|Ask the Experts|
May 11, 2011
Devices for Soldering Iron Tip Cleaning
What is the best way to clean a soldering iron tip? Beyond sponges, are there any commercial devices or systems specifically designed for cleaning soldering iron tips?
|Expert Panel Responses|
One of the methods we are starting to see move into the forefront for cleaning solder iron tips is the brass type brillo pad. Although this type of pad has been around for quite a while I think with the use of the new lead-free solders and the new fluxes and tip temperatures, people are getting better results cleaning their tips with the pads as opposed to the damp sponge. I also believe that there is less thermal shock with the brass pad which protects the plating on the tip from allowing the tin from the solder to migrate into the tip and accelerate the dissolution of the tip plating and base materials.
Vice President, Technical Director
We supply all of our Metcal and OKi branded soldering systems with both the traditional soldering sponge and the Brass Wool for tip cleaning. As Leo states above, the brass wool reduces the thermal shock to the soldering tip reducing the opportunity for micro-cracks to form in the tip plating, increasing tip life. With either method, it is important the sponge or the brass wool be replaced whenever it is dirty or contaminated from the soldering process.
Regional Sales Manager
OK International Inc.
Soldering tips are often cleaned with tip cleaner or tinner. The majority of these cleaners are a semisolid mixture of phosphoric acid, diammonium salt and tin. There is packaging designed for the workbench for use in cleaning single soldering tips.
Director of Product Technology
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