Wong Boon San, Julie Silk; Agilent Technologies | Richard Nordstrom, Ph.D.; Acoustic Technology Group,; Agilent Technologies, Inc.
Pad cratering has become more prevalent with the switch to lead free solders and lead free compatible laminates. This mainly is due to the use of higher reflow temperature, stiffer Pb-free solder alloys, and the more brittle Pb-free compatible laminates. However, pad cratering is difficult to detect by monitoring electric resistance since pad cratering initiates before an electrical failure occurs.
Several methods have been developed to evaluate laminate materials' resistance to pad cratering. Pad-solder level tests include ball shear, ball pull and pin pull. The detailed methods for ball shear, ball pull, and pin pull testing are documented in an industry standard IPC-9708. Bansal, et al. proposed to use acoustic emission (AE) sensors to detect pad cratering during four-point bend test. Currently there is an industry-working group working on test guidelines for acoustic emission measurement during mechanical testing.
SMTA - Surface Mount Technology Association is a non-profit international association of companies and individuals (totalling 4,000) involved in all aspects of advanced electronics assembly, surface mount and related technologies.
IPC - Association Connecting Electronics Industries is a US-based trade association dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its nearly 2,600 member companies which represent all facets of the electronic interconnection industry, including design, printed wiring board manufacturing and electronics assembly.