American Durafilm Blog

Why Dielectric Strength of Kapton® Film Matters

Posted by Mack Hendrick on Mar 12, 2015 4:41:42 PM

The Big and Small Electrical Jobs—It Protects them All

If you care that airplanes fly as they should, and rocket ships launch and orbit as engineered, and educational scientific photos of such exploits make their way back to us via satellites floating in the ethers of deep space—then the reliable dielectric strength of Kapton® film not only matters, it’s vital.


The dielectric properties of Kapton® film are also put to the test in many everyday endeavors—all which require electricity to function. Things we might take for granted but are integrally woven into the fabric of our lives. We rely on our phones and cameras to keep us connected. Speakers in TVs and sound systems entertain us through hours of binge-watching our favorite shows or reminiscing with old college buddies. And that computer or tablet you are reading this on? Brought to you, in part, by the versatility and dielectric strength of Kapton® polyimide film.  

No Break Down Here!

Dielectric strength, in its simplest terms, refers to the maximum voltage that a material can be subjected to without causing it to breakdown. Why is that important? Because we need to insulate around said voltage—when amped up, generates extreme heat and energy—to protect and preserve the integral function of the wires in use, and of the components surrounding them. And it is imperative to have a material with utmost dielectric strength doing the insulating so it will retain its integrity and continue to protect all variables involved.

We’ve all experienced the heat generated when we charge one of our electronic devices. That’s a lot of wiring and circuitry all compacted together in a tight space. Something thin and flexible has to insulate the intricate and tiny wires and curcuit boards while supporting the electrostatic field, as it simultaneously dissipates the electrical energy. Oh, and it needs to be made from a material that will perpetually perform at high temperatures and will also not break down when exposed to high voltages. That’s a big job for a thin, flexible, light-weight, extremely durable insulator. Kapton® film is up for the job—always.

Can it Keep on Working?

There are factors that can affect the dielectric strength of a material. Temperature increases can decrease it, while the thickness of the film can increase its strength. Variables like humidity and increased frequency can decrease its strength, but the efficacy of the dielectric strength in Kapton® film has been proven to work tirelessly and dependably for extended missions, large and small.

Tailor Made

Excellent dielectric strength makes Kapton® polyimide film a perfect material for thin electrical insulation applications. With a dielectric strength rating of 7700 V/mil for a .001”-thick film, no other material can provide such protection in such a small space. When combined with an adhesive backing and die-cut to a specific size, Kapton® films can provide a perfect solution to any masking area requiring electrical insulation. Similar techniques allow Kapton® films to be used in solder float applications to protect sensitive components from molten solder. Seemingly contrary to their heritage, Kapton® films can also be formulated to be electrically conductive. The conductivity of these films can be tailored to the application in order to provide anything from static dissipation to resistive heating.

With adaptability like that, it’s no surprise that we see such extensive use of Kapton film across applications like phones and computer to industries like medical and aerospace and employed—and deployed—in the ranks of the US military. With such a wide array of properties and special formulations, there is undoubtedly a Kapton® film for any demanding application. Combining these properties with custom fabrication techniques makes it possible to fit them into any project. 

Kapton® is an organic polymer film that provides protection through its reliable properties of dielectric strength, high-performance at extreme temperatures, resistance to most chemicals and many solvents and oils, and overall ability to retain its integrity over time and in so many conditions. American Durafilm®, having been in business with DuPont™ as one of the three original licensed carriers of their proprietary materials for 65 years, helps customers find the right solutions for many situations.

For more details on Kapton® film and to learn about how you can “Create You Innovative Solutions: Top 4 Properties Kapton Films Provides,” download our white paper now.

Download Top 4 Properties Kapton Films Provide  





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