Working with the military you get caught up in the lingo, I must admit. So, when I discovered metal frame housings for PCMCIA and compact flash cards were available, I quickly began spreading the word.
For years military customers have used PCMCIA and compact flash cards to on/offload data on a variety of vehicles and aircraft. And for years we have heard stories of how careless personnel can be with these cards; The thin metal plate around the typical black plastic frame we have all come to know as standard often falls off and exposes the PCB.
Though these cards are not drop rated, many branches of the military have requested a more durable construction. SSD storage drives in 2.5-inch and 1.8-inch form factors have always been offered in a metal case, however this hasn’t been true for PCMCIA and compact flash cards. Now, the black plastic outer housing can be replaced with a more durable metal frame. When these were first offered to the military as “metal frame housing,” service men decided the term was boring and decided to call it “Full Metal Jacket.” And so the military moniker was born.
Users of PCMCIA and compact flash cards in capacities ranging from 16 MB to 64 GB can upgrade to Full Metal Jacket housings. In addition, these housings are also available in extended temperature ranges of up to -40 ºC to +85 ºC. The metal frame offers more rigidity to the card and weight for those looking for something more substantial to hold their data, while adding additional protection for the PCB.
Another little known fact is a coating that can be used on these cards. If additional environmental factors are in play and increased tolerances are needed “conformal coating” can be added, which is a silicon or acrylic material that covers the entire PCB and its components. This provides additional protection, however it should be noted that warranty claims on these types of builds are very limited.
Customers looking to use such a coating should contact an experienced SSD storage manufacturer with a history of building and deploying these cards.