Applications and Markets for Thermotropic Liquid Crystalline Polyesters (TLCPs)
This chapter focuses on emerging applications and markets for: injection molding compounds and molded precision parts, generally based on 30% glass fiber reinforcement, extruded films and spun fibers. Thermotropic liquid crystalline polyesters (TLCPs) display remarkable and unique combinations of properties. TLCPs were first introduced into the commercial mainstream in the mid-1980s. Main-chain, all-aromatic TLCPs are high-performance, melt-processible thermoplastics with unique and remarkable combinations of properties. Their most prominent properties are facile flow and processing, precision part fabrication, dimensional stability, low linear coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). Europe lacks a major "native" TLCP producer, although a number of European resin suppliers have unannounced development programs. TLCP films and the associated technology are being developed to compete with polyimide films in electronic applications. Both films display similar tensile and CTE values — attributable to their rigid rod structures. One of the most important and potentially useful properties of TLCP films is their unexcelled barrier performance.