Microstructural Evolution and Tensile Properties of Sn-Ag-Cu Mixed with Sn-Pb Solder Alloys


The effect of incorporating eutectic Sn-Pb solder with Sn-3.0Ag-0.5Cu (SAC) Pb-free solder on the microstructure and tensile properties of the mixed alloys was investigated. Alloys containing 100, 75, 50, 25, 20, 15, 10, 5 and 0 wt% SAC, with the balance being Sn-37Pb eutectic solder alloy, were prepared and characterized. Optical and scanning electron microscopy were used to analyze the microstructures while “mini-tensile” test specimens were fabricated and tested to determine mechanical properties at the mm length scale, more closely matching that of the solder joints. Microstructural analysis indicated that a Pb-rich phase formed and was uniformly distributed at the boundary between the Sn-rich grains or between the Sn-rich and the intermetallic compounds in the solder. Tensile results showed that mixing of the alloys resulted in an increase in both the yield and the ultimate tensile strength compared to the original solders, with the 50% SAC-50% Sn-Pb mixture having the highest measured strength. Initial investigations indicate the formation and distribution of a Pb-rich phase in the mixed solder alloys as the source of the strengthening mechanism.


Materials Science and Engineering


Air Force Research Laboratory (Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio)

Keywords and Phrases

Pb Contamination; Pb-Free Solder; Sn-Ag-Cu; Tensile Properties; Microstructure

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2009 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2009