TerrIFic RP65 is a no-clean water based soldering flux for selective fluxing applications, typically used in hand soldering and rewok and repair.
Hand soldering is a technology in electronics manufacturing that uses a hand (de)soldering iron to make a solder joint or to desolder a component from a PCB board. The process is mostly used in rework and repair but also to solder single components that have been left out of the bulk soldering process (reflow or wave soldering). This can be due to the availability or the temperature sensitivity of these components. The soldering iron usually is part of a soldering station that has a power supply that controls the temperature of the soldering iron. This temperature can be set according to the used soldering alloy and usually is between 320°C-390°C. The soldering iron has an exchangeable soldering tip that can be chosen according to the component to be soldered. For optimal heat transfer the biggest possible soldering tip is recommendable, certainly when soldering (heavy thermal mass) through hole components. For soldering thermally heavy components and boards, the power of the soldering station is also important to keep the set temperature of the soldering tip. In rework and repair, changing the soldering tip for every different component is not realistic and only a few soldering tips are used. Soldering tips exist to solder several surface mount solder joints in a row like for e.g. SOICs (Small Outline Integrated Circuit) and QFPs (Quad Flat Package). To promote heat transfer and flowing of the solder, the soldering tips are wettable, meaning that they make an interaction with the soldering alloy. During soldering these tips will oxidize and they can loose their wettability which will obstruct heat transfer. This can be avoided by cleaning the soldering tip with e.g. a tip tinner. After some time the soldering tips will also wear out and will need to be replaced. The life time of the soldering tip can be optimised by avoiding the use of abrasive or agressive soldering tip cleaners or by avoiding mechanically cleaning the soldering tip with e.g. steel wool or sand paper. The use of an absolutely halogen free tip tinner is advisable. In hand soldering, the solder for the solder joint is usually provided by a solder wire. A solder wire is available in several diameters and several alloys, and has a certain quantity of a certain type of flux inside. The alloy is usually the same or a similar alloy as the bulk soldering process (reflow, wave or selective soldering). The diameter is chosen according to the size of the solder joint. The flux content in the solder wire is usually determined by the thermal mass of the component and board to be soldered. (Heavy thermal mass) through hole solder joints need more flux. More flux content will also give more visual flux residue after soldering. Sometimes extra flux is needed which in most cases is a liquid rework and repair flux but also can be a gel flux. The type of flux/ solder wire is determined by the solderability of the surfaces to be soldered. With normal solderability of electronic components and PCB boards an absolutely halogen free 'L0' type of flux/solder wire is advisable. In general a hand soldering operation is performed like this: Set the temperature of the soldering tip according to the used soldering alloy. For lead-free alloys, the advised working temperature is between 320°C and 390°C. For more dense metals like Nickel, the temperature may be elevated to 420°C. The use of a good soldering station is important. Use a soldering station with a short response time and with enough power for your application. Choose the correct soldering tip: to reduce the thermal resistance, it is important to create a large as possible contact area with the surfaces to be soldered. Heat up both the surfaces simultaneously. Slightly touch with the solder wire, the point where soldering tip and the surfaces to be soldered meet (the small quantity of solder ensures a drastic lowering of the thermal resistance). Add subsequently without interruption, the correct amount of solder close to the soldering tip without touching the tip. This will reduce the risk on flux spitting and premature flux consumption!
