Stainless Steel Hybrids

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Innovative Microelectronic circuits on Stainless Steel

Stainless steel thick film hybrid technology is a breakthrough in microelectronics. This technology enables microelectronic components to be reliable, have cost-effective packaging, are secure against reverse engineering, low in cost, robust, vibration and shock-resistant and can be literally "bolted on" to rigid mechanical fittings.

Click here to see an example of an application of a Stainless Steel Hybrid.

Hybrid Electronics Australia has recently introduced the capability to produce innovative microelectronic circuits using stainless steel thick film hybrids. This process involves printing insulators, conductors, resistors and other sensor materials onto stainless steel. The results so far have been outstanding and the future applications for stainless steel thick film hybrids are almost endless.

Stainless steel hybrids are a relatively new technology. Stainless steel hybrids have widened the scope for electronic devices to occur in places where before it was not possible. This is mainly due to the durable stainless steel as a substrate rather than the ceramic substrate, which is more commonly used when manufacturing thick film hybrids .

Stainless Steel Hybrid Technical specifications:
  • Stainless Steel substrate thickness currently range from 0.5mm to 3mm (however can be greater).
  • Maximum substrate size is 150mm x 114mm.
  • Printed Conductors range from Pd/Ag, Pt/Ag, Au, Pt/Pd/Ag, and Ag.
  • Conductors are printed in multilayers with a printed and fired Dielectric as an insulator.
  • Printed Resistors range from fractional Ohms to Giga Ohms.
  • Printed Resistor tolerance can be >±0.1% and TCR >50ppm/oC.
  • Can be a complete "bolt on" module.

PLUS, print materials for high stability thermistors, strain gauge resistors and capacitors.

Stainless steel hybrids also offer extra advantages over ceramic such as mechanical ruggedness, vibration resistance, toughness, manageability, bolt it, hole capacity and the ability to use it as a mounting frame as well as a circuit.

Benefits of Stainless Steel as a substrate
  • High corrosion resistance
  • High & low temperature resistance
  • Strength-to-weight advantage
  • Ease of fabrication
  • Durable/Strong/Tough
Stainless steel thick film hybrids also offer the following significant advantages:
  • Higher reliability compared with a standard Printed Circuit Board (PCB) resulting from the inherent characteristics of the materials technology and the use of fewer solder joints;
  • The ability to print resistors under other components results in a smaller size module compared with a PCB where all components are placed next to each other;
  • Overall electronics packaging cost are considerably lower because the hybrid unit can be encapsulated and then clipped or screwed into place rather than requiring a separate mounting box;
  • High protection against reverse engineering.

Click here to read more about the circuit security offered by hybrids.

Stainless Steel Hybrids protection against reverse engineering
  • Stainless steel technology is not widely known;
  • Encapsulation is difficult to remove and causes damage when it is;
  • Pricing of the unit should be low enough to discourage companies from investing the large sums;
  • required for reverse engineering;
  • The greatest danger is a PCB functional copy. The risk of this is minimized by a conveniently packaged steel hybrid on the final product.

Stainless steel hybrids differ to ceramic hybrids not only in terms of materials but also in function. Different inks are used and ceramic hybrids are typically mounted into printed circuit boards (PCB's) and then cased whereas stainless steel hybrids do not require these. The electronics can be processed onto the flat printed stainless steel to produce a complete circuit module which can simply be "bolted on". Stainless steel hybrids can also be welded, bent and formed, and have holes added for mounting.

Suggested thick film stainless steel hybrid applications:

  • Thermostat controls zero crossing)
  • Pressure sensors
  • Strain sensors
  • Fluid pressure measurement
  • Temperature sensors
  • Power components
  • Microprocessors
  • Mains voltage
  • Hermetic sealing
  • Fluid heaters — up to 100 Watts/cm2

Industries interested in this technology are likely to include:

  • Automotive
  • Aeronautical
  • Industrial
  • Agricultural
  • Medical
  • Scientific
  • Domestic
  • Military

Hybrid Electronics Australia Pty. Ltd. Factory 6, 56 Smith Road, Springvale Victoria 3171 Australia
Ph: +61 (3) 9574 2232  E-mail:

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