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What is Isola PCB?
As the name implies, Isola PCB is a circuit board made of Isola materials. By the way, Isola is a company specializing in manufacturing and designing advanced material solutions for the electronics industry. Isola printed circuits offer superior performance and reliability compared to other PCBs due to their unique combination of Isola’s innovative, high-performance materials and advanced production processes. Isola PCBs are designed to meet the needs of various applications, including high-speed telecommunications and industrial instrumentation. Although, like many other materials, Isola material also has many models. We will introduce a few models to you to let you know the characteristics of Isola material and the PCB it makes.
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Introduction of some types Isola material
Isola is famous for the production of high-performance laminate for printed circuit boards, especially for very low-loss material, such as IS410, FR408, 370HR, IS550H, FR408HR, I-SPEED®, TACHYON® 100G, ASTRA® MT77. Here we would like to introduce a few normally used types.
370HR laminate is a fabrication by high-performance TG180 FR-4 multifunctional epoxy resin. This material is a unique design for Multilayer PCB (high-speed PCB ) applications that requires large heat dissipation performance, reliability and CAF resistance. This material has excellent thermal performance, and the thermal expansion coefficient ( CTE ) is very low. Its machinery, chemistry and moisture-proof performance reach and transcend the traditional FR-4 material.
370HR laminate is used in thousands of PCB designs. It was proven to be the best of the same level material in thermal reliability, CAF performance, easy processing and reliability of sequential lamination design.
Advantages of Astra MT77 Material
We will need to adjust the PCB lamination to meet the impedance requirement. The same infiltration layer can use 3 PP in actual production, and the biggest thickness can not be over 20 mils. If this data is, we should consider adding core ( copper-clad laminates ) for the production.
You can etch away both side copper of the core or use the raw material directly, then both sides use PP adhesion, which can realize the thicker infiltration layer; And also can use one PP at least, but sometimes the inner copper foil is sparsely distributed, or the finished copper is too thick, will need to large area rubber filling, so in consideration of product reliability, the manufacturer requires that at least two PP sheets be used.
PP are very sensitive to moisture, so the PP is forbidden to open the package before use. After opening the package, you need to check the humidity indicator card. If the colour becomes pink from blue, advise not to use it. Those PP who had opened the package will need moisture absorption over 8 hours in the hygroscopic vacuum machine before use.
It is recommended to store PP at a temperature below 20°C and humidity below 50%. Under such conditions, the storage period can be guaranteed 90 days from the production date.
Isola Halogen-Free Material
Now let’s take a glimpse at the following steps of the manufacturing processes of Isola Halogen-Free Material.
Isola PCB Material Used in the Field of Next Work and Communication Application
Of course, other materials are suitable for the next work and communication applications. We want to introduce some to you, as below:
High speed Pyralux TK material: High speed Pyralux TK material are mainly use in high frequency applications. The copper-clad adhesive layer and laminate of this material are usually double-sided. An adhesive layer in the material will help protect them from the adverse environment and provide excellent electrical insulation. Fluoropolymers and polyimides are used to make primary composites materials. TK material are special design for flexible digital PCB, the advantages of this material are low moisture absorption, better flexibility and low dielectric constant.
Polyimide material: Polyimide material is another one of the most commonly used PCBs for network and communication. The main advantage of this material are have excellent thermal stability. This advantage makes the material stand highly high heat in some applications. Furthermore, it is known that the PCB using polyimide provides a good foundation for surface mounting. In addition, it is an economics high efficient material choice for PCB.
Alternative Materials for Isola Materials in PCB Production
A. Manufacturability B. Timely availability of materials, C. Cost factor D. Applicability of laws and regulations From above factors specifically involve a few parts as below:
Now we will talk about the materials that can replace Isola material when PCB production based on the above specifically factors, which will be helpful for you to select materials or when materials are in shortage.
S1141: phase out.
S1170: Now are the Mainstream use TG 170-180 materials.
