Materials Performance

MAY 2017

Materials Performance is the world's most widely circulated magazine dedicated to corrosion prevention and control. MP provides information about the latest corrosion control technologies and practical applications for every industry and environment.

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48 MAY 2017 MATERIALS PERFORMANCE NACE INTERNATIONAL: VOL. 56, NO. 5 MATERIALS SELECTION & DESIGN T This investigation used an analysis with the Auger electron spectroscopy technique to characterize the corro- sion found in a microelectronic com- ponent utilized to activate automo- bile airbags. During testing, the airbag was not deployed because of corrosion, and the causes were inves- tigated. The corrosion was promoted by variations in climatic factors such as relative humidity, temperature, and the presence of sulfur oxides inside the facilities of an automotive manu- facturing company in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. The microelectronic devices used in the automotive industry are very important, as is the case of the control unit that activates th e a i rb a g of a v e h i c l e w h e n tra f f i c accidents occur. The airbag system can fail to activate when these devices experience corrosion, and injuries to persons inside the vehicles are not minimized as intended. In this study, the corrosion of the control unit electronics of an airbag was related to their a ssembly in in do or fa ci liti e s w ith out env ironm ent al c ontro l s . Atm o sph eri c factors included relative humidity (RH) higher than 75% and temperatures above 30 °C, common in the summer and winter seasons in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. In addition, sulfur dioxide (SO 2 ) exceeded the levels of air quality standards (AQS), and nitrogen oxides (NO X ) and ozone (O 3 ) were near the upper limits of the AQS during the summer and winter months. Mexicali , lo cat ed in th e nor thwest of Mexico, is considered an arid zone and one of the most polluted cities in this country, principally due to air pollutants derived from sulfur. The main sulfur emission source (as hydrogen sulfide [H 2 S]) is from the geothermal-centric industry supported by the Cerro Prieto volcano, which supplies electricity to the Mexicali city and valley and some cities in the southwest United States. H 2 S is a corrosive and toxic pollut- ant. Other emission sources are from vehic- ul ar traf f ic and industri e s lo cat ed in Mexicali, which include ~20 automotive plants. The NO X is emitted from the thermo- electrical industry plant and the vehicles, and the O 3 is formed by reactions of these pollutants with the air. Automobile Electronic Systems The use of electronic devices and equip- ment in automobiles has increased during the last 30 years because the reduced size of these components facilitates their inclu- sion in cars that are smaller and more fuel- efficient. These electronic systems must meet ver y specific operational require- ments for proper operation. In Baja Califor- nia , there is approximately one car for every five inhabitants (~500,000 automo- biles). In this area of Mexico, corrosion occurs very rapidly and affects the opera- tion of motor vehicle electronic systems. Climatic Factors In arid areas such as Mexicali, moisture content in indoor environments of automo- tive manufacturing facilities modifies the Corrosion Analysis in Automotive Electronics Gustavo López Badi LL a, Uiversidad Politécnica de Baja California, Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico Juan Manue L t errazas Gaynor, CETYS Universidad, Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico

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