Structural integrity in electronics

W. J. Plumbridge, Y. Kariya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


With continuing miniaturisation, increased performance demands and the requirement to remove lead from solder alloys, the challenges to structural integrity and reliability of electronic equipment are substantial and increasing. This paper outlines typical features in electronic equipment of which the structural integrity community may be generally unaware. Potential failure modes in service are described, and the problems of scale and material characteristics are considered. Progress in the application of fracture mechanics to the life prediction of interconnections is reviewed. The limited evidence available suggests that the crack growth resistance of silver-containing lead-free solders is superior to that of the traditional Sn-37Pb under cycle-controlled conditions but there is no difference when time-dependent conditions prevail. In several respects, it is contended that the electronics sector is faced with challenges at least equivalent to those encountered in gas turbines and nuclear power generation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-734
Number of pages12
JournalFatigue and Fracture of Engineering Materials and Structures
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Failure modes
  • Lead-free solders
  • Life prediction
  • Solder joints
  • Structural integrity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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