Printed Circuit Board (PCB) assemblies are moving toward lead-free (LF) alloys and away from the traditional Sn-Pb alloy [1]. This change is creating new and unique failure modes as the process adapts to accommodate the higher temperatures of the new process [2]. In addition, mis-processed lots are more likely due to the complexity of assembling a mix of Sn-Pb and leadfree solders, components, PCBs, solder pastes, and fluxes. This case study helps to highlight the challenge and provides an example of what can happen, how to detect it, and how the defects can cause reliability failures.

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