Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design SMT Electronics Assembly Manufacturing Forum

Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design Forum

SMT electronics assembly manufacturing forum.


Solderbar

Adam

#24340

Solderbar | 29 April, 2003

We are thinking of changing our solderbar supplier,due to a significant price increase from our current supplier.My question is, if the alloy is the the same, is it just a case of topping up the solderpot with the solderbars from our new supplier, as and when required ? or do I need to completely have to drain the solderpot of the old stuff to fill up with the new ? and as I speak all the alternative suppliers we are speaking claim their solderbar is the cleanest and purest !!! what should I be looking for in the solderbar to ensure it's going to give me good quality results ?

Thanks in Advance.

Adam

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#24351

Solderbar | 29 April, 2003

We have mixed bar solder from alternate suppliers in our wave soldering machine.

Issues that you need to address before changing your solder supplier are: * Assure that the alloys are the same. In this, consider imaginative people may be reporting that alloy content analysis. * Dross inclusions. Alpha Metals used to publish a dross inclusion test. [Chyrs Shea talked about this test a couple of years ago here on SMTnet, but unfortunately many those threads have been disappeared.] The test involved melting solder samples in clean beakers with a cover layer of water white rosin flux. Alpha doesn�t like to talk about it nowadays, because it is non-analytical, comparative test. If you run this test and compare drossy with non-drossy solder, you WILL see the difference.

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Steven

#24352

Solderbar | 29 April, 2003

First I would have your solder bath analyzed by a certified lab. Secondly I would get an analysis from each supplier that you are speaking with on their solder bar. The lowest price does not necessarily mean the best product and vice versa. Alot of people talk about low drossing solder. They also tack on more $$$ for the low dross version. This is very foggy as an issue. Once you mix new different manufacturers solder with your pot you may find that you will dross more initially, despite the low drossing brand. Also too much phosporous included in the bar, for low drossing purposes can create problems down the road. Why not stick with the solder you have and find a vendor for that product that will give you the price you need? Good luck

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razor

#24353

Solderbar | 29 April, 2003

Not to sound too much like a clich� "The solution to pollution is not dilution." I would not be one for adding yet another variable to my solder pot. If your PPM is double digit, control of solder defects can become tedious, who's to say which caused the any change in PPM during qualification? Secondly once you qualify this change with your customer how will you justify mixing solders? Or having mixed solder during qualification. How will you qualify the soup as it where? Most customers, automotive, defense, or bio-med in particular would have trouble sitting still for mixing old with new. Just to prove they are large and in charge, I have customers that would make the solder change an exercise in deforestation. Good Luck

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