Ask the Experts
May 28, 2009 - Updated
May 26, 2009 - Originally Posted

Difference between shiny and matt solder resist

Are there differences in processing parameters and cost for shiny and matt solder resists in PCB manufacturing? Why does it seem that the shiny solder resist attracts more solder balls during wave soldering? Why do most PCB houses choose shiny solder resist as standard material?

T. S. Y.

Expert Panel Responses

Yes, there are process differences between the two types of mask although there isn't a difference in the price. The matte masks seems to have a harder time to wet as there is a roughened surface on the finish, thus the ball is less susceptible to stick. I I believe the glossy mask is a bit tougher so you have less of a tendency for the mask to scratch in process. In the market we mostly see a semi matte version which is a combination of the glossy and the matte masks.

Mike Scimeca
FCT Assembly
Mike Scimeca created FCT Assembly after the purchase of Fine Line Stencil, Inc., and consists of two major operations: stencil manufacturing and the manufacturing of electronic assembly products such as solder paste, flux and solder bar.

Reader Comment
I had the same question. There had to be some sort of advantage to glossy if PCB MFGs offer it. Lets look at interior paint. Glossy paint is a lot more resist to smudging and collecting debris. I assume that glossy solder mask has the same advantage.
Grant Pitel, Magna-Power Electronics, USA

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