Ask the Experts
March 24, 2010 - Updated
March 22, 2010 - Originally Posted

Solder Thieving Explanation

Could you please describe the condition "solder thieving" as it relates to vias on a circuit board assembly? What causes it, and how can it be prevented?

P. P.

Expert Panel Responses

Solder Thieving? or Theiving pattern for Solder Plating... If the latter, a pattern may be introduced to a PCB with artwork that is not balanced. To prevent current overrage on the less populated area's, designers will add theiving pattern to help ensure the plating process is consisten across the copper added to the bare board. Solder Theiving with a Via, may occur if there is a via hole near a SMT pad. If the via hole is not defined with a solder mask, the solder can migrate to solder via hole. This can be dangerous combination with a BGA assembly where the vias might be "dog boned" to each of the inner via holes. Hope this explains the two Thieving phenomena that assember and fabricator might be leary of.

Rodney Miller
Capital Equipment Operations Manager
Specialty Coating Systems
Rodney is currently Operations manager at SCS coatings, Global Leader in Parylene and Liquid Coating equipment. Rodney applies his BS in Computer Integrated Manufacturing from Purdue University, along with 20+ years of Electronic manufacturing and Equipment Assembly, to direct the Equipment business at SCS Coatings. "We provide unique, value added coating equipment solutions for our customers". Including conformal, spin and Parylene coating expertise.
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