High-Voltage Capacitor Applications for Macor
The use of Macor in new capacitor designs produces more compact industrial and medical electronic devices.
Glass ceramics such as Macor have found numerous high-voltage and high-temperature applications, especially in the fabrication of capacitors in electronic devices for new medical and industrial applications.
A capacitor is the specific electronic component that is used to store energy from an electrostatic field. The material that performs the storage itself is known as a dielectric. On a printed circuit board, this is fixed in place between two contacts made of metal – often gold.
The capacitor performs to stabilise, couple or buffer the voltage and the current flow within a power conversion system. Such systems can convert power from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) and vice versa. They are also used to change the voltage and the frequencies of power flows, or various combinations of these.
Lasers used in both industrial and medical applications, X-ray equipment throughout medical and industrial sectors together with high-voltage power supplies and the power grids that are used increasingly for the distribution of renewable energy generation all require high-voltage capacitors. The demand for these is growing.
The problem with systems using high voltage and high amperage is that the greater the power load, the greater the thermal load. Traditional ceramics that are used in circuitry and circuit boards are based on polymers such as polypropylene. However, the use of such ceramics is limited to temperatures below 90 degrees C. Above this level, these materials will lose their capacitance power and so are unable to perform the task for which they have been designed.
Machinable glass ceramics such as Macor are an ideal material for such high-voltage applications. It has a high dielectric strength as well as a high electrical resistivity. In addition, it has the advantage over other materials of a zero porosity and no degassing. This means that it will not shrink or deform at high temperatures – a problem that is common in many metals as well as traditional ceramics.
When all of these factors are combined, the result is that Macor creates a capacitor with a very superior storage capacity but also one that can be built to a small, even miniature, size and a lower weight while preserving its inherent strength.
Not only is Macor ideal for use in capacitors, but it is also finding increasing uses in transducers for high-voltage and high-frequency electrical networks.
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