Dow Silicone Helps Lighting Manufacturer Improve Optical Assembly

LumenFlow, a provider of lighting solutions, is using a novel silicone material from Dow to improve the accuracy and efficiency of optical assembly. As this case study explains, LumenFlow selected SILASTIC™ MS-1002 Moldable Silicone for its Surface Mount Optic (SMO) Technology, secondary optics that can be placed onto printed circuit boards (PCBs) using surface mount technology (SMT) equipment.

This manufacturing solution eliminates the need to apply SMOs to PCBs with adhesives or mechanical mounting, techniques that require additional labor or specialized equipment. With SILASTIC™ Moldable Silicones, LumenFlow’s existing SMT equipment can place the SMOs directly atop light emitting diodes (LEDs) and solder these secondary optics in a single pass.

The material properties of SILASTIC™ Moldable Silicones enabled this manufacturing advance. Unlike the thermoplastics used in traditional optics, SILASTIC™ Moldable Silicones can withstand the high temperatures of reflow soldering. Plus, with their thermal and photothermal stability, SILASTIC™ Moldable Silicones will not yellow, sag, or lose optical function during the reflow soldering process.

Compared to polycarbonate (PC) and acrylic (PMMA), two traditional thermoplastics for optics, SILASTIC™ Moldable Silicones provide superior optical transmission, a measure of transmitted light. These materials from Dow also allow for unique geometries and other functional aspects that are not possible in thermoplastic optical design.