Henkel says in response to requirements of higher temperature and vibrational energy automotive sensor applications, it has developed a new portfolio of silicone-based electrically conductive adhesives (ECAs) to address harsh environmental conditions.

The supplier maintains the Loctite Ablestik ICP 4000 series of ECAs withstand operating temperatures as high as 200C and deliver the flexibility required to cope with significant vibration.

Traditionally, older-generation epoxy-based ECAs have been used for certain automotive sensor applications. As technology has progressed however - and sensor proximity to the heat and vibration source - the engine block - has become closer - epoxy systems are challenged to maintain long-term flexibility and conductivity.

"Automotive electronics specialists increasingly require very rugged adhesives that can survive harsh environments," said Henkel Electronic Assembly adhesives global product manager, Tom Adcock.

""We developed this portfolio of silicone ECAs specifically to meet these requirements and went beyond conventional testing regimens to ensure their performance in the field."

Typical temperature, humidity, shock and storage testing evaluates ECA performance for a period of 1,000 to 1,500 cycles/hours.  When validating the properties of the Loctite Ablestik ICP 4000 series materials, however, Henkel maintains testing time periods were doubled.

"The trend toward increasing electronics content in automobiles with sensor location moving ever-closer to heat and vibration-producing sources will only accelerate," said Adcock.

"In order to progress emerging technology requirements, new materials such as these latest silicone ECAs from Henkel will be critical."