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Old 20th October 2013, 11:52 PM   #1
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Default About solder

I am currently usind Billiton CW cored solder wire 1mm - which specifies a flux type RS4/1/127. I don't know how active this type of flux is.

I was thinking about moving to Kester 44 63/37 solder. Will this solder be more active (the flux)? Is there any potential "danger"? I use an old Weller WECP-20 soldering station.

Also, what is meant by "no-clean" solder?
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Old 23rd October 2013, 04:59 PM   #2
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Default Expand this to include other types of solder for SMD, etc.

We need help in picking the right solder for the right job. I have seen solder
with copper, silver, etc. What solder is best for SMD? What about lead free?
We also need best brands and types. Come on "experts", let us know
what is right or wrong with each type of solder.
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Old 13th May 2014, 02:42 PM   #3
jlithen is offline jlithen  Finland
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Hi all,

I am currently using Stannol 0,7mm leaded, Kristall 511
Vaasan Elektroniikkakeskus Oy / Vasa Elektronikcenter Ab

I have been very happy with it, even if price is about 80€ per kilo.
I have only used about 2kg so far so no big deal.
They say cleaning of the PCB is recommended after soldering and also that the flux is halogenated.


For more demanding applications I've used another Stannol type, with silver.
Vaasan Elektroniikkakeskus Oy / Vasa Elektronikcenter Ab
It is a bit more expensive, but works very very well.
They say it needs no cleaning afterwards and it smells quite nice too.
I am thinking about moving to this one with silver for most applications.

Also I was just about to buy a 1kg roll of Billiton CW, as I would get it very cheap, around 30€.
I am hoping it would be adequate for e.g. banana plugs and car amps, inverters.
It could save me a few bucks and minutes (it is 1mm thick) when used where a lot of solder is required.

Brand wise Stannol / Multicore has been very good.

All the leadfree ones have been bad, one I got for free (some chinese) was absolute crap.
I have a 25g roll of leadfree just in case I must use it.
Leadfree solder fumes are also said to be very bad for your health, but I do not have any references.

I do have some flux cleaning spray, some limonene based.
Cost was like 15euros for a big can, works relatively well.
I can check the brand.

Sorry for the links being in Finnish, but you see the photo and there are also links on the page.

Then again if I solder a lot I wear thin gloves.
Frequent hand washing is bad for the skin and you should definitely wash your hands after handling lead.
As far as I have understood lead cannot be absorbed through skin and also it will not evaporate when soldering with, say, 300-400deg.C temperature.
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Old 13th May 2014, 03:59 PM   #4
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If one uses leaded solder on SMD components, leaching occurs and the tin is removed from the component, making the SMD more un-reliable and in the worst case changing the components value.
Lead is absorbed by inhaling and through the pores in the skin.

'Wurth' brake cleaner is plentiful and cheap. It does a great job cleaning PCBoards after rework.
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Old 13th May 2014, 04:14 PM   #5
SY is offline SY  United States
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Kester 44 works great for electronics.

(obligatory disclaimer: I work for the parent company of Kester)
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Old 13th May 2014, 04:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonSnell Electronic View Post
If one uses leaded solder on SMD components, leaching occurs and the tin is removed from the component, making the SMD more un-reliable and in the worst case changing the components value.
I've not experienced that. In fact, I actually required lead tin for all the boards we had build by outside houses because we required very good reliability. 5 years ago, everybody had yet to learn how to get reliable lead free boards through production into the field. And yet, 70 percent of all SMD components were tin plated.

If you rework using tin/lead with the soldering tip set to tin/silver temperatures, you will find that you scavenge metals faster, but that's a process problem, not an alloy one.

If one is experiencing a reliability problem, other issues are more likely to be the cause. I find flux type and activation temperatures to have bigger impact on soldering quality. Type of activator within the flux is second, as chemical activation of the oxidized surfaces can vary depending on the basis metal, as in copper, silver, nickel, aluminum, or stainless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonSnell Electronic View Post
Lead is absorbed by inhaling and through the pores in the skin.
Lead can be absorbed by inhaling, however the act of soldering does not typically cause lead to be inhaled, it is not airborne in the flux fumes.. The flux is however, very nasty if inhaled constantly.

Lead is not absorbed in the pores of the skin in general. Certain compounds, such as tetraethyl lead can however. I've attached the information from osha.

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owa...RDS&p_id=10031

jn
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Old 13th May 2014, 05:24 PM   #7
EssB is offline EssB  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonSnell Electronic View Post
'Wurth' brake cleaner is plentiful and cheap. It does a great job cleaning PCBoards after rework.
Jon, Thanks for that. I've got half a can in the garage somewhere so I'll give it a go.
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Old 14th May 2014, 06:44 AM   #8
jlithen is offline jlithen  Finland
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Thanks jneutron for the rather "industrial" info.

And yes, led compounds are of course absorbed through the skin. Lead metal not.
Also inhaled led is very much absorbed, but not an issue when doing low temp soldering.

Are there actually reliable lead free boards nowadays?
In my non-spare-time I work with rather industrial stuff and we have not had reliability problems related to bad soldering.
Then again home electronics are full or solder problems. Mostly big chips getting bad contact in my experience.

What temperatures are you guys using?
I seem to select temp quite randomly.
350deg.C default, a bit more for big components and about 420 for e.g. banana plugs.

Luckily I do not solder SMD too often, but every now and then.
Last night a friend brought me two Lexus LS430 amps for repair.
That will be a pain in the sitting organ, some components are really small.
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Old 14th May 2014, 02:48 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=jlithen;3926638]Are there actually reliable lead free boards nowadays?
Lots of work has gone into reliability of lead free. However, I believe the exemptions for military, space, industrial control, medical, undersea, flight still exist. So, reliability at the tin/lead level has not been established.

Unfortunately, ROHS went full tilt before the problems of whiskers and pest were fully examined, a political rather than scientific decision. Perhaps not a good sequence of events (just ask toyota unintended acceleration victims).
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlithen View Post
What temperatures are you guys using?
I seem to select temp quite randomly.
350deg.C default, a bit more for big components and about 420 for e.g. banana plugs.
Temp is not as important as process design. I've had vendors equip their workers with SOTA rf type untimate controlled soldering stations, only to have the workers destroy the epoxy seals on every front panel switch by design. Turned out the set temp was sufficiently high to allow them to do the work given the tip mass, but too high once the part reached temp then overshoot the mark before they can remove the heat.

I had to assist them, first autopsy the offending hardware, then recommend they go to a bog standard station with a much larger tip mass to act as a heat reservoir. That allowed the ops to process much faster without the peak temp issue. Also, cleaning requirements eased up, seal remained unbroken, we got rid of intermittent NC switch contact problems.

For solder pots, 250C for lead tin, or 67 C over eutectic. Lead free would mean roughly 290C pot.

For hand work, use the largest tip mass the work can accommodate, and work your way up in temperature until preheat, dwell, and finish are timed well and give good results for the work size.

Also, make sure your flux is applicable to the temp range of the solder. The paste flux at HD is not called "lead free" because it doesn't have lead...rather, it is because the flux must survive uncharred at higher temperatures where lead free melts.

jn
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Old 15th May 2014, 02:14 PM   #10
jlithen is offline jlithen  Finland
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Some great info again jn.

Do you know what is in the "halidated" or whatever flux?
If it is halogenated organics it may be pretty bad health wise.
If it is the addition of some halide salt, then it probably isn't that bad.

I'm just thinking that the lead free solder smells so different and quite strong.

Plain rosin smells like wood or similar
And if it is natural then it must be good for you, like tobacco or belladonna or....no maybe not
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