Ask the Experts
January 29, 2007 - Updated
July 4, 2007 - Originally Posted

Best way to Clean OSP Boards

How do we clean the OSP misprinted PCBs? What is the correct cleaning agent? How many times can it be cleaned?


Expert Panel Responses

A lot more people are using OSP coated assemblies, The misprinting has provided for a unique application for the chemical industry. We know that it is very importance to remove misprinted solder paste immediately after printing, this is to minimize irreparable damage caused to this protective film. While removing any misprinted solder paste from assemblies the cleaning process we must make sure that sufficient organic solder protect remains. One of my clients swear by Zestron material. They and many others have studied and worked with material manufacturers to ensure the full compatibility of their products. By keeping the protective film on the OSP boards multiple cleaning is possible. Get help from your local pros in the materials game and you will be successful. he cleaning of misprinted assemblies can be easily accomplished by common stencil cleaning equipment. Zestron has a material called Vigon SC 200, which is water based. For the removal of flux residues as well as solder paste from single sided reflowed assemblies, This material is slightly alkaline. For solvent-based processes, Zestron's SD 301 has been specially made for the misprint and stencil cleaning processes. As I said there are many suppliers and your guys may be able to cross reference the above material.

Terry Jeglum
Electronic Technology Corporation
Mr. Jeglum has 35+ years experience and is the founder of Electronic Technology Corporation. He is responsible for 22 years of program management for the Company.

For misprinted boards, may I suggest a stencil cleaning solvent from Micro Care which delivers great cleaning at low cost? The BGA stencil cleaner can be used in ultrasonic dip tanks, it's nonfoaming and nonflammable so it's safe with ultrasonics. Exactly what it's designed for. Check out BGA Stencil Cleaner and Degreaser. If no machinery is available, most of my customers use presaturated wipes. The most common is a tub of 100 wipes, pure hydroentangled polyester fibers (no cellulose! It shreds.) with a mix of IPA and water. Check out Economy Stencil Wipes.

Mike Jones
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.
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