Quality and Reliability Engineering International

A general model for age acceleration during thermal cycling

Journal Article


Conventional practice in evaluating the effect of elevated temperature upon electronic devices in either accelerated testing or stress screening is the use of the Arrhenius reaction rate equation. This equation fails to represent several key aspects of the stress. A general model that includes the reaction rate effects during heating and cooling, the mechanical effects of heating and cooling, and non‐constant activation energies is provided here. The model is based upon a general representation of a thermal cycle.

Once the general model is constructed, it is shown to accommodate as special cases, acceleration when one or more of the features is assumed absent. An example illustrates this point. Then several uses for the model beyond the computation of the acceleration factor are discussed. It is suggested that the general model can be used to support test design and equipment selection decisions. The model therefore provides a more realistic portrayal of the effects of a thermal cycle and increased decision flexibility in defining thermal stress regimens.

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