To avoid damage from micro cracks and delaminating during the processing of electronic components, it is necessary to provide appropriate storage. The introduction of lead-free soldering and the higher processing temperatures involved can triple the saturated vapor pressure within components (up to 30 bars).  The same component that could safely be processed before lead free becomes a moisture sensitive device with limited floor life.  The difference is often 2 sensitivity levels higher classification (MSL) and shorter allowable exposure time.

Manufacturers deliver these sensitive components in effective protective packaging to avoid absorption of humidity during transport and storage. After opening the package the time begins during which the components absorb humidity. Depending upon ambient humidity and temperature, the components can be safely used only within a limited time period. This time period is classified by the IPC/JEDEC J-Std 033C. Continue Reading ->