What are the important considerations for drying 20um LTCC?
A good furnace is crucial for the drying of LTCC (Low-Temperature Co-fired Ceramic) due to the delicate nature of the material. LTCC is a type of ceramic material used in electronics manufacturing, and it consists of multiple layers of conductors, resistors, and dielectrics. The drying process involves removing any moisture or solvents from the LTCC material, which is critical for achieving optimal electrical properties and preventing cracking or warping of the material.
Even though most decent belt furnace companies claim to have a temperature uniformity rating(at RT) of +/-1 to +/-5°C, it can still be challenging to maintain a temperature within +/-3°C at the desired temperature (e.g., 150°C).
Drying temperature uniformity is a critical factor that can significantly impact the quality of LTCC drying. If the drying temperature is too high in certain areas of the LTCC layer, those areas can dry too quickly and shrink more than other areas, resulting in cracks and deformations. Conversely, if the temperature is too low, moisture will not be effectively removed, leading to insufficient drying, which can lead to weak or cracked structures.
Due to the binder inside LTCC, different gas intake rates should be considered compared to traditional thick film. If a belt furnace is placed in a cleanroom, it's better to add an extra gas intake/exhaust system. Otherwise, if the product has a large amount of outgassing or a strong odor.
A well-designed furnace should also minimize contamination and particle generation to ensure the LTCC material stays clean and pure.
Finally, a good furnace should be easy to operate and maintain, with features like automatic temperature control, data logging, routine cleaning, and alarm systems. These features ensure stable and consistent LTCC drying results.
In conclusion, investing in a good furnace for LTCC drying is essential to achieving high-quality results. Temperature uniformity, gas intake, atmosphere control, and contamination prevention are all critical factors to consider when choosing a furnace for LTCC drying. Additionally, ease of operation and maintenance is crucial for ensuring consistent and reliable results. By selecting a high-quality furnace with the necessary features and capabilities, manufacturers can ensure optimal LTCC performance and avoid costly errors, defects, and rework.
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