Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL FAQs - TECHNICAL FAQs

GENERAL FAQs

1. What does ISO 9001 / AS 9100 Certified mean?
2. What is the significance of your Quality Policy as stated on your Home Page?
3. Does Aptek accept credit cards?
4. Does Aptek have any distribution network?
5. What kind of lead times can I expect when I place an order?
6. Can lead times be reduced?
7. Does Aptek supply TDS and MSDS with their products?


Q: What does ISO 9001 / AS 9100 Certified mean?
A: Compliance and certification to the ISO and AS9100 specifications are now required by Boeing and other military/space contractors. Subcontractors and vendors must meet these rigorous standards in order to achieve preferred status with these prime contractors. Not only is initial certification required, but continued yearly surveillance audits by certified agencies are required to maintain the certified status. Each audit is scored and recorded in a data base. Aptek proudly achieved a score of 94.5% in the latest 2010 audit. We take this certification seriously and were rewarded by Boeing with its Silver Performance Supplier Excellence Award for a third straight year in 2009.

Q: What is the significance of your Quality Policy as stated on your Home Page?
A: Aptek’s Quality Policy motivates every department and personnel to strive for customer satisfaction, compliance with requirements, and continual improvement of our quality management system. This policy is the gauge by which we measure our performance. Each department has established parameters by which to measure its success in the execution of this policy. Every department including customer service, purchasing, manufacturing, shipping, warehouse, quality control, technical service and product development—consistently strive to achieve this triple goal of customer satisfaction, compliance with requirements, and continual improvement.

Q: Does Aptek accept credit cards?
A: YES. We accept MasterCard and Visa . We do not take American Express or Discover. Contact Customer Service for further details.

Q: Does Aptek have any distribution network?
A: NO. Aptek ships factory-direct to all its customers world-wide because Aptek products are made to order. There is one exception: Aptek’s complete line of stereo lithography (SL) repair adhesives under the UVIBOND SL trade name are exclusively distributed by SLA Sales (Phone # 310-698-0288).

Q: What kind of lead times can I expect when I place an order?
A: Typical lead times are 4-6 weeks because all products are custom made to order. The lead time is necessary to acquire the raw materials to make your product fresh and to achieve the maximum shelf life possible at the point in time you receive your product from Aptek. Please contact Customer Service for details.

Q: Can lead times be reduced?
A: YES—depending on the situation. Aptek has an expedite policy. For a fee, Aptek will expedite your order so that it ships within two weeks of receipt of your order. Please call Customer Service to discuss Aptek’s expedite policy and fee.

Q: Does Aptek supply TDS and MSDS with their products?
A: YES. All Aptek TDS for existing products can be downloaded directly from Aptek’s website’s technical info link. Aptek MSDS are proprietary and are viewed only by our customers. Please contact Customer Service if you have any questions. Aptek will also ship current MSDS with all orders.


TECHNICAL FAQs

Back to top

1. Why are Aptek products unique to specific applications?
2. What is the coverage of one quart of APTEK 2719-A/B (white paint)? How do I spray the white paint?
3. What are the advantages of low-outgassing space grade products for high tech applications?
4. How are Aptek’s polymer system packaged?
5. Can you explain B/C/B film adhesives?
6. Why are most of Aptek’s adhesives low modulus and low Tg (glass transition)?
7. What tests does your Quality Control department perform?
8. Why is thermal conductivity for electronic adhesive applications?
9. What is the value of a snap-cure system for surface mount technology?
10. How are Aptek’s DI-STRATE dielectric substrates different from standard teflon-based substrates offered by other suppliers?
11. What type of chemistry do I need – an epoxy, urethane, silicone, polyimide or a hybrid system?
12. What are the best materials for stress management of mismatched parts?
13. How can the same conformal coating be qualified under two material types to the Mil-I-46058C specification
(aka IPC-C-830 B)?

14. Can you explain shadow curing and why it is important in any UV curing system?
15. Why do published values for dielectric strength vary so greatly even for products of similar chemistry? What factors affect the dielectric strength property?


Q: Why are Aptek products unique to specific applications?
A: Our products are unique because we custom formulate them to meet your application requirements. Although our products may utilize similar technologies to competitive products, Aptek’s Technical Service Laboratory works closely with your M&P engineers to tune our technology so that our products are user-friendly for your application. Many of our products are sole source on space-and military-grade specifications.

Q: What is the coverage of one quart of APTEK® 2719-A/B (white paint)? How do I spray the white paint?
A: One quart of white paint will cover approximately 20-25 square feet when thinned with xylene @ 3-4 mls thick applied @ 2.5 mils thick. We do not perform any spraying services in house and the preferred spray equipment of your spray technicians will generally suffice.

Q: What are the advantages of low-outgassing space grade products for high tech applications?
A: To meet the rigors of outer space, all adhesives, coatings, encapsulants, etc. must pass NASA outgassing requirements as outlined in ASTM E-595. Simply stated, these polymer systems must not lose more than one percent TML (total mass loss) and must not have volatile condensation on a collector plate >0.1%, all while the adhesive is heated to 125 ° C in a vacuum environment of 10 -6 Torr. For products that meet this specification, whether for space or for high tech earth applications, they will be generally superior and outperform any non-space grade materials.

