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ALUMINUM ELECTROLYTIC CAPACITOR

ALUMINUM ELECTROLYTIC CAPACITOR

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ALUMINUM ELECTROLYTIC CAPACITOR

ABSTRACT
are uitable to be used when a great capacitance value is required in a very small size. The volume of
an electrolytic c Aluminum electrolytic capacitors are widely used in power supply circuitry of
electronic equipment as there after several advantages over other types of capacitances. The
selection of a capacitor for an application without knowing the basics may result in unreliable
performance of the equipment due to expanitor problems. It may lead to customer dissatisfaction
and damage market to potential or the image of a reputed company. The aluminum electrolytic
capacitors are suitable to be used when a great capacitance value is required in a very small size.
The volume of an electrolytic capacitor is more than 10 times less than a film one considering the
same rated voltage and capacitance. The cost per f is also less when compared with all other
capacitors.is more than 10 times less than a film one considering the same rated v

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CONTENTS
Acknowledgement……………………………………………………..i

Abstract ………………………………………………………………..ii

1) Introduction…………………………………………………………………………….6

2) Construction…………………………………………………………………………….7

3) Types…………………………………………………………………………………….8-11

4) Comparison ……………………………………………………………………………..12-13

5) Materials…………………………………………………………………………………14-18

6) Advantages……………………………………………………………………………….19

7) Disadvantages……………………………………………………………………………..19

8) Applications……………………………………………………………………………….20

9) Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………21

10) Reference…………………………………………………………………………………..22

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1.INTRODUCTION
Aluminum Capacitors are the type of capacitors that are made of oxide film on
aluminum foils with a piece of permeable paper between them which is absorbed an
electrolyte arrangement and all these configuration can be fixed in a can. Essentially
there are two sorts of Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors they are plain foil and
scratched foil type. Plain foil is the type of electrolytic capacitors whose most part is
utilized as smoothening capacitors as a part of force supply circuits while carved foil
type capacitors are utilized as a part of coupling DC blocking and by -pass or filtering
circuits.
Electrolytic aluminum capacitors have the capacitance range of 1uF to 47000uF and
vast tolerance of 20%. The working voltage evaluations range up to 500V. These are
less expensive and effectively accessible in the business sector.

The capacitance quality and working voltage are either imprinted in uF's or coded by
a letter took after by three digits. These three digits speak to th e capacitance value in
pF where initial two digits speak to the number and the third one is the multiplier
digit.

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2.CONSTRUCTION

The aluminum electrolytic capacitor consists of two foils interleaved with an absorbent
paper, and wound tightly into a cylinder. The positive foil, or anode, is made from pure aluminum
foil on the surface of which aluminum oxide dielectric has been formed electrolytically. The foil
has been etched to increase the effective surface area, and the area of the anode is Typically 30–
100 times larger than the plan area of the foil.

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3.TYPES OF ALUMINUM ELECTROLYTIC CAPACITORS

Aluminum electrolytic capacitors are divided into three subfamilies by the type of electrolyte:

1. Non-solid (liquid, wet) aluminum electrolytic capacitors


2. Solid manganese dioxide aluminum electrolytic capacitors
3. Solid polymer aluminium electrolytic capacitors.

1.Non-solid (liquid, wet) aluminum electrolytic capacitors

Aluminum electrolytic capacitors with non-solid electrolyte are the most inexpensive type
and also those with widest range of sizes, capacitance and voltage values. They are made with
capacitance values from 0.1 µF up to 2,700,000 µF (2.7 F), and rated voltages values from 4 V up
to 630 V. The liquid electrolyte provides oxygen for re-forming or self-healing of the dielectric

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oxide layer. However, it can evaporate through a temperature-dependent drying-out process, which
causes electrical parameters to drift, limiting the service life time of the capacitors.

Due to their relatively high capacitance values aluminum electrolytic capacitors have
low impedance values even at lower frequencies like mains frequency. They are typically used
in power supplies, switched-mode power supplies and DC-DC converters for smoothing and
buffering rectified DC voltages in many electronic devices as well as in industrial power supplies
and frequency converters as DC link capacitors for drives, inverters for photovoltaic,
and converters in wind power plants. Special types are used for energy storage, for example
in photoflash or strobe applications or for frequency coupling in audio applications.

Aluminum electrolytic capacitors are polarized capacitors because of their anodization principle.
They can only be operated with DC voltage applied with the correct polarity. Operating the
capacitor with wrong polarity or with AC voltage leads to a short circuit and can destroy the
component. The exceptions is the bipolar aluminum electrolytic capacitor, which has a back-to-
back configuration of two anodes in one case and can be used in AC applications.

