Higher Defluxing Temperature and Low Standoff Component Cleaning - A Connection?

Published:

November 4, 2020

Author:

Jigar Patel and Umut Tosun

Abstract:

OEMs and CMs designing and building electronic assemblies for high reliability applications are typically faced with a decision to clean or not to clean the assembly. If ionic residues remain on the substrate surface, potential failure mechanisms, including dendritic growth by electrochemical migration reaction and leakage current, may result. These failures have been well documented. If a decision to clean substrates is made, there are numerous cleaning process options available. For defluxing applications, the most common systems are spray-in-air, employing either batch or inline cleaning equipment and an engineered aqueous based cleaning agent. Regardless of the type of cleaning process adopted, effective cleaning of post solder residue requires chemical, thermal and mechanical energies. The chemical energy is derived from the engineered cleaning agent; the thermal energy from the increased temperature of the cleaning agent, and the mechanical energy from the pump system employed within the cleaning equipment. The pump system, which includes spray pressure, spray bar configuration and nozzle selection, is optimized for the specific process to create an efficient cleaning system. As board density has increased and component standoff heights have decreased, cleaning processes are steadily challenged. Over time, cleaning agent formulations have advanced to match new solder paste developments, spray system configurations have improved, and wash temperatures (thermal energy) have been limited to a maximum of 160ºF. In most cases, this is due to thermal limitations of the materials used to build the polymer-based cleaning equipment. Building equipment out of stainless steel is an option, but one that may be cost prohibitive. Given the maximum allowable wash temperature, difficult cleaning applications are met by increasing the wash exposure time; including reducing the conveyor speed of inline cleaners or extending wash time in batch cleaners. Although this yields effective cleaning results, process productivity may be compromised. However, high temperature resistant polymer materials, capable of withstanding a 180°F wash temperature, are now available and can be used in cleaning equipment builds. For this study, the authors explored the potential for increasing cleaning process efficiency as a result of an increase in thermal energy due to the use of higher wash temperature. The cleaning equipment selected was an inline cleaner built with high temperature resistant polymer material. For the analysis, standard substrates were used. These were populated with numerous low standoff chip cap components and soldered with both no-clean tin-lead and lead-free solder pastes. Two aqueous based cleaning agents were selected, and multiple wash temperatures and wash exposure times were evaluated. Cleanliness assessments were made through visual analysis of under-component inspection, as well as localized extraction and Ion Chromatography in accordance with current IPC standards....

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Company Information:

ZESTRON Americas

The globally leading provider of high precision cleaning products, services and training solutions in the electronics and semiconductor manufacturing industries.

Manassas, Virginia, USA

Cleaning, Test Services, Training Provider

  • Phone (703) 393-9880
  • Fax (703) 393-8618

ZESTRON Americas website

Company Postings:

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