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Pin holes or blow holes are the same thing and caused by the printed board outgassing during soldering. Pin and blow hole formation during wave soldering is normally always associated with thickness of copper plating. Moisture in the board escapes through either thin copper plating or voids in the plating. The plating in the through hole should be a minimum of 25um to stop the moisture in the board turning to water vapor and gassing through the copper wall during wave soldering.
The term pin or blow hole are normally used to indicate the size of the hole, pin being small. The size is solely dependent on the volume of water vapor escaping and the point the solder solidifies.
Figure 1: Blow Hole
The only way to eliminate the problem is improve the board quality with a minimum of 25um of copper plating in the through hole. Baking is often used to eliminate the gassing problems by drying out the board. Baking the board takes the water out of the board, but it does not solve the root cause of the problem.
Figure 2: Pin Hole
The test is used to evaluate printed circuit boards with plated through holes for outgassing. It indicates the incidence of thin plating or voids present in through hole connections. It may be used at goods receipt, during production or on final assemblies to determine the cause of voids in solder fillets. Provided that care is taken during testing the boards may be used in production after test without any detriment to the visual appearance or the reliability of the final product.
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