Light-diffusing plastic compounds enable new LED technology

Light-diffusing plastic compounds from RTP Company used for interior applications in Ford's 2007 Edge SUV.

When Visteon, a leading global automotive supplier, needed a light emitting diode (LED) lighting solution for the interior of the Ford Motor Co.’s 2007 Ford Edge cross-over SUV, it specified the latest LED technology from OSRAM Opto Semiconductors that utilizes RTP Company’s (Winona, Minn.) light-diffusing plastic compounds.

LED technology has become a popular light source among automakers because of its styling flexibility energy efficiency, unlimited color options and high reliability. “Because LEDs can help customize a lighting scheme to enhance branding, interior lighting LEDs and light-diffusing materials are gaining the attention of engineers and designers,” said Dave Pahl, market manager – automotive, at RTP Company. “Our light-diffusing compounds can be used to shift or manipulate the intensity and emitted color of a backlit component. They also provide consistency by eliminating hot spots, which is critical to achieving compelling interior lighting harmony.”

With the expert manipulation of dye and pigment combinations, RTP Company’s light-diffusing compounds can shift the color of an illuminated graphic, for example, from blue to green by filtering specific wavelengths of the emitted light. This color converting technology provides designers with a wider range of color options for interiors. It can also be used with white LEDs to fine-tune the color temperature in both warm white and cool white spectrums.

For the Ford Edge SUV, RTP Company and OSRAM worked closely together to develop the climate control lighting in the cockpit. The light-diffusing compounds provide an ideal contrast to the stylish metallic finish of the automobile.

RTP Company conducted a DOE (design of experiment) and formulated a customized RTP 300 Series polycarbonate light-diffusing compound. The material provided the optimal balance of light transmission versus haze that worked perfectly with OSRAM’s LEDs.

OSRAM Opto Semiconductors specializes in harmony in lighting, defined as control of color, luminance, evenness and legibility. Together, OSRAM and RTP Company provide total lighting solutions to automotive OEMs and Tier One suppliers.

RTP Company has eight manufacturing plants on three continents, plus sales representatives throughout North America, Europe, and Asia/Pacific. RTP Company’s engineers develop custom compounds in over 60 different engineering resin systems for applications requiring color, conductive, elastomeric, flame retardant, high temperature, shielding, structural, and wear resistant properties.