Myrtle Beach, S.C. Driven by demands from the automotive industry for more robust and more reliable components, AVX has developed FlexiTerm, a soft termination system that allows almost three times the amount of board flexure when compared to standard termination systems. Further enhancing the capabilities of a standard MLCC, FlexiTerm was developed as an additional flexible termination layer added to the component to ensure electrical integrity is maintained when external forces are applied. This new high conductivity termination material was added to the AVX standard X7R dielectric ceramic capacitor to prevent failures in the system due to cracking.
AVX offers a guaranteed minimum flexure of 5mm, without internal cracks, versus the industry standard of 2mm. In addition, FlexiTerm can achieve 3000 temperature cycles as compared to the industry standard of just 1000 cycles.
"FlexiTerm is designed so that the capacitors will not crack under most extreme environmental conditions," said Mark Obuszewski, AVX product manager. "However, in the rare scenario where a board may flex beyond 5 mm, FlexiTerm is designed so if there were to be a failure, it would be in the termination area and in open mode. This is especially important on power lines where failure could involve fire damage due to short circuit. With FlexiTerm, the open circuit occurs in a small area of the termination meaning little or no degradation to the capacitor's performance."
The ruggedness of FlexiTerm makes it an ideal choice for applications such as depanelization in high flexure stress circuit boards, variable temperature applications and automotive applications. Fractures in MLCC components most often occur as a direct consequence of flexing the PCB where the component is attached. In the worst case, a low resistance fracture failure can lead to extremely high temperatures when the component is connected to a power line and due to ample current supply, could result in damage to the circuit board.
FlexiTerm's flexible termination comprises a conductive polymer used in conjunction with Base Metal Electrode (BME) technology. The conductive polymer coats a copper termination that is then plated with nickel and tin.
Resistance to mechanical failure can be attributed to FlexiTerm's ability to reduce the transfer of mechanical stress exerted on the component body. FlexiTerm is available in 0603 to 1812 case sizes, with voltages ranging from 6.3V to 100V.
Pricing for the FlexiTerm capacitor (part number 0603YC104MAZ2A) starts at $0.012 in quantities of 100,000.