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68 The PCB Magazine • March 2016 optimum running conditions are shown in Fig- ure 19. The substrate list included PI materials from suppliers such as Thinflex, Doosan, Du- Pont, and Shenyi. Due to confidentiality, exact product name/number has been omitted here. It is clear from Figure 19 that the LCG result varies depending on the PI substrate tested, but the new conditioner has excellent LCG values indicating fast plating times. Out of the 14 different types of substrate tested, seven were further tested for through- hole coverage (10–16). These seven substrates included materials from ThinFlex, Doosan and Shenyi. The results are shown in Figure 20. As it can be seen from this graph, the new condition- er provided excellent through-hole coverage for all seven substrates. Conclusion A novel, one-step conditioning system for the pretreatment of drilled flexible printed cir- cuits has been developed for direct metalliza- tion utilizing the DMS-E process. The new con- ditioning system uses an alkaline solution of wetter, reducing agent and sweller. The system operates effectively at a lower operating temper- ature for most of the PI substrates tested in this Figure 18: AnoVA Tables for lCG growth. Table 5: Typical set up for the optimized condi- tioner system. direCt metallization system for flexible printed CirCuits

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