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2. Solid manganese dioxide aluminum electrolytic capacitors

Solid aluminum electrolytic


capacitors have no known inherent wear-
out failure mechanism In addition the solid
electrolyte offers a very long time
stability of the electrical and thermal
characteristics. They remain constant
throughout a very long time without time-
depending changes. The dependence of
the impedance and ESR at lower temperatures is very low compared with non-solid electrolytes.
The capacitors are insensible against high inrush or switch-off currents and can be operated
without a series resistor, whereby the SAL electrolytic capacitors at high current loads have a much
higher reliability with respect to tantalum electrolytic capacitors. In addition, the dielectric
aluminum oxide in combination with the electrolyte manganese dioxide has a relatively high
voltage resistance against wrong polarity.

This capacitors are used for filtering, smoothing coupling and decoupling applications in
industrial, medical and automotive equipment. The axial style of SAL capacitors has military and
high professional applications up to 200 °C.

3. Solid polymer aluminium electrolytic capacitors.

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Polymer Ta-e-caps are available in rectangular surface-mounted device (SMD)chip style.


Polymer Al-e-caps and hybrid polymer Al-e-caps are available in rectangular surface-mounted
device (SMD) chip style, in cylindrical SMDs (V-chips) style or as radial leaded versions (single-
ended).

Polymer electrolytic capacitors are characterized by particularly low internal equivalent series
resistances (ESR) and high ripple current ratings. Their electrical parameters have similar
temperature dependence, reliability and service life compared to solid tantalum capacitors, but
have a much better temperature dependence and a considerably longer service life than aluminum
electrolytic capacitors with non-solid electrolytes. In general polymer e-caps have a higher leakage
current rating than the other solid or non-solid electrolytic capacitors.

Polymer electrolytic capacitors are also available in a hybrid construction. The hybrid polymer
aluminum electrolytic capacitors combine a solid polymer electrolyte with a liquid electrolyte.
These types are characterized by low ESR values but have low leakage currents and are insensitive
to transient, however they have a temperature-dependent service life similar to non-solid e-caps.

Polymer electrolytic capacitors are mainly used in power supplies of integrated electronic circuits
as buffer, bypass and decoupling capacitors, especially in devices with flat or compact design.
Thus they compete with MLCC capacitors, but offer higher capacitance values than MLCC, and
they display no microphonic effect (such as class 2 and 3 ceramic capacitors).

4.COMPARISON OF NON-SOLID AND SOLID TYPES

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Although the present article only refers in essence to aluminum electrolytic capacitors with non-
solid electrolyte, an overview of the different types of aluminum electrolytic capacitors is given
here in order to highlight the differences. Aluminum electrolytic capacitors are divided into two
sub-types depending on whether they make use of liquid or solid electrolyte systems. Because
the different electrolyte systems can be constructed with a variety of different materials, they
include further sub-types.

 Aluminum electrolytic capacitors with non-solid electrolyte


 may use a liquid electrolyte based on ethylene glycol and boric acid , so-called "borax"
electrolytes, or
 based on organic solvents, such as DMF, DMA, GBL, or
 based on high water containing solvents, for so-called "low impedance", "low ESR" or
"high ripple current" capacitors
 Aluminum electrolytic capacitors with solid electrolyte
 have a solid manganese dioxide electrolyte, see solid aluminum capacitor (SAL), or
 a solid polymer electrolyte, see polymer aluminum electrolytic capacitor, or
 hybrid electrolytes, with both a solid polymer and a liquid, see also polymer aluminum
electrolytic capacitor

Description of the materials

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1. Anode foil,

2. Anode oxide layer (dielectric),

3. Cathode foil,

4. Cathode oxide layer,

5. Non-solid electrolyte,

6. Paper spacer soaked with electrolyte, either non-solid or polymer,

7. Conducting polymer,

8. Manganese oxide (MnO2),

9. Graphite

10. Silver

Comparison of the parameters of the different aluminum


electrolytic capacitors types

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5.MATERIALS

ANODE

The basic material of the anode for aluminum electrolytic capacitors is a foil
with a thickness of 20–100 µm made of aluminum with a high purity of at least
99.99%. This is etched (roughened) in an electrochemical process to increase
the effective electrode surface. By etching the surface of the anode, depending
on the required rated voltage, the surface area can be increased by a factor of
approximately 200 with respect to a smooth surface.

After etching the aluminum anode the roughed surface is


"anodic oxidized" or "formed". An electrically insulating
oxide layer Al2O3 is thereby formed on the aluminum
surface by application of a current in correct polarity if it
is inserted in an electrolytic bath. This oxide layer is the capacitor dielectric.

