G10-FR4 (Mil-I-24768/27) is one of the most widely used laminate products in existence for a wide range of reasons, some of which may surprise you. The term “FR4” in the name is actually short for “flame retardant,” indicating that these materials offer remarkable anti-fire properties that make them ideal for machining, die cutting and absolutely everything in between.
Created by way of an electrical alkali-free glass cloth that is paired with epoxy resin under intense pressure and heat, G10-FR4 offers major benefits like high mechanical properties at medium humidity, superior dielectric stability at high humidity when compared to alternative materials and so much more. It also has a wide range of fascinating real world applications that you’ll definitely want to know more about.
G10-FR4 and Consumer Electronics
If you’re not already familiar with the real world applications of G10-FR4, don’t feel bad – it’s actually the natural evolution of standard G10 composite materials. Because G10 is manufactured in flat sheets that can be as thin as just a few millimeters, it was commonly used in nearly every type of consumer electronics device that you can think of – particularly those with a printed circuit board.
G10-FR4 has long since replaced the use of standard G10 in these situations, thanks largely to the fact that it uses a flame-retardant brominated epoxy. To say that computers and other types of electronic devices can get hot inside is something of an understatement, so this compliance with the safety of flammability standard UL94V-0 was a necessary shift.
Many additional applications of G10-FR4 materials exist, including uses that would surprise many people. There are decorative variations of G10-FR4 available, for example, that can be designed in many different colors and patterns – making them ideal for the handles of knives, fire arm grips and other tools where properties like high strength and low moisture absorption are favorable. Because the material itself can be easily textured, it is often favored when making firearm grips and in other types of handcrafted applications.
Situations where G10-FR4 materials are found in the real world don’t end there, however. Any time that you interact with an electrically operated relay switch at work, go to the hardware store to by some standoffs for that home computer that you’re about to build or come into contact with an arc shield, you’re interacting with G10-FR4 whether you realize it or not. Other fascinating applications include the important role that G10-FR4 materials play in transformers, screw terminal strips, bus bars, washers and so much more.