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October 2, 2006

Proper hand soldering settings

What are the considerations of lead free hand soldering of plated through holes (PTH) boards & multi layer board?  Please advise standard temperature setting of soldering station.

Veerendra Kumar Singh

Experts Comments

The important factors for any hand soldering application are temperature, repeatability and thermal response.

You need to solder at the lowest possible temperature that achieves high quality solder joints while maintaining your desired thruput on your production line. This is usually in the 700 - 750F range. But you also need to consider the repeatability of the temperature at the end of your soldering tip, it needs to maintain that temperature + / - 10F and idealy your station should not require calibration.

Finally you should seek a variable power soldering system NOT a variable temperature system. This will ensure that your operators cannot vary the operating temperature of the system and because it is variable power the tip temperature will remain fixed regardless of the load from the PCB. So they can go from joint to joint faster overcommin the thruput reduction associated with lead free solders.

Edward Zamborsky
Regional Sales Manager
OK International Inc.
Mr. Zamborsky serves as one of OK's technology advisers to the Product Development group. Ed has authored articles and papers on topics such as; Low Volume SMT Assembly, Solder Fume Extraction, SMT Rework, BGA Rework, Lead Free Hand Soldering, Lead Free Visual Inspection and Lead Free Array Rework.
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