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What is an AEC-Q200 certified capacitor?

Written by Anthony Kenny

June 5, 2018

AEC-Q200 Qualified Capacitors

AEC-Q200 certified capacitors must meet a global standard for heat stress and vibrations resistance if they are intended for use in the automotive industry. Capacitors are deemed to be “AEC-Q200 qualified” if they have passed the stringent suite of stress tests contained within the standard. AEC founding members were Earl Fischer ((Ford), Gerald Servais (Delco Electronics – GM), Jerry Jennings (Chrysler) and Robert Knoell (Ford). A initial meeting between Gerald Servais and Jerry Jennings in 1992 led to further discussions amongst the group concerning the viability of introducing common qualification specifications within the US automotive industry to streamline supply. An agreement was reached and work began on the Q100 document for Stress Test Qualification for Integrated Circuits which was introduced and adopted by the industry in 1994. Qualification specifications AEC-Q101 for discrete parts and AEC-Q200 for passive components were subsequently developed and adopted by the industry. 

The aim of the AEC-Q200 standard is to set a benchmark for high temperature and vibration resistance withstand capabilities, and to ensure the consistency of capacitor safety specifications required for the automotive industry. Temperature conditions encountered within an automobile depend upon the component’s location within the vehicle, with the most demanding locations being under-the-hood and braking systems, while less demanding conditions are encountered within the passenger compartment.

AEC recommends specifying capacitors according to their location within the vehicle vis-a-vis the location’s heat profile. AEC-Q200 defines 5 temperature range grades as per the table below:

GradeTemperature RangeCapacitor TypeTypical Application
0-50°C - +150°CX8R ceramicMost underhood
1-40°C - +125°CCeramic & tantalumMost underhood
2-40°C - +105°CAluminum electrolytic, aluminum polymerPassenger compartment hotspots
3-40°C - +85°CFilm, trimmersMost passenger compartment
40°C - +70°CNon-automotive

Source: Golledge

Qualification of a capacitor to its minimum temperature grade allows the supplier to claim the part as “AEC qualified” to that grade and all lesser grades. The creation of the standard greatly facilitates the approval process for engineers as they no longer need to determine the complete specification of each individual capacitor or reiterate the approval process each time, as once a capacitor is qualified to this document, it is qualified for use throughout the automotive industry. In addition to their use within the automotive industry, AEC-Q200 certified capacitors may also be used with confidence in similar stressful industrial environments without the need for independent component testing. You can check out the base AEC-Q200 document below. Other AEC documents can be found here.

You can view the AEC standards using this link.

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