Failed 1210 MLCCs

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received three 1210 Multi-Layer Ceramic Capacitors (MLCC) for analysis. 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. The MLCCs were from a Time Hub printed circuit board (PCB). The goal of Gideon Analytical Laboratories was to diagnose the cause of these failures.

The capacitors were cleaned and any residual coating was removed. The capacitors were insulation resistance (IR) tested. IR is very important because around 80% of electrical maintenance and testing involves insulation integrity. The insulation resistance was not a problem. The capacitance value was also tested; there were no electrical failures. The MLCCs were then cross-sectioned. Pictures were taken at various intervals during the cross-sectioning to give an overall assessment of the internal quality of the manufacturing process structure.

Cross-sectioning revealed that there were no anomalies found on any of the three capacitors. All were checked thoroughly; the termination metal was in good condition, there were no voids in the dielectric, no knit cracks, and no thermal cracks. One of the capacitors had a small water stain and tiny cracks due to polishing. These were not defects with the capacitor. Another one of the capacitors had an asymmetric alignment issue within the electrodes, but this was not a cause for concern because the electrical testing results verified its reliability.

Gideon Analytical Laboratories analyzes a variety of electrical components to determine the cause of failures. Not only can Gideon Analytical Laboratories unequivocally determine why a device is failing, but they can also unequivocally determine when a device is not failing. With cutting-edge analytic technology, years of experience in the failure analysis field, and a determination to solve problems, Gideon Analytical Laboratories has what it takes to get the job done. Call Gideon for all of your failure analysis needs.

Crack from polishing

Crack from polishing

First cross section picture

First cross section picture

MLCC just removed from PCB

MLCC just removed from PCB

MLCC with asymmetric alignment

MLCC with asymmetric alignment

MLCC with stain

MLCC with stain

MLCC with stain

MLCC with stain