Dennis,
        as per UL, yes you are right, there are many consumer products which
use phenol boards. Just for your reference, FR1 is a phenol board but with
the addition of flame retardants.

        There are typically three manners to achieve UL for laminate
materials. 1) Flammability rating of material itself. 2) Fire
proof/resistant enclosure. 3) Size of laminate and/or size of enclosure
(volume).

        For instance, we have PCBs which are of a size they must be UL
rated. However, we have a sealed aluminum case. This is our first saving
grace. Also, the volume of our enclosure is under the limits which would
require actual testing of our enclosure. So we get away with non FR rated
laminate, without the requirement for proof by testing.

Dennis, for your reference this is roughly how the board costs compare.
Cheapest to most expensive.
Phenolic, CEM1, CEM2 (never seen it yet), CEM3, CEM4, FR4.  FR1 is typically
about the same as CEM2/CEM3 in that pricing area.


Sincerely,
Brad Velander.

Lead PCB Designer
Norsat International Inc.
Microwave Products
Tel   (604) 292-9089 (direct line)
Fax  (604) 292-9010
email: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
http://www.norsat.com

Visit us at Booth 2G2-09 at CommunicAsia 2002 in Singapore June 18-21.



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dennis Saputelli [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
> Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2002 10:30 AM
> To: Protel EDA Forum
> Subject: Re: [PEDA] Help re bd material
> 
> 
> thanks for your comments, we hope to do a no via design
> 
> i hadn't thought about the flammability, will look into that
> but lots of UL/CE products use phenolic bds
> 
> Dennis Saputelli
> 

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