Lead-free innovation: ten years on

DKL Metals managing director, Colin Longworth, explains why SN100C solder alloy has stood the test of time with CEMs and OEMs the world over SN100C solder alloy, produced for the UK marketplace by Scotland-DKL Metals, has reached its 10-year milestone. Increasing popularity with CEMs and OEMs throughout the world continues, with the alloy earning its position amongst the most successful, technically proven lead-free solders.

Colin Longworth explained: The alloy was initially supplied to Japanese manufacturing companies based in the UK. However, demand for the alloy quickly increased as the benefits of SN100C over the silver containing SAC systems became more widely known. This agreement has enabled us to bring the product to manufacturers in the UK and Ireland and in that time it has become widely recognised for its superior qualities.

DKLs agreement is with Nihon Superior which developed the unique stabilised tin-copper-nickel + germanium eutectic lead-free alloy system. SN100C was first in commercial mass production in March 1999.

Nihon Superiors president, Tetsuro Nishimura, said: Our unique lead-free solder SN100C will soon have been in commercial mass production for 10 years. For that achievement we must first express our sincere gratitude to our customers around the world for their confidence in SN100C and to our business partners for their enthusiasm in promoting our unique alloy. This 10 year anniversary means more than just that passage of time, it tells a story of the widespread and continually growing acceptance of an alloy that has delivered failure-free service, while also satisfying the strict requirements of the present era that it does not damage the environment or human health.

Over one billion boards have been soldered using SN100C, without a single reported case of joint failure as a result of the alloy. SN100C is approved by many of the worlds leading OEMs and CEMs, thanks to its known history and proven reliability data. Another reason to select SN100C is cost, with the alloy cheaper to purchase and less costly to process thanks to lower drossing.

SN100C is available as stick, bar and ingot, solid and flux cored wire, as well as spheres.
DKL recently launched SN100C in paste form, Cobar XF3, which was developed to accommodate extended reflow profiles without nitrogen. The product demonstrates superior long-term fatigue strength over silver-containing SAC-alloys and, being completely silver free, SN100C offers a remedy against Cu-migration into Sn regions. Print speed is 150 to 200mm/s and SN100C-XF3 offers better void elimination compared with SAC-alloys.

DKL Metals, Avontoun Works, Linlithgow, West Lothian. EH49 6QD

Tel: 01506 847710
Fax: 01506 848199