Overview: Why is spread glass popular? What can you use instead of FR4? Listen and learn from industry veteran Chris Hunrath, who joins us from the San Jose Insulectro facility for a deep dive into what material sets are used in printed circuit board assembly and manufacturing. Get expert insights and learn about new materials on the market to help with your PCB design before going to fabrication and assembly.
- What is Insulectro? Operating for over 50 years, Insulectro provides materials for electronics, everything from laminates, prepregs, flex materials, copper foils, conductive inks, substrates, process chemistries, imaging materials and lamination materials. With 11 stocking locations, the newest in Toronto and 9 branches, Insulectro is a leader in providing electronic materials to industry.
- Prepregs - 175 different types to cut from in San Jose facility alone!
- Spread glass is becoming more popular - electrical and fabrication benefits because it is more electrically uniform. No open areas, the filaments are spread across (aka fanned out or mechanically spread) and this has signal benefits especially for differential pairs. Better from a drilling standpoint too.
- New materials are gaining traction - with low loss that laminate at normal temperatures
- Insulectro distributes for both Isola and DuPont
- Isola’s line-up of high-speed, low-loss material sets - Isola has a suite of laminates that are low loss, some of them with DKs close to the teflon range and they laminate at the normal temperatures which makes a composite build much simpler.
- Low-loss, low-Dk materials that can help with their signal integrity requirements
- I-Speed® - Low loss system, not as cheap as FR4 but its close and could be a good next step for people looking to upgrade material
- Having the right material set for a design is critical
- Challenges are more often in the fabrication than the design
- Copper is a really good moisture barrier, you have to bake the parts prior to assembly.
- I’ve seen people underestimate the baking and end up with scrap. Moisture is avoidable.
- Bonus Material: In Designer's After Hours, Chris Hunrath shares what kind of electric creatures lurk in La Jolla!!
Links and Resources:
Chris Hunrath on Linkedin
Understanding Glass Fabric by Isola Group