Materials and Processes for EDR

Module Overview

The aim

Welcome to our module on Materials and Processes for EDR. This has been developed by EDR Centre principally for designers working within the electronics industry, but we hope that everyone interested in how electronics is ‘realised’ will find the course material illuminating. The list of contents was created by a team of industrialists, and throughout the development process course team members have benefited from materials and advice from our industrial partners. The partners also carried out a peer review of the texts underlying this distance learning module. Do take the time to visit our Acknowledgements page, and see just how many people have contributed to your studies.

The components, materials and processes used in board fabrication and assembly are too often taken for granted, so we should not be surprised when products fail to perform as specified or, worse still, fail to function in some catastrophic way.

The course team hope that by the end of your studies you will:



The plan below is indicative only. For example, after the first few weeks, you will probably be collecting information throughout your study for the assessments, although these are allocated specific study weeks.

Study week Unit Unit/Assessment
1-2   Introduction to module
Fundamental concepts; Polymers; Metals
3   Residential session (two days):
Report on practical tasks undertaken (worth 15%)
4-5   Solder joints
Board materials
6   Assessment 1: A report on the properties of materials used in printed circuit assemblies (PCAs). 15 hours (worth 25%)
7-8   Board fabrication
Board assembly
9-10   Failure mechanisms
The equipment environment
Reliability and screening
11-12   Assessment 2: An extended report on the choices (for a specific PCA of your choosing) of both materials and processes for board fabrication and assembly, including a review of the potential failure mechanism issues affecting board and assembly. 35 hours (worth 60%)

Our residential session is an important part of this module. Based at Napier University in Edinburgh, we will be giving you the opportunity to carry out a number of practical tasks associated with materials. There will be some flexibility about the scheduling, and we will try to tailor the two days to your needs and interests. You will, however, be looking in some depth at solder joints and trying your hand at sectioning and using the scanning electron microscope. Details of the practical options will be sent to you by email nearer the time.

Tutor Profile

Martin Tarr is a specialist consultant engaged to tutor this module. He is engaged by many companies in the electronics industry and also teaches with Napier Univeristy at the Scottish Advanced Manufacturing Centre. His area of interest covers all aspects of interconnect technology from semiconductor back-end processes through to equipment practice, but in recent years there has been an inevitable emphasis on surface mount technology.

In his 35 years in the electronics industry, Martin has learnt the hard way how components are made and assembled, and how they fail - there are some interesting parallels between components and companies in his CV! He has been intimately involved with custom applications of a wide range of technologies from valves to multi-chip modules, and in industries from avionics to heart pacemakers to industrial process control. In recent years, he has combined his technical/marketing consultancy with a commitment to teaching and has qualified as a member of the Institute of Learning and Teaching.

Recommended Textbooks

Title: Printed Circuit Assembly Design
Author: Leonard Marks, James A Caterina
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education, 2000
ISBN: 0-0704-1107-7
Comment: Useful introduction

Title: Engineering Materials Technology: 3rd edition
Author: W Bolton
Publisher: Butterworth-Heinemann, London, 1998
ISBN: 0-7506-3917-2
Comment: Background information

Title: Introduction to Materials Science for Engineers, 5th edition
Author: James F Shackelford
Publisher: Prentice-Hall, New Jersey, 2000
ISBN: 0-1301-1287-9
Comment: Background information

Title: Solders and Soldering, 4th edition
Author: Howard H Manko
Publisher: McGraw-Hill, New York, 2001
ISBN: 0-0713-4417-9
Comment: Background information

Title: Surface Mount Technology: 2nd edition
Author: Rudolf Strauss
Publisher: Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, 1997
ISBN: 0-7506-3589-4
Comment: Background information

Title: Coombs’ Printed Circuits Handbook: 5th edition
Author: ed. Clyde F Coombs Jr
Publisher: McGraw-Hill, New York, 2001
ISBN: 0-0713-5016-0
Comment: For your bookshelves

Title: Printed Circuit Board Materials Handbook
Author: ed. Martin W Jawitz
Publisher: McGraw-Hill, New York, 1997
ISBN: 0-0703-2488-3
Comment: For your bookshelves

Title: Electronic Failure Analysis Handbook: Techniques and Applications for Electronic and Electrical Packages, Components and Assemblies
Author: ed. Perry L Martin
Publisher: McGraw-Hill, New York, 1999
ISBN: 0-0704-1044-5
Comment: For your bookshelves