IRC Inc. (Corpus Christi, TX) is employing its thick film-on-aluminum technology to manufacture electronic circuits with high-thermal transfer characteristics. The company claims that the aluminum substrate has superior thermal characteristics and is significantly less expensive than ceramic-based characteristics. In addition, the process allows solderable conductors to be printed directly onto the heatsink/substrate, allowing direct attachment of power components.
Steven Wade, director of sales and marketing at IRC, commented, "Unlike other insulated metal substrates, our process uses the aluminum's anodization as a natural insulator for the thick film elements. The substrate can act as its own heatsink, taking full advantage of the aluminum's high thermal conductivity."
IRC is using the thick film-on-aluminum process for designing power supply and power audio amplifier circuits, as well as a number of other automotive applications. Pricing for the thick film-on-aluminum circuits ranges depending on the specific design. Delivery times are currently 10 weeks, with samples available immediately.