National Physical Laboratory

Evaluation of conformal coating to inhibit tin whisker growth

Tin whisker conformal coating

Introduction of RoHS has led to component manufacturers moving away from SnPb component termination finishes to pure Sn. These finishes are prone to spontaneous growth of Sn whiskers, which can cause catastrophic failures in electronic circuits. Reported failures include the loss of at least two communications satellites and the unplanned shutdown of a nuclear reactor. It has been suggested that conformal coatings can be used to inhibit whisker growth.

The EI group has developed a new test method to assess the ability of different conformal coatings to inhibit whisker growth Adobe Acrobat PDF file, allowing end-users to rapidly identify the best coatings to reduce the risks of failures due to Sn whiskers.

Common applications:

  • Evaluate inhibition of your own conformal coating on tin whisker growth.


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Last Updated: 2 Apr 2012
Created: 28 Jul 2009


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