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Lead free solder

  1. Jan 21, 2017 #1

    wolram

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    I am try to build a radio and find i just can not use the lead less solder, I have a 60 watt iron and the solder takes ages to melt and i get a lot of splatter, Is my iron powerful enough? I used to be very good with the lead solder.
     
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  3. Jan 21, 2017 #2

    phinds

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    Why do you need leadless solder?
     
  4. Jan 21, 2017 #3

    wolram

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    It is the only solder i can buy, the leaded solder is not stocked any more.
     
  5. Jan 21, 2017 #4

    phinds

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    Oh. I didn't realize that. Bummer. I've still got a small batch of very old solder and use that on those very rare occasions when I need to solder wires together so haven't bought any in decades.
     
  6. Jan 21, 2017 #5

    tech99

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    What country are you in, by the way?
     
  7. Jan 21, 2017 #6

    davenn

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    leaded solder is still readily available in a number of countries

    Yes, unleaded solder does require more heat but for general small component soldering 40 - 60W is generally still no problem
    with what I have experienced

    what sized solder joints are you trying to do ?

    show a photo please
     
  8. Jan 22, 2017 #7

    Baluncore

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    RoHS does not require lead free solder be used on industrial control systems or data networking equipment. You should only be using it on disposable consumer goods. I suspect that it may be the flux that comes with tin solder that is giving you problems.

    I buy 60/40 tin/lead, rosin core solder from China. The 60/40 ratio is by weight so it is actually equal numbers of tin and lead atoms. It is a eutectic alloy so it all sets at the same minimum temperature. I avoid other ratios for electronic work.
     
  9. Jan 22, 2017 #8

    wolram

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    Than you for your reply's , The work i am try to do has tiny pads and tracks, how can I remove the splatter?:
     
  10. Jan 22, 2017 #9

    Baluncore

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    Tiny, relative to what ? The heat you need is dependent on the mass of the solder joint and how fast you can work reliably.
    What size pads or SM components do you really have? Please use SI units, mm rather than superlatives.

    It depends on the PCB finish, is it solder mask, gold plated or bare copper? Is the splatter small spherical beads set in hard flux, or soldered to other bare metal surfaces?

    What causes the splatter? Maybe you must use a cooler iron. How do you regulate temperature of the iron?

    To remove splatter attached by flux; Identify what solvent will dissolve the flux and is also safe with your PCB and components. Identify the type of flux and then the solvent.
     
  11. Jan 22, 2017 #10

    rbelli1

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    Actually 63/37 is the eutectic. I would suggest finding that unless the small cost difference comes to a significant expenditure.

    Sn62Pb36Ag2 or Sn62.5Pb36Ag2.5 is even better. It melts at a slightly lower temperature and wets better. It tends to be expensive though. Also contraindicated on gold.

    BoB
     
  12. Jan 22, 2017 #11

    wolram

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    The pads are aprox 1/2 mm, The tracks are bare copper, and the splatter is spherical beads, I have 2 irons one 40W and one 60 watt, the 40 What one takes ages to melt non lead solder.
    Thank you for all your reply's.
     
  13. Jan 26, 2017 #12

    NascentOxygen

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    With lead solder, the very thin rosin-core soldering wire melts a lot easier. So with lead-free maybe you should still try the thinnest you can buy, if that's not what you are already using.
     
  14. Jan 26, 2017 #13
    It'll be about the temperature, and not about the iron. If it's the classic 'Weller' kind of thing, then the temperature control is based on the soldering tip. You can/have to purchase tips for different solder types/temperatures accordingly.
     
  15. Jan 29, 2017 #14

    jim hardy

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    I just won't use Pb free.
    Bought myself a lifetime supply of Kester 44 60/40 while it was still cheap.. It's still available.
     
  16. Jan 30, 2017 #15

    Bandit127

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    I can only buy lead free solder in the shops in the UK but ebay has loads of lead solder. (I wish I knew that before I built the valve amp which used recycled parts that were originally soldered with lead - reflowing old joints with new solder is tricky).

    I bought a cheap temperature controlled soldering station from Maplins which made life easier. Non lead solder needs a higher temperature - I wonder if that is your problem rather than power?
     
  17. Jan 30, 2017 #16

    Baluncore

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    RoHS was an EU initiative. Brexit will fix the problem of unreliable solder joints.

    I am on the other side of the planet, but it is still cheaper for me to buy from CPC in the UK, than from Farnell = Element14 in Australia. I manufacture in Australia then export to Europe via the UK. I do not pay VAT in the UK or GST in Australia.

    CPC in the UK lists 60/40 solder.
    http://cpc.farnell.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Search?pageSize=25&st=solder+60/40&catalogId=15002&categoryId=700000008637&langId=69&storeId=10180
    As does Maplin; http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/multicore-wk618-6040-solder-12mm-diameter-05k-reel-r32yh
     
  18. Jan 30, 2017 #17

    jim hardy

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  19. Jan 30, 2017 #18
    Hey Wolram

    I came across the same issue in the UK for soldering up bullet connectors and alike. I bought a full set of soldering irons, 15, 25, 40 and 80w from maplins. I still couldn't get the lead free stuff to produce a decent joint. I figured it must be my poor soldering.

    I ended up buying some 60/40 rosin core solder from amazon:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Solder-60-...485776235&sr=8-16&keywords=60+40+rosin+solder

    This has done the trick for me and I solder all my connections with a 40W weller iron without issue. Some of the bullets on my RC helicopter take upwards of 100A and I have not had one go wrong yet. While you are working on a lot smaller stuff, I should imagine some 60/40 rosin core solder with a 25 to 40w iron would be ample.

    Kr
    Craig
     
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