First, exciting design innovations continue to support the increasing demand for miniaturization. The resulting complex geometries, densely packed assemblies and low-standoff spacing increase the difficulty of removing flux residue, thereby elevating the risk of partically cleaned residues under low-standoff components.
Next, this challenge is increasing at a time when processes have been rapidly converted from eutectic to lead-free pastes. The associated higher reflow temperatures of lead-free processes result in increased amounts of “burned in” residues that are polymerized and hardened more than their eutectic counterparts.
Finally, the demand for high-reliability products is at an all-time high, and field failures can be devastating not only for manufacturers, but for the end-users of these products as well. All too often, electronic assembly failures are traced back to residues remaining under low-standoff components, even after boards have passed visual inspection and ionic testing. Therefore, the ability to fully remove postsoldered flux residues is an essential requirement practiced by high-reliability assembly manufacturers in military, aerospace, automotive, medical, and other critical segments of the electronics industry.