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PCB | March 20, 2006

ESM100 to challenge SN100C

Surface finish specialist Polymerkompositer AB, based in Norrtälje, Sweden has developed an autocatalytic process to build silver layers on copper.
The process, called ESM100, has now started to be used as surface finish on PCBs and so far the reactions has been very positive from the industry.

Swedish PCB provider Elektrotryck has chosen ESM100 as an alternative to the well-spread process SN100C and Elektrotryck's customers have given very positive feedback. ”One customer was really amazed and he wanted to know more about the process in order to specify and implement it”, Elektrotryck's CEO Anders Björsell told evertiq. ”Apparently the solderability was tremendous”, Björsell added.

According to the supplier, Polymerkompositer, based in Norrtälje and with manufacturing and development in Mölndal, Sweden, the ESM100 process is offering at least as good features as the more expensive gold based processes but at a price level in line with the SN100C process. ”I can not directly see any application where you are not able to use the ESM100 as surface finish”, Jens Andersson at Polymerkompositer told evertiq. Jens Andersson has prior to this job had a position as Production Manager at the Swedish EMS provider Note.

”We have done alot of testing where we have received fine results of solderability an sustainability but of course it's particularily satisfying when we hear these positive reactions directly from our customers and those who actually handles the boards in the soldering process”, Jens Andersson says, referring to the positive feedback Anders Björsell received from his customer.

According to Polymerkompositer the autocatalytic process ESM100 features not only good solderability but also good durability. According to Polymerkompositer you can have your PCBs on storage for two years without any reduce in solderability. Also the RF properties are very good for this process.

So far Elektrotryck is the first one to use this process in commercial purpose but when looking at the positive reactions coming from the industry the future seems to be very promising for this process.

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