OrmeSTAR Ultra is a new surface finish which has recently been introduced into the market. I read about this finish in a press release published at www.pcb007.com I am currently managing the installation and qualification of the chemical process at Electropac Co., Inc. located in Manchester NH USA. Their URL is www.electropac.com This shall be the first installation in the United States in a production environment. Ultra is classified as an Organic Metal-based Nanofinish and can be considered a Green process. More information is available from the manufacturer of OrmeSTAR Ultra at www.enthone.com The OrmeSTAR Ultra fact sheet can be downloaded from Enthone or through the link below…
I have had process coupons coated in a laboratory environment and have done some solderability tests. Properly stored coupons soldered very well. The improperly stored coupon that sat on a shelf in my lab for a few months soldered just as well. My process line shall be operational in early October of 2009. Once installed and running I’ll be able to expand my tests and include my customers. The real test shall be when different types of printed circuit boards are assembled through different assembly environments.
Ultra seems to have all of the benefits needed by designers and assemblers with none of the negatives. It coats as quick and easy as an OSP but has all of the durability of a metallic finish. The finish provides a wire bond-able surface. If you look at the fact sheet you’ll notice that when tested the wire fails along the wire itself and not at the bonding site. Ultra can be used as a replacement for hard gold or carbon ink in touch pad applications. Ultra requires less time to solder to which is critical for assemblers that are concerned with copper management. Ultra looks like the real deal. Designers and manufacturers need to pay attention to this finish.