Microsectioning or Metallographic is a destructive evaluation which is often necessary to evaluate quality of the laminate system, plating integrity of PWB, local thickness of metallic coatings and failure mechanism of assembled board related to PWB.
It is often necessary to check the quality of produced printed circuit boards(PCB’s), printed circuit board assemblies, parts and components before, during and after manufacture to identify and prevent potential failure points.
Aarush Laboratory offers cross-section testing service, also called microsection analysis, to help ensure the highest possible quality of your PCB’s, assemblies and components.
Microsectioning is often necessary to identify the exact failure mechanism and root cause. It usually consists of sawing, grinding, polishing, and staining the specimen until the plane of interest is ready for optical or electron microscopy. The conventional method of microsectioning requires the encapsulation of the specimen in plastic to give it stability, support, and protection.
Our cross-section tests are destructive tests, in which we cut out a small “test coupon” portion of the assembly in question and check multiple attributes to determine the product’s overall quality. This microsection analysis can be conducted at any point in the manufacturing process, including the prototyping stages. It can also be done after assembly, to test components for thermal stress and proper solder connections. In failure analysis cross-section testing, we check a number of factors to determine what caused the product to fail. Cross-section testing has a wide array of applications throughout the industry, and is the second most common test method for determining the overall quality of products during the manufacturing process.
Microsectioning is a powerful failure analysis technique when coupled with optical and/or scanning electron microscopy (SEM) as it allows the examination of a variety of failures which could not been seen without this destructive analysis. Some of the electronic assembly areas that can be investigated through microsectional analysis to find the open or short, voiding and raw material evaluations of PWB’s.
There are many reasons why you might want to see a cross section of a PWB, piece of material or an assembly: perhaps something has failed and you want to assess the failure mode or you want to check the internal structure of an item or you want to measure something such as a through-hole plating thickness. Whatever your goals, one way to do this is to microsection the sample.