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September 23, 2009

Components Lifting During Wave Soldering

How can we prevent through hole components from lifting or tilting during the wave solder process? The board in question measures 80mm x 100mm and is in a 4-up panel array. Each board is populated with 15 tall electrolytic capacitors, all the same height. We have heard about weighted bean bags, chain mail, and a glue sprays being used to hold components in place. Can you offer advice or suggestions?

P. B.

Expert Panel Responses

Firstly, make sure the component lead lengths are not catching on the solder nozzle, if they are cut them shorter. If you are cutting them could you not get them clinched at the same time then you can do what you want with the Assembly and nothing will fall out. Check that the solder wave is set up correctly so the flow of the solder isn't actually pushing the components out, if this is then check the angle you are hitting the wave at and change to 6.5 7 Degrees. The four up panel make sure you have the leading and trailing edge are well supported so the panel does not get sucked down into the wave too much. Bean bags certainly do work as long as the board is held tight enough in the fingers.

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Greg York
Technical Sales Manager
BLT Circuit Services Ltd
Greg York has over thirty two years of service in Electronics industry. York has installed over 600 Lead Free Lines in Europe with Solder and flux systems as well as Technical Support on SMT lines and trouble shooting.

I am assuming that you currently cut the leads on the PTH parts prior to reflow. Perhaps the simplest operation would be to use a cut/clinch tool when you are processing the leads prior to wave soldering. The clinch should deform the leads enough to hold the parts steady during the wave soldering operation.

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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.
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