IPC Solder Products Value Council, Solectron, Flextronics and U.S. NAVSEA Begin Reliability Test Program on Lead-free Solder


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Northbrook, Ill. — IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries' Solder Products Value Council (SPVC) has begun a comprehensive study of the three leading lead-free alloys (tin-silver-copper) in an effort to analyze the properties of the leading candidates for lead-free assembly.

The research will cover assembly performance and basic materials properties, such as wetting, phase structure of the materials, thermal shock performance, long-term thermal cycling behavior and solder joint reliability.

The IPC SPVC, which is funding the study, is made up of leading international solder materials suppliers, including AIM; Cookson Electronics Assembly Materials Group; Amtech Inc.; Avantec Performance Chemicals, Electronic Business Unit; EFD Inc.; Henkel Loctite; Indium Corp.; Kester Northrop Grumman; Nihon Superior Co. Ltd.; P. Kay Metal Supply Inc.; Qualitek Group of Cos.; Senju Metal Industry; and Thai Solder Industry Corp.

The IPC SPVC Lead-Free Subcommittee, chaired by Karl Seelig, AIM Inc., is organizing the test program. he study is also supported by two of the leading electronics manufacturing services companies, Flextronics and Solectron Corp., who will provide test vehicle assembly. In addition, the NAVSEA Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center will provide the long-term reliability testing and Engent will evaluate the solder prior to assembly.

A complete data analysis and white paper summary of the work is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2004, upon completion of the testing.

Furthermore, IPC announced that, once it is published, the data will not only be used by IPC's Technical Committees, but it will also influence the standards of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Technical Committee TC 91 — "Electronics Assembly Technology."

Dieter Bergman, IPC's director of technology transfer; Greg Munie, Ph.D., Kester Solder; and Alan Rae, Ph.D., Cookson Electronics will act as technical liaisons between IPC and IEC in the sharing of the technical information.

IPC is a trade association dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its more than 2,300 member companies, which represent all facets of the electronic interconnection industry, including design, printed circuit board manufacturing and electronics assembly. For more information, visit www.ipc.org.

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