SMTA China Conference Proceedings

Development of a Fatigue Resistant Lead-Free Alloy for High Reliability under Hood Applications

Author: Steve Brown (presented by William Yu)
Company: Alpha
Date Published: 4/22/2014   Conference: SMTA China

Abstract: This paper is in English and Chinese languages.

Automotive electronics modules are exempt from the EU RoHS legislation, which restricts the use of six elements in electronics assemblies, including the use of lead (Pb) in solder alloys. However, most manufacturers in this sector are investigating lead- free processes to help vehicle manufacturers meet the End of Life Vehicles (ELV) mandate which encourages the use of lead-free assembly through strict labeling requirement and a limit on the total amount of lead in electronics assemblies in the completed vehicle.

One of the key challenges to automotive electronics manufacturers is the increasingly high operating temperature, as modules are placed closer to the point of use. The move towards electronics being placed into harsher environments is being driven by the desire to reduce wiring within the vehicle, which both adds weight and is in itself a reliability hazard. Standard lead-free alloys offer higher melting points and increased peak-operating temperatures compared to tin-lead, but have poor creep performance.

A major feature of the harsh environment faced by under hood vehicle electronics is that the majority of operation time is conducted at elevated temperatures with a high level of vibration. This paper outlines the development of a high performance alloy designed to withstand these harsh conditions within the tough reliability requirements mandated by vehicle manufacturers.

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