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Print Performance Studies Compare Electroform and Laser-Cut Stencils

Photo Stencil, LLC, a leading full-service provider of high-performance stencils and tooling, announces that the research paper, Print Performance Studies Comparing Electroform and Laser-cut Stencils.

Written by Rachel Miller-Short and William E. Coleman Ph.D., of Photo Stencil, in collaboration with Joseph Perault, of Parmi, the paper presents the results of a study investigating and comparing print performance in terms of percent paste transfer as well as dispersion in paste transfer volume for a variety of electroform and laser-cut stencils with and without post processing treatments. Side wall quality was also investigated. The purpose was to determine which provides the best paste release results for small apertures while providing enough solder paste volume for normal-sized surface mount (SMT) components.

“There has been recent activity and interest in laser-cut electroform blank foils as an alternative to normal electroform stencils,” explained Rachel Miller-Short, VP sales and marketing, Photo Stencil. “As components get smaller, it is difficult to print solder paste to satisfy the requirements of both very small components, such as .4 and .3mm pitch CSPs, as well as normal SMT components. The large components require more solder paste volume for sufficient solder fillets after reflow; however, if the stencil normally used to print solder paste for SMT components is used for the small components, the apertures are so small that poor paste release may be encountered. The area ratio plays a large part in this dilemma. Our study details the performance of 12 stencils in 5 different categories.”

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