Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Advantages of Epoxy Electrical Feedthroughs Over Glass-to-Metal and Ceramic Seals

epoxy vacuum feedthrough
Epoxy Electrical
Vacuum Feedthrough
Advances in semiconductor and medical device development has continually challenged manufacturing processes in ultra-clean environments. Getting power and control signals into high vacuum chambers has always been difficult. The vacuum seal has to be tight and not allow any contamination so that product quality is maintained.

Historically glass-to-metal seals for wire feedthroughs have been the choice in these industries, but are constrained in size, geometry, flexibility and electro-magnetic shielding. At the same time, semiconductor and medical device equipment have an increasing need for higher power, more control, better monitoring, and increased signal shielding. These ever changing requirements, which push the capability of glass-to-metal seals,  open up opportunity for an alternative technology - epoxy electrical vacuum feedthroughs.

Engineered epoxy electrical feedthroughs offer the best of all technologies. Shapes, angles and curves are not a problem. Virtually any kind of shielded wire or cable can be used and still maintain a tight seal. And as equipment design requirements continue to challenge vacuum seals with space and shielding requirements, the advantages of epoxy vacuum seals look to be a promising solution as the technology itself continues to advance.

While glass-to-metal feedthroughs have advantages in high temperature and corrosive applications, many of todays semiconductor and medical device applications don’t see these conditions. In these lower temperature, and non-corrosive applications, the lower cost, easy prototyping and more flexible design capability of epoxy feedthroughs make them very attractive alternatives.

The epoxy's ability to flow and fill spaces completely make it an excellent choice for any special shapes and sizes a vacuum chamber may require for access.  For the most part, epoxy feedthroughs can be used in most applications where glass-to-metal or ceramic feedthroughs are used (with the exception of temperature and corrosion issues outlined above). In some applications, organics are not allowed, and the epoxy feedthrough would be excluded from these as well.

One additional advantage is that custom epoxy vacuum feedthroughs can be quickly provided in very small quantities for prototyping and R&D.

For more information on epoxy feedthroughs, visit this page.