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SMTnet Express, August 1, 2019, Subscribers: 32,197, Companies: 10,845, Users: 24,998

Technical Library

Tin Whiskers: Risks with Lead Free | Part I

Credits: ACI Technologies, Inc.

Tin (Sn) metal displays the characteristic of growing "tin whiskers" from pure tin coatings (most actively on relatively thin, electrodeposited or immersion tin coatings), usually months or years from the initial deposition of the tin. Tin whiskers are electrically conductive, filamentary, single crystals of white (beta phase) tin. These filaments of single crystal tin are usually one to five microns in diameter, and a few microns up to several tens of millimeters long, that grow spontaneously from the tin coatings. Alloying additions of several percent (by weight) of lead (Pb) prevents these electrically conductive tin whiskers from growing. Pb alloyed into the Sn was discovered to prevent the occurrence of tin whiskers in electronic assemblies in the 1950s as the Bell Laboratories solution to the problem of tin whiskers. The alloying of the tin with lead has thus quietly averted incalculable losses from short circuits in electronic equipment for the last 60 years.

Forum search results for related keywords: tin whiskers.

SMT / PCB Products



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Hand Assembly

Virtual Industries



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GPD Global



SMD Reel Storage




SMTAI Booth # 623

Cleaning Agents


SMTAI Booth # 207




Seika Machinery

SMTAI Booth # 410

Solder Paste Stencils

BEST, Inc.



SMTAI Booth # 632






SMT / PCB Equipment Auctions

Late Model Metal Fabrication, CNC Bending & Machining Complete Closure of 110,000 SF Silver Creek Facility

September 3 - 5 | X-Line Asset Management

Electronic Equipment Mart

Nordson Asymtek C-740

Coating and Encapsulation

LEL Semi

YesTech FX AOI

AOI / Automated Optical Inspection

Capital Equipment Exchange

Universal Instruments GENESIS

Chipshooters / Chip Mounters

KD Electronics Ltd.

Quad Parts, Feeders, Nozzles

Pick and Place/Feeders

PPM Parts

Austin American Technology X30A Cleaner

Stencil Cleaners

IBE SMT Equipment

Events Calendar

SMTA International 2019 Conference & Exhibition | September 22 - 26 | SMTA

IPC Tech Ed - Process and Acceptability Requirements: Utilizing J-STD-001 and IPC-A-610 Together | September 10 | IPC

PCB Cleaning Webinar Series | ZESTRON Corporation

Training Courses

IPC Training & Certification Courses

Soldering & PCB Rework Courses

Career Center

Electronics Experts Needed - Contract Jobs

offered by: Performance Review Institute

An excellent contract job opportunity for consultants or recent retirees

Do you have experience in some or all of these processes: Printed Boards, or Printed Board Assemblies, or Cable and Wire Harness Assemblies? We have ELECTRONICS AUDITOR positions available now!

US and International Travel, Flexible scheduling, Competitive compensation and travel expenses...

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Industry Associations Events


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.

Membership Info | SMTA Certification | Bookstore | Upcoming Events


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.

Membership Info | Training & Certification | Online Store | Upcoming Events

Technical Editor - Davef (submit your technical articles)

Newsletter Editor - Anna Girouard, 98 Elm Street, Portland, Maine 04101 USA, Tel.207-780-0887.


Used PCB Assembly Equipment - CE Exchange

SMTA International 2019 - Learn about the latest equipment and technology from over 170 exhibiting companies!

Zestron PCB Cleaning Academy

Unused Equipment? - let BajaBid turn your EXCESS ASSETS into cash!

MIRTEC MV 6 OMNI High-Speed / High-Performance 3D AOI MACHINE.

Saki's 3D inspection and measurement systems support QUALITY-DRIVEN PRODUCTION.

Hioki 1240 Flying Probe Tester - ultra-high speed measuring, fine pitch inspection.

Experience the Blackfox Difference - Premier IPC Training & Certification Center - Rework Tools

Selective Conformal Coating System - GPD impleCoat

HELLER - Choose an Oven for Your Reflow Needs

Turn-Key PCB Prototypes - On Your Bench in 5 Days

Used SMT Equipment - IBE

Quality Pre-Owned SMT Eequipment - Robo-Tek

SMT Parts Store Online - MPM, Camalot, Quad, Mirae - nozzles, feeders, accessories.

Software for PCB Manufacturing - Unisoft

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