Contract strain measurements on PCBs
Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are often exposed to high mechanical and thermal loading. This also increases the danger of damage to the printed circuit board, and with it high repair costs or expensive product failures.
Broader trends, such as the progressive miniaturization of technology and changes in manufacturing processes, are setting increasingly challenging requirements for the design and production of printed circuit boards.
HBM has been supporting manufacturers of printed circuit boards for many years by performing mechanical tests on printed circuit board using strain gauges.
You benefit from seamless documentation, reliable measurement data and greater reliability in mobile applications for printed circuit boards.
Typical application areas for mechanical tests of printed circuit boards
1. Observing guidelines and customer requirements
Current international guidelines (such as IPC-JEDEC 9704), industrial standards (for example the automotive standard with temperature range from -40 to +140°), customer requirements and internal quality objectives require seamless documentation of target values covering the entire production process for printed circuit boards.
2. Detecting sources of errors in the manufacturing and processing sequence
When problems occur in the manufacturing of printed circuit boards, mechanical tests with strain gauges can help with troubleshooting. Some examples:
- Tilting during automatic fitting
- Breakage during SMD, SMT and THD fitting and THT (through the hole) and PIH (pin in hole) fitting
- Stress cracks and dislodging of solder points with BGA (ball grid arrays) and MicroBGA
- Transient strain peaks during separation (determination of critical strains/shear strains during separation)
- High level of bending (strain) during the installation of multipoint connectors, power rails, cooling plates, contact pins, solder terminations or battery holders
- Elevated mechanical stress (strain) that occurs due to press fitting, tightening screws or encapsulation processes in housings
- Vibration and load tests of potted printed circuit boards or components
3. Verification of failures during end-of-line tests
Additional sources of errors occur during end-of-line and ICT tests of printed circuit boards. You can trace these systematically with the aid of strain gauges. For example:
- SMD capacitors broken due to high bending stress in other process steps
- Test probes applied with too much force during the ICT test
- Detection of thermal effects (cracks caused by thermal expansion, differing α values of housing, heat sink, printed circuit board and electronic components) to optimize manufacturing processes
4. Meeting future requirements
With the increasing miniaturization of components (SMD capacitors, etc.) comes the risk of printed circuit board failure due to mechanical loading. The constraint for ever more compact designs leads ultimately to fitting components even in areas subject to heavy mechanical loading. Mechanical tests of printed circuit boards with strain gauges are also well suited for dealing with these problems.
The complete professional solution for mechanical testing of printed circuit boards: HBM
HBM offers the complete solution for mechanical tests on printed circuit boards:
- Our experienced service engineers will analyze the requirements together with you and perform the strain gauge installation on the printed circuit board
- We will perform the required measurements with our modern measuring equipment, which includes the QuantumX MX1615 system
- You receive a finished test report with precise details of the results. An important document for the quality assurance of your printed circuit boards – and also documentation for your safety and for your customers.
Our engineering team is especially geared towards customers who need measured values to document product quality, but cannot or do not want to perform the measurements themselves. Contact us for further details!
Your advantages with HBM services:
- Reliable and robust results – with definitive and independent test reports
- Avoid measurement errors by using our experienced service engineers
- Your fast and efficient way to measurement results and complete test reports, without having to invest in your own equipment
- As global as your company: We perform measurements worldwide. On request, you can have direct protected remote access to your measurement data – from anywhere in the world.