streaming platform has received nearly 1 million views from Pakistan, India, the United States, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and other countries and regions. If you would like to review the interviews of big-name exhibitors, displays of cutting-edge technology exhibits and expert guided tours, you can simply click here or scan the QR code below to watch the live streaming..

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5G roll-out gains pace, with help of high-performance plastics

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The coronavirus pandemic appears to have not slowed down the roll out of fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology, and high-end polymers continue to play a key role in building out the infrastructure needed to realize the benefits of these ultrafast data networks.

Ericsson, one of the world’s biggest provider of telecom equipment, just issued a new report, revising upward yet again their estimates for the number of 5G mobile phone subscriptions around the world by the end of 2020 to 218 million. This is a sharp increase from their forecast of 190 million this past June, which itself was an increase from an earlier estimate. The Swedish networking giant, whose equipment goes into a lot of the hardware needed for 5G, predicts that this super-fast technology will cover about 60% of the global population by 2026.

Additionally, the Consumer Technology Association’s “U.S. Consumer Technology One-Year Industry Forecast” predicts that 5G-enabled smartphones will contribute $43.8 billion in revenues in 2021, up 296% from this year. CTA’s research further suggests that U.S. shipments of 5G-smartphones will hit 65 million units by the end of 2021, and reach 173 billion by 2024.

Even so, most agree that 5G technology will impact our lives and many industries well beyond mobile telecommunications. It will help to enable safer autonomous driving, advance augmented reality, facilitate factory automation, enhance tele-medicine, and revolutionize the entertainment industry by, for example, allowing users to download high-definition movies in seconds.

Materials suppliers are working diligently to develop the resins and compounds needed to accommodate the high heat, durability and transparency specifications required in 5G-related printed circuit boards (PCBs) and base stations. Here are just a few recent developments:

Clariant says its phosphorus-based flame retardants from the Exolit® OP and Exolit EP lines have all the right characteristics for supporting the necessary properties in high-speed, high-frequency PCBs and making the 5G standard a reality. Available both as liquid processable product (Exolit EP) and very fine powders (Exolit OP), their high content of phosphorus, which can also be synergized with other flame retardants, gives them high efficiency at low doses. With their high thermal stability, they are suitable for lead-free assembly and packaging of electronics, and able to “stand the heat” when 5G transmission runs hot.

Kaneka Corp. has developed Pixeo™ IB, a super heat-resistant polyimide film for high-speed, high frequency 5G. Pixeo™ IB reduces the dielectric loss tangent in high frequencies down to 0.0025, the global best level for polyimide film. This makes possible the handling of 5G millimeter wave zones, which can realize high-speed communications.

Toray Industries Inc. has created a polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) film that maintains the polymer’s dielectric characteristics, flame retardancy and chemical robustness while remaining thermally resistant at 40°C. The Tokyo-based firm says the new film resists deformation and is dimensionally stable near its melting point. In flexible printed circuits for 5G applications, the film is said to cut transmission losses of communication devices at high frequencies and stabilizes high-speed communication across temperature and humidity spectrums.

Dow Inc. recently introduced a one-part, thermally conductive gel developed to dissipate high amounts of heat away from sensitive electronic components. DOWSIL™ TC-3065 Thermal Gel easily fills gaps due to its excellent wetting ability and can replace fabricated elastomeric thermal pads that may fail to protect electronics from the high heat associated with 5G’s greater power densities.

SABIC says it plans to boost global production capacity for its specialty Noryl SA9000 polyphenylene ether (PPE) resin used in high-performance printed circuit boards that require copper-clad laminates (CCLs) used in 5G base stations. This latest expansion

, which builds on 2019 increases, will nearly double regional production in Asia and increase overall Noryl SA9000 resin production in Asia tenfold vs. 2018 levels. The expansion project is currently under way in India, with completion expected by year’s end, the Saudi company says.

Meantime, SABIC also says its portfolio includes other specialized materials for 5G base stations, terminals and mobile devices, including LNP™ compounds and copolymers, Ultem™ resin, and NORYL™ resins and oligomers. These materials are said to address major industry challenges such as improving heat management and radio frequency (RF) performance, reducing weight, and cost and raising production yields.

So, as the 5G revolution gets into full swing, rest assured that plastics suppliers are at the forefront, helping to make it happen.

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