Evaluation of The Printability of Lead Versus Lead Free Solder Pastes
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 12:42 by Ala Al Robiaee
As the global marketplaces consider mandating lead-free equipments, many questions arise about the impact and feasibility of replacing lead in printed circuit boards soldering applications. In this project, the results presented of a study on comparing the process of screening lead paste versus lead free paste parameters for regular stencil printing using standard manufacturing methods. The key process parameters studies were: squeegee speed, squeegee pressure, and screening yield for both types of pastes. Two solder paste formulations (lead paste and lead-free paste) were evaluated in this study. The analysis of the pastes deposit volumes showed that for normal manufacturing range of printer (screener) settings (speed and pressure) tested the two pastes performed the same. The results also showed that the squeegee speed has a greater effect on the printing process than the squeegee pressure. The tests clearly showed that the lead paste was affected more by setting changes compared to the lead free paste. Varying the print speed and pressure for type of pastes by observing the resulting printed paste volumes optimized screening parameters. This study confirms that a new stencil or stencil design is not needed for the lead free paste. However, this study recommends a change to the sitting of the screening print process. Stencil cleaning frequency is one of the main factors that impact the production rate in an SMT line. The project highlights new results that lead free paste throughput will be less compared to lead paste at the screening step. The number of rejected boards screened with lead free-paste exceeded normal manufacturing standards. As stencil cleaning is a must function, it was recommended to increase stencil wiping frequency when lead free paste [is] in use in order to obtain a consistent volume with less screening defect.