Lead Free

  • Hand Soldering With Lead Free Materials: A How-to Guide for Beginners


    Lead FreeSoldering with lead-free materials does not need to be difficult. There are a number of tools that are designed specifically to make this job easier. When they are combined with the right techniques, a novice can enjoy an end product that is clean and residue free.

    Choose the Right Kester Solderimages (1)

    For the best results, use the appropriate alloy combination that is designed to be drawn into the wire. One such alloy is made of a tin-silver-copper combination (SAC) such as Chip Quik SMD291SNL10 Rework Solder Lead Free. This solder has a melting temperature of 217 degrees and is designed to be no clean. When compared to the other popular alloy formulation that utilize tin-copper (SnCu), this type of solder offers a quicker melting point, ensuring that it wets better and has better flow.

    KES-Pb-free-alloy-wire_27_4_1Choose the Right Wire

    To promote the proper wetting necessary to solder components together, the wire you choose needs to have at least 2% flux by weight. Using wire that has this weight allows for a good balance between wetting times and the possibility of residue. For wetting times that are deemed too slow, 3% flux can be used. However, the residue that is typically the result can be unsightly. Kester flux is specifically designed to work within lead free applications. Charring, splattering and the breakdown of the flux are minimized even when the necessary higher temperatures are used.

    Choose the Right TipSoldering tip locator

    The right tip choice makes all the difference in the delivery of the Kester solder. Lead free tips are crucial to both the success and aesthetics of the bond. These tips need to be able to deliver enough heat so that the right amount of coverage is generated. To increase the life of tips, it is important that the entire tip be designed for lead free applications. Those tips that are simply tinned with solder that is lead free tend to have a dramatically shortened life span.

    Choose the Right Technique

    Before making the final selection of flux, ensure sure that parts can be easily soldered with it. This will help reduce the desire to add excessive amounts of flux as well as the need to rework the piece repeatedly. Keeping contact times to a minimum will also result in a cleaner end product.

    Lead free soldering can result in a stable connect of materials that is also clean and residue free.


  • Lead free solders versus traditional solders

    Lead Free

    Traditional solders made from a mixture of tin and lead were once a common staple in working with electronics. Lead free solders have arisen in recent years as alternative to the lead and tin compound.

    A gradual shift to lead free solders has meant a change in design and manufacturing of some electronic components. New designs compensate for the differences in soldering and help lead free solders last longer.

    One appeal of lead based solders is their low melting temperature. A lead and tin alloy has a melting point of 183 degrees Celsius. Lead free alloys are typically a mix of tin and copper or silver. Many of these alloys must reach 220 degrees Celsius or higher to hit their melting point.

    Soldering is important because it is used in designing and constructing internal electronic circuit boards in radios, TVs, computers and other electronic equipment. It is required to be durable so that electronic equipment lasts longer.

    This is an area where lead free solders offer a major advantage over traditional ones. A traditional solder has a tensile strength of 6,140 psi (pounds per square inch). Lead free solders, on the other hand, can boast a tensile strength of more than 9,000 psi.

    The biggest advantage for a lead free solder is that it presents less of a health risk. Lead can be toxic if enough of it builds up inside the human body. It can enter a person's body through skin contact or inhalation. That's one reason why lead was removed from gasoline and paint years ago.

    Lead exposure poses the greatest risk to young children because their immune systems are not as equipped to deal with it. Anyone who works regularly with solders should be aware of the health risks lead can pose.


  • What are the Benefits of Lead-Free Soldering?


    Lead-free solder has several advantages over lead-based solder. Many companies in the microelectronics manufacturing and repair industries have transitioned to lead-free solder because of these benefits. Not only is lead-free solder a green option, but it also has benefits in manufacturing.

    Since lead-free solder does not have lead, it is a more environmentally friendly option than lead-based solder. Following precautionary procedures may protect employees from lead poisoning, but the environmental benefits of lead-free solder extend well beyond the assembly plant. Components that are made with lead-free solder are recyclable, unlike electronics manufactured with lead-based solder. As environmental regulations continue to increase, some companies are being forced to build recyclable electronics. For instance, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) requires 85 percent of the electronics a company sells to be recyclable. Using lead-free solder, such as Kester’s Ultrapure Lead-Free Bar Solder from Kimco Distributing, is almost the only way to comply with regulations such as this.

    Ronald C. Lasky, who teaches at Dartmouth College, notes that lead-free solder is easier to use than lead-based solder when working with tight pitches. He explains why: “Lead-free solder doesn’t wet well, so you can get better lead spacing.” A study conducted by Motorola confirmed this. It found that when identical boards were soldered with lead-free and lead-based solder, the lead-based solder flowed more and led to the leads shorting. Because it makes soldering high-density semiconductors in small form factors easier, lead-free solder will continue to become even more common as the demand for mobile devices continues to increase.

    Because it is the environmentally friendly choice and the practical choice, more and more businesses are opting to work with lead-free solder. Kimco Distributing has a variety of lead-free solders to choose from.

    Kester Lead Free Bar Solder

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