Accelerated life testing of electronic circuit boards with applications in lead-free design

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This dissertation presents methods for addressing research problems that currently can only adequately be solved using Quality Reliability Engineering (QRE) approaches especially accelerated life testing (ALT) of electronic printed wiring boards with applications to avionics circuit boards. The methods presented

This dissertation presents methods for addressing research problems that currently can only adequately be solved using Quality Reliability Engineering (QRE) approaches especially accelerated life testing (ALT) of electronic printed wiring boards with applications to avionics circuit boards. The methods presented in this research are generally applicable to circuit boards, but the data generated and their analysis is for high performance avionics. Avionics equipment typically requires 20 years expected life by aircraft equipment manufacturers and therefore ALT is the only practical way of performing life test estimates. Both thermal and vibration ALT induced failure are performed and analyzed to resolve industry questions relating to the introduction of lead-free solder product and processes into high reliability avionics. In chapter 2, thermal ALT using an industry standard failure machine implementing Interconnect Stress Test (IST) that simulates circuit board life data is compared to real production failure data by likelihood ratio tests to arrive at a mechanical theory. This mechanical theory results in a statistically equivalent energy bound such that failure distributions below a specific energy level are considered to be from the same distribution thus allowing testers to quantify parameter setting in IST prior to life testing. In chapter 3, vibration ALT comparing tin-lead and lead-free circuit board solder designs involves the use of the likelihood ratio (LR) test to assess both complete failure data and S-N curves to present methods for analyzing data. Failure data is analyzed using Regression and two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and reconciled with the LR test results that indicating that a costly aging pre-process may be eliminated in certain cases. In chapter 4, vibration ALT for side-by-side tin-lead and lead-free solder black box designs are life tested. Commercial models from strain data do not exist at the low levels associated with life testing and need to be developed because testing performed and presented here indicate that both tin-lead and lead-free solders are similar. In addition, earlier failures due to vibration like connector failure modes will occur before solder interconnect failures.