Making Sense of Technical Data Sheets

With the advent of the web engineers and scientists at different companies often make use of the vast knowledge available “out there” to look up and research materials. This can be a great first step in narrowing down a search in order to produce a small subset of materials to choose from, as long as the search is done with some up front knowledge. When comparing data sheets from different vendors it is important to compare the test methods as well. For example viscosity measured using different methods can give different results. If possible, try to match up test methods, speak to the vendors and see if they have data on their materials with the other methods – to make it easier to compare. Finally, even after comparing data sheets it is critical to test materials in your application. Technical data sheets should be used as guidelines as way to down select from a range of materials in order to develop a smaller subset of materials for actual physical testing.

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About Brian

Brian J. Toleno, Ph.D. is the Application Engineering Team Leader with Henkel in Irvine, California. He holds a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Penn State University and a B.S. in chemistry from Ursinus College. Prior to joining Henkel, Toleno managed the failure analysis laboratory at the Electronics Manufacturing Productivity Facility (EMPF). He is an active member of SMTA, served as the Program Chair for the 2005 IEMT and is active within the IPC, serving as the underfill handbook committee (J-STD-030) chairperson and co-chair of the Solder Paste Standards Committee (J-STD-005). Toleno has written a course on failure analysis for SMTA, has authored numerous publications for trade journals and peer reviewed publications, and written two chapters for electronic engineering handbooks on adhesives and materials.