Tough Enough Electronics and Solder Materials
Posted on: June 29, 2012
by Mitch Holtzer
Customer demands are driving electronics assemblers and OEMs to develop more robust electronic devices. Terms like1 Shockproof, Waterproof, Freezeproof and Dustproof have significant impact on the materials of construction to be considered particularly when designing mobile consumer electronics. As consumers’ demands have evolved and the electronic OEMs continue to pursue sustainable sources of differentiation, “tough electronics’” is becoming an increasing part of the Assembly Electronic lexicon.
Typically wave solder techniques have been relied upon to provide the most durable large solder joints. Wave soldering offers large-scale benefits that save time and money, but when soldering Ball Grid Arrays (BGAs) and other SMT devices, wave soldering is not appropriate. It is possible to build larger solder bulk connections with SMT where there is flexibility for larger pad area and thicker stencils. However, as mobile devices have continued to shrink, the pressure for “tougher” fine feature joints has increased.
The issue of impact resistance is particularly important when OEM’s consider their material sets. There are multiple material technologies available to enhance the impact resistance of an array package with underfill being the most common. However, underfill can have significant negative cost and throughput impacts on the process. Alpha has a suite of material technologies designed to enhance the toughness of finer feature solder joints including novel alloys like SACX Plus® 0807 impact resistant solders; Exactalloy® Preforms that enable selective enhancement of solder volumes utilizing existing pick and place capacity; Innolot™ solder alloy for vibration and heat resistance; and, reinforcing paste flux residue technology to strengthen the solder joint at the package interface.
1. Nomenclature used by Pansonic to describe one of their Lumix Digital Cameras on their web site. http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/compact/ts2_ft2/
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