[V6-12v] [s-cars] Tin whiskers

Tom Christiansen tomchr at gmail.com
Fri Feb 22 19:42:13 PST 2008


Most parts sold these days are ROHS compatible, thus, contain no lead. It
wouldn't make sense to have one product line for automotive use that
contained lead and another product line for everything else that did not
contain lead. So manufacturers have been phasing out lead for a while now.
Yeah... like everything else you don't get something for nothing. So when
they phased out lead, an old friend -- tin whiskers -- came to visit.
Whether it's the removal of lead that causes the problem or if it's really a
product of miniaturization is unclear to me. I think one probably
exacerbates the other. In any case, if the car manufacturers buy components
from established manufacturers who have reasonable product qualification
tests in place (this include testing at elevated temperature, humidity,
operating voltage, etc as well as temperature cycling) for weeks it
shouldn't be much of a problem.

I certainly wouldn't shy away from getting a new car because it might
contain ROHS compatible components. In fact I bet the connectors and wires
will fail before tin whiskers became a problem.


On Fri, Feb 22, 2008 at 6:41 PM, Kent McLean <kentmclean at comcast.net> wrote:

> Mike Sylvester wrote:
> > Are they actually using no-lead solder in the automotive industry?
> I dunno. That's why we have this list, to discuss stuff like this. But
> lead is
> slowly being removed from products. Have you seen the plumbing in a new
> house
> lately?  Most of 'em don't have copper *or* lead.

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