This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Rogers ACS operations in Chandler, AZ, and represents Rogers 50th year as part of the Chandler business community. Join us to celebrate our shared history and success!

The Western history of Advanced Connectivity Solutions (ACS) started back in 1967, when Rogers Corporation opened its plant in Chandler, Arizona to manufacture flexible circuit materials and high-performance PCB laminates.

Today, ACS has manufacturing locations in Rogers, Connecticut; Chandler, Arizona; Bear, Delaware; Gent, Belgium; and Suzhou, China. The products manufactured at these locations are now used in a wide range of markets, including portable communications, communications infrastructure, and aerospace and defense.

As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary and our shared success story, we give special Thank YOUs to all who have made this possible: our employees, customers, and partners!

On October 27, we held an anniversary event with employees, their family and guests to celebrate the occasion with great food and music!

We also would like to extend our gratitude to the Chandler business community – our business and civic partners for their support as we have grown our presence in the region and the Western technology hub in Chandler!

 

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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.

Filter and antenna designers have long appreciated the benefits of designing distributed high-frequency circuits using defected ground structure (DGS) layouts with different types of circuit materials. As the name suggests, a DGS is a circuit in which an intentional defect or interruption has been formed in the ground plane to realize distributed forms of passive circuit elements, such as capacitors and inductors. DGS shapes are often simple resonant u-shaped slots in the ground plane, intended to enhance the coupling of transmission lines or reduce harmonics. The design approach, which can be used with stripline and grounded coplanar waveguide (GCPW) circuits, is most often used with microstrip circuit designs.

DGS circuit telements are useful, for example, as notch resonators to minimize spurious modes in RF/microwave filters. They are supported as design elements in many commercial computer-aided-engineering (CAE) software programs including in electromagnetic (EM) simulators, allowing engineers to import DGS elements to see their effects on otherwise conventional microstrip circuit designs.

While DGS elements can provide simple, compact components, including antennas, couplers, and filters, one concern long associated with the design approach is radiated energy from the microstrip circuits. Because different DGS shapes perform as resonant circuit elements, they can also act as unwanted EM radiators within a microstrip circuit construction unless properly controlled. Fortunately, such radiation levels can be minimized through the use of multilayer microstrip circuit constructions. By adding a low-cost prepreg layer with its own metal ground plane to the microstrip circuit construction, the second ground layer acts to suppress any unwanted EM radiation from the DGS circuit elements.

DGS circuit technology is not new but has been in use for several decades, limited however where radiating energy may cause problems with surrounding components or circuitry. By careful selection of DGS shapes and circuit materials, the benefits of the technology are available without the radiation issues. Sufficient suppression is provided by the isolation of the prepreg dielectric layer and the second ground plane, without otherwise impacting the properties of the top-layer microstrip transmission lines or the resonant effects of any added DGS elements. The upper ground plane, which is the primary ground plane for the microstrip signal conductors, must be spaced sufficiently from the signal conductors so as not to act like a coplanar circuit structure.

Even simple DGS shapes can provide useful signal responses without requiring elaborate microstrip transmission-line perturbations. For example, an “H” pattern etched into the metal ground plane of a microstrip circuit board can be used to produce a stopband response at a frequency of interest. Variables such as the size and spacing of the “H” pattern will determine the frequency and depth of the stopband notch.

A simple opening etched in the ground plane, for example, can be sufficient to increase the impedance of a microstrip transmission line. DGS shapes include slots in the metal ground plane, dumbbells, and meander lines. Each shape differs in terms of its ratio of inductance (L) to capacitance (C), thus having a different impact on the properties of the microstrip circuitry.

Radiation can be minimized or eliminated by fabricating DGS microstrip circuits as part of a multilayer circuit construction with three metal layers, with the DGS ground plane buried between two different dielectric layers. The top and the second metal layers of this multilayer construction are as might be found in any standard microstrip circuit, except that the ground plane is not continuous. Beneath that DGS ground plane is a second dielectric layer, followed by the second ground plane.

This type of multilayer circuit design effectively reduces any DGS-caused radiation, but it must be properly constructed to benefit from the effects of the DGS circuit elements. Sufficient conductive paths must be formed between the top conductor layer and the top and bottom ground planes for the DGS circuit elements to function properly as resonant elements.

To demonstrate the design approach, a stepped-impedance lowpass filter was designed and fabricated as a multilayer circuit consisting of two different circuit materials, with different dielectric constants (Dk). The top dielectric layer, with the signal conductors and first ground plane, was 8-mil-thick RO4360G2™ laminate from Rogers Corp., a low-loss, glass-reinforced thermoset material with Dk of 6.15 in the z-axis (thickness) at 10 GHz and design Dk of 6.4. The second dielectric layer, with the bottom ground plane, was 22-mil-thick 2929 prepreg material from Rogers Corp., material with a much lower Dk (design Dk of 2.9 in the z-axis).

The stepped-impedance lowpass filter, with voids etched into the first ground plane as DGS elements, made use of conductor widths and the two different Dk materials to achieve the impedance transitions required for the filter’s frequency response. Narrower conductors can achieve very high impedances with DGS whereas wider conductors are capable of lower impedances on the higher-Dk circuit material. Analysis of the multilayer stepped-impedance lowpass filter with DGS revealed that the use of two different Dk materials and DGS combined to provide a much sharper filter cutoff slope than a conventional microstrip filter design, with good suppression of spurious harmonics and deeper and wider stopband.

