Intermetallic Growth in Tin-Rich Solders

Published:

June 13, 2017

Author:

Louis Zakraysek

Abstract:

For tin-rich solder alloys, 200 C (392 F) is an extreme temperature. Intermetallic growth in tin-copper systems is known to occur and is believed to bear a direct relationship to failure mechanisms. This study of morphological changes with time at elevated temperatures was made to determine growth rates of tin-copper intermetallics. Preferred growth directions, rates of thickening, and notable changes in morphology were observed.

Each of four tin-base alloys was flowed on copper and exposed to temperatures between 100 C and 200 C for time periods of up to 32 days. Metallographic sections were taken and the intermetallics were examined. Intermetallic layer thickening is characterized by several distinct stages. The initial growth of side plates is extremely rapid and exaggerated. This is followed by retrogression (spheroidization) of the elongated peaks and by general thick-...

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General Electric

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