Pan Pacific Symposium Conference Proceedings


STENCIL PRINTING WITH LEAD-FREE SOLDER PASTE

Author: Mark J. Curtin
Company: Transition Automation, Inc.
Date Published: 2/25/2005   Conference: Pan Pacific Symposium


Abstract: This report highlights some recent experimentation related to lead free printing. An initial experiment measures the proportion of material separated to the squeegee. A second discussion reviews content verification using Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy. This verification demonstrates one method for determining if lead is present in a sample. The impact of lead-free materials on SMT printing is reviewed. A cycle endurance test is included to assess how lead-free materials may impact metal squeegees used in the SMT process.

The electronics assembly industry is currently in a transitional state between lead containing materials and lead-free materials and finishes. As this transformation takes place, many issues have arisen, such as: material compatibility, equipment capability, energy usage, and verification of supplies and process.

Eutectic tin-lead solder has been in use for many decades. Surface Mount Technology is a more recently developed process which required statistical studies and process engineering to achieve high quality output of finished electronics. It is likely that the many testing and development programs used to establish SMT will be implemented again in order to qualify the lead-free process. This article is a review of some tests which were performed to assist end-users to understand the lead-free process better.

Key words: lead, lead-free, squeegees, solder paste printing.



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