Q: How are Aptek’s polymer system packaged?
A: Many of Aptek’s adhesives are conveniently packaged in PMF (premixed frozen) syringes from 1cc to as high as 30cc, usually for robotic and small quantity hand-dispensed applications. Other adhesives are packaged in dual cartridge mix dispensing systems for the field to repair applications. These unique cartridges dispense pre-vacuumed adhesive components at the proper mix ratio as needed with little or no entrapment. Other systems are packaged in clean, dry glass, cans, or plastic containers as required. Also, to assure maximum shelf life stability, all moisture-sensitive materials are packaged under Argon. If specialty packaging is required for your specific application, speak with our Technical Service department.

Q: Can you explain B/C/B® film adhesives?
A: B/C/B is a regulated trademark of Aptek Laboratories, Inc. and refers to the unique technology of applying B-staged adhesives to either side of a fully cured C-staged film. This technology has proven superior to conventional fabric-supported film adhesives due to their uniform CTE and modulus, and perform better in temperature cycling applications. Refer to the 1303-B/C/B TDS and to the technical paper entitled Thermal Management Performance and Attachment Reliability Using Urethane Film Adhesives

Q: Why are most of Aptek’s adhesives low modulus and low Tg (glass transition)?
A: Our low modulus system provides superior temperature cycling and stress management. The technical article on Aptek’s website entitled Stress Management via Low Modulus Urethane Adhesives for Electronic Applications explains this in depth.

Q: What tests does your Quality Control department perform?
A: The QC test lab is equipped with high tech measuring instruments and devices which are calibrated to provide test data to compare against customer’s specifications. Currently, the following tests are performed, as needed on many Aptek products: specific gravity, viscosity, % solids, % NCO, epoxy equivalent weight, visual inspection (microscopic), volume resistivity, surface resistivity, dielectric constant, gel time, fluorescence, hardness, tensile and elongation, tear strength, glass transition temperature, coefficient of thermal expansion, compressive strength, tack free time, and cured density. Currently, the following measurement instruments and devices are used to inspect and/or test Aptek products: analytical scales, viscometer, microscope, digital multimeter, Instron, TMA, UV, scanner network analyzer / oscillator, and hardness testers. Other tests may be available by request. Aptek can send a customer’s product to an outside test lab, for additional testing, and the customer in turn would be charged for the external test.

Q: Why is thermal conductivity for electronic adhesive applications?
A: As the electronics industry becomes more sophisticated and the demand for faster and smaller circuitry is increased, the temperature at the interface between the components and circuit board also drastically increases. If temperature is not directed away from the components, their efficiency is drastically reduced; thus, the need for thermally conductive adhesives to keep the electronics running cooler. Aptek offers many thermally adhesives, both electrically conductive and electrically insulative, depending on application requirements. The current product line provides thermal conductivity in the range of 0.5-2.0 W/m ° K. Developments are under way to achieve thermal conductivities in the 4-5 W/m ° K range. Contact Aptek Technical Service for more information for thermally conductive adhesives for your specific application. Also refer to the technical paper Development, Evaluation, and Implementation of Thermally Conductive Component Attach Adhesives in Inline Curing SMT Assembly Processes.

Q: What is the value of a snap-cure system for surface mount technology?
A: Surface mount adhesives such as APTEK 2310-PMF and APTEK 2311-PMF are based on hybrid resin technologies, which display a snap cure. That is, these adhesives have very long work life at room temperature but when exposed to temperatures 85 ° C and higher, become highly reactive and gel quickly to hold surface-mount components in place, i.e. snap cure. These adhesives are production–friendly and can be used in an inline solder flow operation with cure times under a minute or two at solder reflow temperatures. Please refer to the Technical Data Sheets under the link Technical Info for these snap-cure adhesives. Also refer to the technical paper Development, Evaluation, and Implementation of Thermally Conductive Component Attach Adhesives in Inline Curing SMT Assembly Processes.

Q: How are Aptek’s DI-STRATE dielectric substrates different from standard teflon-based substrates offered by other suppliers?
A: Aptek custom tunes and formulates the substrate to the desired dielectric constant and any other physical parameters as dictated by the microwaves/antenna engineers, whereas competitive substrates usually possess a 2.05 dielectric constant typical of teflon. Also, teflon-based substrates are difficult to machine and adhere to. For example, DISTRATE 1500-1 was specifically designed for the Iridium main mission antenna for the 66-satellite Constellation currently circling the Earth. Not only were these tuned to the required narrow band dielectric constant, but these tiles had to be extremely lightweight, low coefficient of thermal expansion, and pass the stringent NASA outgassing requirements of ASTM E-595. For further information, check out the various DI-STRATES available under the Products link of our website.

