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Quantifying the Impact of Lead Free Assembly Using High Temperature Testing
Keywords: Lead Free Assembly, PWB, PCB
The highest cost to a printed wire board (PWB) manufacturer is the risk that their product fails at the customer site, or shortly after entering into the end use environment. This paper addresses the findings that the thermal excursions associated with lead free assembly can significantly degrade PWB reliability, increasing the risk of premature failures in assembly, rework, burn-in and the end use environments. For many years thermal shock testing has been a common practice to establish PWB reliability in the electronics industry. Reliability testing is a functional evaluation that augments quality requirements to prevent costs associated with product failures. Increasing numbers of companies are now using higher temperature thermal cycling, with assembly level temperatures to represent a quantification of survivability in assembly and predict PWB reliability. Thermally aggressive testing protocols afford cost savings by identifying weak product effectively, while reducing testing costs with additional benefits of shorter times to results. The paper describes how higher temperature testing is able to demonstrate not only the reliability of copper interconnections, but also the robustness of the dielectric materials. A new test approach, survivability testing, which has maximum temperatures in the range of 220°C to 260°C is described and applications reviewed.
Bill Birch,
PWB Interconnect Solutions Inc.
Nepean, Ontario K2H 9C1,

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