Fires

Examination of the cause of fires on PCBs

Success Stories

PCB Failure Analysis

PCB Failure Analysis

Gideon Analytical Labs received the main PCB that had a fire in one section of the board. The objective was to find the cause in an already established product line. This PCB had some copper deposition problems at level two copper. The deposition was seen under the diode mounted to the PCB. The deposited copper also was responsible for an internal short within the PCB. The internal short caused the electrolytic capacitor to heat up and vent toward the PCB surface onto a hot trace line.
Fire on Multilayer PCB

Fire on Multilayer PCB

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received a PCB that had a fire in one section of the board. These PCBs can provide high-performance 10G visibility for network monitoring tools in all parts of a fiber network. They feature to 24 SFP+ ports supporting 10G and 1G Ethernet (10GbE and 1GbE) and up to four RJ-45 copper Ethernet ports. The objective was to find the cause of the fire on the board, in an already established product line.
Poor Process Control Lead to This Over Current Failure

Poor Process Control Lead to This Over Current Failure

Gideon Analytical Labs received several printed circuit boards (PCB) with fire damage on one and electrical overstress on the LTC4258CGW module when received. One good unit was provided for comparison. The objective was to find the cause and access the risk to the customer. The LTC4258 can operate autonomously or be controlled by an I2C serial interface. Fault conditions are optionally signaled with the INT pin to eliminate software polling. External power MOSFETs, current sense resistors and diodes allow easy scaling of current and power dissipation levels and provide protection against voltage and current spikes and ESD events.
Process Contamination

Process Contamination

Gideon Analytical Laboratories performed failure analysis on one opened splitter module LPF-200 PCB encapsulated in the black urethane potting material and housed in plastic. The PCB was burnt in one spot, and in that spot, a cavity existed under the carbonized epoxy of the PCB adjacent to the PTH. The trace line had a number of craters strongly suggesting an “electromigration” of copper. In order for electromigration to occur with copper a voltage, an acid and medium (moisture) must be present.
Premature Discharge of Ansul IQ-396X Fire Control Circuitry

Premature Discharge of Ansul IQ-396X Fire Control Circuitry

Gideon Analytical Laboratories performed failure analysis on one Ansul IQ-396X, which was submitted for possible failure due to an electrical surge. These control units have two intelligent signaling line circuits (SLC), 396 intelligent device capacity (198 intelligent detectors and 198 monitors/control modules), four built-in output circuits, up to 64 internal output circuits/relays on optional modules in the unit, 99 programmable zone output relays, and manual sensitivity adjustment. The CPU 400 unit was dissembled and the entire board and components were inspected under 40x to look for and evidence of EOS (electrical overstress) that may have affected the operation of the unit.