Icon representing the Questions and Answer Section of Engineering Center.

Q:

What is a typical failure mode for ceramic capacitors?

A:

The most common failure mode we see with ceramic capacitors is called “flex cracks.” A flex crack develops after the capacitor has been soldered to the board. When the PCB is flexed, the strain on the capacitor’s terminals causes a mechanical cracking.

When flex failures occur, we typically see them near a board edge, next to a screw hole, or next to a connector.

Flex cracks are not always immediate failures. It may take some time for each moisture to penetrate the crack and cause a failure. The capacitor may appear as either a short or partial open, and is not deterministic.

Added on:

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015