The electronics assembly industry has witnessed the return of a familiar yet unappreciated process step — defluxing. Once commonplace, then relegated to military applications, today defluxing has once again moved toward the mainstream. The miniaturization of electronic assemblies and their components, implementation of lead-free alloys, combined with improved quality standards and higher reliability expectations have culminated to form a growing demand for ionicly clean electronic circuits. Modern defluxing methods, chemical selections, cleanliness testing, throughput considerations, and effluent handling were discussed.
Mike’s presentation also focused on the fact that no-clean has less relevance today due to miniaturization, increased densities, increased heat, increased reliability expectations, increased liability, increased reliance on quality standards. Additionally, he explained that cleaning increases reliability, increases yields, reduces field failures, reduces liability and costs less than ever before.
Michael Konrad is an SMT Advisory Board member and President of Aqueous Technologies. Konrad was a member of IPC’s Stencil Cleaning Task Group, contributing to the IPC-7526 Stencil and Misprinted Board Cleaning Handbook, and is a current member of IPC’s 5-31 Committee for the upcoming IPC Cleaning Handbook.
Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, Aqueous Technologies Corporation (http://www.aqueoustech.com) is North America's leading manufacturer of aqueous cleaning systems. Aqueous Technologies manufactures both batch-format and inline aqueous cleaning/defluxing systems. Aqueous Technologies also manufactures both ultrasonic and spray-in-air stencil cleaning systems, PCB and stencil cleaning chemistries and the Zero-Ion ionic contamination (cleanliness) tester. Aqueous Technologies’ products have won more than 30 industry awards.