The Moisture Sensitivity Level (MSL) indicates the time period in which a moisture-sensitive device can be exposed to ambient room MSL is an electronic standard related to the packaging and handling precautions defined in J-STD-020.
Electronic devices (SMD) like QFP, BGA, TSSOP, SOP, Etc. encapsulated with plastic compounds & other organic materials which absorbs moisture from atmospheric Humidity.
SMT components, the entire assembly is placed into reflow ovens where the temperature is raised close to the solder’s melting (210° to 250°C) point and then spiked up to liquefy the solder and create the connections between SMT component leads and the PCB.
In the entire PCB reflow soldering process absorbed moisture is quickly turned into superheated steam causes dramatic cracking or damaging of the package. Most of this damage is not visible on the component surface.
Moisture Sensitivity Level chart
As IPC/ JEDEC’s standard moisture sensitivity level (MSL) can be defined in the below table. Expect that Moisture Sensitivity Level chart 6 – Mandatory to Bake before use.
Moisture Sensitivity level Bake time consideration
Moisture sensitivity level bake time that has been exposed only to production ambient conditions of 60% RH for any length of time may be adequately dried by high or low-temperature baking according to Table in next slide for re-bake prior to reflow.
Upon opening the Moisture Barrier Bag, the floor lifetime starts. If an MBB is opened and the components will not be used within the specified floor life the following table will be used for baking.
General Considerations for Baking
Floor Live:- The allowable time period after removal from a moisture barrier bag, dry storage, or dry bake and before the solder reflow process.
Humidity Indicator Card (HIC):- A card on which a moisture-sensitive chemical is applied such that it will make a Significant, perceptible change in color (hue), typically from blue (dry) to pink (wet) when the indicated relative humidity is exceeded.
Desiccant:-An absorbent material used to maintain a low relative humidity (less than 10% at 25°C) in moisture barrier bags for dry-packing moisture-sensitive devices. Desiccant may be a silica gel or other absorbent material packed in dustless pouches.
Moisture Barrier Bag (MBB):- A bag designed to limit the transmission of water vapor and used to pack moisture-sensitive devices.
Shelf Life:-The minimum time that a dry-packed moisture-sensitive device can be stored in an unopened Moisture barrier bag (MBB) such that the specified interior bag ambient humidity is not exceeded.
The shelf life for dry-packed moisture sensitivity level (MSL) SMD packages shall be a minimum of 12 months from the bag packed date, when stored in a noncondensing atmospheric environment of <40°C/90% RH.
Dry Pack:- It consists of desiccant material and a humidity indicator card (HIC) sealed with the components inside a moisture barrier bag (MBB).
As a result, efficient moisture sensitivity level (MSL) control has become important for EMS companies, particularly those working with high-reliability products.
Furthermore, markets such as medical, automotive, aerospace and defense, require high mix/low volume assembly lines. In such environments, the total exposure time of MSDs increases significantly due to the cumulative effect of multiple machine feeder set-ups and product changeover.
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