ICSR (Soldering and Reliability) Conference Proceedings


SOLDERING CHALLENGES IN A HALOGEN-FREE PCB ASSEMBLY PROCESS

Authors: Timothy Jensen, Ronald Lasky and Amanda Hartnett
Company: Indium Corporation
Date Published: 5/22/2009   Conference: ICSR (Soldering and Reliability)


Abstract: Flame retardants have played an important role in the safety of many products. It is safe to say that thousands of lives have been saved by flame retardants. Flame retardants are used in products as varied as children’s pajamas to electronics assemblies. Some of the more successful flame retardants are halogenated compounds. Halogenated materials are found in polyvinyl chloride (PVC), brominated flame retardants (BFRs), chlorinated flame retardants (CFRs), as well as in fluxes used in the electronics assembly industry.

In recent years halogen containing compounds have been demonstrated as environmentally unfriendly. For instance, in some applications, halogenated flame retardants (HFRs) in plastic materials can release corrosive & toxic gases if ignited in a fire. The corrosive element of these gases has the potential to damage electronics wherever the smoke travels. The toxic element can be potentially hazardous to human and animal life.

Trace amounts of halogen containing compounds have also been found in humans, wildlife and the environment. These concerns have brought halogen reduction and elimination to the forefront by environmental organizations. Electronics manufacturing companies have an opportunity for halogen reduction in fans, connectors, PCBs, sockets and power cords. PCBs, connectors & sockets represent the largest halogen reduction opportunity. [1]

While the Br and Cl in soldering fluxes are likely not nearly as detrimental or harmful, alternatives to Br and Cl in soldering fluxes are being sought by major electronics companies. In light of this situation we will focus on how to be successful in implementing halogen-free fluxes and solder pastes.

KEYWORDS: halogen-free, halide-free, solder, soldering, graping, fluxes, head-in-pillow, hole-fill



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