Multilayer ceramic capacitor technology offers protection against surface arcing

September 21, 2012 // By Julien Happich
Kemet has unveiled a patent-pending ArcShield multilayer ceramic capacitor (MLCC) technology in X7R dielectric for use in high voltage applications where surface arcing (arc-over discharge) is a concern.

ArcShield devices inhibit surface arc-over discharge, thereby preventing damage to the capacitor and surrounding components on a printed circuit board. ArcShield high voltage MLCCs offer a more reliable and less costly alternative to surface coating technologies, which can be damaged during the handling and assembly process leaving the capacitor susceptible to the same arc-over concerns as a non-coated device. When application voltages meet or exceed 300 V some MLCCs are susceptible to surface arcing, which is generally caused by a high voltage gradient between the MLCC's termination surfaces or between one termination surface and the component’s internal electrode structure. This phenomenon can either damage surrounding components or lead to a breakdown of its dielectric material, ultimately leading to a short-circuit condition (catastrophic failure mode).

The ArcShield high voltage capacitors are ideal for use as snubbers, in voltage multiplier circuits and in general lighting applications. The devices are also available in automotive grade, qualified to AEC-Q200. Whether under-hood or in-cabin, these products are designed for mission and safety-critical automotive circuits or applications requiring proven, reliable performance in harsh environments.

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