Electronic systems may often fail, not because of poorly designed chips, substrates or other components, but because of the failure of the solder joints that link them all together. The mismatch between PCB solder materials can result in thermal expansion problems including excessive strain, cracking and open circuits. The impact of thermal fatigue, soldering defects, vibration and residual strains must be considered when analyzing solder reliability. These and other issues are often exposed in accelerated stress tests.
The most common method for testing solder joint reliability is thermal cycling where the thermal modulation process mimics environmental strains. But other testing methods including power cycling, HALT, shock and vibration can expose potential metallurgical and physical failures.
Experts Weigh In on Solder Reliability
Nathan Blattau, PhD and Senior Vice President at DfR Solutions, has been involved in reliability testing and packaging of electronic equipment for more than ten years. His previous role as DfR Solutions’ Chief Scientist gave him hands-on knowledge about failure analysis, solder joint reliability, fracture and fatigue mechanics of materials. His colleague and research engineer, Maxim Serebreni, is an expert in experimental mechanics and mechanical characterization of non-ferrous metallic alloys.
Together, they presented “System Level Effects on Solder Joint Reliability” at DfR Solutions’ 2017 Design for Reliability Conference in Baltimore. To learn more about this topic, watch our full recorded webinar based on their conference presentation! Just click the button below.