Optimizing LED heat management

Thermally conductive polycarbonate from Covestro provides heat management for LED luminaire

CircLED light fixture molded with Makrolon TC8030 thermally conductive polycarbonate
The housing of SLP Lighting’s new CircLED™ high bay fixture acts as a heat sink and is injection molded with Makrolon® TC8030 polycarbonate from Covestro. (Photo credit: SLP Lighting)

Pittsburgh, May 8, 2018 — A heat sink is crucial for the long-term performance of LED lighting luminaires, helping to dissipate heat. Aluminum, a popular material for this component, has disadvantages that include its weight, appearance and tendency to corrode. With this in mind, SLP Lighting selected a special plastic from Covestro to provide efficient cooling for its new CircLED™ product.

CircLED™ is an 18-inch round high bay fixture for general high bay applications such as auditoriums, exhibit halls, factories, distribution centers and warehouses. SLP Lighting also offers an IP-66-rated version of CircLED™ for harsh, wet environments. The housing of the CircLED™ acts as a heat sink for the lighting luminaire. The CircLED™ housing is injection molded at SLP Lighting’s manufacturing plant in Missouri with thermally conductive Makrolon® TC8030 polycarbonate from Covestro.

“Most fixtures of this type have heavy die cast aluminum housings, but CircLED™ utilizes lightweight, thermally conductive Makrolon® while still thermally managing up to a 200 watt LED engine,” said Don Katashuk, engineer, SLP Lighting. “Covestro provided outstanding technical assistance during the development, pre-launch and launch phases of the program, including numerous thermal and mold flow simulations.”

Makrolon® TC8030 polycarbonate offers several benefits for LED lighting applications including:

  • High thermal conductivity
  • Light weight, reducing the weight of the LED light engine
  • A UL 94 flame class rating of V-0 at 2.0 mm
  • Enhanced design freedom, allowing designers to create non-traditional shapes and optimize joining techniques
  • Can be used to in-mold LEDs on the printed circuit board in the heat sink assembly to reduce costs


“Developed specifically for LED applications, this grade of Makrolon® polycarbonate provides strong heat-transferring capability, enabling the design to maintain an acceptable steady state temperature,” said Brian Faul, business development manager – Midwest region, Polycarbonates, Covestro LLC. “We worked closely with SLP Lighting, providing part and mold design support, substantial CAE thermal simulations and physical testing to validate material performance in the application.” According to Faul, the company’s material models and techniques accurately simulate thermal performance, allowing design changes to be made prior to mold construction, when cost of change is low.

“Our collaboration with SLP Lighting highlights our dedication to meeting the complex needs of lighting manufacturers, as well as our history of providing tailor-made, high-performance polycarbonate resins and blends for LED lighting applications,” said Kevin Dunay, industry manager, Polycarbonates, Covestro LLC.

Attendees at LIGHTFAIR International, May 8-10, in Chicago, are invited to visit the company’s booth (#3781) to learn more about the materials, technologies and technical services Covestro offers for the lighting industry.

About Covestro LLC:

Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business, which is among the world’s largest polymer companies with 2017 sales of EUR 14.1 billion. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, electrical and electronics and medical industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 16,200 people at the end of 2017.

Find more information at www.covestro.us or www.plastics.covestro.com.

Covestro Contact:

John Skabardonis, Phone: +1 412 413 5444
John.Skabardonis@covestro.com

Makrolon® is a registered trademark of Covestro Group.

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This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available on the Covestro website at www.covestro.com. Covestro assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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