TOKYO - Toray Industries Inc. of Tokyo has developed a biphenyl epoxy integrated circuit molding compound that features high flame resistance without the use of bromine or antimony flame-retardant compounds. Nearly all integrated circuits, which are used in everything from cars and washing machines to video games, are encased in plastic. By eliminating the use of environmentally unfriendly halogenated retardants, the new material can be recycled as a cement material.
The importance of plastics to the integrated circuit industry was dramatized two years ago when damage to a Sumitomo Chemical plant that produced resin for IC molding compounds temporarily cut off the supply and drove up the market price of memory chips.
The main components of such materials are epoxy resin and silica with halogenated flame retardants.
The presence of halogens, mainly bromine and antimony, makes landfilling the only way to dispose of waste.
This year, worldwide pro-duction of epoxy IC molding compounds will reach 176.4 million pounds. According to the most conservative estimates, that figure will reach 220.5 million pounds by 2000. Roughly half of all production is discarded as waste during the molding process.
The new material developed by Toray is based on biphenyl epoxy resin and silica filling technology combined with proprietary compounding methods. By eliminating the retardants, which can cause chip surface corrosion, the new material can increase the reliability of ICs.
Toray unveiled biphenyl epoxy resins to the semiconductor industry in 1989.
Cresol novolak epoxy resin still is used widely for IC molding compounds; however, the popularity of biphenyl resin is increasing because of the newer material's soldering resistance.