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Life of electronic components

Life of electronic components

(OP)
In my experience, it is generally accepted that electronic components do not have wear-out failures, so they are not life-limited. (Exceptions would be liquid tantalum capacitors, components with thermally fatigued solder joints, switches, and maybe a few others.) Does anyone know of a reference that states this?

RE: Life of electronic components

All chemistries of electrolytic capacitors are past their prime at five years.

That no longer matters, if you are building to RoHS compliance, because the 'solder' joints and the mechanical joints will all start to become 'opens' at three years or less.


Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Life of electronic components

(OP)
Thanks for the response! I have a couple questions:
- Does that include solid tantalum capacitors?
- What conditions are assumed for the 3 year solder life? My experience is with commercial aircraft environment (AIC and AUC by the MIL-217 standard), but I'm aware of solder joint fatigue being an issue for a helicopter environment (ARW). I know that's simplifying it a lot, but those environments imply certain levels of vibration and thermal cycling.
- By years, do you mean operating life, or calendar years regardless of duty cycle?

RE: Life of electronic components

Solid tantalums may be an exception, except for the connections to the rest of the system.

The 3 year life for everything RoHS is for a very small sample of stuff, belonging to me, and used exclusively in my air-conditioned concrete house, which doesn't shake very much at all.



Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Life of electronic components

The most accurate way that I have seen to predict the life of the parts is total energy of the environment. Meaning that it is not calendar or operating life. It is a function of operating hours and environmental levels. Or graphically put it is the area under the curve of environment verses time.

RE: Life of electronic components

That depends on what your definition of "electrical components" is. If you own a European car long enough, you would eventually disagree with the idea that electrical components do not have wear out failures!! lol. Throttle position sensors are a painfully expensive example. But I agree with the idea that non electromechanical electrical components don't wear themselves out if they are operating within their limits

"Formal education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed." ~ Joseph Stalin

RE: Life of electronic components

Wearout immunity only occurs in limited cases. For other cases, where operating temperature may be high, there may be wearout mechanisms such as electromigration, wherein the mass momentum of the electrons in circuit current causes the metal atoms in the aluminum interconnect on the chips to move and create voids.

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Of course I can. I can do anything. I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert!
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RE: Life of electronic components

yep, prime example is the coils in my car. Cylinder 1&6 misfire

"Formal education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed." ~ Joseph Stalin

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