Microstructure-based modeling of the ageing effect on the deformation behavior of the eutectic micro-constituent in SnAgCu lead-free solder
The eutectic micro-constituent in SnAgCu solder governs the deformation behavior of the joint as it shows better deformation resistance than the Sn dendrites and occupies a high volume percentage of the whole solder. The main scope of this study is to develop a three-dimensional (3-D) homogenization model taking into account the microstructural evolution in the eutectic micro-constituent of SnAgCu solder in order to simulate the change in mechanical behavior of the joint caused by isothermal ageing. For this purpose, 3-D configurations of Ag3Sn and Cu6Sn5 intermetallic compounds (IMCs) in near-eutectic SnAgCu solder are visualized in the as-soldered condition and after ageing by focused ion beam/scanning electron microscopy tomography. The tomographic images are used to generate feature-preserving finite element meshes of the actual microstructures. The representative volume element size and constitutive behavior of the eutectic mixture in the two conditions are determined by a numerical homogenization procedure. The results show a considerable reduction in the yield stress level of the eutectic micro-constituent after ageing of the solder joint. It is shown that the increase in the interparticle spacing and decrease in the aspect ratio of IMCs due to ageing cause a significant change in the strain distribution in the tin matrix, which leads to a lower contribution of IMCs in load-sharing and yield strength of aged solder. The elastic plastic properties of as-soldered and aged eutectic mixtures are determined by nanoindentation. The results of homogenization are validated through comparison with experimental results and prediction of the dislocation detachment theory. (C) 2012 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.