IPC-1601, Printed Board Handling and Storage Guidelines, from IPC - Association Connecting Electronics Industries, was released as the only standard covering handling, packaging, and storage of printed boards. The standard provides users with guidance on how to protect printed boards from contamination, physical damage, solderability degradation, electrostatic discharge, and moisture uptake. The document covers all phases of production, through delivery, receiving, stocking, and soldering.
The document provides guidance on establishing recommended moisture levels and baking profiles for moisture removal, and covers the impact of baking on printed board solderability.
Moisture absorbed in printed board laminates expands at soldering temperatures, and in some cases the resulting vapor pressure can cause internal delamination or excessive strain on plated-hole walls and other structures. This is especially challenging with the higher temperatures used for lead-free soldering. The costs associated with having too much moisture in a board can be significant. System manufacturers note that if moisture causes problems and ruins boards after parts have been installed, failures can have major repercussions.
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