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The current study proposes a combined experimental and modeling approach to characterize the mechanical response of composite lead-free solders. The influence of the reinforcement volume fraction on the shear response of the solder material in the joint is assessed. A novel optimized geometry for single lap shear specimens is proposed. This design minimizes the effect of plastic strain localization, leading to a significant improvement of the quality of experimental data. The constitutive model of the solder material is numerically identified from the load-displacement response of the joint by using inverse finite element identification. Experimental results for a composite solder with 0.13 reinforcement volume fraction indicate that the presence of the reinforcement leads to a 23% increase of the ultimate stress and a 50% decrease of the ultimate strain. To interpret experimental data and predict the elastoplastic response of the composite solder for varying particle volume fraction, a three-dimensional (3D) homogenization model is employed. The agreement between experiments and homogenization results leads to the conclusion that the increase in the ultimate strength and the decrease in ductility are to be attributed to load sharing between matrix material and particles with the development of a significant triaxial stress state which restricts plastic flow in the matrix.