Evaluating Susceptibility of Printed Board Assembly Materials to Isolate Failure Modes

The transformation of tin-lead products to lead-free products has made a great impact on the printed circuit board industries and surface mount technology. This is also a key area of focus in other sectors such as consumer electronics, aerospace, military and telecommunications.

Mechanical testing procedures such as bend and shock testing are commonly used on circuit boards and surface mount assemblies to analyze product design, and ensure quality and longevity of the product. However, these test methods may sometimes fail to differentiate the type of test failures due to factors such as reflow conditions, PBA materials and solder metallurgy.

Nordson DAGE has introduced a unique industrial solution - 4000Plus HBP system to evaluate the susceptibility of printed board assembly materials.

Overview of Nordson DAGE 4000Plus HBP System

Hot bump pull is a method of assessing the susceptibility of printed board assembly materials. It complies with the latest pad cratering standard - IPC-9708, and can be used to compare various materials and parameters.

The new Nordson DAGE 4000Plus HBP system is integrated with a single load cartridge which consists of a heating, cooling stages and pin clamping mechanism. The simple straight test pins of the new cartridge enables transfer of maximum force and consistent testing. The Paragon™ software offers a user-friendly interface through temperature time profiles to initiate the test. Figure 1 shows the schematic of hot bump pull load cartridge.

Hot bump pull load cartridge.

Figure 1. Hot bump pull load cartridge.

Test Procedure – Hot Bump Pull

The test procedure consists of two components, set up of the test parameters and positioning of the pin over a solder bump.

The hot bump pull test procedure is carried out in two phases: setting up the test parameters and positioning the pin over a solder bump. A temperature profile is initially created, which enables the user to input time and temperature data for test and reflow conditions. Following this, the heating and cooling rates and test execution conditions are automatically processed by software and hardware. Figure 2 shows the copper probe on BGA.

Close up of copper probe on BGA.

Figure 2. Close up of copper probe on BGA.

A temperature-time profile obtained using the software consists of a series of stages such as preheat, soak, rate of rise, reflow/liquids, cool down and test execution. Figure 3 shows the temperature-time profile in Paragon™.

Temperature-time profile in Paragon™.

Figure 3. Temperature-time profile in Paragon™.

In the above figure, T1 indicates the preheat region selected by defining the time and temperature. T1 to T2 represents the soak period, T2 to T3 is the rate of rise, T3 to T4 shows the reflow period, T4 to T5 is the cooling period and T6 is the temperature at which test is executed.

In the Nordson DAGE system, a straight pin is inserted into the cartridge and lowered until the solder bump through a motorized horizontal and vertical motion. The pin is fixed in a position such that it is in contact with the solder bump. The test is then carried out by increasing the pin temperature corresponding to the created temperature profile. The pin drops down to a desired level at reflow point, providing a good solder joint. The internal cooling operation is carried out by passing compressed air through the pin and test sample. The test is automatically carried out upon achieving the desired test temperature. The values of energy, force-distance and force-time were then recorded automatically. Figure 4 shows the test results obtained in Paragon™.

Test results in Paragon™.

Figure 4. Test results in Paragon™.

The other phase of the test procedure is to efficiently capture and store the visual data without affecting the testing process. The image capture camera of the 4000Plus system enables taking detailed images during the test procedure. The camera can be adjusted to produce high resolution images for analysis and reporting.

The user-friendly GUI enables the test operator to allocate appropriate failure modes for failure analysis. The results of the test are presented in the form of images.


The Nordson DAGE 4000Plus HBP system combines heating, cooling, pin clamp mechanism, control electronics and load cell in a single load cartridge with no requirement for external hardware or power supply. Temperature time profiles are controlled via a user friendly software interface, providing relevant data to compare different materials and parameters of failure modes in printed board assembly.

About Nordson DAGE

Dage was founded in 1961 and is a market leader in its chosen markets of Semiconductor and PCBA Manufacture. It has an award winning portfolio of Bondtester and X-ray Inspection Systems for destructive and non-destructive mechanical testing and inspection of electronic components.

Dage was acquired by the Nordson Corporation in 2006.

Nordson DAGE has a strong portfolio of award winning products for destructive and non-destructive mechanical testing and inspection of electronic components. It has an excellent, wholly owned distribution and support network of seven offices covering Europe, Japan, China, Singapore, and the USA, and maintains representative offices in other territories.

With its self-contained R&D facilities, Nordson DAGE has developed world-leading products for testing wire bonds on semiconductor packages such as BGA, Chip Scale Packages (CSP) and other electronic components. More recently Nordson DAGE has been heavily involved in the testing of the newest technology 300 mm wafer bump shear.

Nordson DAGE has developed an excellent suite of award-winning X-ray inspection equipment targeted at both the Semiconductor and PCBA markets.

Control of the patented core technology of X-ray tube manufacture ensures that the high-resolution X- ray will detect, identify and measure even the smallest of features. Nordson DAGE's high precision, state-of-the-art inspection equipment when joined with their sophisticated software offerings, ensure that the equipment is simple to use.

Our core strategy:

  • To support our customers wherever they do business,
  • To continually develop new products that provide its customers with enhanced competitive advantages,
  • To develop products which bring new advantages to its customer base
  • To control the core technologies that underpin its products.

Nordson DAGE

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Nordson DAGE.

For more information on this source, please visit Nordson DAGE.


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