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Updates to IPC assembly standards
8 October 2014, News

IPC has released the ‘F’ revisions of two of the industry’s most widely used standards, IPC J-STD-001: Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies, and IPC-A-610: Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies.

The documents have been updated to include technical advances in solder on plastic surface mount technology (SMT) components, new criteria for P-style and solder-charged Butt/I SMT terminations, a change to void criteria for BGAs, and enhancements to the language within the documents to provide ease of use and clarity. New photos facilitate further understanding.

The revision process involved dedicated volunteers from electronics companies in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Following the mantra, ‘in data we trust,’ IPC committee members focused major changes in areas such as the shrinking sizes of plastic packages that affect solder touching component bodies.

Dispelling past concerns that solder could not touch plastic components for fear of future failure, Teresa Rowe, IPC director of assembly technology, said “We [committee] didn’t find significant occurrences of failures when solder touched the plastic bodies.” Rowe explains that there was much discussion on this topic and expects that as research in this area continues, the committee will consider it in future revisions.

The chapter on conformal coatings also underwent significant changes. “We revised the way we look at conformal coatings, providing new information on coating thickness,” Rowe said. “We also looked at bubbles, voids and transparency, expanding our criteria for acceptance.” The standards also cover Class 2 plated through-hole vertical solder fill requirements and Class 2 flux activity criteria.

Often used as companion documents, IPC J-STD-001F and IPC-A-610F each have a unique purpose. Whereas the former is a material and process requirements document and is critical for use during manufacturing, the latter is a post-assembly acceptance standard.

For more information visit www.ipc.org


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