Press Fit Paper Published at APEX 2017


More and more people and things are using electronic devices to communicate. Subsequently, many electronic products, in particular mobile base stations and core network nodes, need to handle enormous amounts of data per second. One important link in this communication chain is high speed press fit connectors that are often used to connect mother boards and back planes in core network nodes.

These new high speed press fit connectors have several hundreds of thin, short and weak pins that are prone to damage. Small variations in via hole dimensions or hole plating thickness affect the connections; if the holes are too small, the pins may be bent or permanently deformed and if the holes are too large they will not form gas tight connections.

An example of deformed high speed connector press fit pins inserted in plated holes of different sizes is given in Figure 1.

Figure 1 – 3D CT x-ray image of deformed high speed press fit connection pins1.

The goal of this project was to understand how rework of these new high speed press fit connectors affects connection strengths, hole wall deformations and plating cracks.