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Developing Damage Models to Predict Solder Fatigue

Solder, which provides the structural and electrical connection between a printed wiring board (PWB) and electrical components, is the dominant material used for assembling electronics. However, solder is also one of the few structural materials that is expected to undergo significant inelastic deformation during its lifetime.

Inelastic deformation damages solder, which can lead to eventual solder joint failure. Predicting when the solder joint fails is critical when using solder in harsh use environments.  These harsh environments have loads that can come in several forms (i.e., drop/shock, vibration, temperature cycling).

The majority of solder fatigue in electronics is thermomechanically driven due to temperature cycling which causes significant deformations and stresses due to coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) mismatches between the PWB and components. In order to predict solder failure, a damage model must be used that relates deformation of the solder to cycles to failure.

In this webinar, we will discuss material characterization of various solder alloys, predictive solder fatigue damage models using a physics-of-failure approach (PoF) and how to develop damage models using simulation and testing.


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