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Solid Aluminium vs. Tantalum Caps

Discussion in 'Electronic Components' started by Costas Vlachos, Jul 23, 2003.

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  1. I've always known and admired the superior properties of Tantalum caps.
    BUT... I've been reading posts in sci.electronics.* and elsewhere about how
    they can turn into nice fireworks/explosives, or can fail easily under harsh
    conditions. I've been looking at the so called "solid aluminium" caps (not
    the aluminium electrolytic ones), which are supposed to have a very long
    life, and ESR comparable to Tantalums.

    How do the two compare? Would you use solid alu caps in place of Tantalums,
    and if not, what makes Tantalums better?

    Thanks for any comments.

    Costas
     
  2. Jim Adney

    Jim Adney Guest

    I've heard of solid tantalums but not solid aluminums. Are you sure?
    Do you have a URL?

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  3. Yes, they do exist. Strictly speaking they are still aluminium electrolytic,
    but with solid electrolyte (not liquid like the usual ones). Go to:

    http://www.bccomponents.com/

    Select electrolytic caps and you'll see them as "solid aluminium". There are
    PDFs there too. Check http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/361.pdf for one of
    them. They're supposed to have very low ESR (comparable to tantalums), but
    are more tolerant to abuse (they can even tolerate reverse polarity up to
    0.3*rated voltage, and don't need low-ohmic resistors to protect them from
    abrupt charges/discharges).

    I've ordered a few 10uF solid alu ones for testing. They are made by Sanyo
    and the specs are: 10uF @ 10V, ESR of 150 mOhms @ 100kHz to 300kHz, -55*C to
    105*C, 5mm diameter, 6.8mm height, £0.40 each (UK/Farnell).

    cheers,
    Costas
     
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