OSAKA, Japan, Feb. 24, 2016 — Panasonic Corp. will begin mass production of polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) molding compounds for laser welding in March, enhancing the design of automative switches and sensors. Current processing methods for the production of automotive sensors include sealing with packings and bolts, bonding with adhesive agents and ultrasonic welding. Laser welding has recently attracted the industry’s attention as its high welding strength can shorten the bonding time and increase productivity. However, plastic molding compounds generally used for laser welding have had low laser transmittance, leading to problems with welding strength and waterproof properties. Panasonic aims to solve these problems by commercializing the PBT molding compounds with high laser transmittance for excellent welding strength and waterproof properties. The compounds allow laser welding, long-term reliability and a flexibility of design when applied to automotive components. Laser transmittance of 72 percent, low warpage of molded parts and high hydrolysis resistance enables the manufacture of small and large automotive components. A 94 percent retention rate was seen after a high-temperature, high-humidity storage test. Panasonic develops electronics technologies for the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, enterprise and device industries.