Mobile Phone Housing and Components


Lightweighting Laptop and Mobile Phone Housing Materials

DuPont Zytel® HTN offers stiffness, lightweight strength, design flexibility and the potential for lower production costs to new generations of thin frames, spines, and housings.

The Lenovo® Idea Pad

Zytel® HTN was used in the redesign of the housing for the Lenovo Idea Pad U550. Weighing in at just 5.3 pounds (2.4 kg) and measuring just over one inch in height (2.54 cm), the Idea Pad is remarkably thin and light for a 15.6-inch (39.6 cm) notebook. This is partly due to the use of a non-halogen, flame-retardant grade of Zytel® HTN for the LCD rear cover assembly and the bottom cover assembly. Both covers had been previously produced using a polycarbonate (PC)/ acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) blend, but by changing to Zytel® HTN, it has been possible to reduce their wall thickness from 1.8 mm—the thinnest thickness possible with PC/ABS—to 1.3 mm.

Material stiffness was one of the critical requirements for the mechanical stability of the notebook’s cover, which is necessary to protect the sensitive electrical components inside the laptop, as well as the LCD screen. The improved flexural modulus (approximately 17GPa) and flexural strength (approximately 300 MPa) of Zytel® HTN makes it the material of choice for the production of these thinner, lighter covers.

Supporting Design With a Quality Finish

Heat Cycle Molding technology can be used to maximize the surface appearance of injection-molded parts, with a minimal effect on cycle time. 

This gives designers more ability to achieve the look they want, but can also reduce part costs, by eliminating the need for secondary operations to hide surface defects. It can also be used to obtain glossy surfaces, even with tough, glass-filled materials. 

When Lenovo switched to Zytel® HTN, adoption of Heat Cycle Molding technology was made possible by the higher glass transition temperature (around 115 °C or 240 °F) of Zytel®.

Better Performance, Less Cost

Drop and pressure tests confirmed the protective attributes of the Lenovo laptop housing, including the placing of loads of up to 25 kg (55 pounds) on the cover. During hands-on consumer reviews, the laptop chassis and lid are described as exhibiting only mild flex when grabbed by the corners and twisted, while pushing on the back of the lid does not create ripples in the LCD screen—an impressive performance, considering the reduced thickness. 

In addition, Zytel® HTN provides better moisture resistance than nylon 66 or 6, and is highly flame-retardant. Zytel® HTN, with its high-performance characteristics, is helping to make a new generation of mobile devices thinner and lighter, at a price that is cost-effective.

Lenovo® Idea Pad is a registered trademark and trademark in the United States, other countries, or both of the Lenovo Corporation.



From material selection to tolerances, the Plastic Design Guide details 10 top tips for effective design, efficient production, and successful products.


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