The electronics industry is rapidly evolving, with a focus on miniaturization and precision in end products. As technology advances and consumer electronics continue to undergo regular updates, industrial connector manufacturers are facing significant challenges.
Today’s 3C (Computer, Communication, and Consumer Electronics) products demand increasingly high material fluidity without compromising other essential characteristics such as toughness, temperature resistance, and more. This blog by Shine Industry Connector explores 7 emerging trends in plastic connectors in response to the ever-changing landscape of electronic products.
High Material Fluidity
One prominent trend in high-temperature connectors is the pursuit of materials with standard, high flow, and super high flow properties, all while minimizing warping. Large international connector manufacturers are currently researching super high flow, low warping materials. Although some common materials in our domestic market meet the requirements, as connector products shrink in size and terminal distances reduce, materials with high fluidity become imperative.
Low Dielectric Properties
As anyone with a basic understanding of electronic products knows, transmission speed is crucial, and high-frequency products are on the rise, pushing for materials with low dielectric constants. Currently, LCP (Liquid Crystal Polymer) is the only material capable of meeting the requirement of dielectric constant <3 for high-temperature connectors, with SPS as a secondary option despite some drawbacks.
LCP, the primary material for connectors, lacks luster in appearance and is prone to flow marks. Additionally, its coloring performance is less than ideal. Thus, the trend in LCP development leans toward glossy exteriors, ease of color matching, resistance to discoloration during high-temperature processes, and the ability to meet customer demands for product colors.
Modern 3C products, including smartphones like the iPhone X, increasingly demand waterproofing as a standout feature. This trend is expected to rise in the electronic product industry in the future. Currently, waterproofing is primarily achieved through a combination of adhesive and silicone gel.
Long-Term Temperature Resistance
Male and female connector plastics need to withstand wear and tear under high temperatures (long-term usage temperatures ranging from 150 to 180 degrees Celsius), resist creep (load under 125°C for 72 hours), and meet Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) requirements (E6 to E9).
Due to environmental concerns, governments worldwide advocate for the use of eco-friendly materials in manufacturing. Consequently, many customers have begun requesting connector products made from biodegradable materials such as corn-based or castor oil-based materials, as well as recycled materials. Choosing bio-based or eco-friendly materials for production makes products more acceptable to both governments and consumers.
Some electronic products benefit from transparency, such as those with LED indicators or for aesthetic purposes. In such cases, high-temperature, transparent plastics are required to maintain product integrity.
The industrial connector industry is adapting to meet the ever-evolving needs of the electronics sector. These seven emerging trends in plastic connectors address the demands for high fluidity, low dielectric properties, diverse colors, waterproofing, long-term temperature resistance, bio-friendliness, and transparency.
By aligning with these trends, industrial connector manufacturers can stay at the forefront of the electronic product revolution, delivering solutions that cater to the requirements of a rapidly changing industry. As technology continues to advance, these trends will only become more crucial in shaping the future of plastic connectors. Stay tuned for further developments in this dynamic field.