Today’s RF & Microwave components are often plated with materials that can create manufacturing difficulties. Gold plating and RoHS-compliant finishes are particularly troublesome.
Gold is often used as a plating material to prevent oxidation. Unfortunately, due to a phenomenon known as Gold Embrittlement, excessive gold can create a poor solder joint. Gold Embrittlement occurs when an intermediate alloy of Tin/Gold is created, resulting in voids in the solder joint. To avoid this potential problem, it is often wise to remove the gold from areas on the package (leads and base) that will be soldered.
With the advent of environmentally friendly materials, highlighted by RoHS-compliant finishes on components, some highly sensitive applications have encountered problems. The lack of lead (Pb) in modern solder compounds can also create poor solder joints. If RoHS compliance is not mandatory for your application, the addition of lead—through solder dipping—could be a simple fix to your manufacturing problem. To help solve other issues, Tin Plating of the entire assembly could be an option.
Richardson RFPD / Arrow RF & Power offers soldering dipping services in a very cost effective manner.
To learn more about our solder dipping capabilities, contact your local sales representative.