A start-up company from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) now offers a simple tool for detecting corrosion in electronics. DTU’s involvement in the Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster made it possible to allocate gap-funding to the project
A gel with a color indicator is applied to the circuit board and is then able to tell if there are any acid residues from the soldering process. The gel is called Residues RAT and it is an alternative to analytical testing by ROSE-standard or the more time-consuming laboratory tests. The latter costs money and using the ROSE-test there is no possibility of identifying the local occurrences of acid residues.
“It makes a big difference that you can identify the flux residues locally rather than general on the board,” explains Morten Stendahl Jellesen, CEO of EC-RAT, as the Spin-off company is called.
DTU Mechanical Engineering estimated in 2009, that corrosion of electronics resulted in the loss of five billion dollars annually. Therefore several industry giants – including Danfoss, Grundfos and Vestas – invested money in an innovation consortium called CelCorr that should increase knowledge on corrosion. It is this consortium that EC-RAT (Electronic Corrosion Reliability Assessment Testing) originates from.
DTU’s involvement in Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster made it possible to allocate 457.000 DKK in gap-funding to this project. Gap-funding supports the development and commercialization of promising cleantech research projects at the University of Copenhagen and the Technical University of Denmark. The funding closes the “valley of death”-problem from the point where research funds ends, to the point where the product or service may receive pre-seed and seed capital from the market, e.g. business angels.
Gap-funding is intended to give the researcher time to go beyond research and further develop the idea to the extent, that its technical and commercial perspective can be proved and thus less risky for companies to adapt the technology.