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Microstructural Modification of Sn-0.7Cu Solder Alloys by Fe/Bi-Addition for Achieving High Mechanical Performance

Abstract

In this work, we studied the Fe/Bi-bearing tin-copper (Sn-0.7Cu) solders for their microstructural and mechanical properties. The microstructure was studied using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) with a backscattered electron (BSE) detector, x-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis, and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX). The microstructure study showed that Fe forms very few FeSn2 intermetallic compounds (IMCs) and does not significantly alter the microstructure of Sn-0.7Cu, whereas Bi controls the size of inter-dendritic regions containing Cu6Sn5 and Ag3Sn IMCs of the alloy, as well as significantly refines its primary β-Sn dendrites. Moreover, Bi atoms dissolve in β-Sn matrix, which in turn strengthen the solder by the Bi solid solution strengthening mechanism. Such microstructural modification leads to significant improvements in various mechanical properties of the alloy, including shear strength, impact toughness, and hardness values. Shear tests were performed with a 0.25 mm/min shear speed. The results showed that shear strength improves from 16.57 MPa to 38.36 MPa with the addition of Fe/Bi to Sn-0.7Cu, raising by about 130%. The energy absorbed during impact tests was measured for samples with the help of a Charpy impact testing machine with a 5.4 m/s impact speed. The results revealed that the addition of Fe/Bi to Sn-0.7Cu improves its impact absorbed energy by over 35%, increasing it from 7.5 J to 10.3 J. Vickers hardness tests were carried out for the test samples with a 245.2 mN applied load and 10 s dwell time. The results showed that the hardness number improves from 9.89 to 24.13 with Fe/Bi to Sn-0.7Cu, increasing by about 140%.

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Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the financial support granted by University of Malaya under PPP Grant Project No: PG184-2015B and under UMRG Grants Project Nos: RP014B/13AET and RP003B/13AET.

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The authors declare to have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Mohd Faizul Mohd Sabri.

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Ali, B., Sabri, M.F.M., Said, S.M. et al. Microstructural Modification of Sn-0.7Cu Solder Alloys by Fe/Bi-Addition for Achieving High Mechanical Performance. Journal of Elec Materi 46, 4755–4764 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11664-017-5416-x

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Keywords

  • Sn-0.7Cu
  • Fe/Bi additives
  • microstructure
  • shear strength
  • impact toughness
  • hardness