DTI funds high-temperature packaging research

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Edited by the Electronicstalk editorial team Apr 19, 2007

The Uptemp project has been formed with support from a GBP 192,000 grant from the Technology Programme.

The Technology Programme led by the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is supporting a new initiative to develop high temperature electronics packaging solutions for down-well and aero engine applications.

There is a growing desire to install electronic power and control systems in high temperature environments in order to improve the accuracy of critical measurements and reduce the cost of cabling from remote and hostile locations.

Typical environments include down-hole petroleum/gas/geothermal applications as well as turbine engines for aircraft propulsion and power generation.

This requirement has posed a challenge to the traditional limit of 125C for high temperature exposure of electronics systems.

Operating temperatures above 200C - which are typical of these types of application - in combination with high pressures, vibrations and potentially corrosive environments mean that different semiconductors, passive components, circuit boards and assembly processes will be needed to fulfil the target performance specifications.

In order to address this challenge, the Uptemp project has been formed with support from a GBP 192,000 grant from the Technology Programme.

The project brings together Oxford University's Materials Department, the leading UK high temperature electronics research centre which is funded directly by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), with a consortium of end-users.

The consortium consists of Sondex Wireline (representing down-well applications), Vibro-Meter UK (representing aero engine applications), electronics module manufacturer Micro Circuit Engineering and materials suppliers Thermastrate and Gwent Electronic Materials.

The Uptemp project aims to demonstrate electronic packaging/assembly materials and processes for long term operation at temperatures up to 250C on a representative circuit used in down-hole and aero engine applications.

The project programme includes reliability analysis of the materials and processes.

Welcoming the new partnership, science and innovation minister Malcolm Wicks MP said: "The UK has a proud history of innovation in science and technology".

"We believe that we must work with industry to develop the marketable products and services of tomorrow, so that we can maintain our position as a leading global economy".

"That's why we're supporting this project to develop electronic packaging solutions for use at high temperatures".

"It provides a great opportunity to harness the UK's world-class expertise".

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