This filter is one example of how DGS can be applied to RF/microwave circuit designs. The use of microstrip DGS makes it possible to place transmission zeros in the filter’s forward transmission (S21) response curve. Placement of the transmission zeros can cause the filter’s stopband floor to be lower. But DGS circuits can be used to form delay lines and phase shifters, since shapes such as DGS slots slow even-mode transmissions, with energy propagating around the edges of the slot, changing the effective velocity of the wave and the effective Dk of the circuit.

Note: For more detail on the benefits of DGS in high-frequency microstrip circuits, don’t miss the author’s MicroApps presentation scheduled for European Microwave Week in Nuremberg, Germany at 2 pm on October 11, 2017. 

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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.

 

Rogers Corporation’s internship program provides a dynamic learning environment where students from universities around the world are offered opportunities to work on real-world challenges and meaningful projects that will positively impact our business, our customers, and our interns.

Elastomeric Material Solutions interns Tom Brzyski and Payton Rehling in Rogers, CT.

We work with interns from a wide variety of schools, including Worcester Polytechnic Institute, UCONN, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Arizona State University, Bethany College, Michigan State University and Illinois Institute of Technology.

We are proud that many of our previous interns are now among our most valued employees!

While it is sometimes challenging for mentors to ensure interns have meaningful work, our crews rise to the occasion – not only organizing impactful projects, but also dedicating time and attention to the interns’ development throughout their tenure.

Alec Labb, Quality Engineering Intern in our Bear, DE facility, applauds Rogers’ dedication to the true spirit of internships. He writes, “Rogers undeniably goes above and beyond in the task of defeating internship stereotypes by valuing the company’s interns and providing each one with meaningful and consequential projects.”

Alec Labb, Quality Engineering Intern, in Bear, DE.

Our interns made significant contributions to several priority projects such as: creating support tools for our Footwear and Impact sales team (Bailey Gannett, mentored by Kelly Nelson), characterizing PTFE films for use in venting (Derek Mollohan, mentored by Joseph Puglisi), assisting in the certification of our new dielectric cabinet in Carol Stream, IL (Alec Labb & Payton Rehling, mentored by Don Charbonneau) and driving key corporate and marketing communications initiatives (Evan Byrne, mentored by Amy Kweder and Jill Malczewski).

Best of all, Rogers is not the only beneficiary of the program. Each intern has expressed sincere appreciation for the experience they gained and the knowledge imparted to them by their respective mentors.

Many thanks to the Rogers interns for all of their hard work and effort.  We wish them all the best and hope that their paths may cross with Rogers again!

Many thanks to the intern mentors, as well, for investing their time and energy into the talent of the future!

Rogers Corporate Marketing Communications interns Evan Byrne, Mitchell Durbin, Emily Arnold, Leslie Bernadino and Joshua Knoll at the new global headquarters in Chandler, AZ.

Consumer products intern Bailey Gannet at a “foamy” breakfast celebration in Rogers, CT.

Power Electronics Solutions interns at a summer BBQ in Eschenbach, Germany.

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A Chinese automobile manufacturer identified an issue with water leaking into the brake light of one of its models, causing short circuits and potentially a fire. The deterioration of the EPDM material originally used to seal around the brake light caused the leakage. As the material aged, its capacity to seal out moisture significantly decreased. Once water entered the brake light housing it flowed downward to the light’s battery located directly beneath the brake light module. At a minimum it would cause a short circuit, in a worst case scenarios it could cause a fire.

The OEM evaluated six options for sealing materials, among them EPDM and rubber. The selected material would have to pass two stringent tests conducted by the OEM; a water-tight test and an assembly test.

The car manufacturer chose Rogers’ BISCO® HT-800 silicone, assured that the material will provide reliable, long-term performance. They also chose to add HT-870, another of Rogers’ silicone formulations, to its material list. Find out more…

Case Study: Rogers Partners with Chinese OEM on Automotive Brake Light Gasket 

Designers can quickly find the silicone material that’s right for their gasketing, heat shield, and sealing applications here: BISCO® Silicone materials.

Unlike the baseball or baseball bat, the baseball glove was initially not part of the game. Back when most of the throwing was underhand, players used their hands. Fast forward to today and it’s a very different ball game. The Guinness World Record for the fastest baseball pitch is 105.1 mph, thrown by Aroldis Chapman for the Cincinnati Reds vs the San Diego Padres on September 24, 2010. Enter the need for impact protection.

Speeds of over 100 mph are not uncommon in baseball, resulting in players often experiencing high levels of impact to their gloves when catching a baseball. The positions of first baseman or catcher receive the largest percentage of throws, so having a glove that provides a high level of protection from such impacts is important to protect the players’ hands and their ability to continue playing in the sport.

Traditional baseball gloves provide limited protection due to the simple materials of leather and wool which do not provide any meaningful shock absorption. One baseball glove manufacturer, Shoeless Joe Ballgloves, needed a way to improve upon their standard gloves. They turned to Rogers XRD® Material to reduce injuries and increase playing time. Here’s how…

Read the Case Study: CONSUMER – Shoeless Joe (PDF)

Designers can quickly find the appropriate XRD Material that fits their sports apparel, equipment, and accessories needs here: XRD Technology Products and Applications.

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