Original Date: 11/01/2004
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Assessment of Electronic Connector Reliability
The Center for Advanced Life-Cycle Engineering developed a systematic methodology for identifying potential failure mechanisms in separable electronic connectors using a physics-of-failure approach. The methodology can be used to predict the reliability of existing connectors, and assist in the design of more reliable connectors for existing applications.
Most manufacturers conduct standard benchmarking tests, which do not address specific failure mechanisms, nor do they usually test to failure. This lack of failure information makes it difficult to capture failures prior to the product being introduced to the field. There is little, if any, correlation of test data to the field application, which prevents an accurate prediction of field reliability.
The Center for Advanced Life-Cycle Engineering (CALCE) has developed a systematic methodology for identifying potential failure mechanisms in separable electronic connectors using a physics-of-failure (PoF) approach. The process includes the following steps: Specify functions and requirements of specific applications
Identify life-cycle environmental loads and stresses
Characterize “critical” material and design properties including electrical, mechanical, and thermal properties
Identify potential failure modes and mechanisms and stress-damage models based on application functions and requirements, environmental loads, and the materials of the connector
Identify failure criteria based on failure mechanisms and specific applications
Develop reliability test plans to address identified potential failure mechanisms
Conduct failure analysis to verify failure mode, site, and mechanisms
Perform lifetime assessment based on failure data, criteria, mechanisms, and life-cycle environment
The CALCE methodology allows for correlation of test data to field applications for predictions of reliability in the field. The methodology can also be used to assist in the design of more reliable connectors for existing applications.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.