Tin Whiskers: Risks with Lead Free | Part I

Published:

June 19, 2019

Author:

ACI Technologies, Inc.

Abstract:

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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Company Information:

ACI Technologies, Inc.

ACI, an authorized IPC Training Center operating the National Electronics Manufacturing Center of Excellence providing analytical testing, manufacturing and repair services to the electronics industry.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Consultant, Design, IPC Standards Certification Center, Service Provider, Training Provider

  • Phone 610 362 1200
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ACI Technologies, Inc. website

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