This study explores the possibility of using a unified theory of creep-fatigue, similar to the Halford-Manson strain-range partitioning method, for examining the effect of cyclic temperature range on fatigue life, over a wide range of temperatures. Other investigators have attempted similar techniques before for solder fatigue analysis. The present study is different since it proposes an energy-partitioning technique rather than strain-partitioning to examine the dependence of solder fatigue behavior on temperature dependent changes in the relative amounts of plastic and creep strains. The solder microstructure also dictates creep behavior but is assumed to be a given invariant parameter in this study. In other words, this study is targeted at as-cast microstructures and does not address post-recrystallization behavior. A sample solder joint of axisymmetric configuration, commonly found in leaded through-hole mounting technology, is analyzed with the help of nonlinear finite element methods. The strain history is determined for constant-amplitude temperature cycling with linear loading and unloading, and with constant dwells at upper and lower ends of the cycle. Large-deformation continuum formulations are utilized in conjunction with a viscoplastic constitutive model for the solder creep-plasticity behavior. Relevant material properties are obtained from experimental data in the literature. The results show significant amounts of rachetting and shakedown in the solder joint. Detailed stress-strain histories are presented, illustrating the strain amplitude, mean strain and residual stresses and strains. For illustrative purposes, the hysteresis cycles are partitioned into elastic, plastic and creep components. Such partitioned histories are essential in order to implement either the Halford-Manson strain-range partitioning technique or the energy-based approach suggested here, for analyzing the creep-fatigue damage accumulation in solder material. This study also illustrates the role and utility of the finite element method in generating the detailed stress-strain histories necessary for implementing the energy partitioning approach for creep-fatigue damage evaluation. Solder life prediction is presented as a function of cyclic temperature range at a given mean temperature.

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