Micro Impact Testing of Lead Free Solder Joints
This paper presents data obtained from a newly-developed instrument to test the quality of solder interconnections at high strain rate – the ‘micro-impactor’. This shear test of the interconnection at high strain rate mimics the stress experienced by the solder joint when undergoing shock due to drop-impact. Instrumented with a load cell and linear variable displacement transducer (LVDT), it also has the ability to provide dynamic impact force and displacement data. Earlier concepts to characterise the solder joint at high strain rates such as the miniature pendulum impact tester  lacked this capability. This micro-impactor was used to study the effect of increasing silver (Ag) and copper (Cu) concentration in solder alloys on the shear strength of the solder joint. The performance of these lead-free alloys was also compared to that of the well-established leaded solder. It was found that increasing the silver content increases the yield strength of the solder, causing the failure to occur at the brittle intermetallic layer instead of in the bulk of the solder.
John Bell, Cheng Yan, Lin Ye and Liangchi Zhang
R. Rajoo et al., "Micro Impact Testing of Lead Free Solder Joints", Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 32, pp. 99-102, 2008