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IPC standard for PCB cleanliness
17 March 2010, News

IPC has released a new cleaning standard, IPC-5704 ‘Cleanliness Requirements for Unpopulated Printed Boards’, which defines the recommended requirements for the cleanliness of unpopulated single, double-sided and multilayer printed circuit boards.

A vital complement to the June 2007 release of IPC-5702 which describes factors to consider when determining what tests to run for assessing the impact/risk of residues on long-term life (eg, end-use environment, design/service life and technology involved), IPC-5704 provides the hard specifications and requirements for maximum limits of ionic contamination using ion chromatography testing. In addition, IPC-5704 delivers industry guidance on cleanliness testing for both product acceptance and process control, verifying that all equipment and chemistries are stable.

“The cleanliness of a printed board can directly impact the effectiveness or quality of an assembled printed board,” explains IPC technical project manager, John Perry. “Residues increase the risk of field failures or can electrically impede a printed board’s function, so having acceptance criteria for various levels of testing, as well as direction on how many samples should be tested, is extremely important.”

Referenced in the new cleanliness standard, IPC-TM-650 Method, Bare Printed Board Cleanliness by Ion Chromatography is the new test procedure that should be used in conjunction with IPC-5704 to measure the level of anionic and cationic residues on the surface of unpopulated (bare) printed boards by ion chromatography.

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