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Ultra-high Temperature Capacitors: World Markets, Technologies and Opportunities: 2016

Date: 2016-04-29
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    Forecast changes in temperature requirements in defense and downhole pump electronics have challenged the capacitor industry to produce new products that can operate in exceedingly higher temperatures for longer time periods of time. For years the operating temperature and available capacitance values of competing high temperature dielectrics was limited to about 200 °C and picofarad levels of capacitance. There was also the added problem of limited volumetric efficiency of the capacitors being consumed. Therefore, the trend has been to increase the operating temperature of the capacitors competing in the space, to increase the available capacitance values of the capacitors competing in the space, and to expand the product offering with respect to capacitor case size, configuration and performance for extended periods of time at such high temperatures. Multiple dielectrics are now employed to operate at elevated temperatures and include ceramic, tantalum, plastic film, mica, solid aluminum, glass, silicon, diamond-like and aluminum oxynitride. Ceramic, tantalum, plastic film, glass and diamond-like capacitors have established reliability in the high temperature arena, while solid aluminum, silicon and aluminum oxynitride are emerging technologies. Because of the end-markets into which these high temperature capacitors are sold include both defense and oil and gas related electronic sub-assemblies, these high temperature capacitors are usually subjected to additional rigors of extreme environments in addition to extreme temperatures, including enhanced vibration frequencies, high voltage environments, and radiation exposure. Subsequently failure modes for these “application specific” capacitors include delamination, tomb-stoning, thermal stress cracking, wild fluctuations in capacitance with temperature; and questionable insulation resistance. This study addresses the growing market for capacitors in the 175 °C to 450 °C operating temperature range, and forecasts the rate of global consumption over the next five years.

To Summarize

  • There is increased market activity in the 175 °C to 450 °C capacitor market.

  • Demand is coming from defense and oil and gas electronics markets.

  • Capacitor manufacturers are investing in improving the performance of established high temperature capacitors.

  • Capacitor manufacturers are also exploring new dielectrics that can safely extend the temperature range at which capacitors can operate for extended periods of time.

  • Established dielectrics operating at such high temperatures include ceramic, tantalum, plastic film, glass and diamond like capacitors.

  • Emerging capacitor dielectrics operating at these temperatures include silicon, solid aluminum and aluminum oxynitride capacitors.

    The high temperature capacitor market >175 °C has been growing at a rate that exceeds traditional value growth in the capacitor industry since 2005. This is the result of a large increase in demand from the oil and gas industry as a result of new prospecting, the additional of new oil wells worldwide, and the need to extract as much oil as possible from existing wells, and an increase in demand from the defense markets, primarily to replace products that have been consumed, and for new aircraft and rocket platforms under development.

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