Lead-free soldering

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sandord
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Lead-free soldering

Post by sandord » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:56 am

Do you guys still solder using the old way or did you turn to lead-free soldering?

I'm doing the latter and I'm okay with it. Flow is a bit slower but the idea of reducing the lead buildup in my body is nice. Oh, the smell is also less pleasant, I've grown to love the typical scent of resin that doesn't appear to be present in the lead-free solder I'm using.

I've nevery really done any research if the lead-free solder is any different of quality.

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Re: Lead-free soldering

Post by sandord » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:59 am

Oh, one thing I have noticed is that I often get this 'cold joint' effect, or whatever it's called. You know, when the solder ends up being fuzzy instead of shiny. With regular solder it's easy to prevent but with the lead-free solder, it happens most of the time. Same temperature (I think I'm using over 400C but can't check right now).

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Re: Lead-free soldering

Post by Icky » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:10 am

sandord wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:59 am
Oh, one thing I have noticed is that I often get this 'cold joint' effect, or whatever it's called. You know, when the solder ends up being fuzzy instead of shiny. With regular solder it's easy to prevent but with the lead-free solder, it happens most of the time. Same temperature (I think I'm using over 400C but can't check right now).
I have noticed a lot of fuzzy on my STF board. Checked the solder and it’s lead free. Interesting observation sandord.

I just thought it was poor quality solder or my rubbish soldering.

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Re: Lead-free soldering

Post by exxos » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:20 am

I tried a few brands of lead-free a few years ago, I don't like the stuff. It never seems to "flow" properly. It went from a blob which looked awful, so I turned up the heat to get it melt better, and it just burnt and made things worse. I'm never convinced even when it looks good that is actually melted on the PCB either.

I think as well, your supposed to use lead free pcb with the lead free solder. I can't remember but I don't think they "mix" well. Really we are using all 80s leaded stuff so trying to mix lead free with it all just isn't going to end well.

I'm all for lead free, don't get me wrong, but I just don't want to take the risk in using it.
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Re: Lead-free soldering

Post by PhilC » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:29 am

Never really paid a great deal of notice to it but have noticed the variation in temperatures required for good soldering.

For instance, the lead free I'm using right now (was a freebie and lots of it) melts nicely at 270 - 300C but try it at 400 and it's more likely to etch away the board and I get more dodgy joints.

Whereas the last stuff I used had to be set to 400C for consistent joints.
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Re: Lead-free soldering

Post by rubber_jonnie » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:40 am

Still using lead based, mostly because I got a massive roll for free a few years back. About 370C seems to be the butter zone for me.
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Re: Lead-free soldering

Post by troed » Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:23 pm

I'm Swedish, leaded would be illegal ;) I solder at around 320-340 with the lead-free stuff I have and all my joints are always amazing ;)

(High quality JBC station helps)

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Re: Lead-free soldering

Post by exxos » Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:45 pm

troed wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:23 pm
I'm Swedish, leaded would be illegal ;)
wow really ?
troed wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:23 pm
I solder at around 320-340 with the lead-free stuff I have and all my joints are always amazing ;)
Can you list which part/brand you are using please ?
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Re: Lead-free soldering

Post by troed » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:24 pm

exxos wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:45 pm
troed wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:23 pm
I'm Swedish, leaded would be illegal ;)
wow really ?
Hmm - actually it seems I overdid that comment a bit, sorry. My local electrokit company has the following statement regarding leaded solder:
According to the EU Environmental Protection Directive ROHS, lead may not be used in the manufacture of electronics to be placed on the market. It may be used for repair of equipment put on the market before the directive came into force, and there is no prohibition for use for prototypes and experimental purposes.
So for most of my personal use I could get away with using it I guess.
troed wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:23 pm
I solder at around 320-340 with the lead-free stuff I have and all my joints are always amazing ;)
Can you list which part/brand you are using please ?
Will do as soon as I get back from these two weeks of crazy business travelling ...

The same company (Electrokit) btw has this statement on lead-free solder:
A lead-free soldering gets a gray-matt surface that can look oxidized.

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Re: Lead-free soldering

Post by sandord » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:36 pm

A lead-free soldering gets a gray-matt surface that can look oxidized.
That is VERY reassuring.

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