Covestro sees itself as a materials innovation partner, helping to bring next-generation technologies to market. The company produces tailored polycarbonates and polycarbonate blends to electronics, IT, and communications applications. These materials need a balanced combination of properties including high flowability, stiffness, toughness, heat resistance, flame retardance, and good aesthetics.
“Successfully taking a product from concept to commercialization requires being able to juggle multiple factors,” explains Joel Matsco, Senior Marketing Manager Polycarbonates – Electronics and Appliance, Covestro LLC. “We collaborate early on with our customers, helping them to overcome their product design, engineering, and materials challenges. This approach accelerates innovation, which is particularly critical given the rapid electronics product life-cycle.”
An interesting development is a bracelet that allows people to hack the way they feel temperature. According to manufacturer Embr Labs, the bracelet’s scientifically developed waveforms precisely stimulate a person’s thermoreceptors, leveraging the body’s natural systems to make the wearer feel cooler or warmer by up to 5 degrees in just a few minutes.
The technology is based on a physiological insight: Warming or cooling specific parts of the human body can make someone feel more comfortable without changing his or her core body temperature. This is based on the fact that thermoreceptor stimulation, e.g., at the wrist, triggers the specific regions of the brain that control thermoregulation and pleasure.
Embr Labs developed the product through years of iterative prototyping and customer testing. When it came time for the production design, the company wanted to use a frosted light pipe with LEDs as the primary user interface. “We turned to Covestro to help select the right material and optimize the design for optical performance,” explains Embr Labs co-founder Sam Shames.
In compliance with the requirements, Embr Labs chose a UV-stabilized polycarbonate that offers proven performance for electronics, IT, and telecommunications applications. Diffusers and optical brighteners were compounded into the resin to achieve the desired visual effect.