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Adapting Press-Fit Connection Technology for Electronic Modules in Harsh Environments
Keywords: Interconnection, Packaging, Reliability
Press-Fit Technology has been widely used in the telecom and industrial markets for over 50 years. The Press-Fit Technology available for those markets works well in most non-mobile, controlled environment applications. However, the move to develop electronic modules that operate under aggressive environmental conditions, such as automotive, has created additional challenges that most existing press-fit parts were not designed to withstand. In addition to the added rigors of vibration, thermal shock, etc., press-fits for such applications have much higher ampacity requirements than their telecom counterparts. As module requirements become more demanding and raw material costs are increasing the challenge to limit precious metals in designs and increase performance are challenging packaging designers and manufactures to develop new interconnection solutions Applications for multiple chip packages, power conversion and generation, MEMs devices, Solar, LED and Automotive Interfaces are seeing higher operational temperatures. The needs for improved thermal dissipation, resistance to shock and hermetic sealing are some of the technologies that are demanding performance extremes from electronic module designs. Press-Fit technology allows for the insertion of a specially stamped terminal into a plated-through hole (PTH) in a printed circuit board (PCB) in such a way that an electro-mechanical connection is established without using solder. The press-fit joint can be a more permanent connection and needs to generate both the electrical and mechanical connections without the aid of a housing. This paper will show how the designs have developed to suit these harsh environment requirements, in terms of the interactions between materials, the effects of accelerated testing, and the test processes undertaken. The data provided will provide the basic information required for modeling and design of interconnection technology ideally suite to high stress applications.
Andy Longford, Consultant
PandA Europe
Lambourn, Berks RG17 8YP,

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