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Water-soluble flux vs test socket cleaners?

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#73678

Water-soluble flux vs test socket cleaners? | 12 March, 2015

Hello. I would like to know the difference (if any) between water soluble flux and test socket cleaners (e.g. for Burn-In Board test sockets).

As far as I know, they both remove oxides (tin & copper) with an activator, solvent and surfactants.

Thank you!

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#73685

Water-soluble flux vs test socket cleaners? | 13 March, 2015

I'm not familiar with any "test socket cleaners", but I will tell you that water soluble flux is designed for a soldering application so it requires heat to activate. Not sure how effective it would be at removing oxides at room temperature.

Secondly, you wouldn't want to leave any flux residues on your test sockets as it will attack the base metal in short order, so you would need to remove it with a water rinse.

Hope that helps.

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#73687

WS flux vs test socket cleaners? --- Similar BUT Different | 15 March, 2015

Sure, the formulation and purpose of a soldering flux and a socket cleaner are basically the same. Off the top of my head, differences are:

* Activation temperature: soldering flux [~200*C], socket cleaner [~120*F]

* Compatibility with some solder masks: soldering flux [very good with most], socket cleaner [terrible with some]

It's easy to understand why the temperature for using test socket cleaner is so far away from the melting point of solder.

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#73688

WS flux vs test socket cleaners? --- Similar BUT Different | 15 March, 2015

Thank you Dave! Does that imply that test socket cleaners use a more aggresive/corrosive activator to remove the oxides?

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#73689

Water-soluble flux vs test socket cleaners? | 15 March, 2015

Thank you caurbach. I'm actually not sure if they are cleaners specifically for test sockets or they are just generic PCB cleaners.

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#73691

WS flux vs test socket cleaners? --- Similar BUT Different | 16 March, 2015

The environment of a burn-in chamber is specific. That environment has a fairly well defined affect on the metal contacts of a burn-in socket. Test socket cleaners are tailored for those specific requirements.

Look at the MSDS for the WS flux and the burn-in cleaner that you're using. They will give you a good idea of how to be careful when using those materials.

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#73698

WS flux vs test socket cleaners? --- Similar BUT Different | 16 March, 2015

Thanks Dave!

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