The analysis of creep data for solder alloys

Plumbridge, W.J. (2003). The analysis of creep data for solder alloys. Soldering and Surface Mount Technology, 15(1) pp. 26–30.



With the continued miniaturisation of electronics equipment, a more detailed examination of the mechanical behaviour of solders is required to ensure reliability in performance. The paper reviews various aspects of the interpretation of the creep response of lead-containing and lead-free alloys. It demonstrates the necessity of acquiring stress-rupture data over as long a period as possible to avoid non-conservative extrapolation. For example, at 75°C, the transition in slope of the applied stress vs time to rupture plot occurs after about 1,000?h for Sn-37Pb, although for the lead-free alloys examined no such transition is observed within this timescale. Sometimes, deformation may be a more appropriate failure criterion than rupture, and it is shown that for Sn-37Pb this may result in substantially shorter failure times than utilising a rupture criterion. The quality of life estimation methods then depends upon the extent of this stage when the creep rate is a minimum. The Y factor (tm?:?tr) where tm is the time spent in steady state or within 10 per cent of the minimum creep rate, for all the solders examined at 75°C generally falls into the 20-30 per cent range. Estimations of creep life may substantially under predict because of this.

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