Abstract

A time delayed dielectric breakdown in printed circuit boards, operating at temperatures below the epoxy resin insulation thermo-electrical limits, is reported. The safe temperature-voltage operating regime was estimated and related to the glass-rubber transition (To) of printed circuit board dielectric. The TG was measured using DSC and compared with that determined from electrical conductivity of the laminate in the glassy and rubbery state. A failure model was developed and fitted to the experimental data matching a localized thermal degradation of the dielectric and time dependency. The model is based on localized heating of an insulation resistance defect that under certain voltage bias can exceed the TG, thus, initiating thermal degradation of the resin. The model agrees well with the experimental data and indicates that the failure rate and truncation time beyond which the probability of failure becomes insignificant, decreases with increasing glassrubber transition temperature.

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