Modeling fracture of sn-rich (Pb-Free) solder joints under mechanical shock conditions

Huiyang Fei, Kyle Yazzie, Nikhilesh Chawla, Hanqing Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


With the increasing focus on developing environmentally benign electronic packages, lead-free solder alloys have received a great deal of attention. Mishandling of packages during manufacture, assembly, or by the user may cause solder joint failure. In this work, we conducted finite-element analysis to model solder joint fracture under dynamic loading conditions. The solder is modeled as a porous plastic material, and the intermetallic compound (IMC) material is characterized as an elastic material. The fracture of the solder is governed by void nucleation, and the IMC fracture is brittle in nature. The randomness of the void volume fraction in the solder and the defects in the IMC are considered and implemented in the finite-element package ABAQUS. The finite-element results show that the fracture mechanisms of the solder joints depend on the strain rate and IMC thickness. High strain rate and larger IMC thickness favor IMC-controlled fracture, which is brittle in nature. Low strain rate and smaller IMC thickness lead to solder-controlled fracture, which is governed by void growth and nucleation. Based on this finding, a mechanistic explanation for solder joint fracture is suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2089-2099
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Lead-free solder joint
  • brittle fracture
  • porous plasticity
  • strain rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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