370HR (High-Tg, Lead-Free)
Product designers and PCB fabricators have been compelled to specify and use lead-free soldering alloys in response to increasing pressures from consumers and regulators for products that are environmentally friendly. These lead-free alloys require soldering temperatures significantly higher than the temperatures required for lead-containing alloys; accordingly, the laminate industry had to develop laminates capable of withstanding the higher temperatures required for lead-free soldering. Although the laminate industry responded with products to meet the higher processing temperatures, these new products introduced additional problems, including greater thermal expansion and laminate surfaces denser and more difficult for PCB fabricators to drill and process. It was clear that a new lead-free compatible laminate product was needed to address these attendant issues
Isola’s R&D staff developed a new, patented filler technology that significantly lowered the thermal expansion and improved the physical processing attributes of the laminate. This technology was introduced as Isola’s 370HR product. It was the first High-Tg, Lead-Free product to offer superior performance and reliability, which provides a compelling value proposition to OEMs and PCB fabricators.
Today, we believe that the 370HR is acknowledged as the “best in class” lead-free compatible product for high-reliability applications across the telecommunications and high-end automotive markets. Isola has the leading market position in the High-Tg, Lead-Free segment and enjoys numerous OEM design approvals for such products. Anticipating customer needs, we were able to gain a “first mover” advantage over our competition, and our continuing development efforts have allowed us to maintain our leadership position in this important market segment.
FR408HR (High-Speed, High-Tg, Lead-Free)
The rapid growth of smart phones and other mobile devices, the increased use of social media and the expansion of cloud computing have required equipment designers to develop servers, routers and other infrastructure hardware capable of operating at ever-higher speeds. Additionally, in response to mounting environmental concerns, the components of these devices have also needed to be lead-free.
PCB fabricators needed a high-performance but cost-effective laminate that would be compatible with existing manufacturing processes, handle the transition to lead- free soldering, and allow for low-loss signal transmission– all at a reasonable price.
Isola’s R&D began to address this industry-wide issue early in 2008, initially using modeling and simulation techniques to determine the efficacy of various potential formulations. A promising materials solution was developed within three months, and prototypes were field-tested in collaboration with several PCB fabricators. The successful results were presented to OEMs just weeks thereafter. Isola went from concept to market introduction of the industry’s first, and now leading, lead-free compatible, high-speed and low-loss laminate in less than six months.
Today, FR408HR products are used by most of the major high-end global PCB fabricators and are designed into several key OEM product lines. The FR408HR is an important addition to our portfolio of high-speed digital products, which has grown significantly over the last five years by understanding the needs of our customers and developing innovative products in response.