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Keywords: hydrophobic selaing material, electrica feedthru connector package, moisture rich harsh environment
Highly hydrophobic sealing material is a critical electrical insulation element for making an electrical feedthru connector for long-term protecting the integrated electronic devices and components from external moisture ingress. In particular, the conductive moisture and water/ steam can cause a short circuit in the electronic package and control system, if it will be used in in the steam turbine, nuclear reactor vessel, downhole, and downhole harsh environments. For most of dielectric sealing materials used in hermetic seal industry, such as glass, ceramic or glass-ceramic, may exhibit high mechanical strength that enables an electrical feedthru connector package to survive even at high temperature and high pressure condition as seen from downhole and geothermal wellbores. But the hermeticity could fail in the moisture-rich or damping environment because of insufficient electrical insulation by the absorption or ingress of the conductive even corrosive water fluid. It is desirable to have a hydrophobic sealing material for making moisture-insensitive or water-proof seals for being used in any environment where the moisture is primary concern. This presentation will report on a new-generation sealing material that provides not only high mechanical bonding strength but also of high moisture-resistant or hydrophobicity for next-generation electrical feedthru connector packages. The hydrophobic sealing material is a multi-component system with xH3BO3-yBi2O3-(1-x-y-z-e )MO-zSiO2-eREO platform, where MO=TiO2, BaO, ZnO, Fe2O3, and REO represents rare earth oxides by a high-temperature melting, sintering, and firing process [1-3]. The material properties have shown that a sealing material is very likely of hydrophilic properties in its amorphous phase, while a sealing material is very likely of hydrophobic properties if it has covalent bond tetragonal phase, and a mixed phase consisting of monoclinic and tetragonal structures may show moisture-resistant properties. A 1-100 hour boiling water test has verified hydrophobic behavior of the sealing material from single-pin based electrical connector prototypes, where the electrical insulation resistance measurement has shown positive time-dependent response and better than 100 Tohm insulation resistance. Further evaluations have been conducted in the 200C and 30,000PSI water/steam simulated HPHT downhole condition with water/steam as testing fluid. The experimental data have demonstrated its insulation resistance up to 300 Gohm.
Hua Xia, Chief Scientist
Hermetic Solutions Group, LLC (USA)
Tinton Falls, NJ

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