Thick-film technology is most widely used in the production of automotive electronics. A peculiarity of this electronics segment is its severe operating conditions. Automotive electronics products are used in a wide temperature range from minus 70 0С to plus 125 0С, and in some cases the operating temperature can reach 150 0С. In addition, during operation, they are subjected to constant exposure to thermal cycles and thermal shock. Traditional materials based on fiberglass laminates, used in the production of electronics do not provide the required conditions for reliability. Thick-film boards, in turn, easily meet specified requirements and provide a significant margin of reliability. Technical capabilities of thick-film technology are shown in the table below. An important point of this technology is the possibility of using packageless integrated circuits, which in turn allows to increase economic efficiency of the production.
A whole range of automotive electronics products, and these are position, displacement, fuel level sensors, etc. could not have been effectively produced without thick-film elements. Only the high reliability of thick-film resistive elements allowed the creation of high-precision automotive immersion fuel level sensors. Resistance to mechanical effect of thick-film elements provides multi-million resistance to abrasion of the gas pedal or throttle position sensors.
Expansion of the range of vehicles with alternative energy sources opens up new horizons for thick-film technology. Creation of power modules working with high energy densities is impossible without advanced thick-film materials. Printed circuit boards, switching elements, protective and load circuits, heaters, etc. - this is just a small list of elements that can be implemented using thick-film technology for the automotive industry.
Thick-film sensors are becoming more usual. Temperature sensors produced using our technology can provide both positive and negative temperature coefficient of resistance over a wide temperature range. Gas analyzers, or as they are also called “electronic nose”, are a new direction in thick-film technology, which made it possible to create gas concentration meters with a wide range of compositions with excellent selectivity by type.