• Assembly of miniaturized PCBs by using low cost hyper-fine solder powders

    The total EU electronics industry employs ≈20.5 million people, sales exceeding €1 trillion and includes 396,000 SMEs. It is a major contributor to EU GDP and its size continues to grow fueled by demand from consumers to many industries. Despite its many positive impacts, the industry also faces some challenges connected with the enormous quantity of raw materials that it needs for sustainability, the huge quantity of Waste Electrical, Electronics Equipment generated and the threat of competition from Asia. To sustain its growth, to manage the impact of WEEE and to face the competition from Asia, the industry needs innovations in key areas. One such area is the drive for ultra-miniaturisation/ultlra-functionality of equipment. The key current road block/limitation to achieving the goal of ultra-miniaturisation/functionality is how to increase the component density on the printed circuit board. This is currently limited by the availability of hyper fine pitch solder powder pastes. FineSol aims to deliver at first stage an integrated production line for solder particles with size 1-10 μm and to formulate solder pastes containing these particles. Thus, by proper printing methods (e.g. screen and jet printing) the fabrication of PCBs with more than double component density will be achieved. Consequently, this would effectively enable more than a doubling of the functions available on electronic devices such as cell phones, satellite navigation systems, health devices etc. The successful completion of the FineSol project would lift the ultra-miniaturisation/functionality road block and also enable reduction in raw material usage, reduction in WEEE, reduction in pollution and associated health costs and also a major reduction in EU energy demand with all its indirect benefits for environment and society.

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