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Reliability of Lead-free solder for Automotive Electronic Devices and Its Applications

Article of Honda R&D Technical Review Vol.14 No.1


Although an Sn-Pb alloy is generally used for solder at present, environmental considerations have occasioned a search for lead-free solder alloys. The present research evaluated lead-free solder to determine whether it could replace Sn-Pb solder, beginning with the evaluation of the reliability of the solder joint. The evaluation examined reliability under five degradation modes: thermal fatigue, intermetallic compound layer, creep, vibration fatigue, and ionic migration. Lead-free Sn-Ag-Cu solder showed the longest life under thermal fatigue, which is the most crucial element in reliability, and it was confirmed to have reliability superior to Sn-Pb solder in the thermal environments encountered in ordinary use. The Sn-Ag-Cu solder was then put into use as a product in a keyless entry transmitter, where it was demonstrated to satisfy product quality and endurance quality requirements.


(1) Masato MORIYAMA, et al., “Reliability of Solder Joints in Automotive Electronic Devices,” Honda R&D Technical Review, Vol. 9, pp. 156 – 166 (1997).
(2) Junichi OHMURA, et al., “Research in Lead-free Solder Mounting of Automotive Electronic Devices,” Japan Welding Society Mate ’2000, pp. 307 – 312 (2000).
(3) Japan Standards Association, ed., Microelectronics Test Methods and Procedures, Japan Standards Association, Tokyo (1987).
(4) Jennie S. HWANG, “Solder Paste for Electronics Packaging,” pp. 283 – 309, Kogyo Chosakai, Tokyo (1991)
(5) Toshihiro OOKAMA, et al., “Reliability Evaluation of Lead-free Solder Joints in the Automotive Environment,” Honda R&D Technical Review, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 137 – 144

Author (organization or company)

Tsunehisa HATA(Tochigi R&D Center)、Junichi OHMURA(Tochigi R&D Center)、Masato MORIYAMA(Tochigi R&D Center)、Tomoo WATANABE(Tochigi R&D Center)

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