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How Arlon 38N Improves Thermal Stability in Printed Circuit Boards

PCB manufacturing involves the use of several raw materials. However, the laminate is a core material in PCB fabrication. This PCB material determines the functionality and performance of a PCB. With the increasing demands for high end PCBs, there is need for improvement in the prepreg system.

The Arlon 38N PCB material is one of the most reliable PCB materials for high performance applications. Therefore, we will look further into what this PCB material offers.

What is Arlon 38N PCB Material?

Arlon 38N PCB material is an enhanced polyimide low-flow resin designed to enhance bond strength and adhesion to polyimide films. It is a high Tg material for bonding multilayer polyimide. Also, it attaches heat sinks to polyimide multilayer boards. In addition, this material is useful in applications that require uniform flow of resin.

This material features a chemistry that allows a uniform resin cure. Therefore, this prevents excessive resin flow into relief areas. Also, Arlon 38N PCB material features exceptional properties and benefits. This material features enhanced bond strength for great performance in heat sink bonding. Also, the mechanical and electrical properties of this material meet some industry standards.

Arlon 38N PCB material has expansion characteristics that increase PTH reliability. Also, this PCB material is curable at a very low temperature. This material is lead free and compatible with lead free processing. Arlon 38N is a second generation low flow polyimide prepreg system.

Properties of Arlon 38N PCB Material

Mechanical property

The peel strength of this material is 8.5 (1.5) Ib/in (N/mm) after thermal stress and at elevated temperatures. Also, this value remains the same after process solutions. The peel strength to Kapton is 5.2 (0.9) Ib/in (N/mm) after soldering. It is 5.9 (1.0) Ib/in (N/mm) as received.

The flexural strength of Arlon 38N is 60 (414) kpsi (MPa), while the water absorption rate of 38N is less than 1.0%.

Thermal property

Arlon 38N has a glass transition temperature of 200 degrees Celsius at both DSC and TMA.

The decomposition temperature of this material is 311 degrees Celsius. The Td value at 5% weight loss is 330 degrees Celsius.

The coefficient of thermal expansion at the X and Y axis is 17 ppmo/C. The CTE at the Z-axis before Tg is 54 ppmo/C.  After Tg, this value becomes 157 ppmo/C.

The thermal conductivity of Arlon 38N is 0.3 W/mK.

Electrical property

The dissipation factor of Arlon 38N is 0.01 at 1 MHz . Also, Arlon 38N maintains a stable and low dissipation factor. The dielectric constant is 4.25 at 1 MHz and 1 GHZ. The electrical strength is 1600 (63.0) volts/mil (kV/mm). Also, this material has a tensile strength of 32 (221) kpsi (MPa).

Advantages of Arlon 38N

There are several benefits of using Arlon 38N in PCB fabrication. These benefits include:

Improved bond strength

This material features greater bond strength to copper. Therefore, this helps to provide great performance in heat sink bonding.

Great thermal stability

Arlon 38N PCB material features great thermal properties. These properties include low CTE and high Tg and Td value. Therefore, these properties contribute to this material’s thermal performance and stability. The high Tg value helps to increase PTH reliability.

Industry approval

This PCB material meets the requirements of most industry standards. Also, the electrical and mechanical properties meet the IPC-4101/42 requirements. In addition, this material complies with RoHS/ WEEE standards. Therefore, Arlon 38N PCB material is a highly recommended material for PCB fabrication.

Faster and uniform resin cure

Arlon 38N features a novel chemistry that allows more uniform and faster resin cure. Therefore, this helps to ensure consistent and minimal flow of resin.

Lead-free process compatibility

This PCB material features no lead components. Also, it is compatible with lead-free processing. Therefore, it is an ideal polyimide prepreg system for circuit boards.

Environmentally friendly

Arlon 38N is an environmentally friendly PCB material. This is because this material contains no halogen or lead components. Also, it meets the UL 94 V-0 flammability. Therefore, this material is safe for fabrication printed circuit boards.

Processing Guidelines for Arlon 38N PCB Material

It is highly recommended that manufacturers dry Arlon 38N at 29” (736 mm Hg) within 12 to 24 hours. Arlon 38N PCB material is process tolerant. Also, this material laminates properly with a hot start or cold press start. You can use vacuum lamination to remove air and moisture. Low-flow material can’t displace air voids. However, vacuum will guarantee you a void-free finished product.

  • Vacuum draw down the material below 29” (736 mm Hg) before you apply pressure in the press. Also, ensure you set the vacuum beyond the resin’s set point.
  • Utilize a platen temperature within 370oF and 380oF.
  • Also, regulate the heat rise to 8 – 12 degrees Fahrenheit per minute.
  • Make use of a pressure of 12.6 to 24 kg/ However, this should depend on the panel size.
  • The cure time for the resin should be 90 minutes.

Factors to Consider when Choosing Arlon 38N

There are several types of Arlon PCB materials. Each of these materials has its own peculiar properties. Therefore, it is important to choose a material that suits your application requirement. When choosing Arlon 38N, below are factors to consider.


This is first factor you need to consider when choosing Arlon 38N. Also, ensure the properties of this material meet that of the intended applications. For instance, this material is ideal for a PCB subjected to a Tg lower than 200 degrees Celsius.

Thermal reliability

Arlon 38N is ideal for applications that require thermal reliability. If you are working with a project that demands exceptional thermal reliability, Arlon 38N is the best option.


This factor greatly influences your choice. Even after considering other factors, cost is important.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the applications of Arlon 38N?

Arlon 38N PCB material is specially designed for bonding multilayer polyimide rigid-flex. However, this material is suitable for use in other applications. Arlon 38N is very useful in applications that require less and uniform resin flow. Also, this PCB material plays a crucial role in PCBs demanding high thermal stability.

Is Arlon 38N flammable?

No, Arlon 38N isn’t flammable. This material meets the UL 94 V-0 flammability requirements.


Having read this article, we hope we have been able to provide vital information about Arlon 38N.




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