Properties of Mixing SAC Solder Alloys with Bismuth-Containing Solder Alloys for a Low Reflow Temperature Process
Authors: Tayler J. Swanson, MSc. and Martin K. Anselm, Ph.D. Company: Digital Instruments Inc. and Rochester Institute of Technology Date Published: 9/22/2019
Abstract: The subject of extensive research has been the establishing of lower temperature soldering of electronic assemblies that are similar to the once common yet still preferred eutectic Tin-Lead (SnPb) soldering processes that are below 217°C. This research measured and compared the mixing mechanisms of paste and ball dissolution. Mixed soldered assemblies will have different dissolution results that are dependent on the peak reflow temperature. The hypothesis for this experiment was to determine the relationship of various times above the melting point of low temperature solders containing Bismuth. The results measured are from solder joints of both SAC305 and Bismuth containing solders formed at lower process temperatures compared to the standard high temperatures which peak at 230°C-260°C. The Bismuth containing solders evaluated start with the highest to lowest weight percentage of Bismuth, the eutectic 58Bismuth/42Tin (58Bi/42Sn), 57Bi/42Sn/1Ag and a propriety alloy that has a lower Bismuth content along with various micro alloys, defined as40-58Bi/Sn/X (X representing proprietary micro alloys or doping). The assembly was with an 18mil 96.5Tin/3Silver/.5Copper (SAC305) solder ball mixed with each solder paste. These solder alloys were exposed to three different peak temperatures 180°C, 195°C, 205°C. Another reflow profile attribute of focus was times above 138°C the melting point of the eutectic Sn58Bi alloy, this term used throughout the study is referred to Time Above Melting (TAM). The ball and paste assembly used the times above melting of 120sec and 240sec to represent process extremes and verify their significance on improving mixing level results. The average mixing % levels were recorded and compared for each solder joint combination to test the theory that the solder paste solidifies during the time above melting (TAM) within the reflow oven.