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Henkel Adhesive Technologies

Henkel Adhesive Technologies

Improving thermal management in circuit assembly with film adhesives

Commercial and defense radar systems have become much more advanced over the past decade, resulting in smaller and more highly functionalized components. This increase in functionality and power generates more heat than ever and must be managed for proper operation of the radar system.
This image shows the circuit board radar assembly with film in it.

Customer challenge

  • Excessive heat generation from high powered circuit assembly modules can cause material, component and substrate degradation at both the micro and macro levels leading to system failure.
  • Complex circuit boards with different size components and cut-outs make it difficult to evenly manage heat removal across a circuit board.
  • Varying expansion rates of components and circuit board as well as uneven circuit boards can make it difficult to evenly apply adhesive.

Henkel solution

Henkel’s Technical Service Engineers engaged with the customer to review the application, manufacturing process and limitations, as well as the challenges facing the customer. Henkel’s assembly film was formulated exactly for these challenges.

  • LOCTITE® ABLESTIK CF3350 was recommended as it is a silver filled epoxy film which Henkel will custom cut to exactly align with the customer specification. CF3350 provides excellent thermal conductivity and being provided in a custom cut preform, provides exactly the amount of thermal management where it is needed.
  • LOCTITE® ABLESTIK ECF561E was also recommended for the assemblies with large expansion rate differentials. ECF561E is a low modulus film adhesive, providing excellent thermal conductivity, and is able to compensate for the varying expansion rates.

Key results

The customer qualified both the LOCTITE® ABLESTIK CF3350 and ECF561E assembly film adhesives for use on their various electronic circuit assemblies. These solutions provided benefits for the customer including:

  • The thermal conductivity of the assembly film adhesives enabled the customer to better manage the unwanted heat being generated from the high powered devices resulting in a lower rejection rate.
  • Custom cut film preforms was a massive benefit for the customer eliminating waste compared with liquid solutions plus the preforms delivered exactly the right amount of material precisely where it was needed.

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This image shows the circuit board radar assembly with film in it.