Inorganic Analysis

Success Stories

PCB with Contamination on Capacitor Sleeves, Connector Pins, Oscillator

PCB with Contamination on Capacitor Sleeves, Connector Pins, Oscillator

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) with contamination on several capacitor sleeves, connector pins, and an oscillator. An electrolytic capacitor is a capacitor whose anode (+) consists of pure aluminum foil with an etched surface, covered with a uniformly very thin barrier layer of insulating aluminum oxide, which operates as a dielectric. The electrolyte, which covers the rough surface of the oxide layer, operates as the second electrode, the cathode (-).
Contamination and Moisture on MLCCs

Contamination and Moisture on MLCCs

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received a printed circuit board (PCB) with suspected failing multi-layered ceramic capacitors (MLCC). Multilayer ceramic capacitors are fixed value capacitors in which ceramic the material acting as the dielectric. It is made up of two or more alternating layers of ceramic and a metal layer acting as the electrodes. There are various types of materials that could function as the dielectric in a capacitor, for example, glass, porcelain, paper, or mica.
Problems with Track Lighting

Problems with Track Lighting

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received several lighting tracks for failure analysis. They all had what appeared to be arcing which caused severe copper pitting, melting of the Noryl, and distortion of the power bus bar. The neutral bus was also pitted but not nearly as bad as the power rail. Electrical arcing is an electrical breakdown of a gas that produces an ongoing electrical discharge. The current through a normally non-conductive medium such as air produces a plasma; the plasma may produce visible light.
RoHS Compliance on Plated Steel Parts

RoHS Compliance on Plated Steel Parts

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received several plated steel parts, including coupons, hinges, and shoulder nuts. The goal was to determine if these parts were RoHS compliant. RoHS is short for Directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment; it was initially created by the European Union in February of 2003. To be RoHS compliant, devices have to be free from the following hazardous substances: Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, Hexavalent chromium, Polybrominated biphenyls, and Polybrominated diphenyl ether.
LCD Analysis

LCD Analysis

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received several liquid-crystal displays (LCDs) that had fading issues; there were five failing LCDs and a good LCD for comparison. An LCD is a flat panel display, electronic visual display, or video display that uses the light modulating properties of liquid crystals. LCDs are extremely common in electronic devices such as laptops, digital clocks, and watches, pocket calculators, microwave ovens, or CD players. LCDs are also used in televisions and produce a sharp and vivid image.
Surface Mount Tantalum Capacitors 2

Surface Mount Tantalum Capacitors 2

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received two surface mount (SM) tantalum capacitors that had internal resistive shorts. Capacitors are passive, two-terminal electrical components used to store energy. They vary in construction, but all have at least two electrical conductors that are separated by an insulator, known as a dielectric. Tantalum capacitors are a type of electrolytic capacitor, which are ubiquitous in electronic circuits. Tantalum capacitors have a high capacitance per volume and weight and are more expensive than any other commonly used capacitor.
Ion Chromatograph Analysis

Ion Chromatograph Analysis

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received three samples in polyethylene bottles to develop an analytical procedure for determining chloride using an ion chromatograph. Ion chromatography is a process that allows the separation of ions and polar molecules based on their charge. Using ion chromatography, one can identify concentrations of major anions, including elements like sodium, lithium, calcium, and many others. Aqueous samples are quantitatively measured in the parts-per-million range. The two solutions were diluted 1:25 with DI water (18.
220 Picofarad AVX Capacitor

220 Picofarad AVX Capacitor

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received four 220 picofarad AVX capacitors for failure analysis. There are a variety of capacitors, including ceramic, aluminum, film, and tantalum, but all serve the same purpose, which is to store electrical charge. They are passive electrical components with at least two electrical conductors separated by an insulator (dielectric). The four220 picofarad AVX capacitors were giving low resistance readings. Failure analysis ensued. The four 220 picofarad AVX capacitors were inspected for mechanical cracks, which would propagate upon voltage; no cracks were found on the external ceramic.
Failure Analysis on Pulse Transformers

Failure Analysis on Pulse Transformers

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received six pulse transformers, three of which were failures, three of which were reliable. The objective was to determine the cause of the failures and inspect the unused transformers for anything that could contribute to the cause of failures. Transformers are devices that transfer electric energy from one circuit to another, usually with a change in voltage. Pulse transformers are transformers optimized for transmitting rectangular electrical pulses. Ideally, pulse transformer designers try to minimize voltage droop, rise time, and pulse distortion.
Resistor Films

Resistor Films

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received several amplifier units were supplied to ascertain the difference between a new vintage resistor, which failed, and the older one, which functioned normally. A resistor is a passive electrical component that enacts electrical resistance in a circuit. These resistors were measured at 22 ohms. Failure analysis was performed on the resistors. It was not known if the resistors were from the same vendor or whether the power dissipation of the thick film was the same.
UPS Filter Capacitor Failure Analysis

UPS Filter Capacitor Failure Analysis

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received an Areovox Z26P6045M21 45uF 600V capacitor for failure analysis. Capacitors are passive two-terminal electrical components used to store electricity in an electric field. Inside most capacitors, there are two metal plates separated by a non-conducting substance (dielectric). Filter capacitors are used for filtering undesirable frequencies and removing voltage or signal spikes in electronic circuits. They are utilized in a variety of applications. Gideon Analytical Laboratories performed failure analysis the Areovox Z26P6045M21 45uF 600V capacitor.
Corrosion on Lead Screw Assembly

