Kapton: Advanced Polyimide Material for Labeling on Circuit Boards
Over a series of posts, we’ll be covering three examples of advanced labeling and adhesive tools and applications. Using these advanced methods, companies can improve reliability in their warehouse operations with specialty adhesive, security and performance in their assets with polyimide for labeling, and security in data transfer with RFID labeling. Let’s get started.
Circuit boards often face some of the harshest temperatures and conditions out there. The high heat produced by electrical currents poses risks to improperly manufactured items, which could cause them to overheat or even explode if the wrong materials are used as part of the circuit board — including within the label.
Barcode labels are typically attached to printed circuit boards midway through the manufacturing process. This ensures quick, reliable, automated identification and facilitates an efficient production process. But high heat, vibration, and chemical exposure are realities of circuit board manufacturing, making for a hazardous environment for the labels, which can easily warp, adversely interact with chemicals, or fall off altogether if they are not created with the right material.
Stick with What Works
Kapton, an advanced polyimide for labeling material, is an ideal solution to the demand for reliable labeling in challenging environments. It’s been around since the 1960s and has been used on such things as space suits and satellites because of its durability and reliability. Not to mention its heat tolerance.
Kapton polyimide film is a highly versatile material that is able to withstand extreme conditions to provide reliable circuit board labeling every time.
Circuit board labels are usually limited to a tiny quarter-inch square. For a two-dimensional barcode to be read effectively on such a small scale, it is essential that the label material allows for high-resolution imaging.
And the image cannot smudge or become distorted during the manufacturing process, which requires the use of a material that can withstand the chemicals used to clean the circuit boards prior to final assembly. Kapton allows for a crisp image that will last through prolonged contact with any type of chemical, as there are no known organic solvents that will affect this material.
Taking the Heat
Heat exposure is an ongoing risk in circuit board manufacturing, where temperatures can reach upwards of 400° F or higher. Polyimide for labeling like Kapton can be safely exposed to temperatures from 500 to 1,000° F, depending on the application process, with no effect on the appearance or performance of the label. Kapton is also flame-retardant, for good measure.
Because Kapton is a specialty material, working with it requires a certain degree of expertise. TRG has a wide range of Kapton label sizes available, allowing customization for a variety of needs. Contact us to learn more about Kapton polyimide for labeling and other specialty products.