Technical Library | 2013-07-03 10:31:54.0
It has been demonstrated in numerous pieces of work that stencil printing, one of the most complex PCB assembly processes, is one of the largest contributors to defects (Revelino et el). This complexity extends to prototype builds where a small number of boards need to be assembled quickly and reliably. Stencil printing is becoming increasingly challenging as packages shrink in size, increase in lead count and require closer lead spacing (finer pitch). Prototype SMT assembly can be further divided between industrial and commercial work and the DIYer, hobbyist or researcher groups. This second group is highly price sensitive when it comes to the materials used for the board assembly as their funds are sourced from personal or research monies as opposed to company funds. This has led to development of a lower cost SMT printing stencil made from plastic film as opposed to the more traditional stainless steel stencil used by industrial and commercial users.This study compares the performance of these two traditional materials and their respective impact on solder paste printing including efficiency and print quality.
Technical Library | 2015-11-19 18:15:07.0
The move to lead free (Pb-free) electronics by the commercial industry has resulted in an increasing number of ball grid array components (BGAs) which are only available with Pb-free solder balls. The reliability of these devices is not well established when assembled using a standard tin-lead (SnPb) solder paste and reflow profile, known as a backward compatible process. Previous studies in processing mixed alloy solder joints have demonstrated the importance of using a reflow temperature high enough to achieve complete mixing of the SnPb solder paste with the Pb-free solder ball. Research has indicated that complete mixing can occur below the melting point of the Pb-free alloy and is dependent on a number of factors including solder ball composition, solder ball to solder paste ratio, and peak reflow times and temperatures. Increasing the lead content in the system enables full mixing of the solder joint with a reduced peak reflow temperature, however, previous research is conflicting regarding the effect that lead percentage has on solder joint reliability in this mixed alloy solder joint.