Gas discharge technology evolves to protect smaller, sensitive electronics

December 02, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Bourns’ FLAT GDT (gas discharge tube) technology reduces device height by 75% while maintaining its isolation and current-handling capabilities.

Designed as a robust circuit protection solution to meet the challenging requirements of today's smaller and more sensitive electronics equipment, Bourns’ FLAT GDT technology is a compact, space-saving design that offers superior surge current ratings, low leakage and insertion loss with constant capacitance regardless of voltage. The series features a wide voltage range (90-600 V) and voltage-limiting performance suited to sensitive equipment with minimal impact on signal or system operation.

GDT devices are popular as overvoltage protection solutions due to their extremely low capacitance and low leakage characteristics, along with their high surge current-handling capabilities. These characteristics suit GDT devices for use in a wide variety of telecommunications, industrial and non-critical medical equipment designs requiring robust overvoltage protection. Key to a conventional GDT’s ability to handle surge energy and maintain electrical isolation is its overall diameter and length. Solving the issues of space-constrained applications, the Bourns FLAT GDT technology employs an isolation pathway design that allows the GDT to be “squeezed” in the axial direction resulting in significantly reduced height and volume as compared to similarly-rated conventional GDTs.

“While conventional GDT devices provide effective overvoltage protection, they do so at the cost of valuable printed circuit board space. Bourns’ FLAT GDT technology provides the key features and benefits of conventional GDT technology in an innovative volume and space-saving design,” said Kurt Wattelet, product manager at Bourns, Inc. “When compared to a surface mount 8-mm Bourns GDT, the horizontal mount Bourns FLAT GDT design is reduced in volume by 75% while maintaining the performance of the standard device.”

Model 2015 is available in flexible mounting options that include horizontal, vertical and bottom side PCB. As a pricing reference, Model 2015-xx is priced at $0.42 (1,000).