Flux has the role of removing any dirt on the solder surface, preventing the oxidation of the base metal and improving solderability on the metal surface. An epoxy-based soldering flux is used to solder a flip-chip IC device to a metallic bond site on a substrate material. Epoxy resin has recently been attracting attention as a way to deal with these issues. Flux that uses epoxy resin can maintain its strength thanks to the flux residue, which improves the adhesion of the solder joints, contributing to improved insulation.
The most common reasons someone would use Epoxy Flux in their manufacturing process is that they are looking to reduce cost and increase reliability. Epoxy Flux can provide higher drop testing reliability than a solder joint without a polymer addition. Many people are looking to eliminate their underfill process because of the cost of this material and the additional processing steps involved. The additional processes take extra manufacturing time, and the extra equipment needed requires further expenses, including the initial cost of equipment, operational costs, and maintenance. Epoxy Flux can eliminate the extra manufacturing costs by eliminating the extra processes. There is no need for extra equipment because the pick-and-place equipment typically has dipping units built in for PoP assembly. Dispensing or Jetting equipment can also be used. The epoxy flux is applied before the board is reflowed and cures during the reflow process. Although Epoxy Flux will provide higher drop test reliability than a conventional epoxy flux, the reliability is not as great as an Underfill. Therefore, if you use the Epoxy Flux materials, you will want to determine if the drop test reliability is great enough for your application and product. Epoxy Flux can also be used to mitigate dendritic growth concerns under low standoff components such as TMV PoP packages. Conventional PoP Flux may have trouble outgassing properly if the standoff or gap between the components is too small and this could cause an electrical reliability concern. Epoxy Flux has a hard post reflow residue that can protect against dendritic growth between the component bumps and cause shorts. The hard post reflow residue can also aid in compatibility with other post reflow processes like underfilling where no-clean flux residues may be soft and incompatible with these other polymer materials. Typically, Epoxy Flux is used in similar applications that underfills are used in. These include, but are not limited to, BGA, CSP, and other bumped component assemblies because these are the most susceptible to drop shock failures.
However, due to the technology barrier as well as other issues, the market of Chip Epoxy Flux is quite small. Global Chip Epoxy Flux market was only valued at US$ 18.36 million in 2021 and will reach US$ 28.09 million by the end of 2028, growing at a CAGR of 6.25% during 2022-2028. As for participants, there are only a few key players engaged in the highly concentrated industry, including MacDermid, SENJU METAL INDUSTRY, Henkel, Indium Corporation, Yincae, Hojeonable. The above mentioned companies can meet nearly 90% demand globally.
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