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Product Information

DuPont Kapton

Polyimide Film

Electrical Insulation Designs

Since its commercial introduction DuPont Kapton polyimide film has become the insulation material of choice in applications requiring very high or low operating temperatures. Known for its unique combination of physical, electrical and mechanical properties, as well as its ability to retain these properties over a wide range of temperatures, Kapton can be bonded, laminated, coated, punched and otherwise converted to fulfill a broad range of high-performance operating requirements. From general-purpose Kapton HN to heat-sealable Kapton FN, which is either laminated or coated with Teflon FEP fluorocarbon resin, Kapton is the standard against which other electrical insulation materials are judged. DuPont has a wide offering of Kapton polyimide films aimed at addressing extreme environmental and electrical conditions in motors and magnet wire applications. The offering includes: corona-resistant Kapton CR, water-resistant Kapton WR, and arcresistant Kapton AR. These new types of Kapton share the same outstanding combination of physical, electrical and mechanical properties as Kapton HN and Kapton FN (Table 1), as well as unique features that make them ideally suited for specific applications ranging from powerful traction motors to large plant generators and transformers. DuPont is committed to remaining the world leader in the manufacture and diversification of polyimide films. In fact, many new application possibilities for Kapton are currently being explored by DuPont. We will continue to work closely with our customers and industry partners to better understand the needs of the electrical insulation market, and to develop products and services that best meet those needs.

Kapton CR: Puts Voltage Stress to the Test

With its substantially increased corona resistance, exceptional voltage pulse performance and improved thermal conductivity, Kapton CR has opened a whole new world of next generation design possibilities. Available in both plain and heat-sealable versions, Kapton CR is ideally suited for use in AC applications at higher voltages. Developed specifically to withstand the damaging effects of corona (which can cause ionization and eventual breakdown of an insulation material or system), Kapton CR has a corona resistance or voltage endurance that is significantly better than standard Kapton. For example, at a voltage stress of 20 kV/mm (500 V/mil) AC at 50 Hz, Kapton CR has a life endurance in excess of 100,000 hr (11.5 yr), compared to 200 hr for standard Kapton. Figure 1 compares the corona resistance of Kapton 150 FCR 019 (25 m [1.0 mil] Kapton CR laminated to 12.5 m [0.5 mil] Teflon FEP) to standard Kapton 150 FN 019 (25 m [1.0 mil] Kapton HN laminated to 12.5 m [0.5 mil] Teflon FEP). As expected, the corona resistance of Kapton FCR is substantially better than that of Kapton FN. New power-inverter technology has made sharp voltage rises increasingly common in todays motor and magnet wire insulation applications. Thats why voltage pulse performance is an important property of any high-voltage insulation material. Figure 2 compares the voltage pulse performance of Kapton 150 FCR 019 to Kapton 150 FN 019.

Table 1 Typical Properties of Kapton Polyimide Films for the Motors and Magnet Wire Industry
Typical Value at 23C (73F) Property Electrical Dielectric Strength, kV/mm (V/mil) Dielectric Constant, 1kHz Dissipation Factor, 1kHz Volume Resistivity, ohmcm Surface Resistivity, ohm2 Mechanical Ultimate Tensile Strength, MPa (psi) Yield Point at 3%, MPa (psi) Stress to produce 5% elongation, MPa (psi) Ultimate Elongation, % Tensile Modulus, GPa (psi) Tear Strength-propagating, N (lbf) Tear Strength-initial, N (lbf) Density, g/cm3 Yield, m2/kg (ft2/lb) Thermal Flammability Test Method 150 FCR 019 150 FWR 019 200 FAR 919

ASTM D-149-91 ASTM D-150-92 ASTM D-150-92 ASTM D-257-91 ASTM D-257-91

173 (4,400) 2.9 0.001 5.0 x 1016 1.6 x 1015

177 (4,500) 2.7 0.002 1.3 x 1016 3.7 x 1015

177 (4,500) 2.9 0.001 1.0 x 1016 4.7 x 1017

ASTM D-882-91 ASTM D-882-91 ASTM D-882-91 ASTM D-882-91 ASTM D-882-91 ASTM D-1922 ASTM D-1004-90 ASTM D-1505-90

117 (17,000) 48 (7,000) 62 (9,000) 45 2.40 (348,000) 0.05 (0.012) 5.3 (1.2) 1.72 15.7 (76.7)

184 (24,000) 90 (13,000) 103 (15,000) 60 3.45 (500,000) 0.31 (0.070) 10.2 (2.3) 1.69 16.6 (81.0)

117 (17,000) 39 (5,600) 51 (7,400) 85 1.38 (200,000) 0.39 (0.088) 9.8 (2.2) 1.81 10.9 (53.2)





Figure 1.

Comparison of Corona Resistance of Kapton 150 FCR 019 vs. Kapton 150 FN 019.

Figure 2.

Comparison of Voltage Pulse Performance of Kapton 150 FCR 019 vs. Kapton 150 FN 019.

