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RoHS | December 21, 2005

CAF not necessarily a RoHS issue

CAF (Conductive Anodic Filament) is named as a RoHS issue by process experts. Lars-Gunnar Klang though wants to put in a reservation.
CAF (Conductive Anodic Filament) is described as unwanted shortcuts conducted along the glass fibre wires in the PCB laminate. These unwanted shortcuts occur when ion-containing damp gathers along the glass fibre wires. This phenomenon is not necessarily caused by the changed process parameters that comes with RoHS, according to Lars-Gunnar Klang at MTEK based in Rönninge, Sweden. “CAF was discovered when the electronics accelerated its miniaturization and the isolation ranges shrunk”, Lars-Gunnar Klang at MTEK wrote in an article in the latest edition of the Swedish electronics journal Elektronik I Norden.

Though the changed parameters in the processes that came with the RoHS directive, could cause some trouble and even those cause CAF. “CAF is caused by for example too small isolation ranges, ion contaminations and damp in the PCB, insufficient adhesion between the glass fibre wires and the epoxy harts but also through delamination due to the higher temperatures”, Lars Gunnar Klang wrote in the article.

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