Open Mode and the“1210 Rule” (2): How can an Open Mode capacitor reduce a short risk by board flexure?
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A. Bending a PCB board after solder will transfer stress to the populated components. If the stress exceeds the breaking strength of the ceramic capacitor a crack will occur. Furthermore, if the stress is large enough a displacement in the component may occur which could result in a shorted part as an electrode contacts a counter electrode (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

The active area utilized in MLCC is reduced due to the shortened electrode layers which prevent the counter electrode from being in proximity of the potential crack. In the event of a crack the propagation will not cross a counter electrode, thus minimizing the likelihood of a short. Of course this reduction in active area compromises the capacitance available.

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