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Assessment of Relative Thermal Fatigue Life of SAC Lead-Free and Tin-Lead Solders With Custom-Made BGA Assemblies Creating Various Stress Ranges

[+] Author Affiliations
Y. S. Chan, C. Yang, S. W. Ricky Lee

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China

Paper No. InterPACK2009-89260, pp. 803-807; 5 pages
  • ASME 2009 InterPACK Conference collocated with the ASME 2009 Summer Heat Transfer Conference and the ASME 2009 3rd International Conference on Energy Sustainability
  • ASME 2009 InterPACK Conference, Volume 1
  • San Francisco, California, USA, July 19–23, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4359-8 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3851-8
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


The present study evaluates the relative thermal fatigue life of tin-silver-copper (SnAgCu or SAC) lead-free and tin-lead (SnPb) solders with custom-made BGA assembly configurations generating various stress ranges under thermal cyclic loading. Although the SAC solder bears a lower creep strain rate compared with the SnPb solder in common thermal cycling conditions, it is found that there exits conditions at which the SnPb solder joint maintain a longer life than the SAC solder joint. The determination lies on the maximum normalized equivalent stress levels (σ/E) experienced by the two kinds of solder joint during the temperature cycles. Even under the same straining and thermal cycling condition, it is observed that the maximum σ/E induced in the two kinds of solder joint are normally different, as a result of their different rate of stress relaxation. The analysis shows that both the absolute and relative magnitude of σ/E experienced by the two kinds of solder joint affect the relative life. In general, the SAC solder joint sustain a longer life at low σ/E levels, while the SnPb solder joint outperform the SAC solder joint at high σ/E levels. There exists a critical σ/E level at which both solder joints acquire similar performance. However, this margin shifts with the relative magnitude of σ/E the two kinds of solder joint suffered. Having studied the variation of σ/E for the two kinds of solder joint under various loading conditions, this study uncovers the rationale for the difference in the relative thermal fatigue life of the two kinds of solder joint.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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