The Rogers team is passionate about helping the world’s leading innovators solve their toughest material challenges to help power, protect, and connect our world. How we conduct our business is just as important as what we achieve. We strive for “Results, but Results in the Right Way.” That means making choices that are based on what is ethically sound and not just what is easy or expedient.

We believe that corporate responsibility is a commitment to managing our activities in a responsible way from business ethics to health and safety to human rights. This is why we have spent a great deal of time developing the Rogers Corp. Corporate Responsibility hub and updating our Code of Business Ethics.

“Our corporate reputation is built on the trust and confidence of our employees, customers, stakeholders, and the communities in which we operate,” states Bruce Hoechner, CEO. “This trust is one of our most valuable assets. Our Code of Business Ethics explains what is expected of each of us at Rogers as we work to achieve our business goals. Compliance with this Code is mandatory and the cornerstone of our ethical culture that we reaffirm daily in our business activities.”

The Rogers Code of Business Ethics describes how our cultural behaviors are to be translated into concrete actions. It is organized around the following policies:

The Rogers Corporate Responsibility hub provides an inside look at the conscience of our company and how we operate around the world. Updating our Code of Business Ethics is the next step in an evolving commitment to demonstrate what we believe in at Rogers Corp. Stay tuned for more.

If you have questions, please contact the Rogers Legal and Compliance Department or Ben Buckley, Associate General Counsel & Director of Global Compliance and Integrity, at ben.buckley@rogerscorporation.com.

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This post authored by John Coonrod, Technical Marketing Manager, and team originally appeared on the ROG Blog hosted by Microwave Journal.

Growing demand for mobile wireless communications services has quickly eclipsed the capabilities of Fourth Generation (4G) Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless networks and created a need for a next-generation mobile wireless network solution. Fifth Generation (5G) wireless networks promise more capacity and capability than 4G LTE systems, using wider channel bandwidths, new antenna and modulation technologies, and higher carrier frequencies even through millimeter-wave frequencies. But before 5G wireless networks can become a reality, systems and circuits will be needed for higher frequencies than current 2.6-GHz 4G LTE wireless networks.

Standards are still being formulated for 5G wireless networks, with goals of achieving data rates of 10 Gb/s and beyond with low latency, using higher frequencies than in traditional wireless communications systems. In the United States, for example, last year the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the use of frequency bands at 28, 37, and 39 GHz for 5G.

PCB Materials for Millimeter Waves

For circuit designers, one challenge will be in knowing where to start, which means, for millimeter-wave frequencies, knowing what types of printed-circuit-board (PCB) material characteristics are the most important at higher frequencies. Millimeter-wave frequencies (above 30 GHz) were once used almost exclusively by the military and for research experiments, but 5G represents an opportunity to “popularize” millimeter-wave frequencies and make them part of everyday life, not just for exotic electronic devices in the limited quantities used in research and by the military, but for potentially billions of electronic devices for people and things, as in how Internet of Things (IoT) devices will use 5G networks for Internet access.

Designing circuits at millimeter-wave frequencies starts with the right PCB material, and knowing how different PCB characteristics affect circuit performance at millimeter-wave frequencies. Variations in certain circuit material parameters, such as dielectric constant (Dk), can have greater impact on performance as the operating frequency increases. For example, signal power is a valuable commodity at millimeter-wave frequencies, requiring circuit designers to minimize loss in their circuits as much as possible. This begins with the choice of PCB material, since a PCB material not meant for use at millimeter-wave frequencies can result in excessive signal losses when operated beyond its intended operating frequency range.

PCB materials can degrade signal power in three ways: radiation losses, dielectric losses, and conductor losses. Losses through radiation of EM energy largely depend on the circuit architecture, so even the lowest-loss PCB material may not save a circuit configuration that has a tendency to radiate energy.

A thoughtful choice of PCB material can help minimize dielectric and conductor losses at millimeter-wave frequencies. A circuit material’s dielectric loss is closely related to its dissipation factor (Df) or loss tangent, which increases with frequency. The Df is also related to a material’s dielectric constant (Dk), with materials that have higher values of Dk often have higher Df loss, although there are exceptions. Attempts to minimize dielectric losses for millimeter-wave circuits can be aided by considering circuit materials with low Df values.

