Down oil and gas well temperatures of 250ºC and pressure conditions >1,000bar provide the harshest environment that electronics must endure. Even though the very expensive electronics placed down well are protected by thermal barriers and other technologies, the time that the electronics can spend down hole is limited.
This project, being supervised by Professor P Grant and Dr C Johnston, seeks to develop new technology so that electronics may operate under these extreme conditions for up to 10 years.
The project forms part of a large DTI funded academic/industry award bringing together specialists in electronic materials, high reliability assembly and a well logging instrumentation manufacturer.
The project will involve the in-house and industrial manufacture, assembly, testing and microstructural examination of novel multi-material combinations, and the use of finite element modelling to predict and understand behaviour under extreme environments.
Materials for investigation will include novel insulated metal substrates; low expansion spray formed Si-Al alloys and advanced ceramic substrates. Ultimately the project seeks to bring a physics of failure based approach and understanding to the problem of multi materials integration in extreme environments.