Circuit materials are not often associated with the battlefield. But when designing electronic gear for warfare—such as two-way radios and radar systems—those circuit materials must perform under a host of conditions not normally experienced in other applications, including wide temperature extremes, rough handling, and high vibration. Electronic circuit materials are comprised of a number of different substances, from low-cost FR-4 laminates to higher-priced (but also higher-performing) polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) circuit materials.
These materials are characterized by a number of different parameters for comparison, including dielectric constant, loss, and several characteristics related to temperature, such as the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). Many of these material parameters directly translate to expected behavior and performance under military battlefield conditions, including the severe temperature extremes and high shock and vibration that typify military applications. For more, click here.