Assessing the impact of six solder mask options on under-component cleanliness.

Why consider solder mask selection as a factor that can affect cleaning process effectiveness? The solder mask impacts the component standoff height. Of the three options – solder-mask defined (SMD), non-solder-mask defined (NSMD), or no solder mask (NoSM) – NoSM can increase the standoff height, which may enhance the cleaning process. Standoff height will vary depending on board design and component selection, so it is difficult to quantify standoff height for each solder mask selection and specific component. Reference TABLE 1 for average standoff heights for specific component groups.1

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