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'[EE] Solders, fluxes, and flux removers.'
2005\08\09@131930 by PicDude

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I usually use "generic" solder (63/37/rosin), and clean off the residue with a
Circuit Works CW9200 flux remover pen.  Also tried PureTronics flux remover
spray in the past, but that did not seem as effective.

I was looking at other flux removers for the same solder (still have lots of
it left), and noticed flux-removers for "no-clean" solders.  Huh?  Why have a
cleaner for a no-clean product?  Is it just that it is not *necessary* to be
cleaned (ie: not corrosive, so not necessay)?

BTW, I've cleaned PCBs since flux is supposedly corrosive, but is it also
(even mildly) conductive enough to cause problems?

Cheers,
-Neil.


2005\08\09@135151 by olin piclist

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PicDude wrote:
> BTW, I've cleaned PCBs since flux is supposedly corrosive, but is it
> also (even mildly) conductive enough to cause problems?

Water based flux definitely is, at least when any moisture is around.  The
resistance can be low enough to disrupt even normal digital circuits.
Personally I stay away from water based flux.


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2005\08\09@143219 by Robert Young

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> I was looking at other flux removers for the same solder
> (still have lots of
> it left), and noticed flux-removers for "no-clean" solders.  
> Huh?  Why have a
> cleaner for a no-clean product?  Is it just that it is not
> *necessary* to be
> cleaned (ie: not corrosive, so not necessay)?

"no-clean" is a misnomer.  It is more correctly called "low-residue".
Depending on the final application and also on the soldering temperature
profile it may not be necessary to remove the residue from the board.
In theory, the application of heat during the soldering process
transforms the flux to something resembling an acrylic.

Water-soluble fluxes are tend to be very active and should always be
removed.  Use deionized water if possible or at least for a final rinse.
Leaving the flux behind is very bad.  Water soluble fluxes are very
hydroscopic.

Most if not all solder manufacturers should be able to provide you with
a data sheet showing the bulk resitance of the flux post-solder.

TechSpray makes a good cleaner that works reasonably well on RMA and
no-clean flux residues.

Rob

2005\08\10@012452 by William Chops Westfield

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On Aug 9, 2005, at 10:20 AM, PicDude wrote:

> I usually use "generic" solder (63/37/rosin)...
>
> I was looking at other flux removers for the same solder (still have
> lots of it left), and noticed flux-removers for "no-clean" solders.
>  Huh?  Why have a cleaner for a no-clean product?

I didn't think you needed to remove rosin flux either, except for
special cases...  (rosin: the original no-clean flux for electronics.)

Isopropyl alcohol dissolves rosin just fine.  Used to use rosin
dissolved
in rubbing alcohol as a "grip enhancer/hand toughener...

BillW

2005\08\10@043121 by Alan B. Pearce

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>I didn't think you needed to remove rosin flux either, except for
>special cases...  (rosin: the original no-clean flux for electronics.)

It still absorbs water to some degree, and as such can make lowish
resistance paths where you don't want them.

>Isopropyl alcohol dissolves rosin just fine.  Used to use rosin
>dissolved in rubbing alcohol as a "grip enhancer/hand toughener...

I find it makes a gooey mess. There are better means of washing it off, but
it seems they are not considered environmentally friendly.

2005\08\10@111809 by PicDude

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On Tuesday 09 August 2005 12:52 pm, Olin Lathrop scribbled:
> Water based flux definitely is, at least when any moisture is around.  The
> resistance can be low enough to disrupt even normal digital circuits.
> Personally I stay away from water based flux.


Never did try those.

I did find some useful info thru google here...
       http://www.necel.com/pkg/en/mount/CHAPTER1_E.pdf

Also, if you manually change the URL to chapters 2 thru 6, there's more useful
info.  It gets into reflow soldering, and other areas I didn't need, but
interesting nonetheless.

Cheers,
-Neil.


2005\08\10@170138 by Phillip Vogel

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>>Isopropyl alcohol dissolves rosin just fine.  Used to use rosin
>>dissolved in rubbing alcohol as a "grip enhancer/hand toughener...

>I find it makes a gooey mess. There are better means of washing it off, but
>it seems they are not considered environmentally friendly.

I've used orange peel oil based soaps to clean rosin flux. It works
miracles, if you can find a strong enough mixture. Scrub with a brush, wash
off with hot water.


2005\08\10@173021 by Peter

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Rosin flux that was improperly cured forms a tacky powdery layer that
develops cracks and traps dirt and eventually leads to leakage paths. It
has to be mixed with a filler to avoid that. Wax is one possibility.

Peter

2005\08\10@173159 by Peter

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On Wed, 10 Aug 2005, Alan B. Pearce wrote:

>> I didn't think you needed to remove rosin flux either, except for
>> special cases...  (rosin: the original no-clean flux for electronics.)
>
> It still absorbs water to some degree, and as such can make lowish
> resistance paths where you don't want them.
>
>> Isopropyl alcohol dissolves rosin just fine.  Used to use rosin
>> dissolved in rubbing alcohol as a "grip enhancer/hand toughener...
>
> I find it makes a gooey mess. There are better means of washing it off, but
> it seems they are not considered environmentally friendly.

Instead of washing it off try to bake the board at 150 deg C and cool it
slowly to allow annealing of the rosin layer.

Peter

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