Micro-Measurements, a Vishay Precision Group (VPG) brand, recently launched three new small-scale strain gages designed to meet the growing demand for precise, stable, and reliable stress analysis of PCBs, even in harsh environments. The C2A-06-G1350-120 rectangular rosette gage and C2A-06-015LW-120 uniaxial linear gage are designed to detect PCB surface strains at critical locations in consumer electronics.
The miniaturization of consumer electronics — and consequent increase in component density — results in larger thermal stresses, new requirements for surviving repeated loadings, and a greater need for impact stress survival. Meeting these specifications requires accurate knowledge of strains in the PCB and on-board components. Strain gage measurement is the quickest, most accurate, and most cost-effective method for identifying strains on a PCB, and it can be used in developing loading fixtures and test plans to optimize the testing phase.
The C2A-06-G1350-120 is a stacked rosette gage with a compact 5 mm diameter matrix and 3 meters of three-conductor cable to eliminate lead wire soldering after bonding. Micro-Measurements' Advanced Sensors strain gage technology makes even smaller planar rosettes possible for use in surface mounting applications with restricted areas, as well as for intra-laminar strain measurement. The uniaxial linear C2A-06-015LW-120 is supplied with pre-attached cables and features an active grid length of just 0.015 in and an overall matrix of 1.4 mm by 1.9 mm. The device is ideal for installation on surface-mount components.
"Cracks in the PCB and even across components, particularly around BGAs, can be induced by in-circuit test fixtures and during assembly, burn-in and testing, system integration, and packaging and shipping," said Bob Watson, Micro-Measurements director of research and development.
"Strain measurements should be made after all design iterations of the PCB, including changes to on-board components, which may alter thermal stress loading. Combined with Micro-Measurements instrumentation and StrainSmart software, our strain gages and accessories for PCB testing are IPC/JEDEC-9704-compliant and provide real-time data acquisition of board and component strains. This is especially useful when introducing new solder materials and processes, which may have a different stiffness and introduce a different soldering thermal profile."