Modeling the Structural Breakdown of Solder Paste Using the Structural Kinetic Model
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Solder paste is the most important strategic bonding material used in the assembly of surface mount devices in electronic industries. It is known to exhibit a thixotropic behavior, which is recognized by the decrease in apparent viscosity of paste material with time when subjected to a constant shear rate. The proper characterization of this time-dependent rheological behavior of solder pastes is crucial for establishing the relationships between the pastes’ structure and flow behavior; and for correlating the physical parameters with paste printing performance. In this article, we present a novel method which has been developed for characterizing the time-dependent and non-Newtonian rheological behavior of solder pastes and flux mediums as a function of shear rates. We also present results of the study of the rheology of the solder pastes and flux mediums using the structural kinetic modeling approach, which postulates that the network structure of solder pastes breaks down irreversibly under shear, leading to time and shear-dependent changes in the flow properties. Our results show that for the solder pastes used in the study, the rate and extent of thixotropy was generally found to increase with increasing shear rate. The technique demonstrated in this study has wide utility for R&D personnel involved in new paste formulation, for implementing quality control procedures used in solder-paste manufacture and packaging; and for qualifying new flip-chip assembly lines.
Keywordsadvanced characterization electronic materials modeling processes
The authors gratefully thank Henkel Technologies, UK for providing the solder paste samples used in this study.
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