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.
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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!
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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.