[AMRadio] Tin whiskers?

Bob Macklin macklinbob at msn.com
Wed Feb 2 14:25:20 EST 2005

I think the problem for electronis can be controlled by applying confomal
coating after assembly.

About 10 years I go I worked with a proces that used nickel particals in
epoxy resin to replace solder. The process did work but was a real mess to
work with. We tried making surface mount PCBs with this process. The parts
have to be mounted with the GOO and then held in position until the GOO
cured. And we did use accelerators with the GOO but it was impractical at
the time.

Bob Macklin
Seattle, Wa.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Merz Donald S" <merz.ds at mellon.com>
To: "'Amradio (E-mail)" <amradio at mailman.qth.net>; "'Glowbugs (E-mail)"
<glowbugs at piobaire.mines.uidaho.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2005 10:43 AM
Subject: [AMRadio] Tin whiskers?

So what's the deal with this "tin whiskers" crisis? Fortune magazine on
January 10 carried a report (p. 27) on "Tin Whiskers". It seems that the tin
in solder grows microscopic "whiskers" over time and as component placement
gets ever smaller, scientists are seeing equipment failures from these
whiskers causing shorts between 2 connections. The growth of these whiskers
has something to do with surface tension and has been observed for over 50
years. Lead apparently inhibits whisker growth. But now the EU has mandated
that all lead be eliminated from electronic products by July 1, 2006.
Fortune seems to feel that the rest of the world will ultimately follow this
lead and so the problem of tin whiskers could get much worse.

I never heard of this before. This is one of those articles that makes me
look at the date on the magazine to see if it is from April. But apparently
it's real. Fortune calls it the next "Y2K" issue for modern technology.

73, Don Merz, N3RHT

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