Ask the Experts
June 4, 2006 - Updated
July 5, 2007 - Originally Posted

BGA re-balled with lead free spheres

How can I attach a BGA device with Sn/Pb solder on a lead free pcb? Must the bga be re-balled with lead free spheres? If so what is the reliability?


Expert Panel Responses

First is the Sn/Pb BGA going to be attached with Sn/Pb on to a lead free finished board such as a lead free HASL or immersions silver? If so this is OK. If this is not the case then reliability of a mixed lead and lead free is questionable. Cooling rates are critical these will affect the lead distribution through out the solder connection, slower is generally not desirable as it allows the lead to segregate in the last to section to cool. How long the Sn/Pb is diffused into the lead free all will case variations in the reliability of the components if lead is well diffused and rapid freezing is controlled there is less of an issue with the lead segregating. This leads to a more desirable solder connection however lead in lead free should try to be eliminated.

Karl Seelig

Deck Street Consultants
In his 32 years of industry experience, Mr. Seelig has authored over 30 published articles on topics including lead-free assembly, no-clean technology, and process optimization. Karl holds numerous patents, including four for lead-free solder alloys, and was a key developer of no-clean technology.

We have been placing SnPb spheres on ENIG for as long as there have been BGA packages .. with good success. Some of the other mixes are dependant upon the specific finish material employed. IMSn, and IMAg have some concerned. When reballing, be aware the of alloy created where the replacement Sphere contacts the component attachment as well as the board itself. During reballing some of the solder remains with the component where the previous sphere was attached.

Mel Parrish
FSO/Director Training Resources
STI Electronics Inc.
Mel Parrish is the FSO and Director of Training Materials Operations, Soldering Technology International (STI), in Madison Alabama. Before coming to the STI, Mel was the Training Manager for the Electronic Manufacturing Productivity Facility (EMPF) and President of Manufacturing Technology Training Center Inc. (MTTC) in Ridgecrest, CA. He remains active in industry trade associations and organizations such as IPC, SMTA, and SME.

You have some options, of all which are viable primarily for prototypes or engineering evaluations (1) Re-ball the BGA package with Pb-free solder balls - can be fairly reliable but is time consuming and not viable for production volumes. There are folks that provide this service on outsource basis if you have higher volumes (2) Use a BGA rework station to attach the Pb/Sn packages as a secondary operation - again reasonably reliable but not viable for production volumes (3) Use mini-stencil to apply low temp solder paste to the PCB (if real-estate permits access). Hand place your Pb/Sn BGA packages using 2DX and reflow as secondary operation at lower temperature (175oC). This is tricky since solder bridging is difficult to avoid.

Peter Greenland
Global Sales Director
Photonis USA
Mr. Greenland has 20 years electronics industry experience ranging from circuit board design to product support & repair services. Peter has spent the last 4 years at Pycon Inc. supporting customers that require high mix, low volume manufacturing solutions.

BGA reballing is a primary service that we provide at Circuit Technology Center. The reballing process can be completed utilizing either Lead-free or leaded solder spheres. The reflow oven temperature profile will need to be adjusted specific to the solder sphere chemistry to achieve solder reflow and complete a reliable process.

Andy Price
Sales Engineer
Circuit Technology Center
Mr. Price has been a key member of the team at Circuit Technology Center since 1985. He has vast expertise, experience and understanding of complex circuit board rework, repair and modification operations. He is one of the most knowledgeable experts in this area across the globe.
Submit A Comment

Comments are reviewed prior to posting. You must include your full name to have your comments posted. We will not post your email address.

Your Name

Your Company
Your E-mail

Your Country
Your Comments

Free Newsletter Subscription
Circuitnet is built for professionals who bear the responsibility of looking ahead, imagining the future, and preparing for it.

Insert Your Email Address