Once again, since the Dental Division was created, Gabriel Benmayor was present in Expodental 2014 in Madrid, with their wide range of products and new items for the sector.
Aismalibar is pleased to announce they have received UL Certification for their line of Flextherm conformable IMS laminates. Fabricators can now apply to have Flextherm added to their portfolio of approved laminates. The UL Certificate reference is File E47820, Vol. 1
Flextherm is ideal for manufacturing conformable Metal Printed Circuit Boards. It can be bent after production while maintaining the initial dielectric strength in between its conductive layers (Al and Cu). The flexible properties of this material enable it to conform to both the positive and negative radii allowing the product to adapt to the demands of increasingly complex MPCB designs.
AISMALIBAR was one of the first IMS laminate manufacturers in the world and was the first in Europe. AISMALIBAR is proud to introduce their material to the North American market in 2012. Their product IMS Cobritherm ® is a qualified and recognized Insulated Metal Substrate which gives the best thermal management solutions with high thermal conductivity, low thermal impedance and high dielectric capacity. AISMALIBAR has implemented a 100% proof test with 1-3KV (High Pot Test) to all IMS laminates coming out of their plant. This is the only way to insure the dialectrical strength is perfect and that production challenges are detected before PCBs arrive to the end user.
First CSSL lamp using Aismalibar Cobritherm Substrates and Plessey LEDs demonstrated! (February 2013).
Today more and more OEM require global service to the PCB suppliers, due to this demand Gabriel Benmayor sa – Aismalibar decided to have local Inventory and service in Far East. All our Cobritherm and Flextherm line is available from Taiwan including high thermal conductive bond sheets and thin core . From Our Taiwan Branch office we will serve Taiwan and China.
Our new Branch office counts actually with 3 members, all of them highly experienced in the PCB industry and substrates.
SUMMARY : LEDs generate a significant amount of heat as a by-product of the visible light they produce. If not managed properly, this heat can lead to an early demise for some consumer electronics. Insulated metal substrates can help manage this problem and xtend the useful life of products.
Arguably, the invention of incandescent light bulbs in 1879 started a global revolution. Light quickly became a daily necessity and was soon expected when entering a building, when guiding the way on a long journey or when us ing modern conveniences like the flashlight app on a smartphone. As the world has produced more and more light bulbs, their power demands have drastically increased. Energy is becoming more expensive and scarce and the world is looking to energy efficient products to help ease the stress of keeping the lights on. The light bulb has evolved from its incandescent roots through fluorescent adolescence to its current iteration as a mature, environmentally friendly LED. Its power demands have evolved over time, as well. A typical residential LED bulb can use as little as 10% of the power of a traditional incandescent bulb and can last up to 40x longer.
These capabilities make it easy to see why there has been an explosion in LED use over the last few years and why global brands like IKEA have undertaken plans to phase out all non-LED lighting by 2016. With LEDs finding their way into everything from consumer electronics to the neighborhood streetlamp, manufacturers must consider the bad and the good when projecting or guaranteeing the longevity of their products. On one side there is a product that can shine brighter and longer than any traditional bulb, but at the same time these activities cause products to run at a very high temperature, which can create significant challenges for manufacturers. A LED uses only a fraction of the energy it absorbs to create light while converting the rest into heat. This unfortunate by-product must be managed effectively or it will take a destructive toll on the completed product. Heat has become a leading threat to the useful life of LED-based products.
When a consumer purchases a 90” LED television to watch the Superbowl, there is an expectation that it will continue to be the life of the party for years to come. These expectations will continue to rise as consumers invest more and more in premium products such as the forthcoming ultra HD 4K and 8K resolution television technologies (UHDTV). The bar for longevity is also set high for LED-based technologies used in safety-critical equipment. Consumers want peace of mind that automotive headlights will shine from coast to coast when taking the family for a long summer road trip. Government legislation will be sending halogen household bulbs the way of the dodo bird in the very near future. In the United States, light bulbs will be required to be up to 75% more efficient by the end of the decade. This seismic switch will see consumers investing billions of dollars in energy efficient lighting, one bulb at a time. Many of these light bulbs are sold with the expectation to last from 30,000 to as much as 100,000 hours. There is a responsibility on behalf of the manufacturer to keep the lights on for years to come while guiding the world to a more environmentally conscious existence. Super long-lasting LED bulbs are extremely sensitive to heat and without the technology of a sophisticated heatsink, reaching these significant milestones would be impossible. A common design for effectively dealing with the excess heat generated by a LED is to mount it on a metal core printed circuit board (MCPCB or MPCB), which becomes a heatsink.
This design guides the unwanted heat through the metal core of the MCPCB to the metal side where it can be dissipated and left to do no harm. The metal side can also be attached to an additional heatsink if further cooling is required. The PCB design is printed on an insulated metal substrate (IMS) laminate, which consists of a very thin dielectric layer sandwiched between a metal baseplate (generally made of aluminum) and a thin layer of copper. LEDs and other components are only mounted on the thin copper side. IMS materials are also available with a copper baseplate ideal for high power thermal performance. The PCB industry is used to working with FR-4 laminates and may not be aware of some of the behaviours of aluminium- based substrates such as IMS. The operational temperature of an aluminium substrate tends to be very high as electronic designers aim to transfer the heat from the components such as LEDs into the aluminium substrate and use it as a heatsink. Maintaining a proper maximum operating temperature (MOT) of the substrate is very important, especially in the interconnect layer under the heating element. When the substrate is heated past its MOT, degradation of the resin inside the dielectric layer can occur with high risk of dielectric reduction or delamination.
