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DSM in Electrical & Electronics

Competence: Tracking resistance evaluation

Safety is a number one priority for electrical and electronic devices, which is why there are material standards in place. Comparative Tracking Index (CTI) testing is an important tool for guaranteeing that electronic and electrical products that enter the market are indeed safe. At DSM, not only are we at the forefront of evaluating tracking resistance with CTI testing, but our own products have the benefit of having our expertise embedded within them.

What is CTI?

Comparative Tracking Index (CTI) is the measure of the ability of the laminate surface of a printed circuit board to withstand tracking across two electrodes (or short circuiting) when an electrolyte is dropped between them. In short, it tracks when the resistance of insulator plastic breaks down due to environmental factors such as moisture, steam, sweat, and various types of particles. This makes it possible to accurately provide safety assessments for insulating materials, which ultimately prevents connectors from short-circuiting.

Why CTI?

At DSM, our extensive knowledge of materials, chemistry, and physics enables us to develop the right materials – and know how to test them. As a result of cases where mobile devices have caught fire during charging, we are currently focusing our expertise on the new USB Type-C. Compared to earlier connectors, the USB Type-C has both an increased voltage and a smaller pitch. Our knowledge of tracking resistance and CTI testing is now being put to use to develop the safest materials for this new type of component.

Embedded expertise

At DSM, , our expertise in other electronic applications – such as white goods connectors – has given us extensive CTI testing and valuation knowledge and experience. We know everything there is to know about it, which is clearly demonstrated in our own products. Our insights have enabled us to fine-tune our own components for the electronics industry in terms of safety. Although they may cease to function when exposed to certain environmental factors, they will not short-circuit.

We believe that wherever our products are, people should be able to rely on them – and us. We’re committed to improving processes, as well as solving long-term issues with long-term solutions. That’s why both our in-house CTI testing facility and our vast knowledge are available at all times to support the customers that we partner with in their own application development.

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