When Water and Electronics Don’t Mix

It doesn’t take much water to create big problems for electronics. When printed boards are processed, even a small amount of moisture can cause defects like popcorning, delamination and cracking.

As lead-free processes are used for more high reliability assemblies, manufacturers that were previously exempt from RoHS now have to deal with moisture issues. Given the high temperatures of lead-free soldering, it’s no longer enough to simply focus on moisture levels in chips.

“As if dealing with moisture-sensitive components was not enough, now PCBs are also being treated as moisture sensitive since plenty of users have discovered delamination in PCBs during lead-free reflow and lead-free rework,” said Gabriele Sala, an advanced engineer at GS Consultants.

He’ll be providing more detail during his presentation on the effect of heat and moisture on electronic components at the upcoming IPC Conference on Solderability and Reliability for Electronics Assemblies,  February 6–7, 2013, in Budapest, Hungary. For more information on the conference, contact Lars Wallin or visit www.ipc.org/europe-conference.

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