November 9, 2010

Aluminum electrolytic capacitors: Rugged versions for automotive electronics (TDK-EPC Corporation)

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TDK-EPC, a group company of the TDK Corporation, presents a new design for EPCOS aluminum electrolytic capacitors, which helps to boost energy efficiency in automotive electronics applications. These capacitors are distinguished by a particularly rugged mechanical design allowing them to withstand even harsh conditions in motor vehicles. They offer a vibration resistance of up to 40 g, can be operated within a broad temperature range from -55 to +150 °C and have an operating life of 10 000 hours at 125 °C. They also have very low ESR and ESL values.

These new aluminum electrolytic capacitors are available as 3-pin single-ended and solder-star versions in various designs for increased mechanical stresses to IEC 60068-2-6. They require no additional mounting parts on the circuit board, thus simplifying the production process for customers and saving costs.

Thanks to their low ESR values, the axial types, for example with a diameter of 21 mm, offer a very high ripple current capability. This means that fewer parallel-connected capacitors are needed for extreme requirements, thus contributing to lower costs and increased reliability. Thus, a single axial type can replace up to three single-ended types of the same electrical performance. This solution requires only 40 percent of the original volume for the same ripple current capability.

Applications of these rugged and reliable capacitors are engine management and electronic fuel-injection systems, gearbox controllers and steering aids, as well as motors for fans, windshield wipers, or oil and water pumps.

All types are available in RoHS-compatible versions. TDK-EPC also offers variants that prevent the formation of whiskers.


  • ESR: equivalent series resistance occurs in all components and should be as low as possible in order to minimize losses.
  • Whiskers: needle-shaped monocrystals that can occur particularly tin-plated surfaces. They grow under specific mechanical or thermal conditions and, when they break off, can lead to short circuits on the circuit board.

Main applications

  • Modules and systems in automotive electronics such as engine-management and electronic fuel-injection systems, gearbox controllers and steering aids, as well as motors for fans, windshield wipers, or oil and water pumps.

Main features and benefits

  • High vibration resistance of up to 40 g
  • Broad temperature range from -55 to +150 °C
  • Long operating life of up to 10,000 hours at 125 °C

About TDK-EPC Corporation

TDK-EPC Corporation (TDK-EPC), a TDK group company, is a leading manufacturer of electronic components, modules and systems headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. TDK-EPC has emerged from the combination of the electronic components business of TDK and the EPCOS Group and markets its products under the product brands, TDK and EPCOS.

The product portfolio includes ceramic, aluminum electrolytic and film capacitors, ferrites and inductors, high-frequency components such as surface acoustic wave (SAW) filter products and modules, piezo and protection components, and sensors. With this product spectrum TDK-EPC offers a broad range of products and solutions of outstanding value from a single source and focuses on demanding markets in the areas of information and communication technology and automotive, industrial and consumer electronics. The company has design and manufacturing locations and sales offices in Asia, Europe, and in North and South America.

Further information on the products can be found under

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