This process of oxide formation is carried out in two reaction steps whereby the oxygen for this
reaction has to come from the electrolyte. First, a strongly exothermic reaction transforms the
metallic aluminum (Al) into aluminum hydroxide, Al(OH)3:

2 Al + 6 H2O → 2 Al(OH)3 + 3 H2 ↑

This reaction is accelerated by a high electric field and high temperatures, and is accompanied by
a pressure build up in the capacitor housing caused by the released hydrogen gas. The gel-
like aluminum hydroxide Al(OH)3, also called alumina tri hydrate (ATH), is converted via a
second reaction step (usually slowly over a few hours at room temperature, more rapidly in a few
minutes at higher temperatures) into aluminum oxide, Al2O3:

2 Al(OH)3 → 2 AlO(OH) + 2 H2O → Al2O3 + 3 H2O

The aluminum oxide serves as dielectric and also protects the metallic aluminum against
aggressive chemical reactions from the electrolyte. However, the converted layer of aluminum
oxide is usually not homogeneous. It forms a complex multilayer structured laminate of
amorphous, crystalline and porous crystalline aluminum oxide mostly covered with small residual
parts of unconverted aluminum hydroxide. For this reason, in the formation of the anode foil, the

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oxide film is structured by a special chemical treatment so that either an amorphous oxide or a
crystalline oxide is formed. The amorphous oxide variety yields higher mechanical and physical
stability and fewer defects, thus increasing the long term stability and lowering the leakage current.

Amorphous oxide has a dielectric ratio of ~ 1.4 nm/V. Compared to crystalline aluminum oxide,
which has a dielectric ratio of ~1.0 nm/V, the amorphous variety has a 40% lower capacitance at
the same anode surface. The disadvantage of crystalline oxide is its greater sensitivity to tensile
stress, which may lead to micro cracks when subjected to
mechanical (winding) or thermal (soldering) stressors during the
post-forming processes.

The various properties of oxide structures affect the subsequent


characteristics of the electrolytic capacitors. Anode foils with
amorphous oxide are primarily used for electrolytic capacitors
with stable long-life characteristics, for capacitors with low
leakage current values, and for e-caps with rated voltages up to
about 100 volts. Capacitors with higher voltages, for example photoflash capacitors, usually
containing anode foils with crystalline oxide.

Because the thickness of the effective dielectric is proportional to the forming voltage, the
dielectric thickness can be tailored to the rated voltage of the capacitor. For example, for low
voltage types a 10 V electrolytic capacitor has a dielectric thickness of only about 0.014 µm, a
100 V electrolytic capacitor of only about 0.14 µm. Thus, the dielectric strength also influences
the size of the capacitor. However, due to standardized safety margins the actual forming voltage
of electrolytic capacitors is higher than the rated voltage of the component.

Aluminum anode foils are manufactured as so-called "mother rolls" of about 500 mm in width.
They are pre-formed for the desired rated voltage and with the desired oxide layer structure. To
produce the capacitors, the anode widths and lengths, as required for a capacitor, have to be cut
from the mother roll.[15]

CATHODE
The second aluminum foil in the electrolytic capacitor, called the "cathode foil", serves to make
electrical contact with the electrolyte. This foil has a somewhat lower degree of purity, about
99.8%. It is always provided with a very thin oxide layer, which arises from the contact of the

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aluminum surface with the air in a natural way. In order to reduce the contact resistance to the
electrolyte and to make it difficult for oxide formation during discharging, the cathode foil is
alloyed with metals such as copper, silicon, or titanium. The cathode foil is also etched to enlarge
the surface.

Because of the extremely thin oxide layer, which corresponds to a voltage proof of about 1.5 V,
their specific capacitance is, however, much higher than that of anode foils.[7] To justify the need
for a large surface capacitance of the cathode foil see the section on charge/discharge stability
below.

The cathode foils, as the anode foils, are manufactured as so-called "mother rolls", from which
widths and lengths are cut off, as required, for capacitor production.

