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Mike Jones
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Vice President
Micro Care
Mr. Jones is an electronics cleaning and stencil printing specialist. Averaging over one hundred days a year on the road, Mike visits SMT production sites and circuit board repair facilities in every corner of the globe, helping engineers and technicians work through the complex trade-offs today's demanding electronics require.

Mike Jones has submitted responses to the following questions.
Cleaning Under Low Clearance Components
Your concern about hi-rel cleaning under very tight stand-offs is well-founded. OA fluxes - even no-clean OA fluxes - produce shiny solder ...
Ultrasonic Cleaning and Surfactants
Vapor pressure and surface tension are the two most important fluid properties governing the formation of cavitation in ultrasonic cleaning ...
Tough Hand Soldering Problem
Its a little hard to trouble-shoot your soldering problems without knowing more about the metals you are using, the solders ...
Stencil Cleaning Frequency
Your question is an excellent one. There is a Grand Canyon-sized gulf between production engineers in the electronics world as ...
Contamination Using Solvent Dispensers
In response to the question about "small bench-top solvent dispensers with acid brushes" for touch-up cleaning, I'd like to offer a ...
Trichloroethylene Alternative
You are absolutely correct to try to be moving away from trichloroethylene, also known as "TCE." TCE is a great ...
Mixing Silicone and Acrylic Conformal Coatings
It is not a good idea to mix different conformal coating technologies on the same PCB. Here's why:   In ...
Conformal Coating Recommendation
Regarding conformal coatings, here at MicroCare we don't sell conformal coatings but work with many, many different types and brands. ...
Un-cleaned PCB Assemblies Potted
I see a number of potential difficulties that may arise in this instance, but the big unknown will be the ...
White Discoloration After Ultrasonic Cleaning
I can suggest two areas of investigation, it is common for lead-free materials to react with alcohol. Perhaps there is ...
Solvent Attacking Flex Circuits
You have discovered the convenience of using a super-strong solvent can sometimes bring with it unexpected consequences. In this case, ...
Steam Cleaning PCB Assemblies
Using steam to clean PCB assemblies is not a recommended practice. There are a number of flaws in this process, ...
BGA Rework Residue Concern
It's hard to be sure if the contamination will cause problems or not, since you are not sure of the ...
BGA Rework Clean-up?
In general, it is NEVER acceptable to leave residues on circuit boards, and this is particularly true with BGA components. ...
Ultrasonic Cleaning Solution Recommendation
My recommendation would be any of a number of well-known, neutral-pH, aqueous-based cleaning fluids. MicroCare has one such product, called ...
Wave Solder Pallets
Without a doubt, re-use the pallets. Save yourself some money. I'm sure there are some pallet manufacturers who will suggest ...
Pros and Cons of Cleaning No-clean
This is a great question, and one that too few engineers think about. After all, there are lots of smart ...
Can Water be Harmful to Electronics Components?
Wow. Simple question, but it requires a complex answer. Let's start with the basics-- In general, you should never have ...
Cleaning No-Clean Solder Paste
In general, there are only two good ways to clean complete circuit boards in low volumes: a small vapor degreaser ...
What is the Proper DI Water Resistivity
Deionized water is often used in precision cleaning. It's a tried-and-true process, but with a number of hidden pitfalls. In ...
IPA to clean 'lead-free'
Cleaning no-clean lead-free soldering materials is a very common practice in the industry. While it may not seem logical to ...
Problem with 'No Clean' Solder Flux Residue
White residues are the bane of the electronics industry. There are dozens of different possible sources -- the boards, the ...
IPA cleaning precautions
I assume you are speaking of cleaning PCBs with a brush and a small bottle of alcohol, or sometimes in ...
Recommended DI Water Conductivity For Ultrasonic Cleaning
Deionized water is often used in precision cleaning processes. It's a tried-and-true process, but one with a number of hidden ...
Affects of Ultrasonic Cleaning
In the early days of integrated circuits, say the 1960s and 1970s, ultrasonic cleaning was generally not used for cleaning ...
PCB Cleaning
In general, wiping excess paste off a mis-printed circuit board is an ESSENTIAL step in cleaning the mis-print, unless you ...
