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Apply a small amount of solder at the junction of soldering iron tip and lead to make a solder bridge. See Figure 1 Note The size of the solder is important when soldering small components. Immediately feed solder into the joint from the side opposite from the soldering iron tip until the proper fillet is achieved. Remove the solder then remove the iron. The iron may be swept over the end of the component lead to cover it with solder.

See Figure 2 Note Apply the solder to the side opposite from the soldering iron tip so that the work surfaces and not the iron will melt the solder. On multiple lead components solder the opposite corners first to stabilize the component. Follow by soldering the remaining leads in a random pattern to reduce excessive heat buildup in one area.

How to Solder in Ten Easy Steps

Clean the flux residue, if required and inspect. Procedure for reference only. A Simple Fix for Damaged Conductors. Epoxy Packs Eliminate Measuring. This joint, with too much solder, is also showing the symptoms of dry joints — notice the dull grey colour, and orange peel texture. Overheating a solder pad on a PCB can also cause the copper layer to come away from the fibre glass that the board is made from. This can cause circuit failure when the track on the circuit board breaks, leading to an open circuit. What can i do.

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We sell safety goggles, which you will find here: Any recommendations on soldering irons? Hi Anthony, The Iron you have seems to be a decent choice. Maybe get a new tip rather than a new Iron? How to Solder in Ten Easy Steps. Step by Step guide to soldering 1. Pick up the Soldering Iron in one hand, and the solder in the other hand. Place soldering iron tip on the pad.

Remove the solder, then remove the soldering iron. Examples of Solder Joints The appearance of a solder joint tells a lot about how good it is. Slightly too much solder causes a bulge, as illustrated in the following photo. If you're new to soldering our Soldering School will have you up and running in no time.

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A quick guide to the basic tools you'll need before you start. Includes a video explanation of some tools. An explanation of why we need to clean the tips and a step by step guide. Includes a video guide to tinning. A practical guide to getting started soldering. Includes a troubleshooting guide and examples of good and bad solder joints.

A guide to removing solder. Includes a video demonstration. Sometimes a pad might get damaged on your board. We show you how to fix it in this simple to follow guide. This special alloy is melted by using a soldering iron, a wave bath, or a specialized oven, as it joins conductors to PCBs, terminals, and wires. Soldering filler materials are available in many different alloys for differing applications. Other alloys are used for plumbing, mechanical assembly, and other applications.

Some examples of soft-solder are tin-lead for general purposes, tin-zinc for joining aluminium , lead-silver for strength at higher than room temperature, cadmium-silver for strength at high temperatures, zinc-aluminium for aluminium and corrosion resistance, and tin-silver and tin-bismuth for electronics. A eutectic formulation has advantages when applied to soldering: Having the lowest possible melting point minimizes heat stress on electronic components during soldering.

And, having no plastic phase allows for quicker wetting as the solder heats up, and quicker setup as the solder cools. A non-eutectic formulation must remain still as the temperature drops through the liquidus and solidus temperatures. Any movement during the plastic phase may result in cracks, resulting in an unreliable joint.

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Common solder formulations based on tin and lead are listed below. For environmental reasons and the introduction of regulations such as the European RoHS Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive , lead-free solders are becoming more widely used. They are also suggested anywhere young children may come into contact with since young children are likely to place things into their mouths , or for outdoor use where rain and other precipitation may wash the lead into the groundwater.

Other common solders include low-temperature formulations often containing bismuth , which are often used to join previously-soldered assemblies without unsoldering earlier connections, and high-temperature formulations usually containing silver which are used for high-temperature operation or for first assembly of items which must not become unsoldered during subsequent operations. Alloying silver with other metals changes the melting point, adhesion and wetting characteristics, and tensile strength.

Of all the brazing alloys, silver solders have the greatest strength and the broadest applications. The purpose of flux is to facilitate the soldering process. One of the obstacles to a successful solder joint is an impurity at the site of the joint, for example, dirt, oil or oxidation. The impurities can be removed by mechanical cleaning or by chemical means, but the elevated temperatures required to melt the filler metal the solder encourages the work piece and the solder to re-oxidize. This effect is accelerated as the soldering temperatures increase and can completely prevent the solder from joining to the workpiece.

One of the earliest forms of flux was charcoal , which acts as a reducing agent and helps prevent oxidation during the soldering process. Some fluxes go beyond the simple prevention of oxidation and also provide some form of chemical cleaning corrosion.

