June 2004
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In response to the growing pressure of protecting the environment and meeting challenging new processing requirements, Shoei Co. Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan has replaced PPS with high-temperature resistant VICTREX® PEEK™ polymer for the resin mold cases of its PetitCap aluminum electrolytic capacitor. Soldered onto the surface of a printed circuit board, the low-profile capacitors are used in consumer electronic products such as notebook PCs, DVD players, and CD-R/W drives. According to Victrex USA, Inc., the manufacturer of PEEK, the problem with a conventional solder is that it contains lead, which impacts the disposal and recycling of electronic products. Victrex says that the semiconductor industry is transitioning to lead-free soldering at an accelerated pace to avoid contaminating the environment. When compared to a conventional solder, which has a processing temperature of approximately 482°F (250°C), Victrex says that lead-free alternatives require longer heating times (preheating and reflow) at temperatures exceeding 500°F (260°C). The total quantity of heat which mounting parts receive during a lead-free soldering process is said to be twice that with conventional soldering. As a result, greater heat resistance is required for the material in the resin mold cases. According to the supplier, its PEEK polymer has a heat-resistant temperature of up to 600°F (315°C).

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