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Published on 11 Dec 2017 by Marion Van de Graaf

How to Select the Right Precision Resistor for Your Needs

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Their primary function is to manage and regulate the flow of electric current, ensuring that other components within the circuit receive the correct amount of power. This precision is particularly crucial in applications requiring high degrees of accuracy and stability, such as in medical equipment, aerospace technology, and sophisticated measuring instruments. The reliability and accuracy of precision resistors directly impact the overall efficiency, reliability, and safety of these electronic systems. B. Explanation of How Precision Resistors Differ from Standard Resistors While standard resistors are used in everyday electronic devices for basic current regulation, precision resistors are engineered to offer much higher accuracy and stability. The key distinctions lie in their tighter tolerance levels, lower temperature coefficients, and superior long-term stability. Tolerance in resistors indicates the degree of variance permissible from their specified resistance value, and precision resistors have significantly lower tolerance levels compared to standard resistors. Additionally, precision resistors exhibit minimal change in resistance with temperature variations, making them ideal for applications where environmental conditions fluctuate. C. Brief Introduction to High Voltage Resistors as a Subset of Precision Resistors High voltage resistors are a specialized category within precision resistors, designed to operate reliably under high voltage conditions. These resistors are crucial in circuits where they must withstand and regulate large voltage levels without compromising performance or safety. They are constructed using materials and designs that can handle high energy loads, and they often feature specific construction techniques to prevent breakdowns or failures due to the high voltage environment. D. Statement Understanding the critical factors in selecting the right precision resistor, especially for high voltage applications, is essential for optimal performance and safety. The selection process involves a comprehensive understanding of various technical parameters, including voltage and power ratings, tolerance, temperature coefficient, and physical packaging. This knowledge ensures that the chosen resistor not only meets the specific needs of the application but also adheres to the highest standards of reliability and safety. Table: Comprehensive Technical Criteria for Selecting High Voltage Precision Resistors Criteria Sub-Criteria Key Considerations Technical Details Application Implications Voltage Rating Maximum Operating Voltage Highest voltage the resistor can handle without breakdown Values typically range from a few kilovolts (kV) to tens of kV; must exceed the maximum circuit voltage Ensures safety and reliability under peak voltage conditions Power Rating Power Dissipation Capacity Amount of power the resistor can dissipate as heat without damage Rated in watts (W); dependent on resistor size, material, and design Prevents overheating and thermal degradation, especially critical in high-load applications Tolerance Accuracy Level Acceptable range of resistance variation from the nominal value Expressed as a percentage (%); tighter tolerance indicates higher precision (e.g., ±0.1%, ±0.5%) Higher precision in control and measurement circuits; critical for calibration and testing equipment Temperature Coefficient Temperature-Dependent Resistance Change Rate at which resistance changes with temperature Expressed as parts per million per degree Celsius (ppm/°C); lower values indicate better stability Minimizes performance variance in fluctuating thermal environments; essential for outdoor and industrial applications Thermal Stability Long-term Resistance Stability at Operating Temperatures Ability to maintain consistent resistance over time at specific temperatures Assessed through accelerated aging tests and thermal cycling Ensures long-term reliability and accuracy in high-temperature applications Physical Size & Form Factor Dimensions and Mounting Style Physical dimensions and installation method of the resistor Includes through-hole, surface-mount, and custom designs; size influences heat dissipation Determines compatibility with circuit board layout and influences thermal management Packaging Material and Construction External materials and construction methods used Options include conformal coating, encapsulation, and use of flame-retardant materials Affects durability, heat dissipation, and environmental resistance (moisture, chemical exposure) Environmental Resistance Resistance to External Conditions Ability to withstand environmental stressors Includes moisture resistance, vibration tolerance, and chemical resistance Ensures stable operation in harsh conditions like high humidity, industrial settings, or mobile equipment The following sections will delve into these aspects in detail, providing a thorough guide for professionals in selecting the most suitable high voltage precision resistors for their specific requirements.     