As long time readers of DfR Solutions Newsletter know, we periodically put out announcements or warnings of particular failure modes or technologies that are being detrimental to our clients on a wide scale. Examples of such warnings in the past have included low-ESR capacitors, certain laminate materials, low-Tg underfill, and red phosphorous flame retardants.
Unfortunately, we have another industry-wide event occurring and, once again, it is related to red phosphorus flame retardants. This time it is not being used in the epoxy that encapsulates integrated circuits. Instead, DfR Solutions is receiving reports from multiple clients of corrosion, electrical shorts and thermal events in connectors and sockets with red phosphorus as flame retardants. These failures are occurring even when the connectors are NOT PLUGGED IN. While the issue has been observed across connectors and sockets from multiple suppliers, one similarity seems to be that all the connectors and sockets are coming from mainland China manufacturers and the use of red phosphorous was not reported through a part change notification (PCN) document.
DfR Solutions strongly suggest that all clients who currently procure connectors and/or sockets, especially from mainland China manufacturers, either receive written confirmation that no red phosphorus flame retardants are being used or perform a physical analysis to confirm the absence of red phosphorus. If you require any assistance or have any additional questions, please contact us immediately at 301-474-0607.