S1000-2: High Td TG 170-180 materials, further upgrade of S1170.
IT180: Performance close to S1000-2.
N4000-6: product of NELCO company, performance close to S1141 170.
The TG of all the above materials is TG 170 to TG 180. Therefore, they all can be replaced by S1170.
PCL-370HR: Tg 175 ; Td 350 ℃; Z-CTE ( 50-260℃ ): 2.7%;Dk ( 1MHZ ): 4.6; Df ( 1MHZ ): 0.015.
S1170: Tg170; Td 335 ℃; Z-CTE ( 50-260℃ ): 3.3%; Dk ( 1MHZ ): 4.6; Df ( 1MHZ ): 0.012.
Both materials are suitable for lead-free soldering technology. The Tg difference is 5℃. The thermal decomposition temperature meets the requirements of IPC lead-free welding process materials. The expansion coefficient of the z-axis is also close. DK and DF are close. Therefore, the overall performance is close and can be replaced without any negative impact.
But the procurement lead time of PCL-370HR will be around two weeks, and the material cost is almost double S1170.
1) Isola FR408 : Dk=3.7 Df=0.010 Tg=180℃ 2) Isola Getek: Dk=3.9 Df=0.010 Tg=180℃ 3) Nelco N4000-13: Dk=3.7 Df=0.009 Tg=210℃ 4) Nelco N4000-13SI: Dk=3.4 Df=0.008 Tg=210℃ 5) Isola IS620: Dk=3.4 Df=0.008 Tg=210℃
And all the above materials have similar Dk and Df values, so they all can be replaced by substitute Nelco N4000-13.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Isola PCBs are circuit boards made up of insulated material, usually either fibreglass, ceramic, or a combination of both, such as
IS410, FR408, 370HR, IS550H, FR408HR, I-SPEED®, TACHYON® 100G, ASTRA® MT77, etc.
The following shows different kinds of Isola PCBs.
1) standard FR4 Isola PCBs
2) Isola polyimide PCBs
3) Isola laminates for high-speed applications
4) Isola RF laminates for wireless communications
The number of layers an Isola PCB possesses depends on the circuit board’s complexity and design, ranging from one layer to forty layers and above.
Isola PCBs can be constructed in various ways depending on the specific application and its requirements. However, the most common form of Isola PCB construction involves building thin layers of Isola material and adding copper to the top, bottom, and inner layers.
Both materials are high-reliability epoxy laminate, and most parameters are similar. 370HR has peel rtrength of 1.14 (6.5), but 185HR has peel rtrength of >0.79 (>4.5).
PCB manufacturers will perform the following testing methods on Isola PCB.
1) Electrical Test
2) Automated Optical Inspection
3) E-Testing for Open and Short
4) In-circuit Testing
5) Functional Testing
6) TDR Impedance test
7) Hi Potential Testing (Hi Pot PCB Testing)
8) Solderability Test
9) Thermal Test
10) Tape Test (adhesion test)
11) Peel Test (conductor peel strength)
12) Ionic Contamination Test
Isola PCBs use an “additive” mechanism and a “barrier” mechanism, which provides multiple levels of protection against flames.
These two kinds of PCBs differ from each other in many aspects. The are PCBs produced by different materials from two different companies.
For example, different materials are used to manufacture them. Isola PCB is mainly made of fibreglass-reinforced polyimide and copper foil laminate, while Rogers PCB typically uses a combination of ceramic-filled polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and copper foil.
The following factors affect an Isola PCB’s dielectric constant and dissipation factor.
1) The type of the Isola material used in the circuit board;
2) The PCB stack-up structure, copper thickness, dielectric thickness and copper trace width/space;
3) The temperature at which the Isola PCB is operated;
4) The frequency at which data is transmitted.
The most effective way to find Isola PCB manufacturers is by looking online. You can search for them by entering keywords like “Isola PCB manufacturers” in the Google search engine. Google will present the relevant pages. And Viasion is one the best Isola PCB manufacturers in China.