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Can't get solder to stick
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Old 22nd July 2006, 06:24 PM   #21
poobah is offline poobah  United States
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OK... so is has to be somewhere around 40% Nickel. I've used "Alloy-42" for special solar panel constructions. 'Spose pool acid would work fine on that.
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Old 22nd July 2006, 06:41 PM   #22
Brian Beck is offline Brian Beck  United States
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I'm no chemist, but I'm guessing that any one of several kinds of acid could be used, as long as you then carefully neutralize and rinse. The rinse would even remove the pulp from squeezed lemon juice (organic lemons sound better I'm sure).
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Old 22nd July 2006, 06:45 PM   #23
poobah is offline poobah  United States
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Lemons are yellow... bound to brighten the sound at the risk tizziness though.

But what are sockets plated with? I ask because pool acid goes after zinc and cadmium with a vengeance. Wondering if tin(?) is as vulnerable.

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Old 23rd July 2006, 12:26 PM   #24
auplater is offline auplater  United States
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Default cleaning sockets/pins

One of the drawbacks of just using acid to clean pins is non-wetting of the surface. Acids tend to accentuate non-polar dirt and grease problems on surfaces (unless they are VERY strong and have an oxidizing nature, like nitric, perchloric, sulfuric, etc.)

The better way to clean stubborn metal surfaces is to first soak the parts in dishwasher detergent, or garage floor cleaner (perhaps made up double strength or stronger). This loosens and dissolves old crud build-up and organic debris that's cooked on over the years inside the chasis without attacking the metal and or bakelite/socket plastic.

If you happen to have an ultrasonic cleaner handy (jewelry stores and hobby sources sell these) that's all the better. Or a couple of runs through the dishwasher also works. As a last resort, one can use 1:1 ammonia or 10% sodium hydroxide to really cut the crud, but be sure to test and make sure the non-metal portion of the device is unaffected.

A process used in the metal finishing industry is electrocleaning, wherein a cathodic voltage (-) is placed on the part to be cleaned, evolving atomic hydrogen which reduces metal oxides and helps to scrub the surface... this is very effective.

After any of these alkaline treatments, a quick dip (30 secs.) in a DILUTE HCL or H2SO4 soln (usually no more than 10% of conc. acid) removes the remaining light and uniforrm oxide layer left after the cleaning treatment, making the (copper/nickel/iron/unobtanium :-) surface receptive for a metal to metal bond during the plating /painting/ whatever) coating process to follow. (unobtanium requires the use of the universal solvent, which can be a tricky material to contain... :-

Most of the sockets and / or tube pins I've seen have either a tin or nickel deposit; nickel is ubiquitous as the metal of choice for plating... almost all gold / copper / tin / chrome plating always has a substantial nickel layer to provide the necessary corrosion resistance, typically in the 10 - 25 micron thickness range.

Personally, I use a 1:1 vinegar soln for cleaning coffee pots to great success. HCL will eventually dissolve the (aluminum / stainless / whatever) metal parts of your coffee maker.

hope this helps...

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Old 23rd July 2006, 04:48 PM   #25
jlsem is offline jlsem  United States
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Phosphoric acid as used in consumer rust removers removes oxides from and brightens tin and nickel very well. Brownells rust remover works best for me for all oxidation removing jobs. Of course you must neutralize and rinse well any acid on electronic stuff or it will leak like mad.


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