IEEE Transactions on Components and Packaging Technology, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 901-908, December 2009

Solder Ball Attachment Assessment of Reballed Plastic Ball Grid Array Packages

Lei Nie, Student Member, IEEE
Michael Osterman,
Member, IEEE
Michael Pecht, Fellow, IEEE
Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE)
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742, USA

Fubin Song
Jeffery Lo,
S. W. Ricky Lee,
Fellow, IEEE
Electronic Packaging Laboratory,
Center for Advanced Microsystems Packaging,
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Hong Kong


The ban of lead in consumer-based electronics by many countries has resulted in a dramatic reduction in the availability of electronic components with tin–lead terminations. With the uncertainty associated with lead-free reliability and the issues associated with mixing lead-free solder with tin–lead solder, medical, defense, and aerospace equipment manufacturers are examining and in some cases implementing reprocessing practices to convert lead-free terminations to tin–lead. For area array packages, the practice is referred to as reballing. While reballing has been used for part reclamation, very little information is available on the reliability of reballed parts. This paper presents lead-free ball grid array (BGA) packages subjected to two ball removal and two ball reattachment techniques. Solder attach strength was used as a metric to examine the reballing process. Both the ball shear test and the cold bump pull (CBP) test were used to test solder strength. The impact of isothermal aging was also examined. The solder strength of reballed BGAs remained at the same level when different reballing methods were used and under different aging conditions. The lead-free non-reballed BGAs had higher solder strength and wider strength distribution than reballed tin–lead BGAs. The pull strength increased as the pull speed increased in the CBP test.

Index Terms: Ball grid array packages, ball shear, cold bump pull, lead-free, reballing, SnPb.

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