Q: What type of chemistry do I need – an epoxy, urethane, silicone, polyimide or a hybrid system?
A: The selection of the proper resin chemistry will be based upon your application requirements. A basic description of the general properties for each type of resin system is as follows:

An epoxy resin system is usually rigid, high modulus, high tensile strength, and provides superior chemical resistance than other chemistries. Epoxies are usually best for general purpose applications and do not require a primer. The typical temperature operating range for epoxies is usually 25 ° C to 150 ° C.

Urethane systems are usually more flexible, lower modulus, lower Tg, and provide higher elongation and higher peel strength, without the use of a primer. Another advantage of this lower modulus chemistry is that they are used as stressed absorbers when bonding dissimilar substrates with different coefficients of thermal expansion. They are preferred for their ability to withstand low and high temperature cycling without cracking components or substrates, usually in the temperature range of -50 C to + 100 C operating range – for a more detailed discussion, refer to the technical paper entitled Stress Management via Low Modulus Urethane Adhesives for Electronic Applications.

Silicones, like urethanes, are also low modulus, high elongation, high peel strength, and low Tg, stress absorbing systems. They are unique in that although they are usually soft, they have the widest operating temperature range of all the chemistries. Most of Aptek’s spacegrade systems operate from -150 ° C to +260 ° C. As should also be noted, Aptek mainly employs addition-cured silicone technology, which does, not outgas during cure, and are the most suitable for space applications. Also, they cure significantly faster than condensation-cure silicone systems—hours vs. days! These types of silicones usually require the use of a primer for best adhesion. An outstanding silicone adhesive is APTEK 2712-A/B. Please refer to the APTEK 2712-A/B TDS for more information.

Besides the above chemistries, when necessary, Aptek will use other technologies, such as polyimide resins and custom-made hybrid resins. An excellent example of a hybrid urethane resin system is APTEK 2310-PMF, which is a snap-cure, surface mount adhesive. Please refer to the APTEK 2310-PMF TDS for more details. Our goal is to use the proper chemistry to fit your applications. Our formulations are your solutions.

Q: What are the best materials for stress management of mismatched parts?
A: The best materials for stress management of mismatched parts are low modulus adhesives which provide the ability to absorb these mismatches without exerting undo stresses on valuable compounds. Aptek provides different classes of these materials including, but not limited to, low outgassing silicones and urethanes, both available as thermally conductive and/or electrically conductive.

As stresses build up between mismatches of CTE these stresses can shear off surface mount components in potting compounds, bonds between aluminum and ceramic can crack the ceramic or distort componentry if a method for reducing stress is not present. Low modulus adhesives such as DIS-A-PASTE® 2000 A/B and DIS-A-PASTE 2310-PMF can absorb these stresses and avoid the disasters mentioned above. This is described in the following article: Stress Management via Low Modulus Urethane Adhesives for Electronic Applications.

Q: How can the same conformal coating be qualified under two material types to the Mil-I-46058C specification (aka IPC-C-830 B)?
A: Aptek’s UVIKOTE 7503-PMF and UVIKOTE 7504-PMF shadow cure conformal coatings are classified to both acrylic (AR) and polyurethane (UR). The complicated chemistry in these system actually employ both material types, allowing for dual classification. Contact Aptek’s Technical Service for further details.

Q: Can you explain shadow curing and why it is important in any UV curing system?
A: The shadow cure feature of some of Aptek’s UV-cured systems allows for full cure even in areas where the coating or adhesive does not “see” or is shaded from UV light exposure. This is possible due to the multicure mechanisms employed by Aptek which include UV, anaerobic, and moisture cure.Aptek’s UVIKOTE 7503-PMFpossesses this multicure feature and is the only UV-cured coating approved for and used in space. Please refer to UVIKOTE 7503-PMF TDS TDS and the technical paper Unique UV Urethane Adhesives, Coatings and Encapsulants for more details.

Q: Why do published values for dielectric strength vary so greatly even for products of similar chemistry? What factors affect the dielectric strength property?
A: Two major factors affect the property of dielectric strength:

  1. the thickness of the specimen
  2. the test temperature

If these two conditions are not identical when comparing products, the test results will be very different. Typically, most dielectric strengths should be run at a specimen thickness of 1/8” (125 mils) and at room temperature (25ºC). Any variances in thickness and temperature will result in different values for the same material. The results are usually expressed in volts/mil.

The following guidelines can be useful when testing materials for dielectric strength:

  1. As a general rule, thinner specimens produce higher dielectric strength values and thicker specimens produce lower test values. NOTE: Please refer to example below published by 3M that displays this typical phenomenon that dielectric strength is inversely proportional to thickness for the exact same material.
  2. Materials that do not contain any fillers usually yield higher dielectric strength results than filled products because the fillers themselves have different dielectric strength properties that are usually more conductive than the polymer itself.
  3. The higher the test temperature, the lower the volts/mil will be.

3m Scotch 23 All-Voltage Splicing Tape Data sheet graph.

Back to top