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January 10, 2011

Component Storage Recommendations

What do you recommend as an environment for component storage to prohibit oxidation? Relative humidity, nitrogen atmosphere, temperature etc. Is there a standard storage environment scenario considered as good practice?

G. H.

Expert Panel Responses

There are several mechanisms which will degrade solderability dependant on the type of finish. Oxidation or corrosion which are influenced by the atmosphere the parts are stored in terms of oxygen and humidity levels and intermetallic growth between substrates and plated layers which are accelerated by temperature. The storage used will very much depend on the length of time to be stored and how regular your access to the stock is required. For long term storage you could seal them within moisture barrier bags and store at low temperature to maximise useful life. For short term a clean area with temperature / humidity control should suffice. 15 to 21 C at 20 to 60% RH.

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Bryan Kerr
Principal Engineer - CMA Lab
BAE Systems
Bryan Kerr has 35 years experience in providing technical support to PEC assembly manufacturing. His experience ranges from analysis of materials and components to troubleshooting and optimizing, selecting reflow, cleaning, coating and other associated processes.

According to IPC/JEDEC-J-STD 033B.1 Table 7-1, all level moisture-sensitive components may be exposed indefinitely in an environment that allows for 5%RH or under and maximum temperature of 35 degrees C. Under these storage conditions, oxidation should not be an issue for the short term or longer term of a few years.

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Michelle Ogihara
Sales and Marketing Manager
Seika Machinery Inc.
Michelle is the Sales and Marketing Manager of Seika Machinery, Inc. She is an active member of the SMTA taking on a past position as Chapter President and currently Secretary, Co-Chairs the MSD Council and serves on several committee positions.

To prevent oxidation nitrogen environment at nominal room temp is your best choice.

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John Norton
Eastern Manager
Vitronics Soltec
John Norton started his soldering career in 1983 for Hollis Engineering. He has also worked with Electrovert as a technical training manager and Vitronics Soltec for the last ten years. He has held various technical development and sales positions.

Reader Comment
I agree with John Norton. In nitrogen atmosphere there is no moister nor oxygen (no oxidation). The nitrogen flow is minimum, just to keep low positive pressure inside cabinets.
Luiz Felipe Rodrigues, Air Liquide

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