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Addressing the Challenge of Head-In-Pillow Defects in Electronics Assembly

Technical Library | 2013-12-27 10:39:21.0

The head-in-pillow defect has become a relatively common failure mode in the industry since the implementation of Pb-free technologies, generating much concern. A head-in-pillow defect is the incomplete wetting of the entire solder joint of a Ball-Grid Array (BGA), Chip-Scale Package (CSP), or even a Package-On-Package (PoP) and is characterized as a process anomaly, where the solder paste and BGA ball both reflow but do not coalesce. When looking at a cross-section, it actually looks like a head has pressed into a soft pillow. There are two main sources of head-in-pillow defects: poor wetting and PWB or package warpage. Poor wetting can result from a variety of sources, such as solder ball oxidation, an inappropriate thermal reflow profile or poor fluxing action. This paper addresses the three sources or contributing issues (supply, process & material) of the head-in-pillow defects. It will thoroughly review these three issues and how they relate to result in head-in pillow defects. In addition, a head-in-pillow elimination plan will be presented with real life examples will be to illustrate these head-in-pillow solutions.

Indium Corporation

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