Ask the Experts Series:
Over the last decade the use of surface mount PCBs in all types of electronic assemblies has increased dramatically. The different responses of surface mount vs. through hole boards to both vibration and thermal stresses have changed the ratios and types of failures under the different stresses used in HALT as this change has taken place. HALT results across a wide variety of products conducted at ESPEC labs in the mid-1990’s and in our new study show that current technology devices are more likely to require a HALT unique stress, such as a combined vibration and thermal or rapid thermal ramp stress, to drive out a failure mode. Comparisons include the fraction of failures found under each stress, the types of failures found, the operating and destruct limits of the products, as well as the industries that use HALT and the types of products that are tested. These results, as well as the causes of some of the interesting and significant differences between the failure data from the two time periods are discussed.
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