Flex Crack Countermeasures (7): How can I help prevent flex cracking?
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A. The best way to prevent cracks is to ensure the board is not subjected to unnecessary external forces. Installing board stiffeners or supports can help prevent a board from bending. Board flexure during manufacturing can often be overlooked. Examining the manufacturing process can lead to finding ways reduce the stresses induced on the boards.

Additionally, part placement on the boards plays a large role in the amount of stress induced on the part during a bend. Placing parts farther away from depaneling planes and screw mounts can help prevent exposing MLCCs to unnecessary stress during manufacturing. Parts placed parallel to the depaneling planes will experience less stress (Figure 1).

Excess solder can lead to increased stress on MLCCs during bending. Care should be taken to use the soldering specifications provided by the manufacturer.

Figure 1: A diagram demonstrating that the stress on the capacitor during depaneling is greatest to least in the following order A > B = C > D > E.

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