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Electrically and Thermally Conductive Adhesives for Automotive Electronics
Keywords: electrically conductive adhesives, thermally conductive adhesives, thermal interface materials
Electrically and thermally conductive adhesives have been used in automotive electronics for many years. Hybrid applications of Electronic control units are often assembled using electrically conductive adhesives (ECA) for component attached to the ceramic board which is then attached to a heat sink with a thermally conductive adhesive. The major limitation of ECA has been instability on common electronic metals such as copper and tin and therefore requires the use of expensive noble metal finished components. The on-going demand for size reduction and cost pressure on automotive electronics drives the development of new high performance adhesive materials for these applications. Enabling the use of tin finished components provides the opportunity for substantial cost savings. Improved thermal interface materials enable size reduction and increased performance of heat generating components. The unstable contact resistance of ECA on copper and tin is due to electrochemical corrosion of these metals under elevated temperature and humidity conditions. The moisture allows for the completion of the galvanic cell, which then causes the anode or lower electrochemical potential metal (copper, tin or lead) to corrode. The oxide formed during this process is non-conductive and creates a dielectric layer between the adhesive and metal. Based on the above fundamental understandings, Emerson & Cuming has developed new formulas which exhibit exceptional electrical and mechanical stability on previously unstable metals. Thermal interface materials are typically polymeric matrices loaded with high conductive particulates. In contrast to the electrical conductivity, the concentration dependence of thermal conductivity shows no jump in the percolation threshold region. Understanding the factors influencing the packing density and the heat transport, Emerson & Cuming has developed a number of materials exhibiting high thermal conductivity. The presentation will introduce the newest technologies and advanced performance capabilities of electrically conductive adhesives and thermally conductive adhesives for automotive electronics.
Gunther Dreezen, Market Manager, Automotive
Emerson & Cuming
Orange Park, FL

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