II. Understanding Precision Resistors A. Definition and Characteristics 1. Explanation of What Precision Resistors Are Precision resistors are components in electronic circuits designed to offer high accuracy in their resistance values. Unlike standard resistors, which may have significant variance in resistance, precision resistors are manufactured to have minimal deviation from their specified resistance values. This accuracy is critical in applications where precise control of current and voltage is necessary to ensure the proper functioning of sensitive and high-precision electronic equipment. 2. Key Characteristics: Tolerance, Temperature Coefficient, Noise, and Stability - Tolerance: This refers to the allowable deviation of a resistor's resistance value from its nominal value, expressed as a percentage. For precision resistors, tolerance values are typically much tighter, often below 1%, ensuring greater accuracy. - Temperature Coefficient: This is a measure of how much a resistor's resistance changes with temperature. Precision resistors have low temperature coefficients, meaning their resistance remains stable across a range of temperatures, which is vital for consistent performance. - Noise: In the context of resistors, noise is the random variation in resistance, which can affect the signal quality in sensitive circuits. Precision resistors are designed to minimize noise, ensuring cleaner and more reliable signal transmission. - Stability: This characteristic refers to the ability of a resistor to maintain its resistance value over time, despite environmental factors and usage. Precision resistors have high stability, ensuring long-term reliability. B. Types of Precision Resistors 1. Overview of Various Types - Metal Film: These resistors are known for their high accuracy and low noise. They are made by depositing a thin metal film on a ceramic body. - Wirewound: These are made by winding a metal wire around an insulating core. They are known for high power ratings and stability. - Foil: Foil resistors offer the highest precision and stability. They are made by bonding a metal foil onto a ceramic substrate. 2. Pros and Cons of Each Type in Different Applications - Metal Film: Pros include good temperature coefficient and low noise, making them suitable for precision analog circuits. However, they may not be ideal for high-power applications. - Wirewound: These resistors excel in high-power applications and have good temperature performance. Their downside is their inductance, which may not be suitable for high-frequency applications. - Foil: While offering unparalleled precision and stability, foil resistors can be more expensive and may not be necessary for applications where extreme precision is not required. C. Importance in High Voltage Circuits 1. Role and Significance in High Voltage Applications In high voltage circuits, resistors must handle and regulate large voltages without degradation or failure. Precision resistors in these applications ensure that voltage is managed accurately, which is crucial for the safety and effectiveness of the overall system. Their precision and stability are key in maintaining the integrity of high voltage circuits found in power supplies, medical equipment, and industrial machinery. 2. Challenges Posed by High Voltage Environments High voltage environments pose unique challenges for resistors. They must be designed to withstand high electric fields without breakdown. This includes considerations for dielectric strength, insulation resistance, and physical construction to prevent arcing and physical damage. The materials used must be able to endure these stresses while maintaining their resistive properties over time, ensuring long-term reliability and safety.     III. Criteria for Selecting High Voltage Resistors A. Voltage Rating and Power Rating 1. Understanding Voltage Rating and Its Importance The voltage rating of a resistor indicates the maximum voltage it can handle before it risks breakdown or damage. This is particularly crucial in high voltage applications where resistors are exposed to high potential differences. Selecting a resistor with an appropriate voltage rating is essential to prevent premature failure and ensure safety. The voltage rating must be higher than the maximum voltage expected in the circuit to accommodate transient spikes without compromising the resistor's integrity. 2. How Power Rating Affects Resistor Performance in High Voltage Circuits Power rating is a measure of how much power a resistor can dissipate without exceeding its maximum operating temperature. In high voltage circuits, resistors often encounter high power levels. If a resistor's power rating is too low, it can overheat and fail. It's essential to choose a resistor with a power rating that matches or exceeds the power levels in the circuit. This ensures that the resistor can operate reliably over its intended lifespan without degrading due to thermal stress. B. Tolerance and Accuracy 1. Importance of Tolerance in Precision Resistors Tolerance, the permissible deviation from the nominal resistance value, is critical in precision resistors. In high voltage applications, even small inaccuracies can lead to significant errors or malfunctions. Precision resistors with tight tolerance are essential for applications where precise control of voltage and current is necessary, such as in calibration equipment or high-accuracy measuring devices. 