Technical Articles

What is IEC 60068-21 Ed.4:2018?

IEC 60068-21 Ed.4:2018, also known as the "Environmental Testing - Part 21: Test methods for solderability and resistance to soldering heat of devices with leads," is an international standard developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). This standard provides guidelines and procedures for testing the solderability and resistance to soldering heat of electronic devices with leads.

Importance of Solderability and Resistance to Soldering Heat

Solderability is a critical factor in ensuring reliable and robust connections between electronic components and printed circuit boards (PCBs). It determines the ability of solder to adhere effectively to the component leads and the PCB pads during manufacturing processes. Poor solderability can lead to weak joints, unreliable connections, and premature failures of electronic devices.

Resistance to soldering heat, on the other hand, evaluates the ability of electronic devices to withstand high temperatures during soldering processes without suffering from damage or functional degradation. Heat generated during soldering can potentially impact the performance and reliability of the components, making it essential to ensure their ability to withstand such thermal stress.

Test Methods and Procedures

The IEC 60068-21 Ed.4:2018 standard outlines various test methods and procedures to evaluate the solderability and resistance to soldering heat of devices with leads. These include:

- Wetting balance test method: This method measures the ability of solder to wet the surface of leads and PCB pads. It evaluates parameters such as contact angle, speed of wetting, and solder spreading characteristics.

- Resistance to soldering heat test method: This method assesses the capability of electronic devices to endure exposure to high temperatures during soldering processes. It examines the device's functionality, electrical performance, and physical integrity before and after the heat exposure.

- Thermal cycling test method: This method subjects the devices to repeated temperature cycling between specified limits to simulate real-world conditions. It evaluates the reliability of solder joints and the resistance of devices to thermal stress caused by environmental changes or operational conditions.

Compliance and Benefits

Adhering to the IEC 60068-21 Ed.4:2018 standard provides manufacturers and designers with a reliable framework for evaluating the solderability and resistance to soldering heat of devices with leads. Compliance with this standard ensures the production of high-quality electronic components that can withstand the rigors of manufacturing processes and exhibit superior performance and reliability in various environmental conditions.

By following the recommended test methods and procedures, manufacturers can identify potential issues related to solderability and resistance to soldering heat early in the product development phase. This proactive approach helps prevent costly production delays, rework, and customer dissatisfaction resulting from component failures.

In conclusion, the IEC 60068-21 Ed.4:2018 standard plays a vital role in the electronics industry by establishing guidelines for assessing solderability and resistance to soldering heat. Its implementation enables manufacturers to produce reliable and robust electronic devices with leads that meet the demands of modern technological advancements.



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