Greenville, SC (July 18, 2006) The Semiconductor industry's demand for smaller, tight tolerance IC packages that operate at higher frequencies is making it increasingly difficult for traditional materials previously used for test socket applications. New, high performance test socket components made from a ceramic-filled VICTREX® PEEK polymer are available from Piper Plastics Inc., a precision machined plastics parts manufacturer.
This new Piper Plastics product, designated EPM-2204U-W, provides a competitive advantage in key microprocessor test socket applications due to its significantly lower moisture absorption and tight tolerance machining.
Test sockets are used in the final stage of the semiconductor manufacturing process where the microprocessor chips are plugged into a circuit board for various system function tests. According to Dave Wilkinson, Materials Engineering Manager at Piper Plastics, "Because these chips have hundreds of metal contacts inserted into a single socket over 100,000 times, dimensional stability is critical in making sure the metal contactors are aligned correctly with the circuit board. A ceramic-filled VICTREX PEEK polymer has excellent dimensional stability and tolerance control across a broad range of temperature and humidity conditions."
Ceramic-filled VICTREX PEEK polymers maintain impact strength, stiffness and minimum levels of creep. When compared to some traditional test socket materials such as polyamideimide (PAI) and other imidized polymers, inherently pure VICTREX PEEK polymer has greater hydrolytic stability.
And, when compared with ceramics, the filled VICTREX PEEK polymer is half the weight and offers greater impact resistance and toughness. It also has excellent processability and wear performance. Additional benefits include good dielectric properties for insulative applications and a clean, white color.
Says Wilkinson, "We machine test socket components from blanks that we mold using a ceramic-filled VICTREX PEEK polymer. We like the polymer¹s excellent machinability for tighter pitch and fine diameter holes. Our tight tolerance machining and near net injection molding capabilities lend themselves very well to this new ceramic-filled polymer."
VICTREX USA Inc., a division of Victrex plc., is the sole manufacturer and supplier of PEEK polymer worldwide. For more information on the properties and performance advantages of VICTREX PEEK, please call (800) VICTREX or visit the Victrex website at www.victrex.com.