The proliferation of lead-free solder alloys gives users a wide range of features, but it can be difficult to figure out which of these alloys provides the best match for product requirements. The IPC Solder Products Value Council (SPVC), in cooperation with iNEMI, has written a white paper, Analytical Procedures for Portable Lead-Free Alloy Test Data, that helps users determine which alloy characteristics best match their requirements.
After extensive consideration of what physical parameters were most important for reliability, the Council's experts determined that solder creep was one of the key factors that determined many solder qualities. "If alloys have similar creep values, they are expected to have similar reliability performance over a product's lifetime," said Greg Munie, IPC director of design programs. In addition, the white paper establishes test protocols for new solder alloys that provide “portable data,” that is, data that is reproducible and not dependent on test location. The protocols formalize testing requirements, reduce the cost of testing, and help the industry better understand the basic physics and metallurgy of lead-free alloys in manufacturing and end–use applications.
"This will have some appeal for anyone involved in manufacturing," Munie said. "It is our hope that companies can compare physical properties and make informed decisions. They won't have to build models and thermally cycle for every alloy."
Analytical Procedures for Portable Lead-Free Alloy Test Data is available as a free download. Visit the IPC Online Store for more information.
IPC (www.IPC.org) is a global industry association based in Bannockburn, Ill., dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its 3,500 member companies which represent all facets of the electronics industry, including design, printed board manufacturing, electronics assembly and test. As a member-driven organization and leading source for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy, IPC supports programs to meet the needs of an estimated $2 trillion global electronics industry. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Washington, D.C.; Stockholm, Sweden; Moscow, Russia; Bangalore and New Delhi, India; Bangkok, Thailand; and Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Beijing, China.