Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 399–407 | Cite as

Hydrogen Embrittlement on High-Speed Stainless Steel Belts Used for Tin Plating Chip Lead Frame

  • Yun-Song Gu
  • Yi Gong
  • Zhen-Guo Yang
Technical Article---Peer-Reviewed


The 300 series stainless steels generally exhibit good corrosion resistance in common use. However, a premature fracture event caused by hydrogen embrittlement was encountered on 300 series stainless steels which was used as belt hanging chips in a tin plating process for the chip lead frame. The cause of the fracture was carefully studied. A metallurgical microscope and photoelectric direct reading spectrometer were used to examine the metallographic structures and chemical compositions of the matrix material. A scanning electron microscope and energy disperse spectroscope were also applied to analyze the micro morphologies and micro-area composition of the fracture. Meanwhile, the chemistry and hydrogen content of the process media were inspected by ion chromatography and hydrogen analyzer. In addition, the finite element method was employed to simulate the effect on the belt from the service conditions. The analysis results revealed that the unqualified material selection, the aggressive media, and the inappropriate technological parameters were the main causes of the failure. Furthermore, the mechanisms of hydrogen embrittlement were discussed, and countermeasures and suggestions were put forward.


Stainless steel belt Hydrogen embrittlement Failure analysis 



The work was supported by both Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) Group and Shanghai Leading Academic Discipline Project (Project Number: B113).


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Copyright information

© ASM International 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Materials ScienceFudan UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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