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TCTech, the leading global supplier of intelligent plastic nanostructures, has been granted a European patent for its Material Stack method.
Production benefits with material stack include shorter cycle times, very good replication degrees, the ability to emboss large surfaces, the ability to create an extremely fine and even surface with extremely high optical properties, and the ability to add intelligent nanostructures onto plastics.
TCTech's new basic patent, the first in a series of expected material stack patents, relates to a device for injection moulding and a method for injection moulding, but is also very relevant for TCTech's Thermal Cyclic Pressing and Thermal Cyclic Moulding methods.
The objectives with Material Stack are:
• to be able to direct the heat to desired areas (i.e. where it
is of use: near a mould cavity or the surface that is being embossed)
• to be able to heat small masses in order to heat swiftly and evenly
• to achieve extremely high uniformity
• to, by only heat a small mass, also be able to cool this mass
very swiftly and evenly
Through the Material Stack method the following advantages are achieved for thermal cyclic pressing and/or thermal cyclic moulding:
• a better production economy through considerably shorter cycle times
• a very good replication degree
• the ability to fill a very thin tool since the mould is kept warm
• the ability to add intelligent nanostructures on plastics
(i.e. embossing of extremely fine structures down to, or under, 10 nm)
• the ability to create an extremely fine and even surface with
extremely high optical properties
• the ability to emboss large surfaces
• the minimization of material shrinkage
Material Stack is one of several patents that are important to TCTech's Thermal Cyclic Technologies. These technologies are highly suitable for volume production of acrylic optical components with unusually high requirements and specifications. The optical quality of the acrylic is left virtually unaffected.
Among the applications that are suitable for Thermal Cyclic Technologies are:
• light guides, e.g. light guide plates for the use in LCD screens
• optical light coupling elements with high requirements for
optical transmission and fine surfaces
• optical lenses with micro or nano structures, e.g. Fresnel
lenses, v-cuts, etc.
TCTech's patent for Material Stack-P-EP was registered at the European Patent Office on January 27, 2010 and is valid for 20 years. TCTech has developed the method and the tool further since the initial patent application was done. The company has applied for additional patents in the material stack family, which are expected to be approved shortly.
"Microsoft identified the potential of Thermal Cyclic Molding early in its development and has worked hard with TCTech to see this realized. Thermal Cyclic Molding suits the inherent scalability of optics, and optics offers a way to overcome some of the fundamental limitations of electronics and copper", said Steve Bathiche, leader of Microsoft's Applied Sciences Group.
"TCTech includes a highly motivated and remarkably creative group of people with a depth expertise and a range of capabilities unusual for a small company. The senior management's experience in the precision molding industry speaks for itself", said Quintus Travis, Program Manager, Microsoft.
About Thermal Cyclic Technologies
Thermal Cyclic Technologies AB (TCTech) is a global leader in the research, development and production of intelligent plastic nanostructures. The production is based on TCTech’s innovative and patented thermal cyclic moulding and pressing technology. TCTech also designs thin film sputtering units and develops working sputtering processes.
TCTech’s three product and business areas are Light Guide Plates, Sheets & Lenses, and Photovoltaic thin film solar cells. TCTech was founded in 2005 and is based in Stockholm, Sweden.
For more information on TCTech please go to: www.tctech.se
For more information, please click here
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