Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21

Thread: Lifespan of Solid Caps

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    92
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    6
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default Lifespan of Solid Caps

    What's the general life expectancy of regular caps and solid caps? I know with regular caps the company making them is a huge deciding factor, but how's that play out with solid-caps?

    Recently moved and as usual stuff got found/lost. In the back of a box I found an old 8600 GT still in its original packaging, it'd only been used for maybe a month. My father's old rig has a GPU with a failing fan so I happily went to replace it, and as I slid the clamshell out of the box was surprised to notice quite a few of the solid caps had popped. First time I've seen solid-caps do that so now I'm curious...

    Wasn't sure how to link to thumbnails without making separate images first, so here's just the links.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...2/IMG_2693.JPG

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...2/IMG_2633.JPG <-

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2,700
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    116
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    These are NOT solid caps. These are Sacon FZ.

    These are on par with Fuhjyyu, if not worse.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Serbia
    Posts
    2,242
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    126
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    8
    Thanked in
    5 Posts

    Default

    Yeah, there were quite a few of those who packaged regular wet electrolytics in a metal jacket to make them look like solids... On the other hand, Sanyo and Fujitsu made some solids packaged as wet electrolytics, so it's all good

    Either way, life expectancy of wet electrolytics is from 1k to 10+k hours at their rated temperature, ripple current amplitude and voltage. This depends on the manufacturer, of course.

    Life expectancy rating is mostly given as a rough estimate by low-tier manufacturers, but jap caps mostly have the life expectancy checked 1:1, meaning no accelerated aging. This is why some product series start out as 2k or 4k hours, then get upgraded to 6, 8, or even 10k hours over time, as they get burned in at the testing labs.
    Careful what you wish for... You just might get it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    3,461
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    6
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    23
    Thanked in
    21 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by McSteel View Post
    Yeah, there were quite a few of those who packaged regular wet electrolytics in a metal jacket to make them look like solids... On the other hand, Sanyo and Fujitsu made some solids packaged as wet electrolytics, so it's all good
    Even CapXon does that.
    here, those bluish Caps with the long leads in the fourth picture row are polymers...

    Quote Originally Posted by McSteel View Post
    Either way, life expectancy of wet electrolytics is from 1k to 10+k hours at their rated temperature, ripple current amplitude and voltage. This depends on the manufacturer, of course.
    Even those polymers go as low as 2k like those CapXons in that picture.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    92
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    6
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Ugh, so without knowing anything about the companies or googling specific caps are there any tells for spotting fake solid caps? I thought it was odd they had K stamped on the caps like traditional liquid caps I've seen but that was about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by McSteel View Post
    Either way, life expectancy of wet electrolytics is from 1k to 10+k hours at their rated temperature, ripple current amplitude and voltage. This depends on the manufacturer, of course.
    What about unpowered shelf-life? This card went bad just sitting in a box! The caps on my old ATI 9600 XT still work fine and that thing is half-again the age and spent more time running than off.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Serbia
    Posts
    2,242
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    126
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    8
    Thanked in
    5 Posts

    Default

    Some of the first production runs of "true" solid caps had scoring at the top, even though there, in theory, was nothing to vent. And of course there were the Sanyos and the Fujitsus packaged as wet electrolytics even though they were solids... But those times were more than a decade ago.

    Shelf life is typically stated as 1k hours, but some formulas last longer. The thing is, the electrodes are permanent (aluminum foil), while the dielectric (insulation) layer is formed when voltage is applied. This is the (Al + electrolyte) salt, what most people call the oxide layer (even though it doesn't have to strictly be Al2O3).

    The dielectric layer "thins out" over time, dissolving into (almost) pure aluminum and electrolyte liquid itself. If this layer gets thin enough it can get breached by the voltage. Remember, dielectric strength is a property of the material, but it is given as V/m - volts per meter, meaning that the breakdown voltage rises as the material thickness increases.

    Now, pretty much any capacitor can be salvaged if it's working voltage is slowly built-up. So if you have a 16V capacitor laying around for 5 years, you could connect it to a variable voltage supply, and start it up at, say, 1V (or even less if you're being cautious). You could then build it's dielectric layer up by increasing the voltage by 1V every hour, until you reach 16V.

    This is one of the reasons why second-hand caps aren't a recommended solution for, say, recapping. You could have a 10V capacitor on a motherboard, employed for filtering the chipset's voltage supply. It would spend it's days working at around 5V, meaning over the years it's dielectric would thin out and it might actually fail when 10V is applied to it.

    There's also a possibility of partial or complete evaporation of the electrolyte liquid (or one of it's components), due to imperfect sealing. This can be seen at lower tier capacitors, usually the seals on the high-grade ones are good enough for multiple decades of both work and storage.

    Polymers do not suffer from any of this.
    Careful what you wish for... You just might get it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    50°4'53.169"N, 14°23'30.699"E
    Posts
    1,578
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    90
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by McSteel View Post
    Yeah, there were quite a few of those who packaged regular wet electrolytics in a metal jacket to make them look like solids... On the other hand, Sanyo and Fujitsu made some solids packaged as wet electrolytics, so it's all good
    Nichicon did that as well, Chemi-Con does that for a very long time for small, low voltage general-purpose SMD capacitors.
    Last edited by Behemot; 07-25-2014 at 06:56 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    67
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    29
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Well, it really depends on what you're comparing.

    I remember that I got a Shuttle motherboard in 2005 or so that's lasted me for over 9 years, and it didn't even have solid caps. It had a ton of these little black caps with bronze coloring down the side (don't know who makes them). The linked picture looks just like my motherboard, but with a few modifications mine didn't have.

    Meanwhile, a ton of my friends had to replace their motherboard or computer every 2-3 years because something on it would start leaking or wear out (I think now it was a capacitor, but we didn't know what they were at the time. We just noticed that it looked like a tiny battery with acid leaking out.) I know Dells were the worst about it.

    So, if you're comparing them to whatever Dell used, it will probably last a LOT longer. If you're comparing them to whatever Shuttle used in my motherboard, it might only add another 2-5 years.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    50°4'53.169"N, 14°23'30.699"E
    Posts
    1,578
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    90
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    If you mean blue, than those are OST. Black are probably somethign else. There are tens of chinese crapacitor makers.

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to Behemot For This Useful Post:

    athenian200 (07-25-2014)

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    67
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    29
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Behemot View Post
    If you mean blue, than those are OST. Black are probably somethign else. There are tens of chinese crapacitor makers.
    Huh, that's surprising. I would have thought that if the board has lasted this long, it must have fairly high quality components. At least compared to whatever was going in the Dell systems.

    Apparently, it really was just luck after all. I'm surprised Taiwanese/Chinese components would last that long. They're supposedly awful.

Similar Threads

  1. Fuhjyyu Solid caps
    By ridgid13579 in forum Electronic Component Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-05-2016, 04:38 PM
  2. Silverstone's new Nightjar 450W w/solid state caps
    By SKYMTL in forum PC Power Supply Discussion
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 05-17-2008, 12:50 PM
  3. Solid Caps on BFG 8600GT
    By ITPro in forum GPU Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-18-2008, 09:18 PM
  4. Recapping motherboards and psu's with solid caps.
    By ianm2 in forum Electronic Component Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-27-2007, 12:32 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •