A Finite Element Study of Factors Affecting Fatigue Life of Solder Joints

[+] Author and Article Information
N. Paydar, Y. Tong, H. U. Akay

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN 46202

J. Electron. Packag 116(4), 265-273 (Dec 01, 1994) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2905697 History: Received November 25, 1992; Revised August 01, 1994; Online April 28, 2008


The elastic-plastic-creep characteristics of solder joints are implemented in a nonlinear finite element program ABAQUS by developing user defined material subroutines. An eutectic Pb-Sn solder joint of a resistor carrier under thermal cycling between 125°C and −55°C is modeled, and the effect of various parameters on the solder joint cycle life is evaluated. The strain range of the solder joint under thermal cycling loads is calculated, which is then converted into solder joint cycle life through a fatigue-life relationship proposed by Engelmaier (1983). The parameters studied include: ramp time, hold time, grain size, initial temperature, constitutive equations, material properties for solder alloys, and mesh refinement. The effects of these variations on the fatigue life of solder joints are illustrated. The described method can serve as a tool in the design and manufacturing of surface-mount (SMT) assemblies.

Copyright © 1994 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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