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TopSwitch Flyback Transformer Construction Guide AN18

TopSwitch Flyback Transformer Construction Guide AN18

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Published by: Burlacu Andrei on Jun 26, 2011
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09/17/2011

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July 1996
®
TOPSwitch 
 ® 
FlybackTransformer ConstructionGuide
Application Note AN-18
Introduction
This application note is a design and construction guide formargin wound or triple insulated wire wound flyback transformers suitable for use with
TOPSwitch
. Margin woundand triple insulated wire transformer designs are derived inAppendix B for a 12 V, 15 W universal input power supply withsecondary regulation, using the step-by-step proceduredeveloped in application note AN-16. It is assumed that thereader is already familiar with
TOPSwitch
and the fundamentalprinciples of flyback power supplies. This information can befound in the
TOPSwitch
data sheets, and application notesAN-14 and AN-16. More details on flyback transformer theoryand design can be found in AN-17.
Required Reference Materials:
This application note, AN-16, and AN-17 provide the necessarytechniques for design and construction of flyback transformersfor
TOPSwitch
applications. In addition, the following referencematerials are required to provide dimensional and electricaldata for cores, bobbins, and wire. Sources for these referencematerials are listed in Appendix A.
Ferrite Core Manufacturer’s Catalogs
Ferrite core manufacturers publish catalogs supplying coredimensions and electrical characteristics used in transformerdesign. Some manufacturers also provide additional engineeringinformation for the more popular core sizes, such as A
L
vs. gapand core loss curves. The catalogs for the manufacturers listedin Appendix A supply basic electrical data for common US,Asian, and European core types. For core sizes common toseveral manufacturers, the electrical characteristics given byone core manufacturer can be used for a core of the samephysical dimensions from another manufacturer.
Bobbin Manufacturer’s Catalogs
Bobbin manufacturer's catalogs are used to provide mechanicaldimensions for transformer design. The bobbin manufacturersin Appendix A offer a wide variety of bobbin styles for standardferrite core sizes in materials suitable for high volume production.Many ferrite core manufacturers also carry bobbins for theirstandard core sizes.
PI-1907-061896
PRIMARYSECONDARYBIAS
Figure 1. Typical Flyback Transformer Using EE Core.
 
AN-18
A7/96 
2
Wire Table
A wire table provides dimensional and electrical characteristicsfor magnet wire, and is used to select appropriate wire sizes fortransformer design. There are three major wire sizing systems:AWG, SWG and metric. All wire sizes used in this applicationnote are based on AWG sizing. A wire table is provided inAppendix A with data on AWG wire sizes from 18 gaugethrough 44 gauge. SWG and metric equivalents to AWG wiresizes are also shown. A wire table is also available inreference 5. Wire tables can be obtained from some of themagnet wire manufacturers listed in Appendix A.
Transformer Construction Materials
The following paragraphs describe the basic materials neededto construct switching power supply transformers.
Ferrite Cores
Appropriate ferrite materials for 100KHz flyback transformersare TDK PC40, Philips 3C85, Siemens N67, Thomson B2,Tokin 2500 or other similar materials. A wide variety of coreshapes are available. E cores are the best choice for transformercores for reasons of low cost, wide availability, and lowerleakage inductance. Other core shapes and styles such as theETD, EER and EI are also usable. A chart of suitable ferrite coretypes for various power levels and transformer constructiontypes can be found in Appendix A.
Bobbins
Bobbins for off-line flyback transformers should be chosenwith regard to the safety creepage distances required by theapplicable safety regulations. Particular areas of considerationare the total creepage distance from primary pins to secondarypins through the core, and the creepage distance from primarypins to the secondary winding area. With some bobbin styles,extra insulation may be necessary to meet the creepagerequirements. Bobbins should preferably be made fromthermosetting materials such as phenolic resin in order towithstand soldering temperatures without deformation.Polybutylene or polyethylene terphthalate (PBT, PET) andpolyphenylene sulfide (PPS) are also acceptable materials,though more sensitive to high temperatures than phenolicresins. Nylon should be avoided if possible, as it melts easilyat the temperatures required to effectively terminate thetransformer windings to the pins on the bobbin. If Nylonbobbins are used, they should be made with glass reinforcedresin with a temperature rating of 130˚C.
Insulating Materials
A common insulating material used in transformers is polyesteror Mylar, available in sheet or tape form. This material is alsomanufactured as an adhesive tape that is particularly useful intransformer construction. US manufacturers of this tapeinclude 3M, Tesa, and CHR. For creepage margins intransformers, it is desirable to use a thick tape so that therequired build for a margin can be achieved using relatively fewlayers. Several manufacturers make a polyester film/mat tapethat is useful for this application.
Magnet Wire
Some typical domestic manufacturers of magnet wire areBelden, Phelps Dodge, and Rea. The preferred insulation formagnet wire is a nylon/polyurethane coating. This coatingburns off in contact with molten solder, allowing the transformerto be terminated by dip tinning in a solder pot. This type of insulated magnet wire is available from almost all manufacturersunder various trade names: Solderon, Nyleze, Beldsol, etc. Theinsulating coating should be “heavy” or “double” to betterwithstand the stress of handling and the winding process.Ordinary enameled wire or polyimide wire insulation shouldnot be used, as these types of insulation must be strippedmechanically or with chemical stripping agents in order toterminate the wire to the transformer pins.
Triple Insulated Wire
Triple insulated wire can be used to simplify and reduce the sizeof transformers where safety isolation is required. The type of triple insulated wire useful for transformer construction consistsof a solid wire core with three distinct and separable layers of insulation. Three manufacturers of triple insulated wire arelisted in Appendix A.
Sleeving
Insulating tubing is used to insulate the start and finish leads of windings in a margin wound transformer. The tubing should berecognized by the applicable safety agencies, with a minimumwall thickness of 0.4 mm to meet thickness requirements forreinforced insulation. The tubing should also be heat resistant,so that it does not melt when exposed to the temperaturesrequired to solder the transformer lead wires to the pins on thebobbin. Materials commonly used for sleeving include Teflontubing or polyolefin heat shrink tubing.
 
