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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Photo Stencil's AMTX E-Blade electroformed squeegee blade is said to boost print deposition, quality, uniformity, and consistency. E-Blades require less pressure to obtain a clean stencil wipe — reducing the pressure applied to the stencil enhances stencil life by reducing coining and potential damage to fine-pitch aperture webs. If squeegee pressure is too low, leaving paste on the stencil surface renders one of two things: paste left on the squeegee side of small apertures will hold solder paste, preventing its release to the PCB pad and resulting in insufficient solder; and paste left on the squeegee side over large apertures will be pulled down through the aperture, resulting in excess solder, according to Mike Burgess, Photo Stencil's stencil product manager. A rigid, low-friction, hard-nickel edge blade reportedly provides clean prints, reduced stencil wear, and less material waste. Also, Photo Stencil recently acquired this blade from Xerox (Patent #5746127).
Heraeus recently conducted a performance study on the AMTX E-Blade, concluding that it demonstrated the lowest squeegee pressure of the lot for both SMT and wafer bumping printing, claims Rick Lathrop, Heraeus technical service manager of SMT materials. Lower print pressures render reduced understencil wiping frequency and increased stencil life, and the lack of paste scooping in large apertures for wafer bumping boosts bump coplanarity for automotive and wafer-level chip-scale packaging (WLCSP) applications.
The AMTX E-Blade also tackles lead-free printing issues, such as higher squeegee pressures for lead-free solder pastes, enabling a clean stencil wipe. E-Blade is said to print at 33% of the squeegee pressure of other squeegee blades. High squeegee pressures result in "smear-mode" printing, whereas low squeegee pressure allows "sheer-mode" printing. For more information on the AMTX E-Blade, as well as the performance study, please visit www.photostencil.com/eblade.htm.