New flexible high-speed film for 5G technology

Kuraray is expanding FCCL production

The 5G standard is the prerequisite for innovations such as self-driving vehicles and new communication technologies. Flexible copper-clad laminates play a key role in the development of 5G applications such as high-frequency printed circuit boards. Kuraray is opening a new production facility for flexible copper-clad laminates (FCCL) based on its VECSTAR™ high-performance liquid crystal polymer (LCP) film at its site in Kashima, Japan. The company has already expanded production capacity for LCP film at its facility in Saijo, Japan. From mid-2020, the combined production capacity of the two plants will be 1.8 million square metres a year.

5G is the central standard for the development of tomorrow’s key technologies – from autonomous driving and the internet of things to state-of-the-art communication technology and high-tech media applications.

Dr. Matthias Gutweiler, Managing Director of Kuraray Europe GmbH

“At the same time, powerful electronics components are needed to handle the high data rates offered by this new communication standard. Our VECSTAR™ brand of high-frequency-compatible LCP films plays a central role in this. Installation of a new production line at our site in Kashima means we can now offer  as a copper-clad laminate based on our LCP film, which is required, for example, for the manufacture of printed circuit boards.”

Liquid crystal polymers for high data frequencies

VECSTAR™, the world’s first LCP film, offers outstanding properties for the manufacture of high-performance electronic components. The excellent electrical insulation and low water absorption of this LCP film make it an ideal dielectric material for high-speed circuitry, high-frequency electronic appliances and printed circuit boards. Thanks to its heat resistance, dimensional stability and low flammability, VECSTAR™ is suitable for technologies for demanding safety requirements and challenging operating conditions. 

Flexible circuit boards for demanding 5G technologies

flexed printed circuit board (FPC), electronic connector on a dark background

As a copper-clad laminate, a key application for VECSTAR™ is in the manufacture of printed circuit boards. Kuraray’s new production facility at its site in Kashima, Japan, produces VECSTAR™ LCP film laminates with an ultra-thin layer of copper. Electronics producers etch precise circuits onto the copper laminate to link chips, capacitors and other electronic components. One special feature of the high-performance film is its flexibility: it can be used to produce curved and multi-layer circuits. Consequently, it provides the greatest possible freedom in the design of innovative technologies.

“FCCL materials are a basis for high-performance technologies for the new 5G standard. We expect the progressive rollout of the 5G network around the world to increase demand for our LCP films,” says Naoya Uehara, Co-Managing Director of Kuraray Europe GmbH. “Expansion of our production capacity in Saijo means we are well prepared for that. By mid-2020, our Japanese facilities in Saijo and Kashima will have total annual production capacity of 1.8 million square metres of LCP film. And by establishing a production facility for copper clad laminate in Kashima, we can offer technology manufacturers greater vertical integration and an advanced new VECSTAR™ FCCL material.”

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