According to an extensive solder reliability study conducted by the Solder Products Value Council (SPVC), an IPC group, the tin/silver/copper (SAC) alloy family of lead-free solders is producing greater voids in the solder joint. Voids in solder joints are empty spaces within the joint that can be detected by X-ray imaging. Voids in SAC solders have been greater than 25 percent of the joint, a rejectable size for tin/lead solder joints.
The report notes, however, that the lead-free solders are reaching equivalency with the performance of tin/lead solders in spite of the larger voids. The report concludes, "there is no evidence that the type of solder joint voiding observed in SAC-alloy joints had any affect on solder joint reliability."
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
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