Rework and repair on an electronic unit can be performed on defective electronic units that return from the field but can also be necessary in an electronic production environment to correct defects in the assembly and soldering processes. Typical rework and repair actions involve the removal of solder bridging, adding of solder to poor through hole filled components or adding missing solder, replacing wrong components, replacing components that are placed in the wrong direction, replacing components that have defects related to the high soldering temperatures in the processes, adding components that were left out of the process due to e.g. availability or temperature sensitivity. The identification of these defects can be done by visual inspection, by AOI (Automated Optical Inspection), by ICT (In Circuit Testing, electrical testing) or by CAT (Computer Aided Testing, functional testing). A lot of repair operations can be done with a hand soldering station that has a (de)soldering iron with temperature setting. Solder is added by means of a solder wire that is available in several alloys and diameters and contains a flux inside. In some cases a liquid repair flux and/or a gel flux are used to make the hand soldering process easier. For bigger componnets, like BGAs (Ball Grid Array), LGA's (Land Grid Array) QFNs (Quad Flat No Leads), QFPs (Quad Flat Package), PLCCs( Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier),...a repair unit can be used that simulates a reflow profile. These repair units are available in different sizes and with different options. In most cases they contan a preheating from the bottom side that is usually IR (Infrared). This preheating can be controlled by a thermocouple that is placed on the PCB. Some units have a pick and place unit that facilitates the correct positioning of the component on the PCB. The heating unit is usually hot air or IR or a combination of these two. With the aid of thermocouples on the PCB, the heater is controlled to create the desired soldering profile. In some cases the challenge is to bring the component to soldering temperatures without remelting adjacent components. This can be difficult when the component to be repaired is big and has small components near to it. For BGAs with balls made of a soldering alloy, a gel flux can be used or a liquid flux with higher solid content. In this case the solder for the solder joint is provided by the balls. But also the use of a solder paste is possible. The solder paste can be printed on the leads of the component or on the PCB. This requires a different stencil for each different component. The BGA can also be dipped in a special dipping solder paste that first is printed in a layer with a stencil with one large aperture and a certain thickness. For QFNs, LGAs QFNs, QFPs, PLCCs,...solder needs to be added to make a solder joint. In some cases QFPs can be hand soldered but the technique requires experience so the use of a rework unit is preferred. QFPs and PLCCs have leads and can be used with a dipping solder paste. QFNs, LGA's QFNs who do not have leads but flat contacts cannot be used with a dipping solder paste dipped because their bodies would contact the solder paste. In this case the solder paste needs to be printed on the contacts or on teh PCB. In general it is easier to print solder paste on the component than on the PCB, especially when a so-called 3D stencil is used that has a cavity where the position of the component is fixed. Replacing through hole components can be done with a hand (de)soldering station. This is usually done by placing a hollow desoldering tip over the bottomside of the component lead that can suck away solder from the hole. The desoldering tip will have to heat all the solder in the through hole until it is fully liquid. For thermally heavy boards this can be very difficult. In this case, also the top side of the solder joint can be heated with a soldering iron. Alternatively the board can be preheated over a preheating before the desoldering operation. Soldering the through hole component is usually done with a solder wire that contains more flux or alternatively extra rework flux is added to the through hole and/or on the component lead. For larger through hole connectors, a dip soldering bath can be used to remove the connector. If accessibilty on the PCB is limited a nozzle with its size adapted to the connector can be used. The use of flux in this operation is recommended.
Water based soldering fluxes are liquid fluxes that have water (H2O) as their principal solvent. Water based fluxes have numerous advantages to alcohol based fluxes, like lower consumption, no VOC (Volatile Organic Compound)-emmissions, no fire hazard, no need for special transport and storage, lower smell in the production area,...However a lot of electronic manufacturers seem to prefer the larger process window of alcohol based fluxes to the advantages of water based fluxes. Alcohol based fluxes in general are less sensitive to the correct spray fluxer settings to get a good flux application on the surface and in the through holes. Furthermore they are more easily evaporated in the preheating and give less risk on remaining solvent drops creating solder balls, solder splashes or bridging upon wave contact. However, some countries have already implemented legislation that limits the VOC-emission of factory chimneys or imposes taxes on VOC emissions. This appears to be an extra incentive to change to water based fluxes. A recent development forced a lot of manufacturers to look into water based fluxes. The COVID-pandemia in the beginning of 2020, suddenly increased the demand for alcohol based desinfectants to that extent that at a certain moment the availability of alcohols on the market was pretty much non existing. There is a good chance that this will increase the acceptance of water based fluxes on the market. Also the global ecological awareness has improved substantially lately which drives a lot of companies towards a more ecological and sustainable policy. This will also translate into a better acceptance of water based fluxes on the market.
VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compound. In general VOCs are considered non environment friendly. Some countries or regions restrict the emissions of VOCs by legislation. Alcohols are VOCs. In some cases, the use of alcohol based soldering fluxes in the wave soldering process of an electronics manufacturing can give a problem with the VOC emission restrictions. A simple solution in such a case is to use a VOC-free soldering flux. In general this is a water based flux. Beside the elimination of VOC-emmissions, water based fluxes have more advantages to alcohol based fluxes, like lower consumption, no fire hazard, no need for special transport and storage, lower smell in the production area,...However, water based fluxes in general are more sensitive to the correct spray fluxer settings to get a good flux application on the surface and in the through holes. In some cases they also might require a bit more preheating to get the water evaporated.
Residues after soldering are inherent to the soldering process. Some soldering products will leave more residues than others. In general low residue soldering products have the preference. Residues are usually undesirable for more potential reasons. One of those reasons is esthetical. When the end customer receives his boards, obviously he likes them to be as clean as possible. Residues can also interfere with electrical pin testing, like ICT (In Circuit Testing) or flying probe. They might create contact problems and false readings that can obstruct production flow. Residues can also assemble on the test pins where they need to be cleaned off. These test pins are pretty fragile and the risk on damaging them during cleaning is real. Residues of the soldering process might also interfere with high frequency signals of sensitive electronic applications. Residues created by rosin and resin usually have poor compatibility with conformal coatings. Furthermore they are known to cause contact problems when they end up on connector contacts, (carbon) contacts of remote controls, contact surfaces of switches, relays, contactors,...and cause field failures. When the soldering product is classified as 'No-clean' it is an indication that the residues of these soldering products can remain on the electronic unit. This is based on passing reliability tests like Surface Insulation Resistance (SIR) tests and electro (chemical) migration tests. There are many standards worldwide that specify such tests. The most accepted standard is the IPC standard. In these reliability tests a test board with a comb pattern is soldered with specified parameters with the soldering product. The test board is submitted to high humidity and elevated temperature conditions over a defined period of time during which the surface insulation resistance is monitored. This surface insulation resistance cannot drop below a defined value and boards are also visually inspected with a microscope for anomalies like e.g. electro (chemical) migration.
A brushable residue left by a soldering product can be moved with a dry brush without the aid of a solvent. Most residues of soldering products can only be moved by dissolving them with a suitable solvent or cleaning liquid. The advantage of a brushable residue is that the cleaning operation is much quicker and easier. This quality is very much appreciated in visual control and rework and repair after the soldering process in electronics manufacturing.
Absolutely halogen free soldering chemistry contains no intentionally added halogens nor halides. The IPC classification allows up to 500ppm of halogens for the lowest 'L0' classification. Soldering fluxes, solder pastes and solder wires from this class are often referred to as 'halogen free'. Absolutely halogen free soldering chemistry goes one step further and does not contain this 'allowed' level of halogens. Specifically in combination with lead-free soldering alloys and on sensitive electronic applications, these low levels of halogens have been reported to cause reliability problems like e.g. too high leakage currents. Halogens are elements from the periodic table like Cl, Br, F and I. They have the physical property that they like to react. This is very interesting from the point of view of soldering chemistry because it is intended to clean off oxides from the surfaces to be soldered. And indeed halogens perform that job very well, even hard to clean surfaces like brass, Zn, Ni,...or heavily oxidized surfaces or degraded I-Sn and OSP (Organic Surface Protection) can be soldered with the aid of halogenated fluxes. Halogens provide a great process window in solderability. The problem however is that the residues and reaction products of halogenated fluxes can be problematic for electronic circuits. They usually have high hygroscopicity and high water solubility and give an increased risk on electro migration and high leakage currents. This means a high risk on malfunctioning of the electronic circuit. Specifically with lead-free soldering alloys there are more reports that even the smallest levels of halogens can be problematic for sensitive electronic applications. Sensitive electronic applications are typically high resistance circuits, measuring circuits, high frequency circuits, sensors,...That's why the tendency is to move away from halogens in soldering chemistry in electronics manufacturing. In general when the solderability of the surfaces to be soldered from component and PCB (Printed Circuit Board) are normal, there is no need for these halogens. Smartly designed absolutely halogen free soldering products will provide a large enough process window to clean the surfaces and get a good soldering result and this in combination with high reliability residues.
