The addition of functionalized thermal molding materials into final assembly configurations can transform thermal performance at the systems level by as much as 200% higher than non-molded assemblies.
X2F is making waves with their breakthrough molding technology, unlocking new manufacturing capabilities for protecting electronics from heat. X2F’s unique technology molds highly filled and extremely viscous materials that are impossible to mold” with today’s conventional approaches. Their innovative molding process provides a superior solution to potting and conformal coating when extreme thermal management is needed, and it improves thermal performance of the end product by as much
Accomplishing the Impossible
Motivated by the tremendous need for high-performance thermally conductive solutions to dissipate heat from electronics used in a variety of industries, X2F developed a patented low-pressure and Controlled Viscosity Molding (CVM) approach. Typical difficult-to-mold materials such as highly filled thermally conductive hot melt adhesives, thermoplastic elastomers, polycarbonates, and nylons are no problem with X2F technology.
High-tech advances in a variety of industries have created electronics with more power and functionality. Today’s electronics require improved cooling methods to prevent overheating and ensure long-term reliable performance. For instance, printed circuit boards (PCBs) used to manage battery power in today’s power tools often develop hot spots during operation. These hot spots reduce the product’s lifespan by degrading battery charging and discharging performance. X2F technology eliminates hot spots via over-molding of electronics with highly filled thermally conductive materials. This type of thermal management is critical to achieving superior performance for today’s advanced electronics, batteries, and LED lighting.
Unique X2F Process
X2F’s technology delivers highly filled materials to the mold cavity via extruders that are designed specifically for X2F’s unique Extrude to Fill (“X2F”) process. The X2F process combines specialized hardware, sensors, software, and a process feedback loop. Utilizing electrically generated heat instead of high-pressure shearing, X2F technology precisely controls the pressure, temperature, and viscosity of the melted material throughout the molding process.
And by continuously sensing mold cavity pressure and using their patented “pulse-pack” process, X2F molding can be performed at 70 to 90% lower pressure than traditional injection molding.
The X2F process easily molds highly filled materials at high-volume production speeds. Cycle times of 30 to 60 seconds are common with X2F, which is significantly faster than potting and conformal coating, which can take several hours. Companies can also expect ultra-fast prototyping from X2F – typically 5 to 10 business days for samples depending on the complexity. Their process even includes the ability to provide compounding at the press – adding fillers (ceramics, graphite, etc.) to impart added performance.
In their recent collaboration with Covestro, X2F co-developed a thermally conductive automotive heat-sink with in-mold-electronics that was 49% lighter than traditional cast aluminum. And by eliminating the need for brackets, fasteners, thermal pastes, and adhesives, the X2F process was significantly less expensive. Covestro also saw improvements in thermal performance with the X2F solution compared to traditional injection-molding processes. This illustrates how X2F technology is enabling innovation. With X2F, previously un-moldable materials can be used, new higher-performance materials can be developed, and more intricate molded shapes can be designed.
“This innovative technology is a game-changer for the industry, helping to accelerate innovation and technology for new products with higher performance. Our molding technologies are eliminating barriers with materials everyone thought where impossible to mold. We can now streamline production, reduce manufacturing complexity, and add significant thermal enhancements to products with ever expanding performance requirements.” said Antonio Aceves, VP of Strategy & Business for X2F.