Contract Electronics Manufacturing and PCB Assembly Blog

Improving Quality of PCB Assembly Through Solder Ability Testing

Posted by Laura Austin on Thu, Sep 20, 2012 @ 07:00 AM

All electronics, whether it be mobile smart phones or next generation computer systems have what is known as a printed circuit board. PCB for short, this is designed to support and connect electronic components inside the hardware. The conductive pathways found on thePCB Soldering printed circuit board is wired together through the use of soldering. The soldering attaches metal, generally lead, gold or copper, between the different circuit boards in order to properly connect all equipment together inside the device. Inferior connections result in a loss of signal, poor circuit transfers and possible breakage. When it comes to PCB assembly, having impeccable soldering is essential, in order to establish and produce equipment with longevity.

Consumers desire to buy hardware they don't have to readily repair and replace, unless they want an upgraded model. It should not be due to the equipment breaking down. The soldering process is the same, regardless of the print circuit board or equipment the board is for, so this fails to have a large, measurable effect on the sustainability of the equipment. Instead, what actually has the most direct impact on such equipment is actually the solder itself. The metal which is used to connect two metals together must be pure and follow specific standards. if it doesn't, the printed circuit board is reduced in quality. To determine the soldering quality, testing must be performed on the metal.

pcb assemblySolderability testing used for PCB assembly is put into effect to gauge and determine the overall solder ability of the metal used to join the two metals together. The initial testing is used to provide information on the accelerated aging and how well it stands up against the test of time. Although the metal used during the soldering and PCB assembly process is designed to adhere both the board and the wiring together, not all metals are created equal. Less-pure metals, such as lead, have less of a bond than pure lead. This is because the impurities inside the metal can actually reduce the strength of the bond. This is what makes the solder ability testing such a vital stage of the assembly process. If the solder is not destined to hold and may actually fall apart or become disconnected, it causes the equipment to not function correctly, and may lead the consumer towards buying products from a different manufacture. There is no reason to lose consumers to other companies, simply because the solder metal was of an inferior make. 

In order to ensure proper testing, the solder ability testing is generally performed in order to monitor the steam conditioning of the metal for an extended period. Once it passes the testing of this, the components involved with the testing procedure is then dipped with the solder and inspected for specific criteria, to see how the metal bonding forms, its reaction to air, how long/short it takes to harden and how the other, surrounding metals in the PCBpcb assembly solder assembly adhere to the material. All of this is gauged in order to ensure the possible soldering metal is quality enough to be used in the PCB assembly process. Occasionally, a following step is integrated into improving the quality of PCB assembly through solder ability testing by checking out the surface mount of the printed circuit board. If the PCB is not able to directly accept the soldering material, all is for not.

When it comes to PCB assembly, it's important to ensure all aspects of the process are of the highest quality and. It all comes down to the soldering on the PCB, as inferior solder results in breakage and damage soon down the road. Consumers do not want to purchase products that are not capable of standing the test of time, so if the product breaks, they will look elsewhere for the equipment. This is why improving the quality of PCB assembly through solderability testing is a valuable option.

New Call-to-Action

Topics: pcb assembly, PCB, soldering, solder ability testing