The intermetallic layer that will be the subject of this investigation has long been known to have a major effect on the strength and reliability of the soldered joints that provide the essential connections in the electronic circuitry that has become such an important part of modern life. The move to lead-free solders, in which Nihon Superior has been a leader, has created new issues for solder joint reliability and these will be the subject of the new research.
The project will begin in April 2008 and is expected to continue until March 2012 with Nihon Superior providing around AU$313,000 each year over that period. Nihon Superior began another cooperative research project with the University of Queensland in April 2006 and that project, on the solidification behavior of solders, is still under way. As the transition to lead-free solders has proceeded, Nihon Superior has realized that it is necessary to study not only the solder alloy itself but the performance of the joint formed with the solder. Nihon Superior is pleased that with this new contract, its collaboration with the University of Queensland moves to this second stage.
For many years, the University of Queensland has been recognized around the world for their research on the solidification of light metals and the skills developed in that work have been found to be very useful in the study of solder alloys. The University has the largest electron microscope facility in Australia with a wide range of state-of-the-art instruments and this globally recognized facility will make a major contribution to this new investigation.
The Queensland State Governments has a policy of supporting the development of advanced technologies in its state and has contributed to the funding of cooperative research in fields such as biotechnology and nanotechnology. The government has aggressively pursued strategies to attract companies working in the fields of aerospace and defense one result of which is Boeing�s decision to locate their Australian headquarters in Queensland. Nihon Superior is itself participating in a project on lead-free solders led jointly by NASA and the US Department of Defense so this new project could well be considered to fit in with that strategy.
On February 7, Mr. Takeshi Adachi, a Commissioner of the State of Queensland in Japan, visited Nihon Superior headquarters and was pleased to learn of the ongoing cooperation between this Japanese company and the University of Queensland.
While Nihon Superior�s unique lead-free SN100C has so far been used mainly for wave soldering, its ideal combination of properties has resulted in growing interest in its use in a wider range of soldering applications. Nihon Superior has responded to this interest by releasing in late 2007 a new range of SN100 e-Series products such as ePaste (for reflow soldering), eBall (for semiconductor attachment) and eCore (advanced flux-cored solder wire).
About Nihon Superior Co. Ltd.
Nihon Superior was founded in 1966 when it began marketing unique flux products imported from the US. Since then, the company has made its mark by developing its own soldering materials and supplying them to the electronics industry. On the basis of its expertise in these technologies, Nihon Superior has developed a global business, establishing manufacturing and sales centers in Asia and forming business partnerships with companies in Europe, America and Asia.