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Old 13th March 2006, 03:10 PM   #1
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Default RohS lead free soldering

I'm still using my old supplies of 60Sn/40Pb........I'm somewhat disappointed with the flowing characteristics of the new fangled lead free type. Can anyone advise me on a good lead free make ?

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Old 13th March 2006, 03:13 PM   #2
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There are different leadfree alloys but I'm afraid I can't help you with the right choice.
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Old 13th March 2006, 03:21 PM   #3
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Rich,

I'm not sure about other people's experiences, but I've not found any lead free solder that flows as well as the old 60/40 stuff. It also needs a lot more heat to work and consequently soldering tips don't last as long.

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Old 13th March 2006, 03:41 PM   #4
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.....'son.....Your'e right....A No 8-9 PT Weller seems to be the only way forward....and far too hot for plastic cased components and I'm having to change tips quite regulary with Pb free. From what I've found, the soldering has to be done much quicker. I shall have to read up about the eutectic range....which I think is very narrow compared with traditional 60/40 solders.
The omens don't look good...I think I will buy up whatever 60/40 Rosin cored stock is about and make my best tube amp from it..

The finish with Pb free doesn't look shiny......in fact the temptation is to redo in thinking a dry joint has resulted.

If I'm right about the wetting not being so good as conventional solders, I presume in mass consumer equipment the risks in oxidised dry joints will be ever greater. Perhaps a comment to alay my pessimism. No equipment manufacturer has ever mentioned equipment guarantees ? or simply bin-it.

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Old 13th March 2006, 07:56 PM   #5
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over 800*F, solder tips tend to eat themselves with oxidation. If you have an adjustable station, turn it down between joints. If your station heats very quickly, consider turning if off entirely. Always keeping a little solder on the tip (not wiping it off) when it's in the holder is a good idea to prevent the oxidation going nuts.
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Old 13th March 2006, 08:37 PM   #6
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I only got a few meters sample of lead-free solder from my supplier so far. I don't know the exact type, but it worked just like usual solder. And by usual i mean 60/36/4 Ag. The resulting joints were shiny and looked right too. So it IS possible to get a good result from lead-free.

I will check tomorrow the brand and type, and post here.
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Old 13th March 2006, 08:42 PM   #7
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That would be great if you could Lars, I'm sure many of us would be grateful for a trusted type to try.

When I went on the Naim factory tour I asked them about lead free soldering and what they thought about it (as it was a couple of years ago, just before the directives came in), and they said they had been lead free for a while. So it must be possible to achieve a good result.
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Old 13th March 2006, 09:19 PM   #8
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Thanks Lars,

I too would very much like to know which type of solder you have. The stuff I'm using just now is 95.5/4/0.5 Sn/Ag/Cu. It works OK on small stuff, if the iron is kept very hot and the joint is done quickly, but on larger stuff such as crossover wiring, it's very difficult, even with a 50W temperature controlled solder station.

Graeme
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Old 13th March 2006, 09:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by richie00boy
When I went on the Naim factory tour I asked them about lead free soldering and what they thought about it (as it was a couple of years ago, just before the directives came in), and they said they had been lead free for a while. So it must be possible to achieve a good result.
Depends on your opinion of 'good result', all lead free joints look really poor, that's not to say they are, but they look very dull. There's no real problem using lead free solder, but you need a much higher temperature, and a temperature controlled iron is pretty well essential.

Like many others, I'm hoping to buy enough leaded solder to outlast me!
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Old 24th March 2006, 08:56 AM   #10
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Click the image to open in full size.

Here are the results i got from using Fluitin 1532 type SAC305. (Tin, Copper and 3.5% Silver).
The oversized joints are to blame on the use of a way too big tip.

Actually just a normal soldering iron was used.

As can be seen the joints are not so good looking as the normal ones, but the work is hazzle free, and the joints hold up nicely.

A nice detail: due to lead free / RoHS compliance the entire PCB is Gold plated!

All the best from

Lars
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