This work focuses on deformation mechanisms taking place in a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) exposed to high impact shock. A combined experimental, theoretical, and numerical approach has been applied to address both the nature of the observed deformation and its modeling and test metrology implications. Experimental evidence overwhelmingly indicates that a PCB in both test and system applications undergoes nonlinear deformations. Geometric nonlinearity of board response is attributed to the elevated in-plane (membrane) stresses that develop when a drop height and/or inertia forces are significant. The impact of these stresses on deformations (board strain) was quantified using a specially designed test. Membrane stresses were also accounted for in a numerical (Finite Element Method) model developed and carefully validated in the course of this study. The model shows a very good agreement with test data. The nonlinearity of PCB deformation in shock, i.e. the fact that both bending moments and in-plane forces are present in the board has important implications on test metrology development and on correlation between the measured board strain and stresses in interconnects of surface mounted components. Of special importance is the impact that nonlinearity can have on development of transfer functions between strain measurements on system boards and strain measurements on test boards, which is also addressed in the paper.

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