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Elimination of S n in Spacecraft Assemblies Presentation to the EMAPS Workshop 17 th February 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Elimination of S n in Spacecraft Assemblies Presentation to the EMAPS Workshop 17 th February 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Elimination of S n in Spacecraft Assemblies Presentation to the EMAPS Workshop 17 th February 2010

2 About Us Site, Buildings and Facility Owned by Spur Group Site, Buildings and Facility Owned by Spur Group Spur Group Owned by the Snowdon Family Spur Group Owned by the Snowdon Family Spur Group Spur Group  Spur Electron Ltd (SEL) est est  Spur Information Solutions Ltd (SIS)

3 Spur Electron Overview > Spur Electron specialises in:- Spur Electron specialises in:- All aspects of High Reliability component engineering and procurement All aspects of High Reliability component engineering and procurement Component Assessment and Failure Analysis… Component Assessment and Failure Analysis… Manufacture of hardware to ESA, NASA and Military Standards Manufacture of hardware to ESA, NASA and Military Standards

4 Spur Electron Overview

5 Spur Electron specialises in:- Spur Electron specialises in:- All aspects of High Reliability component engineering and procurement All aspects of High Reliability component engineering and procurement Component Assessment and Failure Analysis… Component Assessment and Failure Analysis… Manufacture of hardware to ESA, NASA and Military Standards Manufacture of hardware to ESA, NASA and Military Standards >

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7 Spur Electron Overview > Spur Electron specialises in:- Spur Electron specialises in:- All aspects of High Reliability component engineering and procurement All aspects of High Reliability component engineering and procurement Component Assessment and Failure Analysis… Component Assessment and Failure Analysis… Manufacture of hardware to ESA, NASA and Military Standards Manufacture of hardware to ESA, NASA and Military Standards

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9 The Spur input to EMAPS The title proposed for this input was: “The elimination of S n in Spacecraft Assemblies.” I would suggest a subtle change of title to : “The minimisation of S n in Spacecraft Assemblies” The complete elimination of pure S n in Spacecraft Hardware, even today, is virtually impossible and will become even more difficult in the future.

10 What does ESA say about pure S n ? ESCC – d1, “Pure S n used as a finish on leads, terminations and external surfaces of components and packages shall not be used” d1, “Pure S n used as a finish on leads, terminations and external surfaces of components and packages shall not be used” e, “The use of pure S n in internal cavities may be authorised, on a case by case basis, based on a demonstration there is no alternative product and there is no risk!!” e, “The use of pure S n in internal cavities may be authorised, on a case by case basis, based on a demonstration there is no alternative product and there is no risk!!”

11 Minimisation of pure S n in Spacecraft Hardware We have already heard that we face two major problems using pure S n. Tin Whiskers & Tin Pest Tin Whiskers & Tin Pest Photo courtesy of Goddard Space Flight Center

12 Tin Whiskers & Tin Pest Tin Whiskers are probably correctly seen as the greater evil, in that, they occur in equipment operating under normal conditions and can very easily cause short circuits in electronic hardware. Tin Whiskers are probably correctly seen as the greater evil, in that, they occur in equipment operating under normal conditions and can very easily cause short circuits in electronic hardware. Tin Pest should not be ignored even though it is thought to occur at very low temperatures. Much of our hardware sees low temperatures, which is one reason that we qualify electronic components from -55 to Tin Pest should not be ignored even though it is thought to occur at very low temperatures. Much of our hardware sees low temperatures, which is one reason that we qualify electronic components from -55 to +125.

13 History Whisker Failures During WW2 Cadmium whisker failures were causing serious problems. During WW2 Cadmium whisker failures were causing serious problems. 1950’s Change to tin, resulted in same problems! 1950’s Change to tin, resulted in same problems! The Whisker growth methodology still accepted today was predicated in The Whisker growth methodology still accepted today was predicated in In 1975 a certain Mr. B.D. Dunn published the Worlds 1 st paper containing high quality SEM micrographs of Whisker growth. He recommended S n P b as the preferred finish for components. In 1975 a certain Mr. B.D. Dunn published the Worlds 1 st paper containing high quality SEM micrographs of Whisker growth. He recommended S n P b as the preferred finish for components. Even in Commercial applications the US, NEMI state ”Pure Tin is unacceptable”. Even in Commercial applications the US, NEMI state ”Pure Tin is unacceptable”.

14 History - Tin Pest Tin Pest or Plague was known in the early 19 th Century and was, at one time credited with the French defeat in 1812, because the French tin uniform buttons literally disintegrated in the extreme cold! Tin Pest or Plague was known in the early 19 th Century and was, at one time credited with the French defeat in 1812, because the French tin uniform buttons literally disintegrated in the extreme cold! It was also blamed for the collapse of fuel cans along Scott’s return route! It was also blamed for the collapse of fuel cans along Scott’s return route! The major problem that we face today is that under extreme cold conditions tin will disintegrate as an insulator but become conductive if it warms up! The major problem that we face today is that under extreme cold conditions tin will disintegrate as an insulator but become conductive if it warms up!

15 Minimisation of pure S n in Spacecraft Hardware The complete elimination of pure S n in Spacecraft Hardware is virtually impossible. However, Spur have become experts in minimising its inclusion by:- Careful control of Component Selection. Careful control of Component Selection. Detailed Component Assessment of non-qualified devices. Detailed Component Assessment of non-qualified devices. Specifying S n P b whenever possible in Procurement Specs. Specifying S n P b whenever possible in Procurement Specs. Routinely carrying out lead / termination testing at R.I. Routinely carrying out lead / termination testing at R.I. Re-processing SMD S n components to inhibit whisker growth Re-processing SMD S n components to inhibit whisker growth Stripping and S n P b dipping of leaded components to minimise risk of whisker growth Stripping and S n P b dipping of leaded components to minimise risk of whisker growth Even these precautions cannot guarantee pure S n exclusion! Even these precautions cannot guarantee pure S n exclusion!

