Power Electronics

Dow Corning aims silicone gel at automotive apps

A new thixotropic dielectric silicone gel from Dow Corning Corp. can be used to form high-density, multilayer interconnects capable of withstanding high temperatures and high rates of acceleration, thus it can protect sensitive power devices used in automotive applications, according to the company.

Tom Cook, Dow Corning’s global industry executive director, said the new material, DOW CORNING EG-3000 silicone gel, targets the growing number of automotive electronics manufacturers who are adopting hybrid circuit designs that must be sealed and protected from harsh, under-the-hood conditions. The gel's hybrid low-temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC)-based technology enables circuit modules to be made smaller and lighter, and allows multiple layers of circuitry to be stacked upon each other to achieve higher densities than possible with traditional PC board modules.

Cook added that significant cost savings result from the gel’s ability to fully encapsulate individual components without having to cover the entire electronics module housing. “By using this gel, electronics manufacturers can reduce their material consumption by 30% to 40% per module, compared to other non-thixotropic dielectric gels on the market today,” he said, adding that the gel also offers the physical and electrical stability required to withstand harsh engine compartment conditions, such as vibrations and temperature extremes.

"Hybrid circuits are smaller and offer higher performance than conventional circuit technology, allowing manufacturers to pack more electronic components into today's automotive designs," he said. "What our customers need now are material and manufacturing innovations that will help drive down the cost of this new technology."

The low-volatility material is compatible with automated dispensing equipment.

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