A7/96 
AN-183
Varnish
Many transformer manufacturers impregnate their finishedtransformers with a suitable electrical varnish. By filling thevoids inside the transformer, the varnish improves heat transferfrom the windings to the environment, and enhances the voltagewithstand capability of the transformer insulation. It also locksthe core and windings in place to help prevent audible noise andprotects the finished transformer from moisture. Onedisadvantage of varnish impregnation is that it adds a slow extrastep to transformer construction. Some manufacturers of electrical varnishes are listed in Appendix A.
Transformer Construction Methods
In order to meet international safety regulations, a transformerfor use in an off-line power supply must have adequate insulationbetween the primary and secondary windings. For transformersusing standard cores and bobbins, there are two basic transformerinsulation methods: margin wound construction and tripleinsulated wire construction.
Margin Wound Construction
International safety regulations require the following fortransformers using magnet wire:Reinforced insulation between primary and secondarywindings.Guaranteed creepage distance between primary andsecondary windings where reinforced insulation is notused.A cross-section of a typical margin wound transformer designedto meet these requirements is shown in Figure 2.The creepage distance required between primary and secondarywindings by safety regulations is typically 2.5 to 3 mm forsupplies with 115 VAC input, and 5 to 6 mm for 230 VAC oruniversal input supplies. This creepage distance is maintainedby physical barriers called margins. In most practical transformerdesigns, these margins are built up on each side of the bobbinusing electrical tape, with the windings placed between them asshown in Figure 2. The total minimum creepage distancebetween primary and secondary windings is equal to twice themargin width M, as shown in Figure 3. This sets the minimummargin width at one half the required creepage distance, or 1.25to 1.5 mm for 115 VAC input supplies, and 2.5 to 3 mm for 230VAC or universal input supplies.The necessary reinforced insulation between primary andsecondary windings is provided using three layers of electricaltape, any two of which can withstand the full safety test voltage,which is 2000 VRMS for 115 VAC input supplies, and 3000
BIASPRIMARY(Z WOUND)ALTERNATEPRIMARYWINDINGSECONDARYREINFORCEDINSULATION
(a) MARGIN WINDING(b) C WINDING
PI-1828-041696
MARGIN
Figure 2. Margin Wound Transformer Cross Section.
VRMS for 230 VAC input supplies. The tape layers shouldcover the entire width of the bobbin from flange to flange, asshown in Figure 2. A polyester film tape with a base filmthickness of at least 0.025mm is sufficient for use in thisapplication. The secondary windings are effectively "boxed in"by the margins and the reinforced insulation, isolating themfrom the primary. Since the start and finish leads of eachwinding pass through the margins to reach the transformer pins,they may require extra insulation to maintain the integrity of themargin insulation. Insulating tubing with a wall thickness of atleast 0.4 mm is used to cover all start and finish leads of a marginwound transformer to meet this requirement. This insulationshould extend from the transformer pin to inside of the marginbarrier, as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 3. Interwinding Creepage Distance for Margin Wound Transformers.
PI-1867-053196
CREEPAGEDISTANCEREINFORCEDINSULATIONPRIMARY ANDBIAS WINDINGSSECONDARYWINDINGMM
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