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Our company have been designing and manufacturing custom circuit boards for some 10 years now, and up till now by far the most common reason for board failure has been a mechanical shock - heavier SMD components (like inductors and such) has a tendency to simply break off the boards even with the slightest shock (like device being dropped even a mere feet from the ground).

How is this problem being handled in the mass manufactured equipment (especially devices used in vibration prone environments and vehicles)? I believe that hot-glueing every component in place is not a proper way to do this, right? Is there any epoxy coatings or something like that being done after board is soldered?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ One word: glue. \$\endgroup\$
    – winny
    Aug 3, 2020 at 8:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @winny Seriously? How it's calculated, what components requires to be glued in place, and what does not - by mass, or component height, or what? \$\endgroup\$
    – Artanis
    Aug 3, 2020 at 8:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Either from experience or do the vibration testing, check what falls off, glue those, retest, done. FEM analysis could work too. \$\endgroup\$
    – winny
    Aug 3, 2020 at 8:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ You are most welcome! For SMD specific components, there exist underfill and similar products if you can't do it with glue. \$\endgroup\$
    – winny
    Aug 3, 2020 at 8:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Take a look here: electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/236457/… \$\endgroup\$
    – winny
    Aug 3, 2020 at 8:18

1 Answer 1

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Thanks to user @winny - the term I was looking for is called "pcb underfill" - a special adhesive that can be dispersed under the SMD components to improve mechanical strength. For a larger components RVT silicone (room temperature vulcanization adhesive) is used to secure them to board.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Give me a moment an I'll write up an answer. :-) \$\endgroup\$
    – winny
    Aug 3, 2020 at 8:28

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