Data Clean Corporation Offers Test Kit to Aid in the Identification of Tin Whiskers

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A self-administered Tin Whisker Test Kit helps determine if Tin Whiskers are present.

Data Clean Corporation now offers a self-administered Tin Whisker test kit to help identify the presence of Tin Whiskers. The Tin Whisker test kit is a natural extension of product offerings from Data Clean, a known specialist in Zinc Whisker identification and remediation.

Tin Whiskers and Zinc Whiskers are tiny metallic crystalline growths believed caused by stress at the molecular level. Phenomena within the Tin or Zinc plating on many common metal components causes the molecules to align in such a way to produce tiny growths, or whiskers, on the surface. These fuzz-like pure metal growths can easily break off, become airborne, and enter sensitive electronic systems such as computers, servers, and telephone systems.

The metallic whiskers can cause electronic failures. From fighter jets to missiles and nuclear plants to commercial satellites, reports of malfunctioning electronics caused by Tin Whiskers are well-publicized.

Tin is a good conductor of electricity and is commonly used to plate the leads of electronic components and wires. If whiskers come to rest on exposed tin plated circuitry, short circuits and failures are likely. "Inside a Data Center, a commonly reported symptom of whisker contamination [Zinc Whiskers] is a high incidence of power supply failure", reports Rich Hill, President of Data Clean Corporation.

Although the exact cause of whisker growth remains a mystery, there are various metallurgical methods used to attenuate growth. The electronics industry has historically used a mixture of tin and lead to plate electronic leads to make the leads more solderable and to prevent Tin Whisker growth. Recent lead-free initiatives (RoHS) in the European market and the subsequent return to pure tin plating in electronics are leaving many with questions as to whether their products are growing whiskers.

Data Clean's Tin Whisker test kit includes a labeled sample container(s), instructions for collecting a sample, a record sheet, and analysis of each sample. After a sample is collected by the customer, it is sent to the laboratory for professional analysis.

The analysis utilizes Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive Radiation to review both the geometry and elemental makeup of the sample. The analysis is able to distinguish between simple tin particles, common to almost all tin plated materials, and the dangerous tin whiskers.

Data Clean Corporation cautions users. The test is intended to confirm the presence of Tin Whiskers at the time and location the sample is collected. Whiskers could be growing on other components, not tested. And an object that shows no signs of Tin Whiskers could grow whiskers later.

About Data Clean Corporation

Data Clean Corporation, a leader in controlled environment cleaning and maintenance services, helps administrators of data centers, cleanrooms, environmental test chambers, laboratories, and computer rooms avoid the high cost of contamination.

In addition to Zinc and Tin Whisker testing, Data Clean takes a holistic approach to controlled environments by offering specialized cleaning services, cooling analysis/hot spot remediation, access floor repairs, contamination source identification, and related product offerings.

Headquartered in Des Plaines, Illinois, Data Clean Corporation is a global company with sales offices in the US, Canada, Asia, and Europe.

For more information visit http://www.dataclean.com or call (800) 328-2256.

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Margaret Strevell
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