In this study, we have conducted a combined numerical and experimental study on the Poisson’s ratio of SAC lead free solders. The Poisson’s ratio (PR) is one of the basic mechanical properties used in many material constitutive models. Although often not measured, it is important property in many finite element method (FEM) calculations. The value of the Poisson’s ratio of SAC lead free solders is relatively unexplored compared to other material properties, and for FEA simulations it is typically assumed to be v = 0.3. In the current work, we have shown the effects of the chosen value of the solder joint Poisson’s ratio on the finite element results for BGA components subjected to thermal cycling. In the finite element models, the reliability predictions were based on the Morrow-Darveaux energy-based fatigue model. Several sizes (5, 10, 15 mm) of PBGA components with SAC305 solder joints with 0.4 and 0.8 mm spacing were modeled. The packages were subjected to a time dependent cyclic temperature distribution from −40 to 125 °C. The package assemblies were assumed to be in a stress-free state at 25 °C (room temperature), with no residual stresses induced in the manufacturing process. The simulation results have demonstrated that for specified range of Poisson’s ratio values of 0.15 < v < 0.40, the solder Plastic Work varied over 20% and the Predicted Reliability Varied over 50%.

To determine the actual Poisson’s ratio experimentally, uniaxial tensile stress-strain tests were carried out on SAC305 (96.5Sn3.0Ag0.5Cu) specimens using a micro tension/torsion testing machine with two strain rates (0.0001, and 0.00001 (sec−1)), four testing temperatures (T = 25, 50, 75, 100 °C), and several durations of prior aging at T = 125 °C. Deformations and strains in axial and transverse directions were measured using strain gages with automatic data acquisition from LabVIEW software. The recorded transverse strain vs. axial strain data were then fit with a linear regression analysis to determine the Poisson’s ratio values. A test matrix of experiments was developed to study the effects of temperature, strain rate, alloy composition, and solidification cooling profile on the value of solder Poisson’s ratio. The Poisson’s ratio was found to increase with increasing temperature, and decrease with increasing strain rate. Using a slower solidification cooling profile led to an increase in the solder Poisson’s ratio value. Finally, the microstructural coarsening that occurs during isothermal aging lead to an increase in the Poisson’s ratio.

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