Covestro showcases smart film solutions tailored to applications in printed electronics

Covestro showcases smart

Printed electronics are key to increasing interconnectivity in products across diverse markets ranging from medical technology to the automotive industry and consumer electronics. As a leading producer of film substrates critical to printed electronics, Covestro helps enable its partners to drive innovation and transform the potential of integrated electronics.

“Covestro understands the value chain and is not only a film producer but also an innovator and integrator,” says Karine Benbelaid, Global Head of Medical Segment, Specialty Films, Covestro. “The company has a long, successful track record driving industrial collaboration with converters, printers, OEMs, research labs and designers. We’re highlighting a few of these collaborations at LOPEC 2024.”

Covestro is participating at LOPEC, the International Exhibition and Conference for Printed Electronics, in Munich, Germany from March 5-7 at Hall 0, Booth 612 (B0.612). The company will showcase a diverse range of polycarbonate (PC) films and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) films for printed electronics manufacturing in healthcare and HMI (human-machine interface) applications in automotive and electronics design.

Smart patches and other healthcare applications

In the healthcare sector, smart medical skin patches help improve patient comfort and allow for enhanced remote monitoring, such as Electromyogram (EMG). While electronic patches are already used in many areas, such as patient monitoring, there is a growing need for digitization. With this in mind, Covestro will display a smart patch for early detection of ostomy bag leaks, developed with Witte Technology GmbH and Lohmann GmbH & Co. KG.

People with artificial intestinal outlets (stoma) use ostomy bags, which collect the gut and bowel liquid. These bags can sometimes leak, which can be associated with discomfort for the patient. For that reason, early detection is crucial to patient comfort. Using a sensor array printed on a medical grade Platilon® TPU film, the smart patch on display can detect any leakage between the artificial intestinal outlet and the ostomy bag. The patch is designed for retrofitting an ostomy bag and can be integrated into existing ostomy bag solutions.

“The excellent collaboration among Witte Technology, Lohmann, and Covestro has yielded a groundbreaking solution: a smart patch for early ostomy bag leakage detection,” says Dr. Volker Lutz, Head of New Business Development, Lohmann GmbH & Co. KG. “With its innovative sensor array on medical-grade Platilon® TPU film, this smart patch promises enhanced comfort and peace of mind for ostomy patients around the world.”

The following applications are also on display:

  • Smart EMG wearable patches for biosignal acquisition made with Platilon® 5302 MR7X, courtesy of Nile AB (Linxens Healthcare)
  • Platilon® TPU films with excellent printability for silver-based inks, which ensure high conductivity

HMI for automotive and electronics applications

LOPEC attendees will also see HMI applications for automotive and electronics designs enabled by in-mold electronics (IME). The feasibility of these technologies for mass production will be demonstrated using examples of the design of intelligent surfaces and innovative lighting.

The ´smart surface´ demo, jointly developed by Covestro and TactoTek®, will demonstrate the use of Makrolon® polycarbonate resin and Makrofol® PC film technology to bring electronics into thin, durable and seamless 3D plastic surfaces by Film Insert Molding (FIM) technology.

An innovative lighting project for surfaces called ‘Jenny’ will also be on display. Jenny was developed by TactoTek® and Novem using Covestro materials and consists of real wood laminate and areas of triangular PC overmolds and wood. This structure provides seamless, even lighting in a high-quality design.

“We are thrilled to reveal ‘Jenny’, our extraordinary lighting concept. The A-Surface can be customized for an ultra-premium feel and finish”, says Paavo Niskala, SVP IMSE Technology, TactoTek®. “By integrating Makrofol® and Makrolon® layers, along with different surfaces, we have achieved an unparalleled fusion of innovation and elegance.”

At LOPEC 2024, Covestro will display a LiDAR cover lens, engineered with Canatu, featuring Makrolon® AG polycarbonate resin and Makrofol® PC film with an integrated heater. This collaboration enhances Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems for modern vehicles, ensuring reliability in harsh weather by combining Covestro’s thermoplastics expertise with Canatu’s carbon nanotube (CNT) transparent film heater.

Hear from a Covestro expert

At LOPEC 2024 Congress, Covestro expert Karine Benbelaid will give a lecture on March 5, room 13b at 9:05 a.m. CET, entitled, “Turning Medical Devices Smart and Circular”.

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