LG Chem has developed a plastic material that can replace the metal in solar panel frames and is planning to “start full-scale market penetration,” according to a press release.
The ‘LUPOY EU5201’ developed by LG Chem is a flame-retardant engineered plastic material that supplements the mechanical properties of general plastics by adding glass fiber to polycarbonate compounds. It’s a flame-retardant material that maintains the material shape even during temperature changes due to its low thermal expansion levels.
LG says its solution has the same level of durability as existing aluminum, but is half the weight and competitive in price. Also, it has excellent dimensional stability that maintains its shape even in temperature changes, so it is not easily deteriorated or deformed by the external environment. The chemical decomposition caused by ultraviolet rays exposure has been reduced, which has significantly improved the lifespan of the product compared to general plastics, and the color remains the same even after long-term exposure to ultraviolet rays.
LG Chem has PCR PC (Post-Consumer Recycled Polycarbonate) development technology that recycles plastics used by general consumers, so the company can also produce eco-friendly low-carbon products using high-content PCR raw materials at the request of customers. The company also plans to review ways to collect the solar panel frame that will be discarded in the future and reproduce them into PCR PC.
“Solar panel frames made of plastic have many advantages that differentiate them from existing frames, such as ease of installation, and therefore have great market potential. Based on the world’s best compounding technology, LG Chem plans to lead the rapidly growing solar material market through continuous R&D and investment into mass production capabilities,” said Steven Kim, leader of the engineering materials division at LG Chem.