Stress, kV/mm

50 20 10 5 2 1 10 100

Kapton 150 FCR 019

Time to Failure, hr

Kapton 150 FCR 019

8 6
Kapton 150 FCR 019

Kap ton

150 FN 019

4 2 0
at 2.8 kv at 2.3 kv
Kapton 150 FN 019 Kapton 150 FN 019


10,000 100,000

Time to Fail, hr at 50 Hz
DuPont testing performed according to IEC 343.

Magnet wire life endurance at 1,000 Hz, 270C (518F). Simulated coil configuration. Pulse rise 3.7 sec, decline to half-voltage 210 sec. Data provided by ABB Industries AG, Switzerland.

As you can see, the pulse performance of Kapton FCR under a combination of extreme electrical, thermal and mechanical stress conditions is substantially better than that of Kapton FN. Finally, Kapton CR provides thermal conductivity of 0.385 W/mKmore than twice that of standard Kapton. This increased thermal conductivity enables electrical equipment to run cooler. These significant property improvements help increase the margin of operational safety and open the door to new electrical design possibilities in traction motors, transformers, wire and cable, and generators.

Kapton WR was developed specifically to combat the effects of water on insulation systems. An accelerated hydrolysis test was run by wrapping #12 copper wires (2.0 mm diameter) with heat-sealable Kapton 200 FWR 919 and Kapton 150 FWR 019. These wires were stressed by wrapping them around a 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) diameter mandrel. The wires were continuously exposed to 90C (194F) water, and breakdown voltage as a function of time was recorded. These data were compared to data on similar wire insulated with Kapton 200 FN 919 and 150 FN 919. In this test the FWR significantly outperformed other polyimide/FEP film. Wire wrapped with the Kapton FN products lose 50% of their dielectric strength in approximately eight days. After approximately 125 days the FWR insulated materials still retained 75% of its original dielectric stregnth (see Figure 3).

Kapton WR: Holds its Own Against Water

If hydrolytic stability is important in your application, Kapton WR has the right balance of properties. In some closed-system applications, such as downhole electrical submersible pumps, water from an oil well can get into the motor oilcontinuously exposing the insulation to hot water. Over time, this exposure to hot water can affect the tensile strength, elongation and dielectric strength of most insulation materials, which weakens the insulation system and compromises the overall performance of the equipment.
Figure 3.

Dielectric Breakdown Stregnth vs. Time Hydrolytically Aged Prestrained Plyimide Insulated Wire 12 AWG Solid Copper Conductor: Two Tape Insulation System Aged at 90C100% Relative Humidity 1/2 inch Diameter Mandrel

Insulation Breakdown Voltage, AC Volts

20,000 18,000 16,000 14,000 12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0
2688 1728 2016 2208 2592 1248 1056 1152 1632 1824 1920 2112 2400 2496 1344 1440 1536 2304 2764 2880 2976 268 384 672 0 96 192 480 576 768 864 960

Kapton 200 FWR 919 67% Overlap, Kapton 150 FNWR 019 48% Overlap

Kapton 200 FN 919 67% Overlap, Kapton 150 FN 019 48% Overlap

Aging Time, hr

Kapton AR: Stops Electrical Arcing in Its Tracks

At high temperatures and under electric discharge, many aromatic polyimides will form a conductive, graphitic carbon char. This char can cause current to arc across the film surface, eventually leading to insulation failure. Kapton AR was developed to help prevent current from arcing across critical areas of the insulation to ground. This heat-sealable, fluoropolymer-coated film is designed to give maximum arc tracking resistance, making it uniquely suited for high voltage applications. A typical AR product is 200 FAR 919 (25 m [1.0 mil] Kapton HN with a 12.5 m [0.5 mil] fluoropolymer coating on each side). Figure 4 compares the arc tracking resistance of Kapton 200 FAR 919 and Kapton 200 FN 919 (25 m [1.0 mil] Kapton HN laminated to 12.5 m [0.5 mil] Teflon FEP on both sides) to plain Kapton 200 HN. Structures of Kapton AR with different thicknesses of fluoropolymer on one or both sides also are available. Kapton Kapton

Figure 4.

Arc Tracking Resistance of Kapton 200 FAR 919 and Kapton 200 FN 919 vs. Plain Kapton 200 HN.

Ace Tracking Rate, mm/min

150 120



90 60 30 0
Kapton 200 HN Kapton 200 FN 919 Kapton 200 FAR 919


DuPont testing performed according to UL 746A.

DuPont Electronic Materials 14 T.W. Alexander Drive Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-4425 (800) 243-2143, Ext. 3637 Visit us on the Internet at:
The information given herein is based on data believed to be reliable, but DuPont makes no warranties express or implied as to its accuracy and assumes no liability arising out of its use by others. This publication is not to be taken as a license to operate under, or recommendation to infringe, any patent. Caution: Do not use in medical applications involving permanent implantation in the human body. For other medical applications, see DuPont Medical Caution Statement, H-50102. Copyright 2001 E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. All rights reserved. Kapton is a registered trademark of DuPont.

H-62030 (8/01) Printed in U.S.A.