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Arlon 33N PCB Material – The Fundamental Material for High Performance PCB

Printed circuit boards are a core part of electronic devices. This board serves as the foundation of most electronics. Also, it determines the functionality of devices. Therefore, it is crucial to utilize high-quality material for its manufacturing.

PCB manufacturing involves the use of several materials. However, PCB laminates is the basic raw material used in fabricating PCBs. The Arlon 33N is one of the most efficient polyimide materials for PCB fabrication. This article focuses on Arlon 33N and how it impacts PCB manufacturing.

What is Arlon 33N PCB Material?

Arlon 33N PCB material is a polyimide material that imitates the high reliability and performance features of 31N. This PCB material is a UL 94 V-0 polyimide and prepreg system. Also, this material combines the high performance characteristics of polyimide with flame retardance. In addition, this material features the strength of Arlon 31N and 76N. With its flame retardant properties, this material meets the requirements of UL94 V-0.

The resin system is polyimide that features low Z-axis expansion throughout severe thermal excursions. Therefore, this offers plated through-hole integrity. Arlon 33N is much tougher than conventional polyimide. Also, this material is less vulnerable to fracture during profiling and hole drilling. Arlon 33N is another safe PCB material. This material features carcinogenic materials. Therefore, it has no MDA.

This high Tg PCB laminate reduces risk of latent PTH defects. Arlon is a well-known PCB laminate manufacturer. Therefore, this material was specifically designed for use in high performance PCB applications. Also, due to the features and benefits of this material, it is widely used across diverse applications.

Properties of Arlon 33N PCB Material

Arlon 33N features properties that contribute to its high performance and reliability. Therefore, it is important to know these properties.

Thermal property

The decomposition temperature of this material is 353 °C. However, the Td value at 5% weight loss is 389 °C. This high Td value contributes to the thermal reliability and performance of this material.

Arlon 33N features an exceptional glass transition temperature (Tg). The Tg value is greater than 250 °C at TMA.

The Z-axis CTE of this material is 53 ppm/°C below Tg. When it is above Tg, the Z-axis CTE is 164 ppm/°C. Also, the Z-axis CTE is very low. Therefore, this provides more benefits when used in PCB fabrication.

Thermal conductivity of Arlon 33N is 0.200 W/m-K.

Electrical property

The dielectric constant of this material is 4.25 at 1 MHz. This is a very high dielectric constant.

This material features a very low dissipation factor (Df). The Df is 0.01 at 1MHz. This means that it doesn’t absorb or discharge heat easily. Arlon 33N is a good insulator. Therefore, it is ideal for high thermal applications.

The volume resistivity of Arlon 33N at (C96/35/90) is 7.2 x 107 MΩ-cm. Also, the volume resistivity at (E24/125) is 4.5 x 108 MΩ-cm.

The surface resistivity of this material at (C96/35/90) is 4.1 x 108 MΩ-cm. Also, the surface resistivity at (E24/125) is 1.6 x 109 MΩ-cm.

Mechanical property

The water absorption rate is 0.21%. This rate is very low. Therefore, Arlon 33N PCB material restricts the amount of water a circuit board will absorb. Therefore, this material is suitable for PCB manufacturing.

The peel strength to copper at elevated temperatures is 7.2 (1.2) Ib/in (N/mm). Also, the peel strength to copper after process solutions is 7.5 (1.3) Ib/in (N/mm).

Processing Guidelines for Arlon 33N PCB Material

It is important to know some processing rules when designing Arlon 33N. These processing rules include:

  • Use industry practices to process inner-layers via etch and strip
  • Make use of brown oxide on inner layers.
  • Ensure you adjust dwell time during the oxide bath. This will help to provide uniform coating.
  • Bake the inner layers within 107 -121 degrees Celsius before lay-up. Also, bake in a rack for 60 minutes.
  • Use alkaline permanganate to desmear with settings ideal for polyimide. However, plasma desmear is better for positive etchback.
  • Arlon 33N is compatible with conventional plating processes.
  • You can use standard profiling parameters. However, it isn’t advisable to use chip breaker style.
  • Bake at 121 degrees Celsius before solder reflow of HASL.

Advantages of Arlon 33N PCB Material

This PCB material provides a lot of benefits when used in PCB fabrication.

Low Z direction expansion

Arlon 33N PCB material features low z-expansion. This helps to enhance the reliability of plated through-hole on higher layer count multilayer PCBs. Also, it improves through-hole reliability in applications that require thick PCBs for mechanical purposes. This feature reduces PTH defects risk caused during device attachment and solder reflow. Also, the low Z-axis expansion enhances the reliability of via in thermal cycling conditions.

Excellent copper peel strength retention

The copper peel strength retention of this material is very high. Also, this enables multiple rework cycles and soldering. Therefore, this is suitable in applications that require field repairs.

Industry approval

Arlon 33N PCB material adheres strictly to industry standards. The mechanical and electrical properties of this material meets the requirements of IPC-4101/41 and /40. In addition, it meets the requirements of UL94 V-0 flammability and RoHS.

Environmentally friendly

When environmental safety is a crucial factor, Arlon 33N is the right material to use. This material doesn’t contain any MDA. The non-MDA chemistry helps to resist drill cracking. Also, there are no carcinogenic materials in it. It is bromine and lead-free. Therefore, it is safe for humans and their environments.

High thermal resistance

Arlon 33N provides high thermal resistance for very high temperature burn-in applications. This is because of the use of pure polyimide in this material. Also, Arlon 33N is a high thermal material reliable for high temperature environments.

Applications of Arlon 33N PCB Material

Arlon 33N PCB material is a great option for diverse applications.

Automotive and transportation

The automotive and transportation industries require the use of high performance PCB material. Arlon 33N PCB material is widely used in powertrain and UTH. Also, you will find this material useful in designing exterior and interior parts of automobiles. It plays a critical role in designing under-hood automotive controls.

Electrical and electronics

You will find these PCB materials in parts and components of electrical devices. Also, you will find them in consumer electronic devices.


Arlon 33N PCB material is useful in designing some industrial electronic devices. The industrial system is exposed to high temperatures. Therefore, the use of high thermal PCBs is advisable.


This article has explained everything you need to know about Arlon 33N. This PCB material offers a lot of benefits and features.