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Lead Free Long Travel Probes

21 January 2015 - Everett Charles Technologies (ECT) extended the probe offerings (LFRE probes) for lead free PCB in-circuit and functional test applications to include long-travel probes (LFLT probes). ECT LFLT probes have almost twice the compliance as standard length probes. The new long-travel probes meet the need for reliable contact solutions for lead free dual-stage in-circuit test fixtures.

Long-travel probes are coated with ECT’s proprietary hard plating alloy called LFRE. LFRE plating has a hardness of about 600 Knoop which is approximately 5 times harder than Gold plating. In addition to improved tip wear, LFRE plated probes are less prone to solder transfer.

ECT now offers the proprietary hard plating on long-travel probes often used in dual stage fixture applications. The new LFLT probe line is offered in three pitches 50, 75 and 100mil (1.27, 1.91 and 2.56mm) and a variety of tip styles.

LFLT probes combine ECT’s knowledge in materials and platings with probe fabrication knowhow along with advanced probe design capabilities such as ECT’s proven PogoPlus® bias-ball design and double roll-close process. LFLT probes leverage this expertise to achieve a sustainable and reliable contact to a variety of PCB targets.

Tony DeRosa, Product Manager explains: “Lead free solder typically has a harder and stickier solder flux and oxide layer. This thicker layer of resin and oxide is more difficult to penetrate and increases wear on the pogo pin. Lead free solder resin and oxides can also increase debris transfer to spring probes. ECT’s LFRE plated probes have demonstrated the ability to penetrate the hard resin and oxide layer without premature wear and solder accumulation. LFRE plating is the best solution to contact to RoHS compliant board as well as OSP (Organic Solder Paste) boards.”

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