Colophony, also called rosin, is a substance derived from trees that is typically used in soldering fluxes. It can be used in liquid fluxes as well as in gel fluxes. Colophony containing fluxes can be identified by the denomination 'RO' in the IPC classification. Colophony in general provides a good process window in time and temperature but has a number of disadvantages depending on the application that the colophony containing flux is used in. In liquid fluxes for wave and selective soldering, the colophony will give an increased risk on blocking the nozzle of spray and micro jet flux application systems, resulting in more maintenance and higher risk on bad soldering results. The residues of a rosin (=colophony) based flux in the soldering machine and on tools and carriers are quite hard to remove and a solvent based cleaner is usually needed. When the flux with colophony accidentally ends up on the contacts of a connector or contact comb structures like for a remote control or in electro mechanical contactors / relays / switches, it is known to give contact problems and malfunctioning of the electronic unit in the field. Furthermore the residues of the flux that remain on the board can give contact problems with electrical pin testing ( ICT= In Circuit Testing) which can result in delays in production because of false errors. This usually requires cleaning of the PCB and/or the test pins. These expensive test pins are rather fragile and sensitive to be damaged by cleaning. Furthermore the residues of a rosin flux are known not to be compatible with conformal coatings in time. The rosin residue forms a separation layer between the PCB and conformal coating that in time can cause detaching of the conformal coating and also cracking, especially when the electonic unit experiences a lot of temperature cycles (warming up and cooling down). For those reasons fluxes without colophony and more specifically fluxes from the 'OR' classification are generally used for wave and selective soldering. Colophony can also be used in solder wires. Although the colophony provides a good process window in time and temperature, it is very sensitive to discoloration when heated. The discoloration will depend on the type of colophony and the temperature it has seen. As soldering tip temperatures are usually quite high, the colophony in the solder wire will give quite heavy visual residue formation around the solder joints. This will distinguish them from the other solder joints made in reflow, wave and selective soldering. When this is not desirable a cleaning operation needs to be performed. Furthermore the fumes of a colophony containing solder wire are considered hazardous. A fume extraction is mandatory but anyway advisable for any hand soldering operation. Colophony containg wires are still being used quite a lot but colophony free solder wires and more specifically solder wires from the 'RE' classification are gaining importance. Colophony is also used in solder pastes. Beside giving a good process window in time and temperature, it also provides a good stability of the solder paste on the stencil. This will facilitate a stable printing process and hence stable soldering results and defect rates. The discoloration of the rosin in reflow soldering is not so prominent as it is with a solder wire because the temperatures in reflow soldering are lower than in hand soldering. Still the rosin residue has poor compatibility with conformal coating and in time after thermal cycles it might show cracks or detatching of the conformal coating. Although most manufacturers will apply the conformal coating over the solder paste residues, for optimal results it is advisable to clean off the solder paste residues. Giving the benefits of colophony described above, most solder pastes contain colophony.