Today the use of LEDs of four or more watts is not uncommon when only a few years ago they would rarely exceed one watt. The increased demands of these high-power LEDs makes keeping the recommended temperature stable (~consider when selecting a laminate is that only manufacturers with more than 10 years of experience in IMS laminates (such as Aismalibar, Bergquist and Denke) can guarantee life of over 60,000 hours, as newer manufacturers have not existed long enough to fully test their material under these conditions. In Figure 2, projections are at 100,000 hours and actual results at 60,000 hours of durability for the dielectric strength. Data was extracted from the tests done by UL for the calculation of the electric RTI of Aismalibar’s Cobrithermand graphics were obtained from UL tests. RTI (relative temperature index) testing has two parts: mechanical and electrical. The RTI electrical test is performed by baking panels to specific temperatures and then running voltage through the copper side of the IMS material. Coupons of the panels are then measured at identified time intervals to record their retention of dielectric properties. Once the test reaches retention below approximately 50%, the test is stopped and the total hours are recorded.
The RTI mechanical test is performed in a very similar way; however, it measures the peel strength at identified time intervals. The UL numbers in Figure 2 show that Aismalibar’s Cobritherm (which the LED lighting across the entire surface of the Torre Agbar Barcelona is mounted on) can stand 100,000 hours at 118°C while keeping 50% of the initial dialectical strength value. The initial dialectic strength of Cobritherm was 10kV. After 100,000 hours it can be seen that Cobritherm will stand. By guaranteeing these values it can be assured that LEDs will dissipate their heat to the aluminium or copper substrate correctly and the IMS material will not be the cause of failure for the LED.
Manufacturers should choose their IMS laminates wisely and look closely at the history of the supplier to ensure the reliability of the material. Only after the technology of the typical LED is broken down can one fully understand the need to move heat effectively and have reliable dielectric strength. When guaranteeing the useful life of your LED product be sure to consider the quality of the IMS material on which it is mounted to ensure the claims on the box match the results the consumer achieves.
“Government legislation will be sending halogen household bulbs the way of the Dodo bird in the very near future. In the United States, light bulbs will be required to be up to 75% more efficient by the end of the decade. This seismic switch will see consumers investing billions of dollars in energy efficient lighting, one bulb at a time.”
Jeff Brandman, president, Aismalibar North America, speaks to I-Connect007 about some of the technology trends affecting the PCB materials industry, and how Aismalibar is addressing these challenges.
What technology challenges are you seeing in markets that you cater to?
Aismalibar is focused on reducing the thermal layers of our substrates in order to improve thermal resistance, without losing focus on insulation. By doing this, the opportunity for electrical failures may increase. These new demands of high-powered applications have challenged laminate manufacturers to produce a perfect product. To counter this challenge, we hi-pot test every piece of laminate that leaves our factory, which guarantees the insulation layer to our customers.
In which end-applications’ segments do you forsee a rising demand for PCBs utilizing your products?
There will be a rising demand from both LED and high-powered power supply manufacturers. Insulated metal substrates are a crucial component in LED manufacturing, and their demand will grow as fast as the LED lighting industry itself. Playing a role in these fast-growing industries is fascinating to watch and be a part of.
How do you select the right material for a particular application?
When selecting a thermal management solution, manufacturers often focus on thermal conductivity but neglect to examine how the thickness of the insulation layer of the material is related to thermal resistance. We emphasize to our customers that the dielectric strength of this insulation layer is key to guarantee the long life of their LED designs.
How can a realistic balance be achieved between functionality, reliability, manufacturability and cost?
This question is a major focus area for Aismalibar. It is our objective to provide thermal management solutions with state-of-the-art technology that will help increase the life of a product while at the same time reducing costs from a design perspective. Our newest product, FLEXTHERM, is a conformable IMS material, which can be shaped to create design solutions that combine several boards into one flexible MPCB.
What are the latest advances in the technology of dielectric materials and copper foils, and how can a PCB designer best exploit them to meet performance demands?
Manufacturers are trying to make the transition from 2D to 3D MPCBs, as LED designs require angled components that improve their light dispersion. Our material opens a world of new possibilities and opportunities for designers. Exciting new 3D projects can now be created that would have been impossible to complete a short time ago.
What about the impact of lead-free soldering in laminates? How did your company address that issue?
Aismalibar manufactures in Europe, where the move to lead-free soldering happened many years ago. We are the first company in the world to launch a CEM1 for lead-free applications and CTI 600. From the time this was implemented for CEM1, all laminates produced by Aismalibar have since fulfilled the lead-free requirements. Our entire Cobritherm IMS range supports leadfree soldering.
Finally, what can you say about how the PCB industry is trending this year?
I believe a portion of the PCB industry that’s left for Asia will begin moving back to Europe and North America. We feel many high-end customers are not satisfied with the performance and reliability of suppliers in the Far East. For these reasons, they are already moving some production back and plan to move more in the near future.