2. Balancing Tolerance and Cost in High Voltage Applications While tighter tolerance is generally desirable, it often comes at a higher cost. Therefore, selecting a resistor involves balancing the need for precision with budget constraints. It's important to evaluate the level of tolerance required for the application’s performance and safety, and choose a resistor that provides the necessary precision without unnecessary expense. C. Temperature Coefficient and Thermal Stability 1. Role of Temperature Coefficient in Resistor Performance The temperature coefficient of a resistor indicates how its resistance changes with temperature. A low temperature coefficient is desirable in high voltage applications, as it ensures that the resistor maintains a stable resistance across a range of operating temperatures. This stability is vital in environments where temperature variations are common, as it affects the accuracy and reliability of the circuit. 2. Managing Thermal Stability in High Voltage Environments In addition to selecting resistors with low temperature coefficients, managing thermal stability involves considering the resistor’s environment. Factors such as ventilation, heat sinks, and placement within the circuit can influence the resistor’s temperature. Proper thermal management ensures that resistors operate within their specified temperature range, maintaining performance and prolonging lifespan. D. Physical Size and Packaging 1. Considering Physical Constraints and Mounting Styles The physical size and form factor of a resistor are important in applications with space constraints or specific mounting requirements. In high voltage circuits, larger resistors might be necessary to ensure adequate spacing for preventing arcing or breakdown. The choice of mounting style (such as through-hole or surface-mount) also impacts the resistor's thermal management and mechanical stability. 2. Impact of Packaging on Heat Dissipation and Durability The packaging of a resistor affects its ability to dissipate heat and withstand environmental stresses. In high voltage applications, resistors must be packaged in a way that promotes efficient heat dissipation to prevent overheating. The materials used in the packaging should also be durable and resistant to environmental factors such as humidity, chemicals, or mechanical stress. This ensures the long-term reliability and performance of the resistor in demanding high voltage environments.     IV. Application-Specific Considerations A. Industry-Specific Requirements 1. Tailoring Resistor Selection to Industry Standards Different industries have unique standards and requirements that significantly influence the selection of precision resistors, especially in high voltage applications. - Aerospace: This industry demands resistors that can withstand extreme conditions such as high altitudes, temperature fluctuations, and vibrations. Resistors must comply with stringent standards for reliability and durability. For example, they often require a very low temperature coefficient and exceptional stability to ensure accurate performance in critical aerospace systems. - Medical: In medical applications, precision resistors are used in sensitive and life-supporting equipment. They must meet high safety standards, ensuring accuracy and reliability. Resistors in these applications often need to be highly precise, with low noise and minimal variability to ensure patient safety and accurate readings. B. Environmental Factors 1. Dealing with Environmental Challenges Environmental conditions such as humidity and temperature extremes play a significant role in the performance of high voltage resistors. - Humidity: High levels of moisture can affect the insulation properties of resistors, potentially leading to short circuits or degradation of components. Selecting resistors with appropriate moisture resistance and protective coatings is crucial in humid environments. - Temperature Extremes: Resistors must be chosen based on their ability to operate reliably under extreme temperatures. This involves selecting materials and designs that can withstand thermal expansion and contraction, as well as maintain their resistive properties across the specified temperature range. C. Customization for Special Requirements 1. When to Consider Custom Solutions for Unique Applications There are scenarios where standard precision resistors might not meet the specific requirements of a high voltage application. In such cases, custom-designed resistors become necessary. - Unique Electrical Requirements: If an application has unusual voltage, current, or power demands that standard resistors cannot meet, custom resistors can be designed to handle these specific requirements. - Physical Space Limitations: In applications where space is constrained, standard resistors might not fit. Custom resistors can be designed with specific sizes and shapes to fit into limited spaces without compromising performance. - Special Environmental Conditions: For applications operating in extreme or unusual environments, such as deep-sea exploration or space missions, custom resistors can be developed with materials and coatings specifically engineered to withstand these conditions.     