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Solder mask solvent?
Solder mask solvent?
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Old 3rd March 2013, 02:26 AM   #1
AudioLapDance is offline AudioLapDance  Canada
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Default Solder mask solvent?

Took me a while to even figure out what question to ask! I was seaching for 'pcb paint remover' ...

You know how you always want to tap into a trace at halfway or get at the ground plane so you can solder a SM bypass cap to a digital part's legs ...

Well the mechanical method seems so ... mechanical! That scratching or grinding must be creating a mountain range at the microscopic level ...

Surely there's a better way! Surely there's an easier way! Surely there's some exotic chemical out there that eats through solder mask and stops at the copper and ... preps it perfectly for soldering!

Stop calling me Shirley!

I found this, Soldermask Stripper 1380:


I did a quick search at digikey and mouser but nothing popped up.

Are there others?

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Old 3rd March 2013, 02:46 AM   #2
Zero Cool is offline Zero Cool  United States
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YES! me too! I have never looked but have always wanted a chemical way to strip the solder mask off without scraping. let me know if you find another solution
It's not about what you can BUY...It's about what you can BUILD!
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Old 19th December 2014, 09:41 PM   #3
cogitech is offline cogitech  Canada
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Sorry to resurrect this old thread, but I am curious if anyone has any input...

If not a solvent, at least tell me what the best technique is, please.

(600 other people wanted to know at some point, too )
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Old 20th December 2014, 12:55 AM   #4
SyncTronX is offline SyncTronX  United States
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Solder mask solvent?
I don't know, I imagine anything would have to be used outdoors.

Something along the Acetone line but that is runny.
Some of the stuff I was thinking might work
would be the PVC primer at hard ware stores.

Applied with q-tip or small bristle brush.

Might come right off with a popcycle stick.

Laquer Thinner might work too with some
rubbing. You could then claim your traces
were "hand rubbed" to a nice finish.

These chemicals can be VERY dangerous to your health
and really screw you up. One guy died from using Toluene
solvent and other had permanent brain damage from using
that stuff in doors cleaning off electrical parts.

I know of one or two people who've died from
and the like.

Please be careful.
-- Sync
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Old 1st January 2015, 12:21 AM   #5
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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X-acto blade, probably. Anything powerful enough to remove solder mask might eat the board epoxy as well.
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Old 1st January 2015, 07:26 AM   #6
barrymagrec is offline barrymagrec
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We needed somthing to do this where I work. Some pretty smart people looked into it and in the end we just had to scrap the boards.
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Old 2nd January 2015, 05:44 PM   #7
PedroDaGr8 is offline PedroDaGr8  United States
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The solder mask is not a paint layer but instead often times a semi-opaque to opaque epoxy. It's typically either UV or thermally cured. As a result, it is usually VERY difficult, nigh imossible, to dissolve except on the cheapest of cheap boards. Even the boards form sites like iTeadStudio have proper solder masks.

Personally, I have tried acetome, methanol, n-butanol, toluene, xylene, DMSO, DMF, chloroform, methylene chloride and ether. Despite their dramatic and diverse makeup none of these seemed to do anything.
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Old 5th January 2015, 04:03 PM   #8
marce is offline marce  United Kingdom
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Anything that will remove the solder mask will also attack the boards, both tend to be epoxys so mechanical is the best way....
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