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Next time you have a piece of electronic gear fail, and you don't know why...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Smokin' Toaster, Feb 19, 2016.


  1. Consider this: Tin Whiskers. It's a phenomena that seems to have started when lead free solder was mandated. The amount of lead in solder is negligible - it's hardly and environmental threat. But there is speculation that tin whiskers were behind the Toyota accelerator incidents. Also, next time you are flying, imagine what would happen if a tin whisker managed to bridge a couple of legs on an IC chip and caused the flaps to go full up or full down at cruising altitude. But at least we didn't have those minuscule amounts of lead on a PC board in a landfill somewhere, so it's all worth it.

    End of rant.

    http://nepp.nasa.gov/whisker/reference/tech_papers/2011-NASA-GSFC-whisker-failure-app-sensor.pdf
     
    mech likes this.
  2. callofcthulhu

    callofcthulhu

    Oct 16, 2012
    I was under the impression that the regulations on lead in solder were intended to address concerns for the safety of those doing the soldering (and breathing the fumes) rather than concerns over disposal of soldered products.
     
    GregC, lz4005, bholder and 1 other person like this.
  3. callofcthulhu

    callofcthulhu

    Oct 16, 2012
    PWRL likes this.
  4. Geri O

    Geri O Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Forty years ago, an old electronic bench guy told me to always use a small fan when soldering for that very reason, to blow the fumes away from me.

    I realize the concern for the environment for eliminating lead from solder, but when catastrophic failures begin because of not adhering to the new(er) techniques of soldering with the new stuff, then we will be examining this issue again.

    I suppose the obvious answer is to forbid soldering by anyone not trained, licensed, and equipped to do so.

    :)banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead:)
     
  5. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    I am quite sure that the whiskering problem has been controlled. This was a BIG deal when the RoHS standard was first implemented, and everyone projected massive failures. Government contracts were exempt from lead-free for example. New fluxes, materials and soldering techniques SEEM to have it hendled, or we would have many many more failures, given the extremely high density of the contacts on modern IC packaging.

    In China the leaded and lead-free sections of the factories are kept completely separate on different floors with separate store rooms, etc. Many of the factories have just gone totally lead-free to simplify things, even if the cost is higher.
     
  6. Tin Whiskers......great band name.
     
  7. Rocker949

    Rocker949

    Apr 20, 2005
    But already taken and probably by more than one band.
     

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