Lead-free electronics for demanding automotive applications

Reference number
Coordinator Swerea KIMAB AB
Funding from Vinnova SEK 4 100 000
Project duration March 2011 - March 2013
Status Completed
Venture Electronics, software and communication - FFI
Call 2010-02546-en
End-of-project report 2010-02853_EN.pdf (pdf, 850 kB)

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.

The project description has been provided by the project members themselves and the text has not been looked at by our editors.

Last updated 20 December 2019

Reference number 2010-02853

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