IT180A vs 370HR: What is the Difference between these PCB Materials?

The materials used when manufacturing a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) help to bolster the performance of the boards. To this end, we want to talk about IT180A vs 370HR, some of the best yet distinguished materials for PCB designs.

Why are PCB Materials Different?

Due to the different designs and applications for Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs), the requirements tend to differ. As such, different kinds of materials are needed to meet the specifications of those applications or use cases.

Another reason why PCB materials differ is because of the properties of these materials. A PCB material may have more thermal resistance than the other and that makes it ideal for use with devices that require a similar performance.

What Makes IT180A vs 370HR Unique?

Before we talk about the differences between these circuit board materials, let us talk about some of the unique features.

Both the IT180A and 370HR materials share the same moisture absorption of 0.15%. They also have a similar flammability under the UL94 testing method, whereby they have the 94V-0 rating.

One other outstanding feature of the IT180A vs 370HR is the filling with inorganic fillers. This filling paves the wave for the materials to have an improved toughness and reduced brittleness.

What is the IT180A Material?

It is a type of Printed Circuit Board (PCB) material specifically equipped with an advanced High Tg (of 175-degree by DSC). It is also a multifunctional filled epoxy with low CTE, high thermal reliability and CAF resistance.

It is the ideal phenolic-cured laminated and prepreg material meant for use with the high-layer Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs). This material can comfortably pass the 260 lead-free assembly process, as well as the sequential lamination processes.

Key Features of the IT180A Material

When it comes to the features or properties that differentiate the IT180A material from those of the 370HR, we have a lot of them to talk about.

If you are using this material, these are some of the properties you can expect to see:

1. Multi-Construction Availability

The availability of the IT180A material for a wide range of circuit constructions makes it an ideal material for multipurpose usages.

The multi-construction availability implies the availability of the material in both the glass and copper weight styles. To this end, different constructions can be derived viz: VLP copper foil, the standard (HTE) and RTF.

2. Advanced Resin Technology

The IT180A material also uses an advanced High Tg resin technology, which boosts its thermal conductivity and insulation capabilities.

3. CAF Resistance

While a circuit material is expected to function optimally, it is also expedient for it to have some elements of resistance, as that will go a long way to boost the performance.

In the case of the IT180A, it has a CAF Resistance, which helps to provide a Low Thermal Coefficient (CTE). This, in turn, helps to improve the thermal reliability of the material, as well as providing a long-term reliability for the industrial boards, as well as the automobile applications.

4. Lead-Free Assembly Compatible

IT180A is an RoHS, lead-free compatible circuit board material. By this designation, it is suitable for the applications or devices with higher thermal reliability needs. The lead-free assembly compatibility is also a contributing factor to the material’s excellent prevention against the use of hazardous materials.

5. Friendly Processing

The processing of the IT180A doesn’t come with any hassles, as it follows a similar processing pattern as the High Tg FR4 material does.

The simplified processing methods include but are not limited to:

  • Drilling
  • Inner layer processing
  • Handling and storage of the following – laminate, prepreg and;
  • Lamination

Besides, the friendly processing pattern and the CAF resistance help the users to get better at the process, as it helps to shorten the learning curve when working with this material.

Why Should You Use the IT180A?

Here are some of the benefits or advantages of using this material for your next Printed Circuit Board (PCB) project:

Heat Resistance

This has to do with the material’s capability to resist heat dissipation, especially when it is excessive. This advantage comes in handy if you are building multiple stacks, which might be overly exposed to heat if there wasn’t a heat resistance measure in place.

Multifunctional Design

The multifunctional filled epoxy design of the IT180A is an excellent option that boosts the functionality. In this regard, the material can be used for a variety of purposes and applications – and in different formats.

Examples of the supported applications are:

The IT180A material also offers a plethora of other benefits, such as:

  • Low-cut through-hole reliability
  • Low CTE and;
  • An improved CAF resistance

What is the 370HR Material?

It is a type of lead-free circuit product manufactured by the Isola Group. The goal is to improve the reliability and performance of applications and devices from a wide range of markets.

The 370HR Products

370HR is a broad classification of different products. These products range from prepregs and laminates. It is important to mention that the laminates and prepregs for the 370HR are designed by Polyclad and are made using a patented high-performance 180˚C Tg FR-4 multifunctional epoxy resin system optimized for the multilayered Printed Wiring Board (PWB).

Features of the 370HR Material

The Isola Group ensured that the 370HR material meets the different demands, by equipping it with different properties.

Here are some of the characteristics or attributes of this material:

High Thermal Performance

The performance of this system is higher and that is because of the variety of inputs made to derive that performance. Some of these inputs include up to 180˚C Tg (DSC), a Td of 340˚C (with a TGA @ 5% wt loss).

In addition to improving the thermal capabilities of the system, it also offers low expansion rates. The two go a long way to rival what the traditional FR-4 system offers. Besides, the combination helps the 370HR to retain the processability of the FR-4 system.

Multi-Compatibility Options

While it improves the thermal performance and boosts the reliability of the Printed Wiring Board (PWB) applications, the system also ensures that compatibility is top-notch.

The compatibility options are powered by the UV blocking and the laser fluorescing. To this end, the 370HR system offers maximum compatibility with a wide range of systems that include the photoimagable solder mask imaging, Automated Optical Inspection (AOI), and optical positioning systems.

Availability Options

You wouldn’t have to run out of options when designing high-thermal applications with the 370HR system. This is because of the system’s offering of multiple availability options. These options include but are not limited to:

  • Prepreg Standard: the availability options here include tooling of the prepreg panels and the roll or panel form.
  • Copper Foil Type: the availability includes the Reverse Treat Foil (RTF) and the Standard THE Grade 3.
  • Glass Fabric: the glass fabric availability options cover the spread glass fabric, standard E-glass and square weave glass fabric.
  • Core Material Standard: the standards are also in place for the core material. The core material is readily available in the panel or full-size sheet forms.

The 370HR system can be used in different applications and sectors/industries. These applications or typical markets include:

  • Medical, industrial and instrumentation
  • Automotive and transportation
  • Consumer electronics
  • Aerospace and defense
  • Computing, storage and peripherals and;
  • Networking and communications.

How to Choose the Best Material for Circuit Designs

From this article, you can see that some of the connecting factors or similarities of the IT180A vs 370HR focused on the use of inorganic fillers and having a similar UV rating.

However, if you are to choose between the two, certain factors must be considered. Here is our expert advice on how to choose between the IT180A and the 370HR circuit board systems/materials:

Decomposition Temperature (Td)

This is the temperature at which the laminate makes a chemical decomposition. Ideally, this is determined by the temperature at which the material changes, by at least 5%. This way, it is easier to determine the survivability or how long the material would last before its laminate decomposes.

Glass Transition Temperature (Tg)

This has to do with the noticeable physical changes in the material or laminate, as a result of the changes in the temperature.

Most times, these changes result in the transition or conversion of the laminate from a rigid material to a plastic or soft, rubbery material.

Dissipation Factor (Df)

This has to do with the determination of the efficiency of an insulating material. Generally, it has to do with the rate at which energy is lost, especially for specific oscillation modes. Some of the common modes of oscillation are electromechanical, mechanical, and electrical.

Final Words

The difference in IT180A vs 370HR has to do with the core properties, such as the heat dissipation capabilities, decomposition temperature and glass transition temperature. The ability of these systems/laminates to transition from one state to the other while maintaining the required performance is a plus to their performance.

Always contact a professional laminate manufacturing company for advice and guidance on how to get the most out of the systems.

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