Lead-free electronics for demanding automotive applications
Purpose and goal
The project has provided knowledge about potential reliability risks related to lead-free soldering. Automotive electronics have high demands on reliability, long expected service life and are often exposed to harsh environments with temperature changes and heavy vibration. Lead-free soldering will induce new failure mechanisms and the methodology used today will not be sufficient to ensure reliability for lead-free products used in harsh environments. Testing should be based upon knowledge about critical failure mechanisms in relevant service environments.
Results and expected effects
The project has identified and prioritized critical failure mechanisms in relevant service environments, a new methodology for reliability validation has been proposed. Solder joint fatigue during cyclic load was prioritized for experimental evaluation and the results show that some components and solder/solder surface combinations could not fulfil the requirements for more severe service environments. The project has provided increased knowledge about what is needed to implement lead-free products and this knowledge will support the foreseen technology shift.
Approach and implementation
The project has provided a unique and appreciated possibility to collaborate between the automotive and aerospace industry and also between different actors along the value chain. The project results are based upon knowledge exchange between companies, findings in the literature and experimental evaluation. The project has contributed to a national knowledge platform within the field and generic knowledge developed within the research institutes can be utilized also by other companies to ensure reliable electronic hardware after the changeover to lead-free technology.