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A procedure for determining the high‐speed stencil printing performance of solder pastes in an electronic service provider's environment

Christopher M. Greene (Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA)
Krishnaswami Srihari (Electronics Manufacturing Research and Services, Department of Systems Science and Industrial Engineering, State University of New York, Binghamton, New York, USA)

Soldering & Surface Mount Technology

ISSN: 0954-0911

Article publication date: 27 June 2008

Abstract

Purpose

Environmental concerns over hazardous materials being placed in landfills have caused many countries to enact legislation to limit and/or eliminate the use of lead in electronic devices. As a result, the electronics manufacturing industry has undertaken efforts to comply with the legislation. Solder paste is typically used as the joining material between boards and components. The standard solder paste alloy has traditionally been a tin/lead eutectic. Lead‐free should, in theory, have the same functionality as the standard pastes to be utilized as a drop‐in replacement. Typically, solder paste is deposited on to a land pattern site by a stencil printer. In the manufacturing environment, speed and accuracy are desirable characteristics of the stencil printing operation. The purpose of this paper is to determine how fast a selection of lead‐free pastes can be successfully printed.

Design/methodology/approach

A representative sample of four lead‐free solder pastes containing different alloys was selected. A series of experiments at an increasing print speed was used to deposit these solder pastes on to printed circuit boards and the printed solder volumes were measured. The maximum print speed for each paste was observed and noted for future use.

Findings

Of the four alloys selected for experimentation, one emerged to have the most superior performance in terms of high‐speed printability. The speeds for each paste were observed and noted for future use.

Research limitations/implications

Experimentation was performed in an electronics service provider's environment using equipment and materials that were normally used in production.

Practical implications

The parameters obtained can be used on the manufacturing floor assembling lead‐free products.

Originality/value

The results offer a suggestion (in the form of the parameters that can be utilized) as to what parameters to use in the stencil printing of lead‐free solder paste at high speeds.

Keywords

Citation

Greene, C.M. and Srihari, K. (2008), "A procedure for determining the high‐speed stencil printing performance of solder pastes in an electronic service provider's environment", Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 26-33. https://doi.org/10.1108/09540910810885697

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited