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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1986

C. Lea, M.P. Seah and F.H. Howie

The importance of the quality of the plated‐through‐hole copper barrel in double‐sided and multilayer PCBs is considered with regard to the problem of voids and blowholes in the…

Abstract

The importance of the quality of the plated‐through‐hole copper barrel in double‐sided and multilayer PCBs is considered with regard to the problem of voids and blowholes in the solder fillet. The thickness of the copper, and its integrity and adherence to the drilled surface define its ability to withstand the pressure burst of gas from the outgassing laminate during the few seconds of the thermal spike induced by the molten solder prior to solidification. The ability of copper electroplate to bridge over areas devoid of electroless copper and produce a barrel free of pinholes is shown to be crucial to this problem. In addition, the use of a nickel layer is shown to enhance greatly the impermeability of the barrel to the evolving gases.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1987

F.H. Howie, D. Tilbrook and C. Lea

For a given batch of printed circuit boards of a particular quality and with a particular level of moisture absorption, the parameters of a wave soldering machine may be tuned to…

Abstract

For a given batch of printed circuit boards of a particular quality and with a particular level of moisture absorption, the parameters of a wave soldering machine may be tuned to minimise the amount of visible blowholing. This paper shows the inter‐relationships of blowholing with other soldering faults such as icicling, bridging and poor pull‐through. The inter‐relationships result from adjusting each machine parameter in turn. This is important since blowholing cannot be minimised without regard to these other effects. The effect of the quality of the printed circuit boards on the response to machine parameters is predicted from a model, and measurements are found to be in agreement with the predictions.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1991

J. Lau, S. Leung, R. Subrahmanyan, D. Rice, S. Erasmus and C.Y. Li

In this study, the reliability of solder joints and plated‐through hole copper pads/barrels of pin grid array assemblies under rework condition has been determined by fatigue…

Abstract

In this study, the reliability of solder joints and plated‐through hole copper pads/barrels of pin grid array assemblies under rework condition has been determined by fatigue experiments. The cross‐sections of the re‐worked PGA assemblies (before and after fatigue tests) are also provided for a better understanding of the failure mechanisms of the composite structure. Furthermore, the load‐drop curves of the PGA interconnects for up to three reworks are provided for a better estimate of their fatigue life.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1986

C. Lea and F.H. Howie

The drilling and preparation of a hole in FR‐4 laminate prior to the deposition of electroless copper is considered in relation to the quality of soldering achieved on the…

Abstract

The drilling and preparation of a hole in FR‐4 laminate prior to the deposition of electroless copper is considered in relation to the quality of soldering achieved on the finished printed circuit board. Data pertaining to the drill speed, drill feed, and stack position are presented and the effect of drilling temperature is demonstrated. The variability of laminate is discussed in relation to outgassing during soldering. Finally the importance of the post‐drilling treatment of the hole‐wall is shown. The relative effects of baking after drilling, ultrasonic cleaning and chemical treatments such as alkaline potassium permanganate are illustrated.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1987

C. Lea, F.H. Howie and M.P. Seah

The amount of gas blowing into the molten solder in plated‐through‐holes during wave soldering is dependent upon the moisture content of the board and the strength of the copper…

Abstract

The amount of gas blowing into the molten solder in plated‐through‐holes during wave soldering is dependent upon the moisture content of the board and the strength of the copper barrels to withstand the pressure of gas. This strength is dependent, in turn, upon both the thickness of the copper electroplate and the quality of the original electroless copper deposit. The problem of blowholing may be overcome by improving the copper quality and/or by baking the PCB prior to soldering. This paper gives a scientific framework linking the important parameters involved in the control of blowholing. Full data are given to enable the allowable moisture content of a PCB to be calculated in respect of the pressure generated during soldering and of the strength of the copper barrels. If baking is required to attain the required low moisture levels, then certain data are required to quantify the effects of the storage times and the environment conditions between that bake and the subsequent soldering. These data are given.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1986

C. Lea and F.H. Howie

This paper introduces a series of eight describing the research work undertaken into the most pervasive of quality assurance problems in the mass soldering of plated‐through‐hole…

Abstract

This paper introduces a series of eight describing the research work undertaken into the most pervasive of quality assurance problems in the mass soldering of plated‐through‐hole (PTH) printed circuit boards, namely the occurrence of voids and blowholes in the solder fillets. The research programme has been carried out at NPL with advice and practical involvement of members of the Soldering Science and Technology Club whose contributions have played a large part in its successful outcome. The work has led to an understanding of the mechanisms giving rise to this problem and recommendations for production procedures to fully control it. In this first paper, results are presented of a UK‐wide survey of the electronics assembly industry and of the assessment made regarding the extent, the harmfulness and the cost of the problem of voids and blowholes.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1990

C. Lea

One family of defects in soldered electronic assemblies that is almost invariably re‐worked is that due to outgassing, manifested as visible blowholes and solder blow‐out. It is…

Abstract

One family of defects in soldered electronic assemblies that is almost invariably re‐worked is that due to outgassing, manifested as visible blowholes and solder blow‐out. It is known that re‐working can be very detrimental to the service life of an electronic assembly and should be avoided whenever possible. This paper describes work aimed to determine whether outgassing faults such as blowholes are harmful to service performance or whether more harm will be done by re‐working such faults. Standard test plated‐through‐hole (PTH) assemblies with controlled degrees of outgassing faults have been subjected to mechanical testing, thermal shock testing, mechanical fatigue, low cycle thermal fatigue and corrosion testing. Measurements in all these régimes have been carried out quantitatively with baseline controls. No evidence of significant loss of solder joint performance has been found, even for severe cases of solder loss. On the contrary, in cyclic fatigue testing, solder fillets with outgassing faults exhibit statistically significant performance enhancement. The conspicuous nature of blowholing and solder blow‐out undoubtedly over‐emphasises the problem during visual quality control inspection. Provided the copper barrel has been wet by the solder, outgassing faults should not be re‐worked. These faults should be used as process indicators and to draw attention to processes and the need for process control.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1986

F.H. Howie and C. Lea

This paper is the second of a series dealing with the blowholing problem on through‐hole plated printed circuit boards. In the previous paper the authors have considered the…

Abstract

This paper is the second of a series dealing with the blowholing problem on through‐hole plated printed circuit boards. In the previous paper the authors have considered the impact of the problem on the UK electronics assembly industry. Here they consider the nature of the gas causing blowholes and voids, its origin and the kinetics of its generation and evolution. When a printed circuit board with plated‐through‐holes is wave soldered, the thermal spike of the molten solder activates the evolution of gas, sometimes in relatively enormous quantities. The gas is seen bubbling from the surface of the molten solder in the joint. Upon freezing, the solder either traps the gas in a void enclosed within the fillet or, if the gas is escaping from the surface as freezing occurs, forms a blowhole.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1991

C. Lea

Exemplary data are given that demonstrate unequivocally the inapplicability of commonly used visual inspection criteria for judging the long‐term service reliability of soldered…

Abstract

Exemplary data are given that demonstrate unequivocally the inapplicability of commonly used visual inspection criteria for judging the long‐term service reliability of soldered joints. The data are obtained from a controlled model system. Plated‐through hole (PTH), wave soldered joints are used in this work, having a controlled degree of voiding, blowholing and solder blowout, covering the full range of normal visual assessment, from perfect to very bad, for this particular type of visible fault. The joint performance is assessed in terms of its joint pull strength, thermal shock, mechanical high frequency fatigue, low cycle thermal fatigue and propensity as a corrosion initiation site. No evidence was found that the visible outgassing faults degraded the solder joint performance. Indeed, in all the fatigue tests, the visually unacceptable solder joints performed significantly better. Furthermore, in a related research project, manual reworking of joints has been found to be demonstrably detrimental to solder joint reliability.

Details

Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-0911

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1986

C. Lea and F.H. Howie

Data from laboratory and production scale tests are given that show that the efficiency of catalyst adsorption controls the coverage by the electroless copper deposit in…

Abstract

Data from laboratory and production scale tests are given that show that the efficiency of catalyst adsorption controls the coverage by the electroless copper deposit in plated‐through‐holes in FR‐4 laminate, and that this, in turn, governs the outgassing performance of the finished board. The nature of electroless copper nucleation and growth is discussed and the reasons for the formation of voids in the deposit are identified.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

1 – 10 of 331