We are increasingly being asked to store components for longer and longer periods which we know through experience leads to reduction or total loss of solderability of the parts.
1) What is the industry accepted shelf life of tin/lead plated components (both through hole and surface mount) and is there any readilly available documentation to back this up.
2) We currently do solderability testing of parts using the Mil-Std method of using a solder pot however surface mount parts passing this test often fail to solder in production. Are there any other qualified solderability testing methods more suited to surface mount components.
3) Does anyone store components in an inert atmosphere (Nitrogen) and if so, in what volumes and in what equipment. What are the running cost of such storage methods and what sort of capital outlay is required.