National Physical Laboratory

Improving Electronic Reliability - Through Product & Process Qualification at NPL - Downloads of past webinars - 2016

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NPL Future of Interconnection Reliability - The Way Forward
Thursday 1 December 2016

The NPL Electronic Interconnection Group undertakes a wide range of research and collaborative projects in support of the electronics industry. This session provided information on current project portfolio and capability. The Group was in the process of deciding its research programme for the next three years, and presented its vision and gave participants the opportunity to influence the research priorities. A list of potential topics is given below. The session also explained how you and your company can be involved in our projects and influence project parameters to best reflect your requirements. NPL's next three-year research programme starts in April 2017.

Topics covered:  Metrology for harsh environment electronics  |  High temperature interconnects and substrates  |  High voltage SIR testing  |  Condensation of end-user assemblies  |  Ageing of coatings  |  Metrology for flexible and printed electronics  |  Combinational testing for reliability prediction  |  Wearables testing  |  Printed electrode and sensor characterisation  |  Metrology for embedded electronics



Solder Joint and Cleanliness Reliability Assessment in Production (Sweden Project)
Wednesday 9 November 2016

This webinar looked at results of different production trials conducted on test boards produced on two production lines as part of an NPL-supported project in Sweden. The tests conducted examined a number of different soldering process and materials, and the impact on solderability, solder joint formation, cleanliness and surface resistance. A special test board featuring QFN packages with SIR test coupons and other fine pitch and area array packages is being processed through no-clean and cleaning processes.

Topics covered:  Assembly process for clean and no clean  |  Test board design  |  Test board assessment  |  Cleanliness results  |  SIR test procedure



Development of Condensation Testing and Industry Benefits
Wednesday 14 September 2016

NPL has developed a new test method to control the rate of condensation on to printed board assemblies during environmental testing. The method provided considerable improvements on existing industry standard tests and NPL's Electronics Interconnection Group is currently running a multi-partner project to refine the test and fine criteria. This webinar provided an overview of the test methods and some results from other NPL SIR assessment projects in Europe.

Topics covered:  Review of existing test methods  |  Disadvantages of industry procedures  |  NPL condensation test benefits  |  Results of selected production trials



How Good Are Conformal Coatings at Preventing Sn Whisker Failures?
Wednesday 20 July 2016

For the last two years, NPL and industrial partners have been investigating conformal coating of assemblies as a mitigation strategy for tin whiskers by using a specially-designed test vehicle incorporating SM components. This webinar provided details of the project, including the test methodology employed, with an update on results to date. Now the validity of the test vehicle has been proven, further work is planned and this was also discussed.

Topics covered:  Conformal coating types  |  Coating coverage  |  Methods of testing coatings  |  Formation of tin whiskers  |  How do coatings reduce failure?



Impact of Surface Mount Rework on Reliability
Wednesday 11 May 2016

Does rework impact the reliability of modern printed board assemblies? What is the weak link in the chain and how could reliability be assessed? There is a limited amount of data on the impact of rework on printed board assemblies, even though some industry sectors say they do not allow rework. This webinar looked at some of the results of testing on solder joints and the impact re-terminating components and the possible problems associated with mixing lead-free solder alloys.

Topics covered: Rework procedures  |  Rework failures on solder joints, components and PCBs  |  Reliability test results  |  Difficulty in the assessment of reliability rework



High Temperature Electronic Joining - How does HMP solder perform compared to new alternatives?
Thursday 17 March 2016

This webinar summarised work undertaken at NPL to better understand electrical interconnection materials which can offer an alternative to High Pb-based solders. The projects discussed included those involving harsh environment applications. Subject areas covered included use of sintered silvers and high temperature conductive adhesives for operation above 200 ºC for such applications as aerospace, oil and gas, and automotive.

During the webinar, recent work conducted as part of the ELCOSINT project was reviewed which focused on high temperature electronics aiming to have a significant impact on energy efficiency and the environment. Over the last three years, the project partners - Microsemi, Gwent Electronic Materials (GEM) and NPL - have successfully developed materials specifically designed to offer an alternative for high Pb content materials to further increase the operating temperature of electronic assemblies. These materials will be suitable for operating at temperatures above 250 ºC utilising standard manufacturing processes which, until now, have been a road block for high temperature interconnects in, for example, SiC applications.

Topics covered: Requirements of high temperature application  |  Alternative materials  |  Reliability issues with existing materials  |  Results and future work on high temperature alternatives



Testing Solder Mask for Assembly Process Compatibility
Monday 18 January 2016

Solder mask or solder resist, as it is often called, is often overlooked when specifying and procuring bare printed circuit boards. Most commonly, it is specified as green, photoimageable and meets the requirements of IPC 840, but there is more to it than that. This webinar highlighted some of the most common assembly problems associated with solder mask and highlighted key issues to be aware of during design and manufacture. The session also highlighted some of the tests conducted on solder mask in previous NPL projects, along with the IPC standard requirements.

Topics covered: Why are solder masks used?  |  Solder mask materials  |  Solder mask problems in production  |  Test methods for solder masks

Last Updated: 11 Jan 2017
Created: 20 Jan 2015

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