Assessing the bridging and icicling tendencies of a solder
Nihon Superior Co. Ltd., a supplier of advanced soldering materials to the global market, is proposing that its “Icicle Test” is one of the criteria electronics manufacturers should consider using as they struggle to find a basis for choosing between the various lead-free solders being offered for wave soldering.
The test involves the measurement of the length of the icicle left when a fluxed copper ring is immersed and then withdrawn from the molten solder. The length of the icicle left after this procedure has been completed is a measure of the ease with which excess solder can drain off a joint into the solder. Excess solder left on a joint as it exits the solder wave is the cause of bridging (shorts) as well as icicles, which slow production by necessitating expensive touch-ups.
When tested this way, Nihon Superior’s SN100C lead-free solder demonstrates a clear advantage. The icicle length of the Sn-Cu-Ni alloy is less than half that of other lead-free solders because of the beneficial effects of the Ni on fluidity and Ge on surface tension.
For further, more detailed information about the test, see:
- Excellent Drainage Reduces Bridging (The Icicle Test)
- Test Icicles video
SN100C (Sn-0.7Cu-0.05Ni+Ge) excellent drainage
*Please note that the results of the icicle test will depend on conditions. For more information, visit: http://www.nihonsuperior.co.jp/english/topics/topics.php/513
Nihon Superior was founded in 1966 when it began marketing unique flux products imported from the US. The company made its mark on society by gathering the most advanced soldering and brazing technologies and products from around the world, and supplying them to companies in the metal-joining industry. A turning point for the company came when it started developing its own soldering materials and with the success of its unique SN100C lead-free solder alloy Nihon Superior has become a major player in the global market. To support the growing demand for its products, Nihon Superior has established manufacturing and sales centers in Japan, China and other Asian countries, and the United States, and formed business partnerships with companies in other markets.