While chemistry may seem an unlikely discipline to measure the risk of electronic failure, it has proven to be invaluable in assessing damage and recovery after a disaster. Armed with industry standard and approved methodologies and quantifiable data as proof, Coastal Technical Services is unraveling some of the age old questions relating to electronic restoration.
Printed circuit board and component manufacturers have known for years that ions (atoms that are positively or negatively charged) cause corrosion on printed circuit boards and provide a pathway for stray/ damaging electrical signals between circuit components. As the performance of modern devices has escalated and circuit complexity grown exponentially with each generation, the tolerance for contamination has correspondingly shrunk. In today’s electronic systems, levels of ions no greater than that left by a fingerprint are sufficient to damage a circuit. Visual inspections are simply inadequate when the measure of acceptable residue levels are in the “parts per million” range.
The IPC organization is a worldwide consortium of electronics manufacturers that has set standards for electronic circuit cleanliness. Using Ion Chromatographic analysis of samples harvested from board assemblies per IPC-TM-650-2.3.28 as specified in the IPC/EIA J-STD-001C Joint Industry Standard- “Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies,” the Coastal Technical Services laboratory is equipped to assess the nature and extent of a contamination event (fire, hurricane, flood, toner spill, extinguisher release, environmental exposure, etc.)
IPC-TM-650 Ion Chromatographic data provides a quantified and calibrated gauge for our analyses, and a basis upon which expert judgment can be understood, documented, and scientifically supported. It allows us to: