Ask the Experts
December 9, 2009

SN96 Solderability Issues

We have been hand soldering a connector using 63/37 solder. The connector has bright electrolytic tin as the finish. Recently we switched to SN96 and have been experiencing solderability issues. We sent samples to an independent test lab and had them run solderability testing using both 63/37 and SN96 with RMA flux. The 63/37 samples all passed and the SN96 all failed for de-wetting. As a side note the tin is plated on at 150 micro-inches thick and the connectors are approx. 2 months old. Can you shed any light on this problem?

B. R.

Expert Panel Responses

It is possible that you damaged the plating by operating your soldering stations at too high a soldering temperature. I would suggest evaluating a direct power soldering system operating at a lower tip temperature.

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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