Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tin Whiskers ? What are tin whiskers?

Electronic Supply Chain Solutions thinks you should know

WHEN: Sept. 14-15, 2011  WHERE: Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center,

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Contact: Dr. Michael Osterman (

Tin whiskers present a unique challenge to the electronics industry. There have been numbers of electronics failures in the market caused by tin whiskers since the 1940s. Since 2000, the majority of electronic component manufacturers are now using pure tin or tin-rich alloys for terminal and lead finishes as a result of the global transition to lead-free electronics. The increased use of tin-based lead-free finishes and materials has focused concern and research on tin whiskers, particularly for long-life and mission-critical applications, such as space, aviation, and implantable medical devices.

A tin whisker is a conductive tin crystal that can spontaneously grow from tin-based lead-free finished surfaces, even at room temperature, often in a needle-like form. Oxidation in a humid atmosphere, corrosion, intermetallic formation, stress under thermal cycling, external pressure in fine-pitch connectors, and electromigration have been shown to promote whisker formation. However, acceleration models for whisker growth are very limited or nonexistent.

Symposium presentations will cover case histories, theories of tin whisker growth, experiments and results, risk evaluation methods, and risk mitigation strategies.

Proceedings from prior International Symposia on Tin Whiskers can be found at:

Organized by The Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE)

Another Lesson Learned and now you know more than when you started reading this Information Resource sponsored by the staff at ESCS