ICSR (Soldering and Reliability) Conference Proceedings

Estimating the Lifetime of Electrolytic Capacitors

Authors: M. Simard-Normandin and C. Banks
Company: MuAnalysis Inc.
Date Published: 5/19/2015   Conference: ICSR (Soldering and Reliability)

Abstract: Aluminum electrolytic capacitors of three different ratings are stressed using Telcordia standard’s requirements to compare their expected lifetime to the manufacturer's datasheet value.

Equipment manufacturers incorporate hundreds, if not thousands, of electronic components into a system. Each type of component must be chosen according to its match to electrical specifications and compatibility with the system materials and the intended operating environment. The overall lifetime of the system is dominated by the weakest component. For high reliability equipment, or equipment difficult or impossible to access for repairs, it is important to have good data on the expected lifetime of the weaker devices before committing to a build. Aluminum electrolytic capacitors in particular have earned a bad reputation for long term reliability. These devices, which cost only a few cents, have been known to leak, explode or become shortcircuited, ruining expensive equipment and the reputation of the equipment manufacturer. It is therefore important to put effort into the characterization of the lifetime of such parts.

Key Words: 

Aluminum electrolytic capacitors reliability; MIL-STD-202 method 108; Telcordia GR-357-CORE.001; Lifetime predictions

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