Sample destruction no longer obstruction for CircuitWorks Australia

July 2017

Non-destructive analysis of miniaturized electronic components has connected South Australian manufacturer, CircuitWorks Australia, with X-ray tomography available at ANFF - SA.

A global distributor of high quality and reliable electrical components, CircuitWorks Australia director, Bevan Illman, made contact with ANFF – SA seeking to inspect without destroying the internal circuitry of a micro-sized printed wire assembly (PWA).

Microelectronic components can be as small as a speck of dust with intricate details embedded so Bevan was unable to simply “take a look under the hood” of the PWA.

Through his intimate knowledge in the design and manufacturing processes of these miniaturised devices Bevan knew he required a specialised X-ray machine and an experienced tomographer.

Using ANFF-SA’s state-of- the-art high resolution 3D Micro-XCT equipment, a thorough investigation and analysis of the PWA was undertaken, without the need to perform a destructive cross-section analysis.

The resulting 3D images of the PWA revealed unique and valuable ‘inside information’ to Bevan and his manufacturing team.

“The 3D x-rays provided by ANFF-SA proved an extremely reliable method to perform a detailed evaluation of the PWAs,” confirmed Bevan.

“Based on ANFF-SA’s comprehensive reports and imaging, our client began extensive electrical simulation and testing of the PWA,” said Bevan. “As a result, our client modified the printed circuit board in the PWA and manufacturing proceeded. Everyone is happy!”

ANFF-SA Director, Dr Craig Priest is pleased to see a well-respected local manufacturer benefit from ANFF-SA’s unique capabilities.

“Our 3D Micro-XCT offers high resolution imaging of microstructures inside tiny components.” said Dr Priest. “This is one of many ways that ANFF-SA is supporting advanced manufacturing innovation in Australia.”

With no sample preparation, the ANFF-SA Micro-XCT equipment enables high-resolution imaging of samples including biological networks, porous geological cores for petroleum industry, and semiconductor packages down to submicron levels.

In many cases, it is possible to draw a conclusion based on 3D X-ray micrographs without the need of destructive physical cross sectioning.