Air Products to Supply Nitrogen to Nokia for Lead-free Solder Processes

(December 29, 2008) LEHIGH VALLEY, PA &#151Air Products will supply nitrogen to Nokia’s Beijing and Dongguan plants in China for use in the company’s lead-free electronics assembly and packaging process. Nokia has recently converted to a lead-free solder assembly process that requires nitgrogen for reflow-soldering. Lead-free soldering is part of the movement to be RoHS compliant. Air Products has reportedly completed several research programs and conducted production trials over the past five years.

Nitrogen processing atmospheres are said to have an important role in reducing incidents of manufacturing defects&#151such as poor wetting to small footprint packages as seen in BGAs and chip scale packages (CSP)&#151that lead to open joints and failures that may occur if reflow is conducted in ambient air. With the use of a nitrogen atmosphere, solder wetting is improved, and the reflow process window is increased, according to a press release from Air Products.

Saw Choon Seong, general manager of China Merchant Gases, Air Products, said the company had been working closely with Nokia during the conversion to produce higher quality products with better environmental performance.”These two contracts are significant for us. They demonstrate our technological capabilities to help customers in meeting their increasing requirements,” he said.

“China is one of Nokia’s biggest markets and an important technical, as well as manufacturing, base. When we were transforming to the lead-free solder process, we had high requirements from and expectations of our supplier. Air Products has shown its technological know-how and commitment during the whole process,” said Xie Jiwei, Process Engineering Manager of Nokia Beijing, China.


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