SMTA International Conference Proceedings


Author: Denis Barbini; Denis Jean; Stuart Longgood; Keith Howell; Jian Miremadi
Company: BCS; Plexus, Inc.; Delphi Corporation; Nihon Superior; Hewlett-Packard Company
Date Published: 10/24/2010   Conference: SMTA International

Abstract: Today’s wave soldering processes solder electronic assemblies within the large eutectic tin lead processing window. The issues surrounding the conversion to lead free assembly are multiple and varied. Logistics, cost, material selection, and equipment choices/options are some of these challenges that require planning and organization. However, at the core of lead free assembly is soldering. The iNEMI lead free wave soldering team embarked on a multi-tiered project that focuses specifically on two aspects: identifying the impact of critical parameters on the development of a reliable, robust lead free wave soldering process as well as characterizing the performance of the electrical interconnect.

While previous investigations of lead free wave soldering as well as standards development focused on process optimization, material selection, through-hole fill, coverage requirements, few, published investigations focused on the reliability of both SMD and Through-Hole solder joints assembled with various board finishes and thicknesses, component types, and alloys. This iNEMI collaboration studied and is reporting on identifying the impact of critical parameters on the development of a reliable, robust lead free wave soldering process as well as determining the behavior and performance of the various solder joints.

The team specifically designed a test vehicle for testing the norms of tin lead wave soldering and to address component and board types specific to various industries. The result of this investigation is to provide the electronics industry valuable information pertaining to the relationship between through-hole penetration and solder joint performance as a function of thermal cycling, and subsequent failure analysis.

Overall, this investigation looks to bring an understanding of how critical wave soldering parameters correlate to performance and provide the reader with the information necessary to make educated decisions in selecting process parameters, material sets, and acceptability standards.

Key words: Pb Free, wave soldering, process, solder, alloy, thermal cycling, joint performance.

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