Powertrain & Sensors

Ceramic-Based Systems for Powertrain and Sensors

Ceramic-based material solutions from DuPont for automotive powertrain, sensing and emission control applications deliver superior performance vs. system level cost through high levels of integration, cost-effective manufacturing processes and unprecedented field reliability.

In today’s vehicles, a host of electronic systems control on-board operations, providing drivers and passengers with high levels of performance, efficiency, reliability and safety. In developing these electronic systems, the automotive industry relies on thick film materials for automotive electronics from DuPont, which offer the most attractive cost/reliability/performance combination available on the market today.

Electronic controllers: engine, transmission, ABS

Tier One and Tier Two OEMs and automotive suppliers use multilayer ceramic systems from DuPont – co-fired conventional multilayer and GreenTape ™ low temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) – in multiple types of automotive controllers.

Because they are ceramic-based, the controllers can be deployed anywhere within the vehicle, since temperature is not a concern (ceramics can safely operate without compromise well above 300◦ C, so temperature-induced substrate levels failure modes virtually disappear). For miniaturization and thermal management, ceramic systems deliver unprecedented performance, using the smallest possible footprint and provide better thermal management than other electronic packaging solutions. Ceramic is a better thermal conductor – up to 10x or more – than epoxy-fiberglass (FR4) substrates.

The reliability of interconnects and solder joints makes it possible to place ceramic-based controllers almost anywhere, such as being bolted to the engine block or inside the transmission case. The ceramic vias are solid (plugged) with metal instead of a thin plated layer of metal, and the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) is well-matched to silicon, allowing bare die attachment via flip chip, ball grid array (BGA) or wirebond. In addition, a full range of passive components can be screen-printed directly onto the substrate, further reducing size and improving assembly tolerances and final yields.

Powertrain sensors and emission controls: intake, fuel tank, exhaust

Sensors are vital contributors to efficient vehicle operation and environmental protection. They are often deployed in harsh environments with extreme temperature variations and/or chemical exposure. Ceramic materials offer the best possible solution for a wide number of sensors including mass airflow, manifold absolute pressure, throttle position, fuel tank pressure, fuel level, fuel line pressure, fuel rail pressure, manifold absolute pressure/temperature, engine gas recirculation, direct ignition, oxygen (lambda probe), high temperature, NOx, particulate matter, and more.

DuPont offers silver, gold, platinum, palladium and alloy combinations, enabling the development of unique, custom solutions while maintaining a low total system cost. Our extensive knowledge in metal powder manufacturing technology, metal densification and final structure morphology, along with thick film (TF) or ultra thick thick film (UTTF) paste manufacturing gives DuPont  the singular ability to collaborate with sensor designers and Tier One and Tier Two companies to deliver robust, reliable and innovative systems.