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Evaluating solder paste behaviours through rheological test methods and their correlation to the printing performance

By S. Mallik, M. Schmidt, R. Bauer and N.N. Ekere


Purpose: To study the rheological behaviours of lead free solder pastes used for flip-chip assembly applications and to correlate rheological behaviours with the printing performance. Design/methodology/approach: A range of rheological characterization techniques including viscosity, yield-stress, oscillatory and creep-recovery tests were carried out to investigate the rheological properties and behaviours of four different solder paste formulations based on no-clean flux composition, with different alloy composition, metal content and particle size. A series of printing tests were also conducted to correlate printing performance. Findings: The results show that in the viscosity test, all solder pastes exhibited a shear thinning behaviour in nature with different highest maximum viscosity. The yield stress test has been used to study the effect of temperature on the flow behaviour of solder pastes. A decrease in yield stress value with temperature was observed. The results from the oscillatory test were used to study the solid and liquid like behaviours of solder pastes. Creep-recovery test showed that the solder paste with smaller particle size exhibits less recovery. Research limitations/implications: More extensive research in needed to simulate the paste-roll, aperture filling and aperture emptying stages of the stencil printing process using rheological test methods. Practical implications: Implementation of these rheological characterization procedures in product development, process optimization and quality control can contribute significantly to reducing defects in the assembly of flip-chip devices and subsequently increasing the production yield. Originality/value: The study shows how the viscosity, yield-stress, oscillatory and creep-recovery test methods can be successfully used to characterize the flow behaviours of solder paste and also to predict it’s performance during the stencil printing process

Topics: TK
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1108/09540911011076871
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