Corrosion on Lead Screw Assembly

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received several contaminated lead screw assemblies. Also received were three insulin samples, one grease sample, and several new parts making up the lead screw assembly. Lead screws are designed to translate turning/rotary motion into linear motion. The contamination on the shaft of the assembly was primarily concentrated between the bearing and the ball seal. The goal was to identify and determine the cause of the contamination. Gideon Analytical Laboratories primarily used FTIR and SEM-EDS analysis for diagnostics.
Corrosion

Corrosion

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received metallurgical corrosion failures from lamp sockets. The materials and the insulation protection was compared to distinguish the difference between the two lamp sockets. The lamp sockets were overheating and melting the wire insulation in the application. These sockets are a type of bi-pin lamp fitting. Bi-pin lamp fittings are for use in incandescent (especially halogen) and some fluorescent lights. MR16 refers to the lamp construction and overall diameter at its largest circumference.
Resistor Contamination

Resistor Contamination

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received three axial-lead resistors for failure analysis (pictured in the first picture directly below). A resistor is a passive two-terminal electrical component that implements electrical resistance as a circuit element. Their purpose is for creating a precise quantity of resistance for insertion into a circuit; they are typically constructed of metal wire or carbon and engineered to maintain a stable resistance value over a wide range of environmental conditions.
Resistor Contamination

Resistor Contamination

Gideon Analytical Labs received two failed 510K, two used 510K operating for about 3 weeks, and two virgin resistors for failure analysis. A resistor is a component of a circuit that resists the flow of electrical current. It has two terminals across which electricity must pass, and it is designed to drop the voltage of the current as it flows from one terminal to the other. Resistors are primarily used to create and maintain known safe currents within electrical components.
Metal Failure Analysis

Metal Failure Analysis

Gideon Analytical Labs examined the extrusion marks on the tungsten IC probes wires versus a Monel K500 IC probes via SEM. MONEL K500 is a nickel-copper alloy, precipitation hardenable through additions of aluminum and titanium. MONEL K500 retains the excellent corrosion resistant characteristics of 400 and has enhanced strength and hardness after precipitation hardening when compared with 400. Alloy K500 has approximately three (3) times the yield strength and double the tensile strength when compared with 400.
Relay Contamination

Relay Contamination

Relays are very susceptible to contamination because the leads are made of copper and vulnerable to corrosion and leakage current if not protected from the environment. The liquid shown here was thought to have come from the flux residue and, therefore, an organic analysis FTIR was required as opposed to inorganic XRF. However, the liquid was acidic in nature and XRF was employed. The material was a filled, glass fiber reinforced material containing a phosphorus species along with an antimony/bromine fire retardant package.
Metallurgy Corrosion

Metallurgy Corrosion

Several screws were presented to Gideon Analytical Labs due to corrosion. The screws were analyzed with SEM-EDS. The micrograph indicates the spot where this screw was analyzed. Chloride was found on the spot where corrosion was found. Gideon Analytical Labs can identify the source and cause of corrosion allowing the customer to implement the corrective action immediately. Screw Micrograph Screw EDS of Contaminate
Tin Whiskers

Tin Whiskers

Gideon Analytical Labs performed analysis on several Melexis US2881 Sensors when the designer found shorts on the returned product from the field. Melexis US2881 sensors are bipolar Hall-effect switches designed in mixed signal CMOS technology. They have a wide voltage operating range from 3.5V to 24V, have high magnetic sensitivity, and a chopper-stabilized amplifier stage, and are suitable for automotive or consumer applications. Analysis revealed tin crystals (whiskers) spread throughout the top and bottom of the PCB, shorting out the MOSFET as well as the Hall sensor.
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.
Process Contaminates Chlorides in Electrolytic Capacitors

Process Contaminates Chlorides in Electrolytic Capacitors

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received electrolytic capacitors for chloride analysis according to a prior analysis technique for determining the presence of chloride. The chloride analysis technique was developed because chlorine is a known catalytic corrosive element on aluminum. The analysis was performed using an SEM-EDS system giving elemental analysis in relation to the intensity of the element at a specific wavelength or energy level (Kev). Since Kev (energy levels) for specific elements do not change, these are used to identify the elements in the sample.
Liquid Contamination on Relays

Liquid Contamination on Relays

Gideon Analytical Laboratories performed failure analysis on several Sky CKC-1C-12VDC 12A/120V relays. These relays have a contact resistance of 100 Mohms and have a surge resistance of 1000V. The devices had a liquid on the inside surface and corrosion on several of the leads. The liquid and corrosion is pictured at the top left. The drop was analyzed using FTIR. The liquid was thought to have come from the flux residue and, therefore, an organic analysis FTIR is required as opposed to inorganic (XRF).
Bourns RJR26 Potentiometer Failure

Bourns RJR26 Potentiometer Failure

Gideon Analytical Labs performed failure Analysis on a failed RJR26 Bourns Potentiometer. The application failure was noticed when a lower than expected resistance value and, eventually, open in the potentiometer. A potentiometer (or pot) is a simple electromechanical transducer. It converts rotary or linear motion from the operator into a change of resistance, and this change is used to control the resistance within a circuit. The pot (also known as a rheostat) is essentially a variable wire wound resistor or a carbon or metal film with a swiper.