Step by Step guide to soldering

For many years, the most common type of flux used in electronics soft soldering was rosin -based, using the rosin from selected pine trees. It was nearly ideal in that it was non-corrosive and non-conductive at normal temperatures but became mildly reactive corrosive at elevated soldering temperatures. Plumbing and automotive applications, among others, typically use an acid-based hydrochloric acid flux which provides rather aggressive cleaning of the joint. These fluxes cannot be used in electronics because their residues are conductive leading to unintended electrical connections, and because they will eventually dissolve small diameter wires.

Many fluxes also act as a wetting agent in the soldering process, [5] reducing the surface tension of the molten solder and causing it to flow and wet the workpieces more easily. Flux performance must be carefully evaluated for best results; a very mild 'no-clean' flux might be perfectly acceptable for production equipment, but not give adequate performance for more variable hand-soldering operations. There are three forms of soldering, each requiring progressively higher temperatures and producing an increasingly stronger joint strength:. The alloy of the filler metal for each type of soldering can be adjusted to modify the melting temperature of the filler.

Soldering differs from gluing significantly in that the filler metals directly bond with the surfaces of the workpieces at the junction to form an electrically conductive gas- and liquid-tight bond.

Wire Glue

In this soldering process, heat is applied to the parts to be joined, causing the solder to melt and to bond to the workpieces in a surface alloying process called wetting. In stranded wire, the solder is drawn up into the wire between the strands by capillary action in a process called 'wicking'. Capillary action also takes place when the workpieces are very close together or touching. The joint's tensile strength is dependent on the filler metal used; in electrical soldering little tensile strength comes from the added solder which is why it is advised that wires be twisted or folded together before soldering to provide some mechanical strength for a joint.

A good solder joint produces an electrically-conductive, water- and gas-tight join. Each type of solder offers advantages and disadvantages. Soft solder is so called because of the soft lead that is its primary ingredient. Soft soldering uses the lowest temperatures and so thermally stresses components the least but does not make a strong joint and is unsuitable for mechanical load-bearing applications.

It is also unsuitable for high-temperature applications as it loses strength, and eventually melts. Silver soldering, as used by jewelers, machinists and in some plumbing applications, requires the use of a torch or other high-temperature source, and is much stronger than soft soldering. Brazing provides the strongest of the non-welded joints but also requires the hottest temperatures to melt the filler metal, requiring a torch or other high temperature source and darkened goggles to protect the eyes from the bright light produced by the white-hot work. It is often used to repair cast-iron objects, wrought-iron furniture, etc.

Soldering operations can be performed with hand tools, one joint at a time, or en masse on a production line. Hand soldering is typically performed with a soldering iron , soldering gun , or a torch, or occasionally a hot-air pencil. Sheetmetal work was traditionally done with "soldering coppers" directly heated by a flame, with sufficient stored heat in the mass of the soldering copper to complete a joint; gas torches eg, butane or propane or electrically-heated soldering irons are more convenient.

All soldered joints require the same elements of cleaning of the metal parts to be joined, fitting up the joint, heating the parts, applying flux, applying the filler, removing heat and holding the assembly still until the filler metal has completely solidified.

Depending on the nature of flux material used and the application, cleaning of the joint may be required after it has cooled. Each solder alloy has characteristics that work best for certain applications, notably strength and conductivity, and each type of solder and alloy has different melting temperatures. The term silver solder denotes the type of solder that is used. Some soft solders are "silver-bearing" alloys used to solder silver-plated items.

Lead-based solders should not be used on precious metals because the lead dissolves the metal and disfigures it. The distinction between soldering and brazing is based on the melting temperature of the filler alloy. Soft soldering can be done with a heated iron whereas the other methods typically require a higher temperature torch or a furnace to melt the filler metal. Different equipment is usually required since a soldering iron cannot achieve high enough temperatures for hard soldering or brazing. Brazing filler metal is stronger than silver solder, which is stronger than lead-based soft solder.

Brazing solders are formulated primarily for strength, silver solder is used by jewelers to protect the precious metal and by machinists and refrigeration technicians for its tensile strength but lower melting temperature than brazing, and the primary benefit of soft solder is the low temperature used to prevent heat damage to electronic components and insulation. Since the joint is produced using a metal with a lower melting temperature than the workpiece, the joint will weaken as the ambient temperature approaches the melting point of the filler metal.

For that reason, the higher temperature processes produce joints which are effective at higher temperatures. Brazed connections can be as strong or nearly as strong as the parts they connect, [10] [11] even at elevated temperatures. The solder is usually described as easy, medium, or hard in reference to its melting temperature, not the strength of the joint.

