Gideon Analytical Laboratories received two 153D8496G1 printed circuit boards (PCBs)for failure analysis. A PCB mechanically supports and electrically connects electronic components using conductive tracks, pads, and other features etched from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive substrate. Some of the electronic components that might appear on a PCB include semiconductors like diodes or transistors, discharge devices, power sources, resistors, and capacitors. The153D8496G1 circuit card assembly has 6 capacitors, 20 resistors, and 18 semiconductors all mounted to a printed wiring board. The capacitors on both153D8496G1 PCBs were open, and as a result of the leads disintegrating in the presence of voltage and flux. The goal was to find the reason why these capacitors on the PCBs were failing.
Failure analysis was conducted on the two153D8496G1 PCBs. EDS analysis revealed there was chloride and bromide present on the surface of the PCB. The capacitors were separated from the PCB to measure electrical parameters. One tested normal; the other shorted five times. The lead of the failed capacitor was analyzed using EDS, which revealed copious amounts of bromine on the end of the capacitor wire. Bromine should not have been present there. The wire was also pitted from corrosion. The burning on the PCB was not limited to the capacitor lead but also involved the plated through hole (PTH). The one failed capacitor had five times the capacitance as the label indicated, and the melting on the lead of the capacitor indicates excessive heat. This may have happened because of a series of events. The lead got hot, flux was activated, resin broke down, bromine was released. Bromine, which was all over the PCB, was the reason this pin was open.
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