Strain Gage Installation Checklist: Printed Circuit Assemblies

Our new PCA/PCB checklist helps to ensure consistency and completeness in carrying out a strain measurement task.

As stress analysts we have repetitive tasks to complete in the lab, field or on the production floor. Often we find that if we don't have any guidance, we may forget certain steps in a process. Sometimes even with simple steps involved we can get distracted by our smartphone or background noise and forget one or more of the required procedures, picking the right gage construction, or installation accessories to survive the environment and collect good strain data.

Advances in printed circuit assembly design and manufacturing, plus the requirement for lead-free solder, have resulted in a need to test PCAs to determine if the design can withstand the rigor of manufacturing, packaging, transporting, and day-to-day use of electronic devices. The electronics industry has produced standards, such as IPC/JEDEC 9704 and IPC/JEDEC 9702, which describe the methods in which strain gages are used for printed circuit assembly testing.

A simple tool that helps to prevent these mistakes is the checklist from Micro-Measurements.

Our new checklist is simply a standardized list of 8 required steps developed for a repetitive strain measurement task on a PCB. 

Step 1: Define the Test Conditions.

Step 2: Ensure Appropriate Surface Preparation Materials Are On Hand.

Step 3: Select the Strain Sensor.

Step 4: Select the Adhesive.

Step 5: Select a Protective Coating.

Step 8: Select the Measurement Instrumentation.

Strain Gage Installation Checklist:

Strain Sensor Reference Guide:

More relevant articles:

PCB testing by Jim Johnson:

Small-scale strain sensors designed for PCB reliability testing by Jim Weidner:

Installation of a miniature uniaxial strain gage on a printed circuit board.

Strain measurement on printed circuit boards – demo video

yhernik's picture

Yuval Hernik

StrainBlog Editor in Chief