Electronic Design

Plastic Antennas May Clobber Copper, Aluminum Cousins In Portables

"Low Cost Antennas Using Conductive Plastics or Conductive Composites," a U.S. patent document from Integral Technologies, describes how a special resin can be used to create "Plastennas" for cell phones, radios, and other portable communications devices.

Designated by the term "Electriplast," this plastic technology lets designers dope the resin to virtually any conductive level. In its most conductive form, Electriplast is better than aluminum but just a bit short of copper in conductivity. Its thermal qualities are more like aluminum. According to its inventor, Tom Aisenbrey, the Electriplast conductive polymer can be molded into any shape for a whole new range of options in packaging.

Though Electriplast targets antennas, it also will find homes in shielding and thermal management, as well as in other conductive applications. The material may be used with conventional screws or rivets, and it can be plated for soldering. Today, most portable antennas consist of copper on pc boards or some aluminum structure. Such two-dimensional designs have their limitations. With Electriplast, new 3D antenna designs can produce unique new structures with enhanced performance.

The material is available now in pellet form. Samples, quotations, and more detailed information are available from the company.

Integral Technologies Inc.
(360) 752-1982, ext. 2
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