Accumet, a materials processing center established in Hudson, Massachusetts in 1970 and with headquarters now in Westford, Massachusetts, is the world’s first service provider to develop techniques for lapping and polishing substrate materials in unique ways to provide circuit manufacturers optimal surfaces on which to create their various single and multi-layer designs. But while their vast material processing techniques, which now also include high power laser cutting, drilling, and etching (after a merger with sister company Laser Services) is conceivably their most valuable service, engineering and procurement pros might find their willingness and experience in stocking substrate materials for rapid processing and delivery, their most life-saving service of all.

“While manufacturers can continue to place their large volume orders for raw materials from suppliers such as Kyocera®, CoorsTek®, and Ceramtec®, they can set up stocking plans with Accumet for the same material to provide faster delivery of uniquely processed runs to keep up with their various research and development and manufacturing requirements,” said Greg Sexton, CEO of Accumet. “Unlike the major suppliers, we’ll ship orders as small 10 pieces completely lapped, polished, cut, or drilled any way they like. And they’ll never have to worry about material not being available or having to make a large minimum buy.”

Accumet routinely stocks, and offers value-added materials consulting services, on these common substrate materials:

· Alumina 96 percent

· Alumina +99 percent

· Beryllium Oxide, BeO

· Aluminum Nitride, AlN

· Fused Silica

· Tungsten Carbide

· Garrolite

· Other materials in stock include adhesives and tapes for medical devices, frozen epoxy preforms, RF and EMI absorbers, metals and foils, Teflon, and various plastics and fabrics.

They note, the reason alumina +99 percent is a common choice for microelectronics, is that it offers a superior surface for fabricating thin-film circuitry. When high-heat conductivity is required, designers often choose beryllium oxide (BeO). (BeO is costlier and is falling out of favor due to being less friendly to the environment but is still employed routinely. Accumet remains one of a few suppliers who stock and process it). Alternatively, aluminum nitride (AlN)―which offers slightly less heat conductivity than BeO―is much easier to gain approval of. Plus, it’s simple to handle, and provides medium-grade performance attributes that meet the requirements of many applications.

In addition to your main substrate material, they recommend you take into consideration your surface or embedded material choices as well. These materials can complicate fabrication, adding unplanned processing time and expense. Surface metals, for example, tend to reflect laser energy and can possibly cause slight changes in a laser’s kerf, if/when you laser process your completed circuits. The laser can also cause the metals on the backside of the substrate to melt, meld and bead. Glass also tends to chip when laser cut, especially on the exit side of the laser beam. And polymers may melt when the laser beam gets within 0.005" of them.

Accumet’s technical services team has published insightful Tech Briefs on these subjects. They can be downloaded by visiting

Regarding merging the two sister companies, Accumet and Laser Services, Sexton responded: “To put it simply, we will now be an OEM’s single source for materials and processing rather than two. As efficiencies within supply chains continue to become critical, we wanted to bring our teams together more completely to streamline delivery of our high-quality processed materials.”

The official merger will take place in early January of 2019. Learn more and begin your supply chain efficiency conversation with the Accumet customer service team today by visiting their website.