Controlling Conductor Loss

Finding a material with low conductor losses at millimeter-wave frequencies is not as straightforward, since conductor losses are determined by a number of variables, including the surface roughness and the type of finish. As the name suggests, millimeter-wave signals have extremely small wavelengths, mechanical variations in a circuit-board material can have significant effects on small-wavelength signals. Increased copper surface roughness will increase the loss of a conductor, such as a microstrip transmission line, and slow the phase velocity of signals propagating through it. In microstrip, signals propagate along the conductor, through the dielectric material, and through the air around the circuit material, so the roughness of the conductor at the interface with the dielectric material will contribute to the conductor loss. The amount of loss depends on frequency: the loss is greatest when the skin depth of the propagating signal is less than the copper surface roughness. Such a condition also degrades the phase response of the propagating signal.

The impact of copper surface roughness on conductor loss depends on the thickness of the PCB material: thinner circuits are more affected than thicker circuits. The effects of copper surface roughness on loss become apparent at millimeter-wave frequencies. For example, two circuits based on 5-mil-thick RT/duroid® 6002 circuit material from Rogers Corp. but with two different types of copper conductor and surface roughnesses were tested at 77 GHz. The circuit with rolled copper and root mean square (RMS) conductor surface roughness of 0.3 μm exhibited considerably lower conductor loss than the same circuit material with electrodeposited (ED) copper conductor having 1.8-μm surface roughness.

Propagation of the small wavelengths at millimeter-wave frequencies can also be affected by the type of finish used on a PCB’s conductors. Most plated finishes have lower conductivity than copper, and their addition to a copper conductor will increase the loss of the conductor, with loss increasing as the frequency increases. Electroless nickel immersion gold (ENIG) is a popular finish for copper conductors; unfortunately, nickel has about one-third the conductivity of copper. As a result, ENIG plating will increase the loss of a copper conductor, with the amount of loss increasing as a function of increasing frequency.

Environmental Effects

Environmental conditions can also impact the amount of loss exhibited by a PCB material, especially at millimeter-wave frequencies. Many network scenarios for 5G predict the need for many smaller wireless base stations than used in earlier wireless network generations, in part because of an increased number of expected users and the use of millimeter-wave frequencies and their shorter propagation distances than lower-frequency carriers. Where 5G base stations cannot be maintained in climate-controlled environments, circuits may be subject to changing environmental conditions, such as high relative humidity (RH). Water absorption can dramatically increase the loss of a PCB material, and the loss of circuit materials with high moisture absorption will be greatly affected under high RH conditions.

Testing on 5-mil-thick RO3003™ circuit material from Rogers Corp. for two different operating environments showed how loss at millimeter-wave frequencies can increase with RH. One circuit was maintained at room temperature and the other was subjected to +85ºC and 85% RH for 72 hours. At 79 GHz, the room temperature material had about 0.1 dB/in. less loss than the material subjected to higher humidity and temperature. When testing was performed on a third, thermoset circuit material from a different supplier, the increase in circuit loss at 79 GHz was even more dramatic.

For those interested in learning more about the nuances of selecting PCB materials and designing circuits for 5G, in particular at millimeter-wave frequencies, Rogers has created a number of tutorial videos in the “The Road to 5G” series. The videos guide viewers on what different circuit material parameters mean at millimeter-wave frequencies, and which material characteristics make the most difference at those higher frequencies. The videos offer quick and easy ways to learn how to specify PCB materials for 5G, and to get ready for this next revolution in wireless communications.

ROG Mobile App

Download the ROG Mobile app to access Rogers’ calculators, including the popular Microwave Impedance simulation tool, literature, technical papers, and the ability to order samples of the company’s high performance printed circuit board materials.

Ask an Engineer

Do you have a design or fabrication question? Rogers Corporation’s experts are available to help. Log in to the Rogers Technology Support Hub and “Ask an Engineer today.

The Rogers Corp. R&D Safety Committee hosted a successful 2nd annual Safety Stand Down Day in Rogers, CT, on June 7, 2017. Approximately 85 employees from R&D, the Innovation Center, Marketing, and Human Resources participated.

We were pleased to host presentations by Sergeant Eric Haglund of the Connecticut State Police, Dept. of Emergency Services, and UCONN Associate Clinical Professor of Pharmacy, Michael Nailor.

The day’s events also included a laboratory safety game, which addressed hazard identification and correct procedures for inspections, as well as a safety video regarding the indicators that lead to workplace accidents. Chuck Weatherbee, EHS Engineer at Rogers, presented a hierarchy of protection and reviewed the Rogers Corp. Chemical Hygiene Plan.