In 2006 legislation restricted the use of lead (Pb) in electronics manufacturing. However there were a lot of exemptions formulated, mainly due to the lack of long time reliablity experience with the lead-free alloys. This resulted in a lot of electronics manufacturing sites that were using both lead-free and Pb containing alloys in their soldering processes. For wave and selective soldering, a lot of electronic manufacturers desired the use of the same flux chemistry with both types of soldering alloys. This was because they were familiar with the chemistry in terms of reliability. Also introducing new materials in a manufacturing can require a lot of paper work, extra storage capacity, etc...Although the lead-free alloys require higher operating temperatures than the Pb-containing alloys, by increasing the applied flux quantity in a lot of cases the same flux chemistry can be used for both alloys. However in some cases, usually when soldering electronic units with high thermal mass, it is not possible to use the same flux for both soldering alloys. In these cases, usually a flux with higher solid content is needed. A lot of solder wires and solder pastes are available with the same flux for both lead-free and SnPb-alloys.
Flux pens are used to apply liquid soldering flux to the surfaces to be (de)soldered in hand soldering operations in electronics manufacturing. There are refillable and non refillable flux pens. Non refillable flux pens are one way and cheaper. They can come in different sizes and shapes of tips. Refillable flux pens can be refilled with the aid of a syringe with hand plunger. They usually have glass fibre tips that allow a very targeted flux application which avoids spreading of the flux outside of the soldering area. These pens can limit flux residues to a minimum. The glass fibre tip however is pretty sensitive to wear out. When too much pressure is apllied, the tips wear out quickly. The tip can be replaced but often is not so much cheaper than a new flux pen. The glass fibre tip is also sensitive to heat. Touching a hot solder joint with the flux pen can burn the glass fibres. Fluxes used in flux pens are liquid and usually they are specifically designed for hand soldering, rework and repair. However some manufacturers chose to use the same flux as in the wave soldering process for this purpose in order to avoid introducing another soldering chemistry on the electonic unit. This is possible but does have some limitations. The process window of fluxes for wave soldering can be too limited for hand soldering operations, specifically when soldering through hole solder joints.
When a soldering product is labelled No-clean, this means that soldering product has passed reliability testing like a Surface Insulation Resistance(SIR) test or an electro(chemical) migration test. These tests are designed to test the hygroscopic properties of the residues of the soldering product under elevated temperature and high relative moisture conditions. No-clean is an indication that the residues can remain on the electronic unit after the soldering process without being cleaned. This will apply for by far most of the electronic applications. For very sensitive electronic applications, which are typically high resistance electronic circuits, high frequency electronic circuits, etc... it is possible that cleaning of the electronic unit is necessary. It is always the responsibility of the electronic manufacturer to judge wether cleaning is necessary or not.
RoHS stands for Restriction of Hazard Substances. It is a European directive: Directive 2002/95/EC. It restricts the use of some substances that are considered Substances of Very High Concern (SHVC) in electrical and electronic equipment for the territory of the European Union. A listing of these substances can be found below: Please note that this info is subject to change. Always check the website of the European Union for most recent information: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/topics/waste-and-recycling/rohs-directive_nl https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32011L0065 1. Cadmium and cadmium compounds 2. Lead and lead compounds 3. Mercury and mercury compounds(Hg) 4. Hexavalent chromium compounds(Cr) 5. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) 6. Polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCN) 7. Chlorinated paraffins (CP) 8. Other chlorinated organic compounds 9. Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) 10. Polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDE) 11. Other brominated organic compounds 12. Organic tin compounds (Tributyl tin compounds, Triphenyl tin compounds) 13. Asbestos 14. Azo compounds 15. Formaldehyde 16. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and PVC blends 17. Decabrominated diphenyl ester (from 1/7/08) 18. PFOS : EU directive 76/769/EEC (not allowed in a concentration equal to or higher than 0.0005% by mass) 19. Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) 20. Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP) 21. Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) 22. Diisobutyl phthalate 23. Deca brominated diphenyl ester (in electrical and electronic equipment) Other countries outside of the European Union have introduced their own RoHS legislation, which is to a great extent very similar to the European RoHS.
Physical & chemical properties
- OR L0 to EN and IPC standards
- Halide content
- Main field of use
- hand soldering.
- Other fields of use
- automated soldering, stamp soldering, etc...
Available in 3 languages: