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Page 48 of 131

MAY 2019 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 49 as rolled annealed (RA) copper, but it's hard to go to Design- Con lately without a paper on copper foil roughness because it is a concern. We've seen it ourselves, and our product has been testing with various coppers up to very high frequencies. Companies are con- tinuing to look at the possibility of mak- ing copper even bet- ter than it is now. And if so, what can be done? Companies are also considering oxide treatments be- cause we can make a beautiful copper foil, but it could be ruined by the oxide process needed for the multilayer lamination process. And as far as availability goes, I haven't heard about any shortages in the electronics industry lately. However, if business started booming again suddenly in electronics, there would be a possibility of another shortage. This shortage may be more about the impact the lithium-ion battery market is having on the global copper supply. I know that in the U.S., more copper foil is being sold for battery purposes with de- mand continuing to grow. There's more copper processed in Tesla's Gigafactory than there is in all of the electronics made in the U.S. Thus, battery production and the battery market has taken up a lot of the capacity for copper foil. Major copper manufacturers are looking at bringing on additional capacity, but with the types of plating drums they require, there are only so many companies that can make them. Goldman: The whole lithium battery thing just keeps getting bigger and bigger, but there's on- ly so much capacity out there, and it cannot increase very rapidly. Andresakis: Correct. Goldman: I'm guessing that all of your lami- nate and materials teams are trying to get their hands on as much copper as possible. Andresakis: Most of the major laminate suppli- ers have a good relationship with the copper suppliers, so everyone is working on it. The only good thing is the copper weights used for batteries are usually a lot lighter than for cir- cuit boards. They can crank out more area for battery foil with the same drum. They often use just 7–9-micron copper thicknesses, but sometimes go up to 18 microns. Most PCBs use 18–70-micron copper. Matties: This has been great. Thank you so much for all of the information. Andresakis: You are welcome. We appreciate the opportunity. We would also like to invite those interested in seeing examples of our ma- terials in action to come to our new Innovation Center located at our Silicon Valley Technology Center in Sunnyvale, California. Weldon: Thank you for your interest and your time. PCB007 Tesla battery pack with a protective plastic cover over it (the shiny black hard cover has either been removed or not yet installed). You can see some of the internal structure with large blocks of lithium cells. (Source: Windell H. Oskay, evilmadscientist.com)

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