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Old 22nd September 2004, 10:07 PM   #1
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Default Lead Free Solder

With lead solder going to be banned in Europe on 1 July 2006, has anyone tried any of the other products on the market? Other than silver solder.
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Old 23rd September 2004, 08:29 AM   #2
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Mike: The new alloy is 96% tin, 3.5% silver and 0.5% copper. It works very well, even if the melting point is slightly higher, than ordinary 4% silver solder.

Best regards

Lars
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Old 23rd September 2004, 08:56 AM   #3
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Old 23rd September 2004, 06:05 PM   #4
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Thank God I'm not in UK. They can pry lead out of my cold, shivering, dead hands. I highly recommend buying about 100 pounds of Sn63, you won't regret it.

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Old 23rd September 2004, 06:14 PM   #5
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Originally posted by Sch3mat1c
Thank God I'm not in UK. They can pry lead out of my cold, shivering, dead hands. I highly recommend buying about 100 pounds of Sn63, you won't regret it.

Tim
While a good idea in theory, problems...

You have to store it in a dry nitrogen environment..do not allow the external surface to age, as once it is really dull, ya might as well throw it out.

The flux will change over time...I don't know exactly why, but it does..it becomes rather inert and useless after a year or two..

Best bet???

Go to home depot, buy two sheets of two inch thick styrofoam.

Make an insulated box, four sheet thicknesses at the bottom and all sides, and a like sized top..outer box, make outta 3/4 ply..

Coat all the insides with copper flashing, folded as needed and soldered at any seams...make the box watertight.

Then, fill the box with your solder stock..

Then, fill the box with liquid nitrogen..cover all the solder with it, then put the cover on.

Just re-fill it every coupla days..your solder will remain fresh for 30 to 50 years...(YMMV)

Cheers, John
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Old 23rd September 2004, 11:31 PM   #6
Magura is offline Magura  Denmark
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According to my experience you can store solder for more than 15 years under regular room conditions.

I have a roll of 0.5mm solder that I don't use often, this roll is now at least 15 years old. I used it as late as last week, and it worked like the day it was bought.

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Old 24th September 2004, 01:14 AM   #7
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Thanks for tips. I'll look into the "blends"

What is the flux in this new stuff? Water soluble or do I still need to use a solvent for cleaning?
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Old 24th September 2004, 01:27 AM   #8
Dwiel is offline Dwiel  United States
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Originally posted by Magura
According to my experience you can store solder for more than 15 years under regular room conditions.

I have a roll of 0.5mm solder that I don't use often, this roll is now at least 15 years old. I used it as late as last week, and it worked like the day it was bought.

Magura
Same for me. I'm currently using solder that my dad has had since before I was born (im 17). It has been on the shelf of many garage shelves in a very wide range of temperatures and rediculous humidities.

It works just fine.
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Old 24th September 2004, 01:33 AM   #9
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I found a couple old spools of solder in a box of old parts a friend gave me... If I had to hazard a guess...I'd say early-mid 80's vintage..
It looked a tad dull on the outside,but it still works just fine..It does smell a little different when you use it tho,but I think they used a different (non organic?) flux back then..
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Old 24th September 2004, 05:58 AM   #10
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Still using a 5lb roll of Kester "44" 60/40 I bought 20 years ago. It still solders fine
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