Date Available


Year of Publication


Document Type





Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dusan P. Sekulic


The objective of this study is to understand the effect of surface roughness of the Cu substrate on the wetting of molten solder alloys. Eutectic Sn-Pb, pure Sn and eutectic Sn-Cu solder alloys and Cu substrates with different surface finish viz., highly polished surface, polished surface and unpolished surface were used in this work. Highly polished surface was prepared in Metallography lab, University of Kentucky while other two substrates were obtained from a vendor. Surface roughness properties of each substrate were measured using an optical profilometer. Highly polished surface was found to be of least surface roughness, while unpolished surface was the roughest. Hot-stage microscopy experiments were conducted to promote the wetting behavior of each solder on different Cu substrates. Still digital images extracted from the movies of spreading recorded during hot-stage experiments were analyzed and data was used to generate the plots of relative area of spread of solder versus time. The study of plots showed that surface roughness of the Cu substrate had major influence on spreading characteristics of eutectic Sn-Pb solder alloy. Solder showed better spreading on the Cu substrate with least surface roughness than the substrates with more roughness. No significant influence of surface roughness was observed on the wetting behavior of lead free solders (pure Sn and eutectic Sn-Cu).