The increasing complexity of electronic circuit boards and the ever more demanding requirements for reliability have made ionic contamination one of the most important issues in electronic manufacturing. Even though solder pastes and fluxes used in soldering are so-called “no clean”, the ever narrowing distances between the different tracks and pads, in combination with more extreme hot and humid operating conditions, could cause apparently innocuous residue on the surface of the boards to cause electromigration effects.
These effects reduce the surface resistance and in some applications end up causing premature operating faults.
The control of the storage conditions, the cleanliness of the manufacturing plant and the parameters of the process are important in minimizing risks. In addition to these strict controls, at IKOR, we have specially designed washers to eliminate ionic contamination, with which it is possible to achieve contamination levels a great deal below the maximum limits recommended by the IPC standards used as reference in electronics.
In addition to the possibility of washing circuit boards, IKOR has performed ionic contamination trials in laboratories near the 3 plants of the group for quite a number of years, with annual control plans of the printed boards in order to detect a risk of potential pollution. Recently, the IKOR Group acquired two ionic contamination measuring apparatuses with two different but mutually complementary systems. One of these is based on the standard IPC-TM-650 2.3.25, with which we can detect the level of total contamination of a product and compare it with the acceptable safety limits recognised in the electronics industry.
The other system is the C3 for localised extractions which allows the exact zone to be identified where the contamination was produced. For the cases where we need to know the specific contaminating substance, we have external laboratories where we can run ionic chromatography testing based on IPC-TM-650 2.3.25, and with which we can identify the source of the contamination.