ELECTROLYTE
The electrolytic capacitor got its name from the electrolyte, the conductive liquid inside the
capacitor. As a liquid it can be adapted to the porous structure of the anode and the grown oxide
layer with the same shape and form as a "tailor-made" cathode. An electrolyte always consists of
a mixture of solvents and additives to meet given requirements. The main electrical property of
the electrolyte is its conductivity, which is physically an ion-conductivity in liquids. In addition to
the good conductivity of operating electrolytes, various other requirements are, among other
things, chemical stability, high flash point, chemical compatibility with aluminum, low viscosity,
low environmental impact and low costs. The electrolyte should also provide oxygen for forming
and self-healing processes, and all this within a temperature range as wide as possible. This
diversity of requirements for the liquid electrolyte results in a wide variety of proprietary
solutions.[16][17]

The electrolytic systems used today can be roughly summarized into three main groups:

 Electrolytes based on ethylene glycol and boric acid. In these so-called glycol
or borax electrolyte an unwanted chemical crystal water reaction occurs according to the
scheme: "acid + alcohol" gives "ester + water". These borax electrolytes are standard
electrolytes, long in use, and with a water content between 5 and 20%. They work at a
maximum temperature of 85 °C or 105 °C in the entire voltage range up to 600 V. Even with

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these capacitors, the aggressiveness of the water must be prevented by appropriate


measures.[18]
 Almost anhydrous electrolytes based on organic solvents, such
as dimethylformamide (DMF), dimethylacetamide (DMA), or γ-butyrolactone (GBL). These
capacitors with organic solvent electrolytes are suitable for temperature ranges from 105 °C,
125 °C or 150 °C, have low leakage current values and have very good long-term capacitor
behavior.
 Water based electrolytes with high water content, up to 70% water for so-called "low-
impedance", "low-ESR" or "high-ripple-current" electrolytic capacitors with rated voltages up
to 100 V for low-cost mass-market applications. The aggressiveness of the water for aluminum
must be prevented with suitable additives.

Since the amount of liquid electrolyte during the operating time of the capacitors decreases over
time through self-healing and by diffusion through the seal, the electrical parameters of the
capacitors may be adversely affected, limiting the service life or lifetime of "wet" electrolytic
capacitors, see the section on lifetime below.

SEPARATOR

The anode and cathode foils must be protected from direct contact with each other because such
contact, even at relatively low voltages, may lead to a short circuit. In case of direct contact of both
foils the oxide layer on the anode surface gives no protection. A spacer or separator made of a
special highly absorbent paper with high purity protects the two metal foils from direct contact.
This capacitor paper also serves as a reservoir for the electrolyte to extend the lifetime of the
capacitor.

The thickness of the spacer depends on the rated voltage of the electrolytic capacitor. It is up to
100 V between 30 and 75 µm.For higher voltages, several layers of paper (duplex paper) are used
to increase the breakdown strength.

SEALING
The sealing materials of aluminum electrolytic capacitors depend on the different styles.
For larger screw-terminal and snap-in capacitors the sealing washer is made of a plastic material.

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Axial electrolytic capacitors usually have a sealing washer made of phenolic resin laminated with
a layer of rubber. Radial electrolytic capacitors use a rubber plug with a very dense structure. All
sealing materials must be inert to the chemical parts of the electrolyte and may not contain soluble
compounds that could lead to contamination of the electrolyte. To avoid leakage, the electrolyte
must not be aggressive to the sealing material.

6.ADVANTAGES

• Inexpensive capacitors with high capacitance values for filtering lower frequencies
• Higher energy density than film capacitors and ceramic capacitors.
• Higher power density than supercapacitors.

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• No peak current limitation required.


• Very great diversification in styles, series with tailored lifetimes, temperatures, and
electrical parameters.

• Many manufacturers.

7.DISADVANTAGES

• Limited lifetime due to evaporation


• Sensitive to mechanical stress
• Sensitive to contamination with halogenates
• Polarized application

8.APPLICATIONS

 They are typically used in power supplies, switched-mode power supplies and DC-DC
converters .(smoothing and buffering rectified DC voltages )

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 Industrial power supplies and frequency converters as DC link capacitors for drives,
 Inverters for photovoltaic, and converters in wind power plants .
 Special types are used for energy storage, for example in photoflash or strobe applications
or for frequency coupling in audio applications.

9.CONCLUSION
The advantages of aluminum electrolytic capacitors that have lead to their wide
application range are their high volumetric efficiency (that is capacitance per unit volume); which
enable the production of capacitors up to 1F capacitance. and the fact that aluminum electrolytic

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capacitor provides a high ripple current capability together with a high reliability and excellent
price/ performance ratio so these are widely used in electrical and electronics industries they find
their wide applications in telecommunication and computer industry also.

10.REFERENCES
1. J. Both, “Electrolytic capacitors, 1890 to 1925: Early history and basic principles,” IEEE
Electr. Insul. Mag.Jan.-Feb 2015.
2. 2. J. Both “The Modern Era of Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors” IEEE Electr. Insul.
Mag.July.- Aug 2015.

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3. G.primavesi “Aluminum electrolytic capacitor” IEEE Conference Paper · December


1997

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