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October 22, 2014
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BGA Rework Flux Recommendation
Is there a specific flux, or flux type, we should evaluate when we replace BGA components?

We currently use a standard flux and it seems to have problems maintaining its activity under prolonged heating during BGA rework.
S. S.

Experts Comments

The key phrase in the question is "under prolonged heating".

In principle, the same flux or flux type as was used for reflow should be fine for rework. However, care must be taken to ensure that the flux is not overheated.The rework thermal cycle should be as close as possible to the one that was used in the reflow ovenincluding ramp, preheat, peak temperature, time above liquidus and cool down.

Following this simple rule should resolve the problem.

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Harold Hyman
Consultant
VJ Electronix
Harold Hyman has been involved in metallurgical aspects of the electronics industry since the 1950's, and in semiconductor development and engineering for STL, Ediswan & RCA. He later joined HTC, a pioneer of vapor phase soldering and continued industry experience Dynapert, GenRad, Teradyne, SRT and VJ Electronics.

A flux with a good oxidation barrier (that protects molten solder from oxidizing for as long as possible) will do the job - typically no-clean rosin-based fluxes have a better oxidation barrier than water-wash fluxes.

The oxidation barrier in the flux is crucial towards eliminating head-in-pillow as well.

image
Karthik Vijay
Technical Manager - Europe
Indium Corp.
Currently with Indium Corporation and responsible for technology programs and technical support for customers in Europe. Over 15 yrs experience in SMT, Power, Thermal & Semiconductor Applications. Masters Degree in Industrial Engg, State University of New York-Binghamton.

All the major brands have a BGA Rework specific tacky flux formulation. I would start with the vendor you currently purchase your flux and solder paste from. This will ensure that your tacky flux is compatable with what you are currently using.

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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.

BGA rework should be done with rework flux paste, which is designed to stay active and will remain in place through the full range of reflow processes experienced during rework operations.

In addition, rework flux paste is tacky and will hold components in position the same way as solder paste.

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John Vivari
Application Engineering Supervisor
Nordson EFD
Mr. Vivari has more than 15 years of electronic engineering design and assembly experience. His expertise in fluid dispensing and solder paste technology assists others in identifying the most cost effective method for assembling products.

It is best to use proper Rosin based rework flux gel as this will aid with the heat transfer to the balls much more efficiently and last the soldering process so you only have to do the job once.

Greg York
Technical Sales Manager
BLT Circuit Services Ltd
Greg York has twenty two years of service in Electronics industry. York has installed over 350 Lead Free Lines in Europe with Solder and flux systems as well as Technical Support on SMT lines and trouble shooting.
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