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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Dow Corning Lights Path in LED Market's Transition to Silicones

via PRNewswire

MIDLAND, Mich., May 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Dow Corning Corporation has launched an expanded family of silicone materials for the fast-growing light emitting diode (LED) market. The product line introduction comes at a time when manufacturers are looking to silicones to provide brighter, longer-lasting LEDs in diverse applications, such as backlighting for mobile appliances and displays, cell phone camera flash, automotive interior and exterior lighting, and general illumination.

Building on the company's existing product line of gels, elastomers and resins, Dow Corning's newest products include three new LED-protecting encapsulants -- DOW CORNING(R) EG-6301, DOW CORNING(R) OE-6336, and DOWCORNING(R) JCR 6175 -- and a breakthrough new resin: DOW CORNING(R) SR-7010, amoldable material that combines the durability and transparency of a siliconeto make hard discrete lenses and other components for LED applications. Each of these silicone-based materials enables surface mount assembly of LED devices using lead-free solder, a key environmental benefit. The products arethe first to emerge from Dow Corning's new Light Management group, which the company launched to support emerging needs in the global photonics market.

"As new designs call for brighter, hotter and longer-lasting LEDs, and manufacturers adopt high-temperature lead-free assembly processes, we're seeing more and more companies turn to the power of silicone in applications where epoxies or COCs (cyclo olefin copolymers) were once the materials ofchoice," said Tom Cook , global industry executive director, Dow Corning. "Silicones are ideally matched to the demands of LED manufacturing -- theyoffer exceptional reliability due to their initial high light transmittance and optical clarity is retained because the materials resist the effects of high temperatures and short-wave length exposures. In addition, the siliconescan be formulated to adhere to a multitude of substrates, giving users wide latitude when it comes to creating new device designs.

"As the experts in silicones for 60 years, we're working hand-in-hand with customers and partners throughout the supply chain to optimize production processes and develop new materials that enable unprecedented LED applications."

The LED market is expected to see 10% compound annual growth over the next five years. With applications in mobile appliances, signs, displays, traffic signals, automobiles and general illumination, LEDs represented a $4.0 billionmarket in 2005, according to market researcher Strategies Unlimited.

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