SMTA International Conference Proceedings

Electrochemical Corrosion Measurments on Metal Alloys Exposed to EAC Cleaning Agents

Authors: David Lober and Mike Bixenman, DBA, MBA
Company: KYZEN Corporation
Date Published: 9/22/2019   Conference: SMTA International

Abstract: Electronic devices are essential to the reliable operation of the products that employ them. Miniaturization necessitates a fundamental change in how materials and processes are selected to ensure reliability. Solder is a critical component engineered for specific applications. Numerous factors require consideration including board finishes, solder alloy, reflow temperatures, and operating temperature. When process residues are cleaned, the interaction of the cleaning agent with exposed metals must also be considered.

Engineered aqueous cleaning agents are multifunctional cleaners designed to achieve many seemingly contradictory goals. To penetrate, wet and flow under low profile components, the wash solution must exhibit a low surface tension. Once the cleaning agent has successfully removed the residue set, the wash fluid must be rinsed out using high surface tension rinse water.

The robust nature of the cleaning agent requires its effectiveness at removing a wide range of contaminants off of Printed Circuit Board Assemblies (PCBAs). These factors need a broad spectrum approach while not damaging polymers or corroding metals; being able to clean and protect metals at low cleaning agent concentrations while being able to dissolve large quantities of contamination (high contaminate to cleaning agent ratios).

Historical approaches to cleaning agent-metal compatibility have been limited mainly towards visual and qualitative methods. Occasionally, there has been work that uses quantitative test methods, such as weight loss. Electrochemical determination of the corrosion potential and corrosion rate offers a more comprehensive approach towards creating a cleaning process that is as advanced and reliable as the PCBAs cleaned in it. This paper aims to quantify the impact that engineered aqueous cleaning agents have on the materials used in the manufacturing highly-reliability electronics.

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