DIC and Partners Develop DIC.PPS MP-6060 BLACK Plateable PPS Compound ー Combining the newly developed PPS compound and plating technologies will facilitate the mass production of electroless & electro-plated PPS molded products on existing plastic-plating production lines ー

  • Business & Product
  • News Release
Jan. 10, 2024

Tokyo, Japan - DIC Corporation today announced the development of DIC.PPS MP-6060 BLACK, a plateable polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) compound, in collaboration with Japanese firms Tsukada Riken Industry Co., Ltd., and Yoshino Denka Kogyo, Inc. Combining the newly developed compound with plating technologies will enable the mass production of electroless & electro-plated super engineering plastic PPS on existing plastic-plating production lines without the need for a special etching process.*

Plateable PPS makes it possible to use plastic instead of metal for applications necessitating durability—including electronic device housings, as well as connectors and other components—and provide electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding. Of particular note, in the area of automotive components, the move toward electrification and autonomous driving is spurring the increased use of plastics for electronic control unit (ECU) and advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) housings, among others, with the aim of reducing vehicle weight, helping to enhance both performance and sustainability by improving fuel efficiency and cruising range. Going forward, DIC will aim to secure demand, mainly for use in materials for applications that demand durability, notably electric vehicles (EVs) and electronics equipment such as computers. DIC has set a goal for annual sales of this new product of ¥3.0 billion by fiscal year 2030.

Background to Development
Modern communications systems, including smartphones and Wi-Fi, rely extensively on waves in the electromagnetic spectrum. Given the proliferation of smart home appliances and advances in autonomous driving, the use of these electromagnetic waves is projected to increase further going forward. With the upsurge in consumer electronic devices in use, and the increasing density of substrate wiring, it is crucial to protect such devices against malfunctions or failures from signal interference by blocking or absorbing the waves that cause noise.

PPS, a super engineering plastic, is favored for use in vehicle-mounted electronic components because of its durability, lightness and workability. While metals and other electroconductive materials boast EMI shielding properties, plastics transmit these waves, necessitating deployment of a shielding technology such as the formation of a thin metal coating on the surface of the plastic used in component housings. However, owing to the superior chemical resistance of PPS, pretreatment using an etching solution—the standard approach when coating with plastic—has not been feasible. Another difficulty has been ensuring proper adhesion of the metal coating and the PPS substrate. Accordingly, to date, special etching processes, notably blasting, plasma etching, hydrofluoric acid etching and concentrated nitric acid etching, have been used to treat the PPS and enhance adhesion. DIC’s new DIC.PPS MP-6060 BLACK is revolutionary in that it can be chemically etched with a general-purpose solution like chromic acid, making it possible to produce plated PPS on existing plastic-plating production lines.

Product Overview
(1) A super engineering plastic with excellent strength, heat resistance, dimensional stability and chemical resistance, PPS can be plated with various metals to impart EMI shielding properties tailored to specific frequency bands, create a metallic finish or otherwise add value.
(2) The combination of DIC’s PPS compounding technologies with the electroplating technologies of Tsukada Riken Industry and Yoshino Denka Kogyo will facilitate the mass production of plated PPS on existing plastic-plating production lines. It will also eliminate the need to manage the liquid chemicals conventionally used to coat highly chemical-resistant PPS with plastic and make it possible to uniformly coat complex shapes, which are not conducive to blasting.
(3) DIC.PPS MP-6060 BLACK boasts outstanding molding fluidity and can thus be formed into complex shapes requiring ribs** and cooling channels.
(4) Thanks to its superior durability in harsh environments, PPS is a popular alternative to metal in automotive components that reduces vehicle weight, improving fuel efficiency and cruising range.

* Etching is a surface treatment that roughens the surface of a substrate to improve the adhesion of a metal coating.
** Ribs are protruding reinforcements that prevent deformation through warping and twisting.

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About DIC Corporation
DIC Corporation is one of the world’s leading fine chemicals companies and the core of the DIC Group, a multinational organization comprising over 190 companies, including Sun Chemical Corporation, in more than 60 countries and territories. The DIC Group is recognized as a global leader in the markets for a variety of products essential to modern lifestyles, notably, packaging materials, display materials such as those used in television and computer displays, and high-performance materials for smartphones and other digital devices, as well as for automobiles. Through such products, the Group endeavors to deliver safety and peace of mind, and color and comfort, to people everywhere. The DIC Group also seeks to contribute to a sustainable society by developing innovative products that respond to social change and which help address social imperatives. With annual consolidated net sales exceeding ¥1 trillion and 22,000-plus employees worldwide, the Group pledges to continue working in close cooperation with its customers wherever they are.

About Tsukada Riken Industry Co., Ltd.
The first company in Japan to succeed in industrializing a process for plating on plastics in 1963, Nagano Prefecture–based Tsukada Riken Industry has provided products for use in a diverse range of industries, including automobiles, electronics equipment, communications equipment and medical devices, ever since. Today, the company’s principal offerings include decorative electroplating for automotive components and Ni/Pd/Au plating for printed circuit boards. In 1987, the company also became active in the area of EMI shielding, which continues to attract attention from multiple industries. Applications for EMI shielding technologies, which involve electroplating materials used in, for example, communications equipment, medical devices and EVs to minimize the impact of electromagnetic waves, continue to expand in a variety of fields.

Tsukada Riken Industry’s portfolio also features electroless plating & electroplating technologies for general-purpose plastics such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polycarbonate (PC)-ABS, as well as for engineering and super engineering plastics. By combining innovative materials and electroplating technologies, the company seeks to advance the shift from metals to plastics in components, thereby helping reduce the weight of finished products, as well as to minimize EMI, facilitating greater molding flexibility and heightening performance.

About Yoshino Denka Kogyo, Inc.
A Saitama Prefecture–based surface treatment firm established in 1935, Yoshino Denka Kogyo (YDK) provides electroless plating, electroplating, electropolishing, and heat treatment of metals for customers in a variety of industries at its three production facilities in Saitama. The company also has an R&D division that is charged with developing advanced plating technologies through collaboration with government, academia and other companies. Through its global network, comprising six companies in Japan and two overseas, YDK provides comprehensive surface treatment services, ranging from prototyping at the discovery stage to mass production, optimized to meet its customers’ needs. In 1985, the company became the first in Japan to mass produce EMI shielding plating. Today, demand for light resin materials continues to increase in the aircraft and automotive industries. With the aim of helping reduce the impact of EMI noise on precision equipment, YDK is pressing ahead with the development of low- and high-frequency EMI shielding plating.