If multiple joints are needed, then the jeweler will start with hard or extra-hard solder and switch to lower-temperature solders for later joints. Silver solder is somewhat absorbed by the surrounding metal, resulting in a joint that is actually stronger than the metal being joined.

The metal being joined must be perfectly flush, as silver solder cannot normally be used as a filler and will not fill gaps. Another difference between brazing and soldering is how the solder is applied. In brazing, one generally uses rods that are touched to the joint while being heated. With silver soldering, small pieces of solder wire are placed onto the metal prior to heating.

A flux, often made of boric acid and denatured alcohol, is used to keep the metal and solder clean and to prevent the solder from moving before it melts. When silver solder melts, it tends to flow towards the area of greatest heat. Jewelers can somewhat control the direction the solder moves by leading it with a torch; it will even sometimes run straight up along a seam. Induction soldering uses induction heating by high-frequency alternating current in a surrounding copper coil. This induces currents in the part being soldered, which generates heat because of the higher resistance of a joint versus its surrounding metal resistive heating.

These copper coils can be shaped to fit the joint more precisely. A filler metal solder is placed between the facing surfaces, and this solder melts at a fairly low temperature. Fluxes are commonly used in induction soldering. This technique is particularly suited to continuously soldering, in which case these coils wrap around a cylinder or a pipe that needs to be soldered. Some metals are easier to solder than others. Copper, silver, and gold are easy. Iron, mild steel and nickel are next in difficulty. Because of their thin, strong oxide films, stainless steel and some aluminium alloys are even more difficult to solder.

Titanium , magnesium , cast irons , some high-carbon steels , ceramics , and graphite can be soldered but it involves a process similar to joining carbides: Currently, mass-production printed circuit boards PCBs are mostly wave soldered or reflow soldered , though hand soldering of production electronics is also still widely used. In wave soldering, components are prepped trimmed or modified and installed on the PCB. Sometimes, to prevent movement they are temporarily kept in place with small dabs of adhesive or secured with a fixture, then the assembly is passed over flowing solder in a bulk container.

This solder flow is forced to produce a standing wave so the whole PCB is not submerged in solder, but rather just touched. The end result is that solder stays on pins and pads, but not on the PCB itself. Reflow soldering is a process in which a solder paste a mixture of prealloyed solder powder and a flux-vehicle that has a peanut butter-like consistency [6] is used to stick the components to their attachment pads, after which the assembly is heated by an infrared lamp, a hot air pencil, or, more commonly, by passing it through a carefully controlled oven.

Since different components can be best assembled by different techniques, it is common to use two or more processes for a given PCB. For example, surface mounted parts may be reflow soldered first, with a wave soldering process for the through-hole mounted components coming next, and bulkier parts hand-soldered last.

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For hand soldering [13] , the heat source tool should be selected to provide adequate heat for the size of joint to be completed. A watt soldering iron may provide too much heat for printed circuit boards, while a watt iron will not provide enough heat for large electrical connectors, joining copper roof flashing, or large stained-glass lead came. Using a tool with too high a temperature can damage sensitive components, but protracted heating by a tool that is too cool or under powered can also cause heat damage, perhaps even detaching PCB traces from the substrate. Hand-soldering techniques require a great deal of skill for the fine-pitch soldering of surface mount chip packages.

In particular ball grid array BGA devices are notoriously difficult, if not impossible, to rework by hand. For attachment of electronic components to a PCB, proper selection and use of flux helps prevent oxidation during soldering; it is essential for good wetting and heat transfer. The soldering iron tip must be clean and pre-tinned with solder to ensure rapid heat transfer. Components which dissipate large amounts of heat during operation are sometimes elevated above the PCB to avoid PCB overheating. After inserting a through-hole mounted component, the excess lead is cut off, leaving a length of about the radius of the pad.

Plastic or metal mounting clips or holders may be used with large devices to aid heat dissipation and reduce joint stresses. A heat sink may be used on the leads of heat sensitive components to reduce heat transfer to the component. This is especially applicable to germanium parts. The heat sink will mean the use of more heat to complete the joint since heat taken up by the heat sink will not heat the workpieces. If all metal surfaces have not been properly cleaned "fluxed" or brought entirely above the melting temperature of the solder used, the result will be an unreliable "cold solder" joint, even though its appearance may suggest otherwise.

To simplify soldering, beginners are usually advised to apply the soldering iron and the solder separately to the joint, rather than the solder being applied direcly to the iron. When sufficient solder is applied, the solder wire is removed. When the surfaces are adequately heated, the solder will flow around the workpieces. The iron is then removed from the joint.

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