Clean a no clean PCBA
Thanks for your question about cleaning "no clean" circuit boards. This is probably the #1 question we get about PCBs ...
Urethane Conformal Coating Problem
The heart of your issue about urethane conformal coatings is the cleanliness of the substrate you are putting the coating ...
Ultrasonic Cleaning Considerations
This is an extremely complex issue with no simple answer. Ultrasonic cleaning systems can have special requirements, and there are ...
No-Clean Flux: How much is too much?
In general, it is preferred that technicians should always clean after hand-soldering, and there should be no visible residues around ...
Pre clean boards before printing
Most companies do not pre-clean their boards before soldering, assuming the boards and clean and fingerprint-free. However, that is often ...
Cleaning residue after wave solder process
You are correct, white residues on the pallets and the boards are unattractive and unprofessional, so everybody always has to ...
Spray fluxer in wave solder
In most wave solder machines, the big worry is the flammability of any solvent you select. So let's make this ...
Method for cleaning boards after misprint
The best method for cleaning mis-printed boards is to immerse the boards in some sort of an ultrasonic dip-tank and ...
Clean before wave soldering
In my 20 years of experience in PCB assembly, the only time I have seen companies clean before soldering was ...
Stencil printing process problems
I'm going to guess that you are using a lead-free solder paste. This problem frequently becomes an issue with lead ...
Wave Solder fluxing
As often as not, the sticky material is excess flux residues from the soldering process. The best option is to ...
Best method to clean "no-clean" solder paste
There are several answers to your question about cleaning mis-printed bare PCBs. The first is to not make many misprints ...
Cleaning solvent to replace Forane 141b?
You are correct, the Forane cleaners (also called "Genesolv" and "HCFC-141b") has been discontinued and phase-out due to ozone-depletion issues. ...
Cleaning "no-clean" flux
There are a number of reasons for white residues from cleaning with IPA. Let me list just a few, and ...
Best way to Clean OSP Boards
For misprinted boards, may I suggest a stencil cleaning solvent from Micro Care which delivers great cleaning at low cost? ...
OSP Board rework and cleaning
You have a number of reasonable choices for your OSP rework. But before mentioning specific names, let me suggest a ...
Cleaning an assembled board with IPA
The short answer is, almost certainly yes, the residues will cause a problem. But the detailed answer is much more ...
Alcohol based fluxes
In general, I have not heard of any federal ban or regulation on such products, but there are many local ...
Stencil printing lead free paste
Micro Care has observed numerous instances where the solvent used in understencil wiping has caused inconsistent results in the stencil ...
Aqueous Cleaning Process
In my experience, NEITHER alcohol nor water do a very good job at localized cleaning on a PCB after the ...
What type of cleaner method is preferred for lead-free stencils?
A great question with a simple answer. In my experience, ultrasonics do a much better job of cleaning the stencils ...
Epoxy replacement for solder??
Regarding the use of adhesives to replace solder, this concept has been discussed and tested for years. The most recent ...
Which cleaning solution do you recommend to avoid damage to relay contacts, coils and filters?
In regards to the issue of water-damage caused during cleaning of water-sensitive components, this is a fairly common problem. Indeed, ...
Ultrasonic cleaning for PCB assemblies
Regarding the question about cleaning circuit boards with ultrasonics, this is a question people have been asking for 50 years. ...
Pre-wash boards prior to conformal coating
Regarding pre-washing boards prior to conformal coating, this process is strongly recommended. First, many companies are using no-clean fluxes these ...
Separate wash systems for leaded and non-lead boards?
As I understand the rules, no, you do not need a separate cleaning system for your leaded and non-leaded boards. ...
Are equipment companies mandated to meet lead-free requirements?
I hate to break the bad news, but you are way behind the curve on this project. Yes, the ROHS ...
Batch washing machine request
Regarding Mr. Nedlik's question about a batch cleaning machine using IPA and water, once again people have forgotten about a ...
Cleaning Military Circuit Boards Contaminated with Sand
This is a tough question, because most of the cleaners strong enough to remove heavy oils and grime will also ...