Monthly Archives: April 2014

  • Choosing the Best Tools When Soldering with Lead Free Materials

    photoRecent trends in electronics and other areas have suggested that lead free solder is now more popular than lead options. This being said, it is important to first understand why lead free solder may be a more viable and useful option than other soldering methods.

    Lead has long been known to be toxic making it a difficult

    Lead Free

    material to work with. While it can be harmless in some applications, it can be incredibly toxic in other instances. With electronics and other items that we come in contact with every day, it is highly important that the use of toxic materials be limited to protect consumers.

    Lead free solder paste, lead free wire solder, and lead free compatible fluxes are also necessary. The Kester Lead Free solder paste is a great option that is fairly inexpensive. You will also need lead free solder masking agent like the one offered by Chemtronics Chemask.The European Union outlawed the use of lead in consumer goods in 2008 making it essential for users to find an alternative when it comes to soldering. Lead free alternatives are far more available than ever before as more and more people are switching to lead free alternatives. That being said, it may be necessary for users to find new tools in order to work with these lead free materials.

    Choosing something like the Hakko Lead Free solder pot FX301B-03 is a great place to start. Finding a lead free solder pot is the first step to making a successful transition. It is necessary to get a lead free solder pot as it will have different temperature settings, different gauges and more which could make lead free solder unstable and far less suitable for sturdy and durable solders.

    Still another item you may need is of course lead free solder itself. This can either be solder wire like the Kester 24-6337-6401 331 Organic Water Soluble Cored Wire is a great option. These spooled solder wires are great and are easy to use and easy to work with.

    Another option is of course lead free bar solder like the Kester K100LD 04-9574-0050 bar solder. This is also easy to work with and fast for those that do not want to deal with wire spools and unspooling the solder that they need. All of these products can help you quickly switch over to a lead free solder option making your soldering safer and easier all around.

    If you're still not sure what you need for Lead Free Soldering:

    If you have questions about anything related to Lead free soldering, Kimco has the answers you need.  You can browse our website or If you prefer, you can also contact our team of professional customer service representatives for assistance with your needs by calling (800) 521-9197.

  • PCBs and ESD: How to construct a work area that prevents Electrostactic Discharge

    esd_symbol_lElectricity follows the path of least resistance, which is the epitome of why ESDs occur. A short between two charged units creates a weaker path that electricity will take advantage of every time. An example is a lightening strike. Static electricity is attracted to us. Simply walking across a floor can cause a static buildup or even an ESD event. Electrical components are fragile and even a small ESD can cause severe damage. Work area construction practices play a part in preventing ESD from occurring, and those practices begin with prevention.

    Work Station Tools that help prevent ESD

    How the work station is constructed is half of the battle when it comes to preventing ESD. That process is not always within our control. The good news is that there are ways to compensate for construction deficits.

    - Work areas should include a humidity control unit. Humidity plays a large role in electricity build up. There are plenty of aftermarket humidity control units and humidifiers available.  GoKimco does not offer specific models, but if you need help in finding one call us at (800) 521-9197 or email us.

    - Flooring surfaces should be covered with non-conducting flooring finish in work areas and ESD Safe Anti-fatique mats at the workbench or the area designated as the work location or bench. These mats will dissipate static build up before a ESD event occurs.

    - Work surfaces should also be covered using either an anti-static mat or a bench mat with a grounding cord. Both help to prevent static electricity build up that can occur was clothing rubs together.

    Grounding straps for personnel are also essential. Grounding heel straps or wrist straps work well to eliminate static build up that naturally occurs on people.

    • ESD_Static

    The human body is a magnet for static electricity. Using preventative products to reduce static build up is an easy and cost effective way to avoid ESD events. Most of these products are not expensive. Most are easy to install. All of them do a good job of preventing EDS.  Visit our website for a full list of ESD Control products available from GoKimco.

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