The Impact of Reduced Alloy Powder Size on Solder Paste Print Performance

By Tim O’Neill, Technical Marketing Manager, Carlos Tafoya and Gustavo Rameriez

Abstract

From the Apple™ Watch and body cameras for law enforcement to virtual reality hardware and autonomous transportation, the demands and opportunities for electronics to improve our lives are only limited by our imagination. The capability of existing PCB assembly technology needs to advance rapidly to meet the mission profile of these new devices. The demand common to all of these devices is increased functionality in a smaller space. For the solder paste manufacturer, this path inevitably leads to incorporating finer metal powder into solder paste to facilitate ultra-fine pitch printing. In this study, we will evaluate the benefits and implications of finer mesh solder powder on critical aspects of solder paste performance. 

Type IV, V, VI SAC305 solder powder will be tested and their characteristics in several key areas will be measured and studied. The key variables will be print transfer efficiency and performance stability over time. 

The goal of the study will be to measure the benefits derived from smaller particle size and quantify the negative implications. With this information, the assembler will know how to apply their resources to ensure the most robust process and optimized performance.