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AlSiC Lid

Stiffer Than Titanium Lighter Than Aluminum

Materion is the supplier of the SupremEX® family of metal matrix composites.  These composites, known as AlSiC, are comprised of silicon carbide (SiC) ceramic particles dispersed in an aluminum (Al) matrix.   In May 2012, we acquired Aerospace Metal Composites (AMC) of Farnborough, UK to expand the manufacture and development of SupremEX®.  These materials can be hot isostatically pressed (HIP’d), forged, rolled and extruded into complex shapes.  At left, is an image of a unit cell of one Lid.

Advantages of SupremEX®

  • > Stiffer than titanium, lighter than aluminum
  • > High temperature durability
  • > Easily machined
  • > Stable, capable of high precision tolerance designs

SupremEX® is optimized for mechanical applications of AlSiC, such as automotive and aircraft parts.
Addtionally, AlSiC can be formulated for thermal management applications such as semiconductor  packaging. 

Aluminum Silicon Carbide (AlSiC) Specifications

Materion offers thermal-grade AlSiC.  It is available in sheet thicknesses down to 0.5 mm thick, and can be formed by photoetching, stamping and forming.   AlSiC sheet is presently available in sizes up to 8” by 24”.   Tools are available to increase this size to 18” x 24” (i.e., standard PC board dimensions) if demand warrants.  AlSiC can be electroplated with Ni, Au and Pd, and can be bonded to epoxies and thermal interface materials (TIMs). 

A summary of thermal-grade AlSiC is in Table I.   As the weight percent of SiC particles added to the aluminum increases, the thermal conductivity increases and the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) decreases.  The reduced thermal expansion coefficient of AlSiC relative to Copper (Cu) or Aluminum (Al) enables applications such as lids, frames and heatspreaders for use with FR-4 printed circuit boards.

Table 1:   Properties of Thermal Grade AlSiC
Table 1_Properties AlSiC

Photoetching Lids

Photoetching, rather than casting lids, has several advantages. It is simpler to create a prototype, less expensive and quicker to produce. The cost per unit volume of 30% SiC/Al AlSiC is similar to that of copper, which is lowest in cost among alternatives.  It has been photoetched into an array of lids as shown in Figure 1.   Photoetching of AlSiC avoids many problems associated with stamping of AlSiC, such as dulling of the stamping tool, which can lead to burrs and bending of the stamped part.  It is also creates pristine edges and is very reproducible. Materion can tailor AlSiC to meet customer requirements for thermal management.

Array of AlSiC Lids

                                                                                      Figure 1: Array of Photoetched AlSiC lids

Materion Family of Lids

AlSiC composites complement the existing line of lids and sealants offered by Materion. From Epo-Lids™ to Epoxy 150/165 to thermal interface materials (TIM), we meet your needs for technical solutions.  For more information about AlSiC and other products, contact Rich Koba, Sr. Marketing Manager, at Richard.Koba@materion.com.