Reducing the Risk of Tin Whisker-Induced Failures in Electronic Equipment
- Aerospace Standard
Short Circuits: The whisker can create a short circuit, either by 1) growing from an area at one potential to an area at another or 2) breaking free and later bridging these areas. In some cases, these shorts may be permanent and cause catastrophic system failures. A transient short may result if the available current exceeds the fusing current of the whisker, and the whisker can fuse open. The amount of current needed to fuse open the whisker depends on the atmospheric pressure and the diameter of the whisker.
Low-pressure-Induced Metal Vapor Arcing (Plasma): In low-pressure environments, even a transient short can result in a catastrophic failure. Under certain current and voltage conditions (current more than a few amps and supply voltage over 12 V), when a tin whisker fuses open, the vaporized tin may initiate arcing or a plasma. The plasma can conduct over 200 A and may continue until all the available exposed tin is consumed or the supply current is interrupted. [1, 8]
Debris/Contamination: The tin whisker’s small diameter may allow it break free under handling or other vibration. A free floating whisker may cause the same problems typically associated with free floating particles, i.e., interfering with the movement of mechanical parts or contaminating optical surfaces. [1, 8]
Data Sets - Support Documents
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|Table 1||Potential Conformal Coat Materials |
The CE-12 Solid State Devices Committee develops solutions to technical problems in the application, standardization, and reliability of solid state devices. This is implemented by evaluation and preparation of recommendations for specifications, standards, and other documents, both government and industry, to assure that solid state devices are suitable for their intended purposes.