16 Component Selection Control Component Lists need to be reviewed for a wide range of potential problems including:- Qualification, current and future availability & Quality history amongst others. Component Lists need to be reviewed for a wide range of potential problems including:- Qualification, current and future availability & Quality history amongst others. However, with respect to Lead finish it is essential to:- Maximise the use of components which are controlled by a specification which offers S n P b or A u lead finish. Maximise the use of components which are controlled by a specification which offers S n P b or A u lead finish. Check that these components are still supplied in that finish, but don’t always expect a truthful answer from stockists. Check that these components are still supplied in that finish, but don’t always expect a truthful answer from stockists. If pure S n is the only option offered then an alternative component should be sought. If pure S n is the only option offered then an alternative component should be sought. Where no alternative exists action must be taken to minimise the risks. Where no alternative exists action must be taken to minimise the risks.

17 Component Assessment Where no, or inadequate, previous knowledge of a Components quality of assembly, is available, Component Assessment needs to be carried out. Where no, or inadequate, previous knowledge of a Components quality of assembly, is available, Component Assessment needs to be carried out. WRT minimising S n it is natural to concentrate on the leads / terminations, but increasingly we are finding pure S n being used as an internal plating in cavity devices. WRT minimising S n it is natural to concentrate on the leads / terminations, but increasingly we are finding pure S n being used as an internal plating in cavity devices. Device found to have lid with pure tin finish

18 Sample component termination testing As a standard activity during Receiving Inspection, Lead / Termination EDAX Inspection is carried out as standard on a small sample of all date codes. As a standard activity during Receiving Inspection, Lead / Termination EDAX Inspection is carried out as standard on a small sample of all date codes. Photos of EDAX S n & S n P b Photos of EDAX S n & S n P b

19 Re-processing pure S n devices. Spur have developed a means whereby Pure S n SMD’s can be reprocessed such that the P b content exceeds 3% throughout the re-made joint, thus inhibiting whisker growth. Spur have developed a means whereby Pure S n SMD’s can be reprocessed such that the P b content exceeds 3% throughout the re-made joint, thus inhibiting whisker growth. pure tin re-processed joint pure tin re-processed joint

20 Spur process to mitigate pure tin 1 st re-flow showing pure tin remains on top of termination P b Back Scatter image shows pure tin (no P b present) on top of termination

21 Spur process to mitigate pure tin 2nd re-flow showing entire termination and solder fillet comprise of tin/lead mixture Back Scatter image showing good amalgamation of tin and lead – even on top of termination

22 Stripping / Tinning Most of us are aware of the process of stripping and reprocessing of pure S n or A u leaded components, and the need to avoid overheating glass or ceramic body seals. Most of us are aware of the process of stripping and reprocessing of pure S n or A u leaded components, and the need to avoid overheating glass or ceramic body seals. The problem with S n P b solder coated leads is that S n whiskers can still grow from the untreated area at the top of the lead. The problem with S n P b solder coated leads is that S n whiskers can still grow from the untreated area at the top of the lead. Controlled Solder Dipping Process Pre-Heat Hot Plate IPA cleaner Flux De-Golding Pot Solder Dip Pot Controlled Immersion

23 Chemical Stripping Spur believes that it has identified a means by which the entire lead can be chemically stripped of pure S n and can then be re-plated to within a safe distance of the case. Spur believes that it has identified a means by which the entire lead can be chemically stripped of pure S n and can then be re-plated to within a safe distance of the case. The methodology needs to be assessed through a properly controlled study managed by an accredited agency such as ESA. The methodology needs to be assessed through a properly controlled study managed by an accredited agency such as ESA. Spur would be prepared to offer its proposed solution to its customers but unfortunately it has no evidence based results to demonstrate the reliability of the procedure. Spur would be prepared to offer its proposed solution to its customers but unfortunately it has no evidence based results to demonstrate the reliability of the procedure.

24 Space Grade Press Fit Connectors EDX Analysis identified potentially dangerous mix of termination finishes EDX Analysis identified potentially dangerous mix of termination finishes

25 Summary Tin Whiskers and Tin Pest have been known problems that remain with us. Tin Whiskers and Tin Pest have been known problems that remain with us. In spite of the serious implications of banning S n P b solders and finishes, Brussels has handed us a time bomb! In spite of the serious implications of banning S n P b solders and finishes, Brussels has handed us a time bomb! Unless we are extremely vigilant we will lose spacecraft to electrical failure caused by S n related problems. Unless we are extremely vigilant we will lose spacecraft to electrical failure caused by S n related problems.

26 Summary All of us involved in the design and manufacture of Spacecraft hardware must ensure that we minimise the inclusion of Pure Tin within our equipment, using the controls identified above. All of us involved in the design and manufacture of Spacecraft hardware must ensure that we minimise the inclusion of Pure Tin within our equipment, using the controls identified above. We must also look for the means of removing S n from our hardware to the maximum extent possible, using known inspection techniques and investigating new methods of removing the hazard that pure tin poses. We must also look for the means of removing S n from our hardware to the maximum extent possible, using known inspection techniques and investigating new methods of removing the hazard that pure tin poses.

27 End of show SPUR ELECTRON, UK


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