Also available was an optional blood pressure screening provided by the nursing staff of Day Kimball Hospital, and an interactive stress management presentation by Brad and Pam Thompson of Wellness Within. A delicious lunch was provided by the Golden Lamb Buttery.

Thank you to all who participated.

Find out more about Safety & Protection at Rogers Corp.

 

 

 

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Rogers Corporation announces an extension of the thickness range for AquaPro® 37™ – the material of choice for long-lasting protection of sensitive electronics and enclosed devices.

Especially well-suited for critical applications in which sealing against water ingress is vital, this softer AquaPro 37 foam is constructed of closed cells with an open cell sub-segment. Working in tandem with hydrophobic raw materials the combination delivers superior water-sealing performance and reliability when compared to traditional sealing solutions, consistent with the high standards of the PORON® family of polyurethane materials.

Available in standard thicknesses ranging from 0.020” to 0.039”(0.50mm to 1.0mm), the AquaPro 37 formulation requires the lowest compression force of any PORON water-sealing material in achieving a tight seal. It performs reliably in a broad temperature range, is low outgassing, and provides dependable water sealing for thin applications – guaranteeing that design engineers never have to settle when a high-performing water seal is required.

Recent developments in eMobility (electro mobility or advanced mobility) have led to increasing options for clean and efficient vehicles that rely on electric powertrain technologies, in-vehicle information, communication technologies, and connected infrastructures.  The systems within these vehicles pose unique sealing and vibration management challenges vs cars with traditional combustion engines.

Rogers’ advanced materials are used in a wide variety of eMobility platforms, including gaskets and vibration management foams for airbag sensors, sound systems, and batteries. Let’s take a closer look at the challenges of vibration management and gasketing / sealing in EVs and hybrid vehicles.

Learn how Rogers advanced materials are used in a wide variety of eMobility platforms.

High performance gaskets are found in Exterior Lighting Seals; On-board EV Charging Seals; Roof Mounted Antenna Seals; Sensors; Back Up Camera Seals; Drive Train PCB Isolation Pads; EV & HEV Battery Isolation/Battery Separator & Compression Pads; Heat Shields; Buzz, Squeak and Rattle Isolation (BSR) Pads; Noise, Vibration & Harshness Isolation Pads; and Tolerance and Gap Pads.

Vibration management foams are found in Dampers/Isolators for Shock, Vibration, Noise & Impact; Gas Tank Isolator Pads; Airbag Sensor Arm Rest Pads; Door Handle Isolation Pads; Infotainment Display Seals; Isolation Pad Interior Trim for Cup Holders and Bin Liners; and Sunroof Control Panels.

High Performance Materials

Rogers’ Elastomeric Material Solutions group provides a wide range of high performance materials, from soft foams for automotive fuel tank isolator pads and camera window gaskets to very firm foams for enclosure gaskets. The company’s foams – PORON® polyurethane material and BISCO® silicone materials – provide solutions for door panels, air bags, instrument panels, battery systems, and more.

Vibration Management

Automotive interiors and exteriors are subjected to a variety of extreme environmental conditions. Safety is also a concern as severe damage – electrical shock or explosion – is possible if the vehicle’s battery pack is not properly sealed. Batteries need to be packaged to absorb internal impact energy. Vibration must be managed both within the pack and between the pack and the surrounding vehicle.

  • BISCO® Silicone Compression Set Resistance (C-set) withstands collapse due to the stresses of compression and temperature over time. This extends the life of the vehicle part by continuing to seal and absorb shock.
  • In EV / HEV batteries, cushions/springs hold components firmly in place and, if needed, firmly in contact with each other. PORON® polyurethane materials have a unique ability to produce a very consistent level of force across a range of compressions. This allows the system designer to predict the material’s behavior across varied dimensional tolerances.

Gasketing, Sealing, and Gap Filling

Like most vehicles, EVs and HEVs need to withstand the elements and function in all environments. Gaskets and gap fillers protect sensitive electronics – often in the presence of extreme temperatures – and seal out air, water, dust, light, and electromagnetic interference (EMI).

  • Gaskets made from BISCO® silicone materials seal the interface, such as where a battery is plugged into the electrical grid, and provide exceptional UV resistance and cold temperature flexibility.
  • PORON® polyurethane materials are low-outgassing and non-fogging. They contain no plasticizers or residual chemicals to contaminate devices. Wherever it is used, the material will not become brittle and crumble, and is non-corrosive to metal.
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