How time and temperature affect spiral flow and viscosity, but not shelf-life
When it comes to epoxies and specifically epoxy molding compounds (EMC), end users often mistakenly define the terms “Shelf Life” and “Expiration Date” as the same. The term “Shelf Life” has legal implications (specifically as it concerns suppliers in the automotive supply chain), as a manufacturer’s way of ending any warranty on the material’s final product properties.
We like to argue that epoxy mold compounds never truly expire, and if they can still be processed by the equipment required to transform it, then the final material properties will never be compromised. Two properties that are affected by time and temperatures are Spiral Flow and viscosity, but these are processing parameter properties and not final product properties.
As such, this paper argues that epoxy mold compound manufacturers should introduce the terms “Spiral Flow Behavior” and “Viscosity Behavior” on their products’ technical data sheets. These terms more properly qualify the properties that are affected by time and temperature.
The term “Shelf-Life” should not be defined by the way manufacturers’ currently define it, which is that the material is within a specified spiral flow range. Rather, shelf-life should be redefined by the way their customers use the term – as an expiration date after which the manufacturer ends the warranty of the material’s final product properties. Doing so would both increase the shelf life of the epoxy molding compounds and allow end users to be able to use these products, even it means they must adjust the equipment’s processing parameters.
Please stay tuned for the next part in this series to explore the behaviour of epoxy molding compounds.
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