This paper presents the evaluation of the stress-strain behavior, as a function of strain-rate, for three tin-lead solders at room temperature. This behavior is critically needed for reliability analysis of printed circuit boards (PCB) since handbooks list minimal mechanical properties for the eutectic solder used in PCBs. Furthermore, most handbook data are for stable eutectic microstructure whereas PCB solder has a metastable microstructure. All three materials were purchased as “eutectics.” However, chemical analysis, volume fraction determination, and microhardness tests show some major variations between the three materials. Two of the materials have a eutectic composition, and one does not. The true stress-strain equations of one eutectic and the one noneutectic material are determined from compressive tests at engineering strain-rates between 0.0002/s and 0.2/s. The second eutectic material is evaluated using tensile tests with strain-rates between 0.00017/s and 0.042/s. The materials appear to exhibit linear elastic behavior only at extremely small strains, i.e., less than 0.0005. However, this “elastic” behavior showed considerable variation, and depended upon the strain rate. In both tension and compression the eutectic alloy exhibits nonlinear plastic behavior, i.e., strain-softening followed by strain-hardening, which depends upon the strain rate. A quadratic equation σy = σy(ε˚/ε˚0) + A(ε˚/ε˚0)ε + B(ε˚/ε˚02 fit to the data gives correlation coefficients R2 > 0.91. The coefficients σy(ε˚/ε˚0), A(ε˚/ε˚0), B(ε˚/ε˚0) are fitted functions of the normalized engineering strain rate ε˚/ε˚0. Replicated experiments are used at each strain-rate so that a measure of the statistical variation could be estimated. Measures of error associated with the regression analysis are also obtained so that an estimate of the total error in the stress-strain relations can be made.

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