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90 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2020 Flexible Thinking by Joe Fjelstad, VERDANT ELECTRONICS Solder has been used as the primary means of interconnecting electronic components for more than seven decades. For the first five-plus years of those decades, life was simple, and the solder of choice was fundamentally tin- lead solder in the form of one of two basic al- loys: Sn60Pb40 and Sn63Pb37—the latter be- ing the eutectic variant of the timeless and tire- less servant of electronics assembly. Today, however, the number of solder al- loy options available to make electronic con- nections run into the many tens—if not hun- dreds—of different alloy choices. Read your journals, and you will see that the subject of solder dominates the content in terms of new or recurring problems and their detection, so- lutions in the form of processes and equip- ment, and concerns about the reliability of solder joints, which remain the primary root cause of failure of electronics. For the benefit of all those who are new to the electronics interconnection industry (and there is a constant flow of new people enter- ing the industry), I believe it is worth recalling Lead-Free Solder: Panacea or Pandemic?

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