Soldering Org.

controlled collapse

Soldering Terms

Circuit board- This is commonly referred to as a printed circuit board. It is basically a rigid board containing a substrate, solder mask, silk screen and mostly copper. The board is used to provide electrical point to point connections for components that work together in a system. Circuit boards can be found in a wide range of electronics.

CTE- Stands for coefficient of thermal expansion. Its definition is basically the linear dimensional change in a given material as a result of a unit change in temperature. This determines the viability of various materials and surfaces in soldering and in the determination of what is known as thermal mismatch.

Cold solder joint- In soldering, a cold joint is the point of a bond formed by molten solder that did not melt fully or as required. Cold joints can be caused by a wide range of factors including incorrect soldering temperatures, poor contact between the solder and iron tip and use of poor quality solder. A cold joint often develops cracks with time, forms poor bonding of components and is thus generally unreliable as a contact point especially in soldered electrical components.  Cold joints result from incorrect temperature settings, poor tip and solder contact and inconsistent heating.

Conduction- This is the basic means of heat transfer in soldering. It basically describes the manner in which heat is transferred from a heat source, especially a soldering iron tip to another material in the workspace. There are various factors that affect the rate of conduction while soldering. These include nature of the surface, shape of the soldering tip, tip temperature and the size of contact area between the tip and the surface.

CCS- This stands for controlled collapse soldering. It is basically the act of designing connections of solder by exerting control on the height of predetermined solder balls.



Soldering Metals

Antimony- Antimony is a grayish metalloid though some variations exist as metallic antimony.  The element in its pure form has a melting point of about 630 degrees Celsius. Various characteristics of antimony have made the element suitable for use in soldering. The first characteristic is that of thermal fatigue resistance making the soldered joints more durable. However, antimony is not nearly as widely used as other metals in the manufacture of solder.

Aluminum (Aluminium) – Aluminum is a whitish, soft metal and usually exhibits non-magnetic characteristics. It is among earth’s most abundant elements and happens to be the most abundant metal on earth. As the figures would suggest, the wide availability of the metal has resulted in its widespread use within various fields and activities. In soldering, aluminum is often used as solder. However, this is usually not in its natural form but rather as an alloy of aluminum and other low liquidus metals.

Alloy- An alloy is a mixture of a metal and another or a metal and a non-metal. Alloys are basically used as solder in soldering since they are able to derive the advantages of each component metal within the alloy.

Bismuth- Bismuth has among the lowest melting points among all elements used in soldering making it ideal for use with small-scale soldering activities. However, most bismuth-based alloys expand on cooling and are therefore unsuitable for use in soldering due to lifting of soldered components. However, with the reduced use of technologies such as the through-hole technology, bismuth-based alloy solders have regained popularity. The main advantage is the low liquidus exhibited by the alloys. Bismuth in its pure form has a melting point of about 520 degrees Fahrenheit and a boiling point of 2847 degrees Fahrenheit. Similar to antimony and a few other metals, bismuth is denser in its liquid state than it is in its solid state.

desoldering Alloy

Desoldering Guide

Desoldering pump- A desoldering pump is a small piston-like tool essential for the removal of solder from PCBs and other components. A desoldering pump normally has three main elements; the spring mechanism, the tip and the suction mechanism.

Desoldering alloy- Also known as removal alloys, these are usually combinations of different metals and at times non-metallic components with very low melting points used to remove solder. These alloys can remove solder and components at degrees lower than 175 Celsius. Due to the low temperature and the absence of expensive heating equipment, heating alloys are preferred since they rarely cause component burning and damage.

Desoldering tweezers- Desoldering tweezers are handy household equipment and are essentially a pair of pinchers with ends that contain two small soldering irons. Each end of desoldering tweezers heats up and act as a standalone soldering iron tip. The use of desoldering tweezers results in neat, precise and regulated outcomes.

Desoldering braid- Also known as a soldering or desoldering wick, it is a handy tool when it comes to undoing a piece of soldering. It is also commonly referred to as a desoldering braid. In most instances, a soldering wick involves a copper wire coated with flux, mostly natural rosin. The desoldering wick usually comes in a roll though rare varieties may come in different configurations.

Desoldering gun- This is a desoldering tool also known as a heat gun. It basically blows hot air into the printed circuit board you wish to desolder. However, it is not advisable for desoldering on precise points since it will melt off the solder from the entire circuit board. This method is thus only usable for recovering parts from old and unusable PCBs.

Desoldering station- Also known as a rework station, it is a tool used to redo various activities on a printed circuit board often to correct errors made during production. Rework stations vary slightly in type and the specifics of how they operate. However, most of these are usually hot air rework stations.