A Tin Pest Failure
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This case study details a tin pest failure that occurred on plated electrical connectors exposed to low temperatures during storage. Analysis indicated that the bismuth additives specified to combat tin pest were not present in sufficient quantities, and the degradation suffered by the connectors was confirmed as tin pest. New regulations (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive, ROHS) are limiting the use of common tin alloying elements that combat tin pest in electronic devices. The effects of this legislation with regard to tin pest are also discussed, indicating that frequency of failures from this phenomenon could increase.