The purpose of this study/paper is regarding analysis of electrical discontinuity in penultimate layer of a few batches of Multilayer Boards (MLB) fabricated and supplied by a vendor. The ever-increasing demand of miniaturization in launch vehicle and spacecraft electronics systems has led to the usage of multilayer printed circuit boards (PCBs) for realizing high-performance electronics circuitry. Multilayer boards (MLBs) fabricated by qualified agencies based on the customer requirement are being used in the critical launch vehicle/spacecraft systems after evaluating the preliminary test results supplied by the vendor. However, a few batches of MLBs fabricated and supplied by a particular vendor (“A”) showed a discontinuity problem in a few PCB tracks connected by soldering pads. As these MLBs are part of Flight critical systems of both launch vehicle and spacecraft, a malfunction in the board may lead to fatal errors during fight or on-orbit, thereby jeopardizing the mission.
A systematic approach was followed to have a thorough understanding of the problem, and major tests such as inspection, continuity measurement, microsection of the plated through hole (PTH) and Scanning Electron Microscopy–Energy Dispersive X-ray Analysis tests were conducted on identified test boards based on Ishikawa model. Emphasis was given for horizontal microsection, as it has got a clear edge in detecting defects at any point of PTH barrel to inner-layer copper interface.
Systematic testing and evaluation on specimen revealed the presence of unwanted material at the bonding area of inner-layer copper and PTH copper due to inadequate fabrication process. The un-cleaned epoxy materials present at the bonding area creates a weak bond between barrel and inner-layer copper. Electrical strength of the MLB is the strength of this link. This weaker interconnection leads to electrical discontinuity of inner-layer tracks.
MLBs are part of Flight critical systems of both Launch Vehicle and Spacecraft; a malfunction in the board may lead to fatal errors during fight or on-orbit, thereby jeopardizing the mission. Case study of an original failure observed in MLBs helped to achieve normal functioning of systems and avoided failures at later stage of mission.
Jayaprasad, G., Dhanlakshmi, P. and Hemachandran, S. (2016), "Analysis of electrical discontinuity problem in MLB using Ishikawa model", Circuit World, Vol. 42 No. 4, pp. 201-206. https://doi.org/10.1108/CW-08-2016-0036Download as .RIS
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