The Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE) at the University of Maryland and Department of Materials Research at Loughborough, has announced the final call for papers for its
6th International Symposium on Tin Whiskers, set to take place Nov. 27-28, 2012, at Ford College, Loughborough University Leicestershire, UK LE11 3TU.


Tin whiskers1 present a unique challenge to the electronics industry. There have been numbers of electronics failures in the market caused by tin whiskers since 1940s. After 2000, as a result of the global transition to lead-free electronics, the majority of the electronic component manufacturers are now using pure tin or tin-rich alloys for terminal and lead finishes. The increased use of tin based lead-free finishes and materials, focused concern and research on tin whiskers particular for long life and mission critical applications, such as space, aviation, and implantable medical devices.

The listing of proceeding of prior International Symposia on Tin Whiskers is available online. 

Presentations submitted for this year’s symposium may cover case histories, theories of tin whisker growth, experiments and results, risk evaluation methods and risk mitigation strategies. Important note: Free admission will be provided to symposium presenters.

Key dates to remember:

  • Presentation Abstracts due by August 12, 2012
  • Acceptance by September 7, 2012
  • Presentations due November 2, 2012

For more information, please contact: 

Dr. Michael Osterman, CALCE, University of Maryland, at
Dr Geoffrey D. Wilcox, Department of Materials, Loughborough University, at


  1. A tin whisker is a conductive tin crystal, which can spontaneously grow from tin-based, lead-free finished surfaces even at room temperature, often in a needle-like form. Oxidation in humid atmosphere, corrosion, intermetallic formation, stress under thermal cycling, external pressure in fine pitch connectors and electromigration have been shown to promote whisker formation. However, acceleration models for whisker growth are very limited or not existent.