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Old 16th July 2014, 10:05 AM   #1
s214519 is offline s214519  United States
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Default soldering flux?

Can regular soldering flux for like copper tubing be used to solder on a pcb?
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Old 16th July 2014, 10:14 AM   #2
RJF is offline RJF  Australia
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Not usually, it is too strong for delicate PCB work.
Why do you want to use flux on the PCB?
If it is a home made PCB (bare copper), clean it up with a mild abrasive and then use a solder through coating. If the PCB is commercially made they are usually HASL finished (solder plated) so do not need flux.
Modern Solders are usually rosin cored which acts as a flux anyway so do not need extra flux.
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Old 16th July 2014, 10:24 AM   #3
s214519 is offline s214519  United States
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I've never used flux on any of my pcb's. I just saw that they sell flux for it and was wondering if it would make it easier. But I have a ton of plumbing flux for copper tubing so I was asking if it would work and I was gonna try it.
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Old 16th July 2014, 10:49 AM   #4
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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No, definitely not! Plumbing flux could destroy a PCB. Use proper electronic solder wth built-in flux cores.
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Old 16th July 2014, 10:51 AM   #5
s214519 is offline s214519  United States
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^^ yeah that's what I usually use. I was just wondering if it would work. But thank you. I don't have to wonder anymore!
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Old 17th July 2014, 01:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by s214519 View Post
^^ yeah that's what I usually use. I was just wondering if it would work. But thank you. I don't have to wonder anymore!
Depends on the type of plumbing flux. There are two types: one is a white ZnCl2 based flux, the other is basically rosin paste. The rosin paste is 100% OK to use. It's the same stuff that is in rosin-core solder. The ZnCl2 paste is 100% BAD to use. The ZnCl2 leeches into the board and can turn the insulating board conducting. It is impossible to remove once used.
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Old 17th July 2014, 08:50 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
No, definitely not! Plumbing flux could destroy a PCB. Use proper electronic solder wth built-in flux cores.
Not 'could', WILL destroy the board. A fellow at work mistakenly used plumbing flux on board repair. The boards had to be tossed out - about $1500 each.

I also recommend cleaning off rosin fluxes after repairs as the old flux may burn and turn in to unplanned resistors.

When I repair SMD parts, I clean the board after the old part removal, put flux on each pad using a flux pen, place the part, solder it down and clean off the flux.

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Old 18th July 2014, 07:02 PM   #8
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No don't use the same flux. It will destroy your board. Soldering plumbing and electronics are very different. I would recommend using a good electrical solder with a rosin core like this one: .025" dia. Sn63/Pb37 Rosin Based Wire Solder (1 lb. Spool). You will have to clean the flux off though when your done. They do make no clean wire solder like this one: .020" dia. Sn63/Pb37 No Clean Wire Solder (1 lb. Spool). Which you wouldn't have to clean it when your done. I personally haven't used it but I know it's out there.

Hope that helped!
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Old 18th July 2014, 08:04 PM   #9
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If you need a good paste flux, The stuff that Radio Shack carries works great!!

It comes in a short plastic can and is Cat. No. 64-022 Non Spill Paste Rosin Soldering Flux.

2 oz. Non-Spill Rosin Soldering Paste Flux : Soldering Tools & Supplies | RadioShack.com

I used it on my very first SMD project and it turned out excellent!!!

As seen here,

Kester Lead-Free Hand-Soldering Article

FWIW

jer
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Old 18th July 2014, 09:40 PM   #10
Pemo is offline Pemo  Mexico
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No no no, no flux. (Well, only for de-soldering tasks)
And clean the damn thing inmediatly.
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