FINE LINE STENCIL, a division of FCT Assembly and a leading manufacturer of stencil products, announces Slic Blade™, its newest line of squeegee blades, and a SMT VISION Award winning product.
FINE LINE STENCIL'S unique Slic Blade™ process uses electroformed nickel to form a hard, very smooth surface with extremely low surface energy (high lubricity). Solder paste readily sticks to most metal surfaces, including coated blades, due to metal's high surface energy and surface roughness. The company's Slic Blade™ process takes a unique approach to avoid these problems.
Slic Blade™ provides numerous benefits to users including the following:
- 100% Electroformed Nickel for superior surface "slippery-ness"
- Solid electroformed nickel will not chip or flake
- Lowest wiping pressure
- Longest blade life
- Enhanced stencil life and least stencil damage.
The Slic Blade™ surface is very smooth and slick, virtually eliminating any solder paste sticking to the blade. The smooth surface reduces solder paste shearing against the blade surface, eliminating viscosity breakdown and rheology changes in the solder paste. These features result in improved print quality. Squeegee blade sharpness and angle of attack are significant factors that influence the printing speed of solder paste. Basically, the duller the squeegee blade, the more pressure required to thoroughly wipe the stencil, slowing printing speed.
The Slic Blade™ is solid nickel and will not chip or flake as coated blades do (slide fingernail along the edge of each a blade and observe edge quality). This allows the Slic Blade™ to be re-sharpened when it becomes dull, significantly lowering cost of ownership. Additionally, annual maintenance contracts for periodic sharpening are available to further enhance customer retention.
Because the Slic Blade™ has a sharp, precision-ground edge, it provides the wiping pressure required to obtain a perfectly printed solder paste brick. Also, the lower printing pressure extends the life of the stencil and the blade. The printing speed is increased, and there is no flux bleed-out, which can cause bridging.