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Optimizing RF Properties

of Injection Molded Plastic Parts

Dr. Antti Helminen, Senior R&D Manager


Mr. Tuomas Kiikka, Business Development Director
Let’s make a good mix

UNIQUE
PLASTIC
SOLUTIONS
LOCATION & POSITION
PREMIX, FINLAND PREMIX 36%

Others 64%

Premix is n:o 1 in European business


of electrically conductive plastics
Outline

Injection molded parts in antennas

Material selection

Molding conditions

High frequency performance


INJECTION MOLDED PARTS IN ANTENNAS
Injection Molded Parts in Antennas

• Phase shifters (dielectric loaded)


• Dielectric resonator antennas (DRA)
• Lenses
• Beam forming
• Low loss structural parts
• Tuning screws
• Patch antennas
• Dielectric loaded filters
• Radomes
• Miniaturized hand-set antenna
• ...
Principle of Injection Molding

IM CYCLE:

• Plasticizing
• Injection
• Holding
• Cooling
• Ejection
Benefits of Injection Molding

• Mass production of up to millions of parts per mold


• Complex 3D-shapes produced in a single processing step

• Cycle time from 5 seconds to a couple of minutes


• Multicavity molds – possibility to produce 1 – 128 parts with one shot
HOW TO SELECT THE RIGHT MATERIAL?
Key Properties for Dielectric Materials

• Dielectric constant (Dk) – relative permittivity (er)


-Determines wavelength in material

• Dielectric loss (Df) – dissipation factor – loss tangent (tand)


-Indicates energy loss in material
Pyramide of Plastics

Low frequency (50 Hz) data is more


readily available

The high frequency data is not easily


available (1+ GHz)

Non-polar polymers have inherently


low dielectric loss

Some materials absorb moisture,


which increases the dielectric loss

Additives (such as flame retardants)


can increase the dielectric loss
drastically
Dielectric Properties of Thermoplastics @1ghz

Plastic Dk Df Remarks
ABS 2.8 0.004 HDT – 100ºC
PC 2.8 ~0.005 HDT – 130ºC
PC/ABS 2.9 0.004 HDT – 110ºC
ASA 2.9 0.012 HDT – 90ºC
PPE 2.6 < 0.001 HDT – 180ºC

PP 2.2 < 0.001 HDT – 100ºC


PP + 30% GF 2.65 0.002 HDT – 150ºC
HDT = Heat Deflection Temperature (max. use temp for short term)
Dielectric Properties of ABS Grades @1GHz

Plastic Dk Df Remarks
Grade A 2.66 0.0063 High impact strength
Grade B 2.65 0.0035 General purpose
Grade C 2.53 0.0041 Transparent
Grade D 2.68 0.0041 High Flow
Effect of Fillers @1GHz

Plastic Dk Df Remarks
PP 2.22 <0.0005 Low heat resistance
PP + 10% GF 2.37 0.0005
High stiffness
PP + 20% GF 2.48 0.0010
High warpage
PP + 30% GF 2.66 0.0019

PP + 10% Talc 2.27 <0.0005


Brittle
PP + 20% Talc 2.33 <0.0005
Careful Filler Selection Offers Unique Dielectric Properties
Maximize antenna performance

FR4 (DK 4.3, DF 0.017)


PC/ABS

LCP
HF Laminate

Minimize antenna size


HOW TO DO THE MOLDING RIGHT?
Optimize the Dielectric Performance

• Dielectric properties need to be measured

• Always variation in Dk (±2%, ±5%)


-Variation in material
-Variation caused by molding

-Sample preparation
-Measurement accuracy of the device
Thickness Variation in Test Plague (12” * 6”)

Average 9.61, stdev 0.12, min 9.29, max 9.85


Dk Variation in Test Plague (12” * 6”)

9.46 9.66 9.62


9.86 9.70 9.62 9.51 9.63

9.66 9.72

9.66 9.45 9.56


9.65 9.55
9.62

9.76 9.29
9.80
9.54 9.67 9.55 9.51 9.55

Average 9.61, stdev 0.12, min 9.29, max 9.85


General Recommendations on Molding

• Thick parts are difficult to manufacture due to shrinkage behavior


• Thin wall thicknesses should be avoided

• High filler loading  high viscosity


• High material temperature
• High mold temperature
• Ensure proper packing / holding pressure and time
HIGH FREQUENCY PERFORMANCE
DK/DF @1GHz – Screening and QC
Split Post Dielectric Resonator ( 5 and 22GHz)

Dk 1 GHz 5 GHz 22 GHz


255 2.55 2.55 2.51
L300 3.0 3.16 3.11
L700 7.0 7.27 7.00

Df 1 GHz 5 GHz 22 GHz


255 0.0007 0.0020 0.0014
L300 0.0005 0.0014 0.0015
L700 0.0005 0.0016 0.0023
Stable HF Properties Over Wide Frequency Range

Dielectric Constant Dielectric Loss


2,70 0,030
2,65
2,60 0,025
2,55
2,50 0,020
2,45
2,40 0,015
2,35
2,30 0,010
2,25
2,20 0,005
2,15
2,10 0,000
0 20 40 60 80 100 120

Frequency (GHz)
Unique PREPERM® Material

• Injection molding is used to produce parts with


excellent dielectric performance

- Extremely low dissipation factor (down to 0.0005 @ 1 GHz)

- Easily customized dielectric constant to customer requirements

- Dielectric constant stable over wide frequency range


LET’S MAKE
A GOOD MIX
www.premixgroup.com
Dr. Antti Helminen
antti.helminen@premixgroup.com