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As use of FAKRA connectors increases, so does need to eliminate blistering

29 August 2019
  • Lennon ChuGlobal Market Development Manager

Connected cars are leading to major opportunities for high-speed data (HSD) connection and FAKRA (Fachkreis Automobil, a German standard) connectors. By 2020, 98% of all cars will be connected to the Internet, and now, on average there are 15 FAKRA/HSD connectors per connected car.   

As the brain of the car, connectors are used to connect coaxial cable to receivers and transceivers located in the vehicle for GPS, satellite radio, cellular communications, and some FM signals. Besides supporting entertainment and communications applications, connectors also play a role in supporting safety applications.

Image Source: Amphenol RF Automotive Solutions Report

FAKRA connectors offer less complexity

There is an increasing demand for high performance plastics to make the connectors because there are many applications FAKRA and HSD connectors are used for. But there is a difference between FAKRA and HSD connectors. FAKRA connectors show less complexity in geometry and pin counts but require reflow soldering for the receptacle side which is similar to HSD connectors.

As you can see (below), the FAKRA connector has less complex geometry and is easier to produce, which is why the use of FAKRA connectors is expected to grow.

Image Source: Amphenol RF Automotive Solutions Report

Eliminating blistering

It is vital to eliminate the risk of blistering during the reflow assembly process. Blistering is a problem associated with normal high-temperature polyamides—the most commonly used polymers for connectors suitable for reflow assembly. It is the result of moisture quickly turning into steam in a part. The steam is unable to escape when the part is exposed to a high temperature—in reflow soldering ovens, temperatures can reach more than 260°C.

If not detected, blisters on connectors often causes assembly issues and they compromise mechanical performance. Also, the entire board is usually scrapped when blistering is detected before the final assembly. However, there is a material that will decrease blistering.  

Game changing PPA

ForTii Ace—a material with the highest reliability and signal integrity in FAKRA and HSD connectors—has secured, in all product designs, the JEDEC MSL 1 (moisture sensitivity level 1) rating. When using ForTii Ace, connector and component designers can be confident they are using a material that reaches MSL 1 in all thickness and is robust mechanically. With ForTii Ace there is no need to be concerned about blistering during assembly, even after a long shelf time. ForTii Ace JTX8 is blister free for even the most challenging design in the worst assembly environment, even up to 50% regrind.

The material also offers color stability— FAKRA connectors are coded a specific color based on function and ForTii Ace JTX8 has superb color stability after reflow soldering. It is mechanically robust with a high modulus/strength at 160°C.

ForTii Ace JTX8 has superb color stability after reflow soldering—there is minimal discoloration versus PPAs.

ForTii Ace JTX8 has the Tg of 160°C, high cut without a heat stabilizer and 28% higher mechanical retention after insertion (plug-in) than other PPAs. It shows highest retention force after insertion compared to PA6T and PA9T.

All ForTii grades are kind to the environment. DSM offers a full portfolio of halogen-free, flame retardant materials that help you meet the growing need to consider product lifecycle assessments and its wider effect on the planet.

To learn more about ForTii Ace, or to request test samples, contact us or visit plasticsfinder.com for additional information, including technical data sheets.

    

ForTii Ace: The game changer in metal replacement

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