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 FAQ's

  . COMPONENTS (8 questions)
  . HAND SOLDERING AND DE-SOLDERING (3 questions)
  . INSPECTION (3 questions)
  . PRINTED BOARD DESIGN (3 questions)
  . PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS (6 questions)
  . REFLOW SOLDERING (5 questions)
  . REWORK (1 questions)
  . SCREEN PRINTING (2 questions)
  . WAVE SOLDERING (4 questions)
  . X-RAY INSPECTION (1 questions)





HAND SOLDERING AND DE-SOLDERING

1 . I am evaluating different lead-free cored solder wire, they all seem to leave more residues than tin/lead is this common?
2 . What advice can you give me on hole size for through hole components. We manually assemble and hand solder our boards. Do we need to change hole sizes for lead-free.
3 . What advice can you provide on maximising the life of soldering iron bits with lead-free solder?

 

I am evaluating different lead-free cored solder wire, they all seem to leave more residues than tin/lead is this common?
Yes to overcome the issues of the lead-free alloys not wetting as well as tin/lead plus the higher reflow temperatures there is more flux. You will find over the next couple of years this will slowly change but this opinion is not uncommon. When I started lead-free soldering in 1999 it was much worse with wire and solder paste.

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What advice can you give me on hole size for through hole components. We manually assemble and hand solder our boards. Do we need to change hole sizes for lead-free.
The same design rules should be used for any board, always design for automation regardless if it is to be used or not. Design for manufacture is good practice and maintains good design discipline. As a guide the hole size is determined from the pin size. The hole size is the pin size plus 0.010" plus any board tolerance. Remember use this as a guide but also try to minimise the number of different hole sizes as it may affect PCB cost.

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What advice can you provide on maximising the life of soldering iron bits with lead-free solder?
Simply turn off the irons when not in use will prolong the life of the tip and prevent the tip from forming very heavy oxide which then needs to be cleaned. All suppliers will give guidelines on use and care of soldering iron tools. LEADOUT is developing a training course for lead-free hand soldering and rework

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