V. Best Practices in Selecting High Voltage Precision Resistors A. Comprehensive Needs Assessment 1. Identifying Key Parameters Based on Application Needs Before selecting high voltage precision resistors, a thorough assessment of the application’s needs is essential. This involves identifying key parameters that will influence the choice of resistor. Important factors to consider include: - Voltage and Power Requirements: Determine the maximum voltage and power the resistor needs to handle. This ensures the resistor can operate safely under the highest expected loads. - Tolerance and Accuracy Needs: Assess the level of precision required in the application. High-precision applications may necessitate resistors with very tight tolerances. - Environmental Conditions: Consider the operating environment, including temperature ranges, humidity levels, and potential exposure to chemicals or mechanical stress. - Physical Space Constraints: Evaluate the available space for the resistor in the circuit, which will influence the size and form factor of the resistor. - Regulatory and Industry Standards: Identify any industry-specific standards or regulations that the resistors must comply with. B. Vendor Selection and Quality Assurance 1. Choosing Reputable Vendors for High-Quality Components The quality of precision resistors is largely dependent on the manufacturer. Selecting reputable vendors is crucial for ensuring the reliability and performance of the components. Look for vendors with: - Proven Track Record: Choose manufacturers known for their quality and reliability in the industry. - Expertise in High Voltage Applications: Select vendors with specific experience and expertise in manufacturing high voltage precision resistors. - Good Customer Support: A vendor who offers strong technical support can be invaluable, especially for custom applications or when addressing specific technical challenges. 2. Importance of Quality Certifications and Testing Quality certifications and thorough testing are vital for ensuring that the resistors meet the required standards and specifications. - Quality Certifications: Look for resistors that come with relevant quality certifications, such as ISO standards. These certifications indicate that the resistors have been manufactured and tested according to rigorous quality control procedures. - Product Testing: Ensure that the resistors have undergone appropriate testing for parameters such as tolerance, temperature coefficient, and long-term stability. This can include in-house testing by the manufacturer and independent third-party testing. In conclusion, selecting the right high voltage precision resistors involves a detailed needs assessment and careful consideration of various technical parameters. Partnering with reputable vendors and ensuring quality certifications and testing are also critical steps in the selection process. Following these best practices will help in acquiring resistors that meet the specific needs of high voltage applications, ensuring safety, reliability, and optimal performance.

What you should know about electrolytic aluminum capacitors ?

1. Basic construction Structure of an electrolytic aluminum capacitor is shown hereunder: Anode: aluminum foil Dielectric: aluminum oxide Papers spacers impregnated with electrolyte Ionic conduction assumed by electrolyte Cathode: aluminum foil   The positive plate is an etched aluminum foil covered with alumina which is the dielectric of the capacitor. The negative plate is constituted by a second aluminum foil which serves as a current supply, and by electrolyte-impregnated papers layers. The metal used for anode is a ≥ 99,98 % grade aluminum. The dielectric has a thickness of 13 Å / V. The aluminum used for the cathode is a ≥ 98 % grade aluminum covered with a dielectric layer with a thickness of about 40 Å.   > See our capacitors in catalog 2. Diagram of the equivalent circuit CA = Capacitance of the anode CK = Capacitance of the cathode Rp = Parallel resistance due to the aluminum oxide f Ilms. RL = Series resistance of connections, plates and impregnated spacer. Ls = Inductance of winding and connections.   A standard simplified diagram is :   Cs is the series capacitance of both anode and cathode capacitances. Electrolytic aluminum capacitors are naturally polarized because of the insulating f Ilm on the anode. Given the very thin aluminum oxide layer, a reversed voltage should not exceed 1.5 V when there is energy supply. Short duration reverse voltages can be absorbed by special construction, second anode replacing the former cathode. 3. Electrical characteristics ✪ Rated capacitance Cr The rated capacitance is defined at 100 Hz and at ambient temperature.   ✪ Rated voltage Ur Ur is the maximum DC voltage which may be applied in continuous operation. When applying a superimposed alternating voltage, the peak value of the resulting waveform should not exceed the rated voltage.   ✪ Peak voltage Up Up is the maximum repetitive voltage which can be applied within short periods. Defined in CECC 30 300 and IEC 60 384-4:  1000 cycles of 30 s charge followed by a no load period of 5 min. 30 s with upper category temperature. Up ≤ 1,15 UR (UR ≤ 315 V) Up ≤ 1,10 UR (UR > 315 V)   ✪ Dissipation factor Tan The dissipation or loss factor is defined by its tangent Tand   ✪ Equivalent series resistance ESR The relation between ESR and dissipation factor Tand.   ✪ Impedance Z - Inductance L The impedance is given by:  Z =g R2 + (Lv –1 )2                         Cv L inductance. Generally L = 5 to 20 nH   Z and ESR as function of frequency typically follows the chart:    ✪ Permissible ripple current (I r.m.s.) The current is defined at the maximum climatic category and at 100 Hz. It is the root mean square value r.m.s. The value I0 is the rated value for calculations of expected life up to3 I0.   ✪ Leakage current Il Il is measured at 20°C after a 5 min. polarization under rated voltage. For CR in μF and UR in V:   Il ≤ 0,01 CR UR or 1 μA* when CR UR ≤ 1000 μC  Il ≤ 0,006 CR UR + 4 μA when CR UR > 1000 μC For UR > 350 VDC it can be specified:  with K = 4, 6 or 8 or  Il ≤ 0,3 (CR UR)0,7 + 4 μA (CECC 30 300) * Whichever is the greater   ✪ Characteristics Versus temperature (typical values).   - Capacitance drift Versus temperature - ESR and Z drifts at 100 Hz Versus temperature - Leakage current drift Versus temperature > See our capacitors in catalog 4. Specification to apply Electrolytic aluminum capacitors are defined in:  NF and UTE French national standard CECC European specifications IEC international specifications Quality insurance procedures are described in these specifications. 5. Endurance tests / life time ✪ Standard endurance test at max category temperature:  Standard endurance tests do not exceed 2000 hours at 125°C. However, present EXXELIA technologies concerning liquid electrolytes have led to endurance tests up to 5000 hours at 125°C (PRORELSIC 125 - FELSIC 125 RS) and even 20000 hours at 125°C (PRORELSIC 145 - ALSIC 145).   ✪ Performance requirements on standard endurance tests Permissible capacitance drift ∆C/C (%) Permissible increase factors on Tand, ESR, Z and Il initial values   (1) Tand or ESR: for initial value, take standard value. (2) Z: for initial value, take specified value (see data sheet ). Specific requirements can be taken into consideration with regards to initial values of dissipation factor or equivalent series resistance and impedance.   ✪ Failure criteria for electrolytic capacitors Failure criteria are defined in CECC 30 301 Non measurable defaults leading to complete failure. Measurable defaults leading to adjustment losses of the load circuit (failure due to variations).   - Non measurable defaults They might be summed up as:  Open circuit Short circuit Operation of pressure relief device Severely damaged insulation Unusable terminations   - Measurable defaults Variations exceeding the values given below characterize a default. Capacitance drift ∆C/C (%): 3 times the limit for standard endurance testing or 50 % (whichever is the smallest). Tand or ESR: 3 times standard max initial values. Z: 3 times standard max initial values. Il: initial limit (under load conditions). Specific requirements can be taken into consideration with regards to lower drifts.   Influence of main parameter on operational life. - Temperature The capacitors operational life is highly dependent upon its internal temperature Ui and therefore upon the ambient temperature and the ripple current. Knowing ESR and dissipated power values one can figure out, the internal temperature rise and then determine the capacitors expected life. With present high boiling point electrolytes Ui max = 125 to 185°C depending on styles. - Ripple current The ripple current flowing through the capacitor increase the internal temperature through power dissipation. Standards define the permissible current at 100 Hz and generally consider a temperature rise of 5 to 10°C of max category temperature. Current waveforms and frequencies make it difficult to clearly determine the capacitors internal temperature rise, which defines the operationally life. Experiments confirm following relationship:  Ui = Ua + (Uc - Ua) K Where:  Ui = Internal hot spot temperature Ua = Ambient temperature Uc = Case temperature K = Parameter depending upon case diameter and cooling Ø ≥ 51 k = 2 ± 0,5 Ø < 51 k = 1,5 ± 0,5    (air cooling - 0,2 m/s)   r.m.s. value according to current waveform.   - Dissipated power versus case dimension For calculations of ripple currents, considering an internal temperature rise of 10°C   P = ESR.I ² P = Dissipated power (mW) (Ui - Ua = 10°C) ESR: Equivalent series resistance (100 Hz 20°C) I: Ripple current (r.m.s. value at 100 Hz) For different frequencies from 100 Hz, I must be multiplied by the factor F, according to above chart.   - Thermal resistance Rth and air cooling Rth is static thermal resistance (without cooling) between capacitor central hot spot and ambient temperature measured at a distance of one capacitor diameter   Forced or not cooling air can lead to a significant decrease of these values. Consequently, r.m.s. ripple current can be increased as a function of air cooling speed:  This parameter shall be applied to one capacitor alone. For capacitors in bank, ambient temperature must be strictly equal around all capacitors. - Quality guaranty We guarantee products manufactured during 2 years from the data of shipment against defaults of material and assembly. This guaranty can be involved by the buyer only if our products are used within normal conditions, always according to the state of the art and taking in account storage conditions. The equipment design should take into consideration possible failures of our capacitors and related effects in order to avoid them. Guaranty is not applicable for damages occurred by surge voltage, irregular use, polarity inversion or maintenance default. Guaranty is exclusively limited to the replacement of individual defective capacitors within the terms of delivery. This rule applied to all cases and particularly to any further consequence of failures. - Reliability Failure rate:  FR = Number of components tested x test duration / Number of failures Failure rate is measured in FIT (failure in time = 10–9 / hour). The failure rate is set up during the life time of the capacitor (phase II) I. Early failure phase (generally excluded during ageing process). II. Operational life time of the capacitors III. End of life   Mean time between failures MTBF = 1/FR mesured in years Multiplying factor of FR with voltage and temperature   > See our capacitors in catalog 6. Information on application ✪ Cleaning solvents Use aliphatic alcohols, such as denatured ethyl alcohol, isopropanol, or butylacetate, or else alkaline d Iluted solutions. Avoid incompatible solvents (halogenous for example).   ✪ Shelf life There is no electrical characteristics variation for long periods of storage except leakage current which can increase. It is caused by chemical reactions between the dielectric alumina and the electrolyte. These reactions are reversible when switched on. Capacitors can generally be stored at temperature between –5° and +50°C without reforming for the following periods of time:  For UR ≤ 100 V, storage time:     5 years (up to 10 years under specific conditions) For 100 V < UR ≤ 360 V storage time:     3 years For 360 V < UR < 500 V storage time:     1 year For UR ≤ 500 V, storage time:     6 months Generally when these periods are overstepped, one hour at rated voltage causes the decrease of leakage current under the specified limits. An other way to avoid this leakage current increase problem is to always limit ava Ilable power through capacitor during first seconds or minutes after storage or transport, according to the following chart:    ✪ Low pressure resistance EXXELIA capacitors can be used with ambient low pressure decreasing up to 10 mbar (altitude 28000 m – 92000 feet).   ✪ Mounting screw terminals capacitors (FELSIC) Capacitors may be used vertically (terminals on top) or horizontally. When used horizontally, the following position in relation to the safety vent, is recommended:  Mounting capacitors in series may be used for operating voltage exceeding Ur. See FELSIC in bank.   ✪ Mounting solder type capacitors They may be used in any position. During mounting, avoid applying excessive force to capacitor pins or wires. There is a risk of damaging internal connections. After soldering and for the same reasons, do not try to move the capacitor&#39;s body. ✪ Electrolytes: safety rules Electrolytes used in EXXELIA capacitors are manufactured by EXXELIA. Main solvents are generally g butyrolactone and ethylene glycol, very stable high boiling point solvents. Ionic conductive salts in electrolyte induce a very weak acidity (pH 5 to 7).   ✪ Environment In aluminium capacitors with liquid electrolyte there is no component showing a pollution risk, in small amounts, of air or water. EXXELIA is always involved in this security field particularly in using chemicals for electrolyte, without well-known risks. Dimethylformamide (DMF) dangerous solvent forbidden in several uses is completely excluded by EXXELIA,since 1990. There is no halogen compound such as chlorofluorocarbon (CFC or FCKW in german) or polychlorobiphenyl (PCBPyralene) or pentabromodiphenylether or octabromodiphenylether. There is neither benzene, toluene or phenyl compound nor explosive such as picric acid, nor asbestos in plastic covers. All the capacitors made by EXXELIA since 1991, can be scrapped or used in raw materials recycling processes without special care in compliance with Community rules. EXXELIA aluminium capacitors with non-solid electrolyte are particularly suitable for different kinds of environment taking in account severity increasing laws. European directives 2003/11/EC, 2002/96/EC (WEEE) and 2002/95/EC (RoHS) applies to all EXXELIA capacitors including every solder type, manufactured with pure tin coated pins or wires, since at least January 2006.   > See our capacitors in catalog