This paper describes work which has been conducted to estimate the magnitudes of thermal stresses developed in the solder joints of electronic components during service. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) has been employed to predict the level of stress and strain in computer simulations of joints and these predictions have been validated by experimental thermal cycling tests. Future work is outlined including the incorporation of microstructural features into the FEA models. The overall goal of this research is to predict the service lives of electronic components under various operating conditions, thus facilitating the introduction of novel components and materials.
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