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A numerical modelling method for the analysis of solder joint damage and crack propagation has been described in this paper. The method is based on the disturbed state concept. Under cyclic thermal-mechanical loading conditions, the level of damage that occurs in solder joints is assumed to be a simple monotonic scalar function of the accumulated equivalent plastic strain. The increase of damage leads to crack initiation and propagation. By tracking the evolution of the damage level in solder joints, crack propagation path and rate can be simulated using Finite Element Analysis method. The discussions are focused on issues in the implementation of the method. The technique of speeding up the simulation and the mesh dependency issues are analysed. As an example of the application of this method, crack propagation in solder joints of power electronics modules under cyclic thermal-mechanical loading conditions has been analyzed and the predicted cracked area size after 3000 loading cycles is consistent with experimental results.
Date of Conference: 28-31 July 2008