Solder

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A soldered joint used to attach a wire to the pin of a component on the rear of a printed circuit board Solderedjoint.jpg
A soldered joint used to attach a wire to the pin of a component on the rear of a printed circuit board
Spool of solder, 1.6 mm diameter Solder on spool.jpeg
Spool of solder, 1.6 mm diameter

Solder ( /ˈsldər/ , [1] /ˈsɒldər/ [1] or in North America /ˈsɒdər/ [2] ) is a fusible metal alloy used to create a permanent bond between metal workpieces. The word solder comes from the Middle English word soudur, via Old French solduree and soulder, from the Latin solidare, meaning "to make solid". [3] In fact, solder must first be melted in order to adhere to and connect the pieces together after cooling, which requires that an alloy suitable for use as solder have a lower melting point than the pieces being joined. The solder should also be resistant to oxidative and corrosive effects that would degrade the joint over time. Solder used in making electrical connections also needs to have favorable electrical characteristics.

A fusible alloy is a metal alloy capable of being easily fused, i.e. easily meltable, at relatively low temperatures. Fusible alloys are commonly, but not necessarily, eutectic alloys.

Alloy mixture or metallic solid solution composed of two or more elements

An alloy is a combination of metals and of a metal or another element. Alloys are defined by a metallic bonding character. An alloy may be a solid solution of metal elements or a mixture of metallic phases. Intermetallic compounds are alloys with a defined stoichiometry and crystal structure. Zintl phases are also sometimes considered alloys depending on bond types.

Middle English Stage of the English language from about the 12th through 15th centuries

Middle English was a form of the English language, spoken after the Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century. English underwent distinct variations and developments following the Old English period. Scholarly opinion varies, but the Oxford English Dictionary specifies the period when Middle English was spoken as being from 1150 to 1500. This stage of the development of the English language roughly followed the High to the Late Middle Ages.

Contents

Soft solder typically has a melting point range of 90 to 450 °C (190 to 840 °F; 360 to 720 K), [4] and is commonly used in electronics, plumbing, and sheet metal work. Alloys that melt between 180 and 190 °C (360 and 370 °F; 450 and 460 K) are the most commonly used. Soldering performed using alloys with a melting point above 450 °C (840 °F; 720 K) is called "hard soldering", "silver soldering", or brazing.

Electronics physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter

Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. The identification of the electron in 1897, along with the invention of the vacuum tube, which could amplify and rectify small electrical signals, inaugurated the field of electronics and the electron age.

Plumbing Systems for conveying fluids

Plumbing is any system that conveys fluids for a wide range of applications. Plumbing uses pipes, valves, plumbing fixtures, tanks, and other apparatuses to convey fluids. Heating and cooling (HVAC), waste removal, and potable water delivery are among the most common uses for plumbing, but it is not limited to these applications. The word derives from the Latin for lead, plumbum, as the first effective pipes used in the Roman era were lead pipes.

Brazing metal-joining technique by high-temperature molten metal filling

Brazing is a metal-joining process in which two or more metal items are joined together by melting and flowing a filler metal into the joint, the filler metal having a lower melting point than the adjoining metal.

In specific proportions, some alloys can become eutectic — that is, their melting point is the same as their freezing point, and the alloy's melting point is lower than that of either component. Non-eutectic alloys have markedly different solidus and liquidus temperatures, and within that range they exist as a paste of solid particles in a melt of the lower-melting phase. In electrical work, if the joint is disturbed in the pasty state before it has solidified totally, a poor electrical connection may result; use of eutectic solder reduces this problem. The pasty state of a non-eutectic solder can be exploited in plumbing, as it allows molding of the solder during cooling, e.g. for ensuring watertight joint of pipes, resulting in a so-called "wiped joint".

Melting phase change

Melting, or fusion, is a physical process that results in the phase transition of a substance from a solid to a liquid. This occurs when the internal energy of the solid increases, typically by the application of heat or pressure, which increases the substance's temperature to the melting point. At the melting point, the ordering of ions or molecules in the solid breaks down to a less ordered state, and the solid melts to become a liquid.

Freezing is a phase transition in which a liquid turns into a solid when its temperature is lowered below its freezing point. In contrast, solidification is a similar process where a liquid turns into a solid, not by lowering its temperature, but by increasing the pressure that it is under. Despite this technical distinction, the two processes are very similar and the two terms are often used interchangeably.

In chemistry, materials science, and physics, the solidus is the locus of temperatures below which a given substance is completely solid (crystallized). The solidus is applied, among other materials, to metal alloys, ceramics, and natural rocks and minerals.

For electrical and electronics work, solder wire is available in a range of thicknesses for hand-soldering (manual soldering is performed using a soldering iron or soldering gun), and with cores containing flux. It is also available as a paste, as a preformed foil shaped to match the workpiece, more suitable for mechanized mass-production, or in small "tabs" that can be wrapped around the joint and melted with a flame, for field repairs where an iron isn't usable or available. Alloys of lead and tin were commonly used in the past and are still available; they are particularly convenient for hand-soldering. Lead-free solders have been increasing in use due to regulatory requirements plus the health and environmental benefits of avoiding lead-based electronic components. They are almost exclusively used today in consumer electronics. [5]

Soldering iron

A soldering iron is a hand tool used in soldering. It supplies heat to melt solder so that it can flow into the joint between two workpieces.

Soldering gun

A soldering gun is an approximately pistol-shaped, electrically powered tool for soldering metals using tin-based solder to achieve a strong mechanical bond with good electrical contact. The tool has a trigger-style switch so it can be easily operated with one hand. The body of the tool contains a transformer with a primary winding connected to mains electricity when the trigger is pressed, and a single-turn secondary winding of thick copper with very low resistance. A soldering tip, made of a loop of thinner copper wire, is secured to the end of the transformer secondary by screws, completing the secondary circuit. When the primary of the transformer is energized, several hundred amperes of current flow through the secondary and very rapidly heat the copper tip. Since the tip has a much higher resistance than the rest of the tubular copper winding, the tip gets very hot while the remainder of the secondary warms much less. A tap on the primary winding is often used to power a pilot lamp which illuminates the workpiece.

Flux (metallurgy) type of chemicals used in metallurgy

In metallurgy, a flux is a chemical cleaning agent, flowing agent, or purifying agent. Fluxes may have more than one function at a time. They are used in both extractive metallurgy and metal joining.

Plumbers often use bars of solder, much thicker than the wire used for electrical applications. Jewelers often use solder in thin sheets, which they cut into snippets.

Lead-free solder

Pure tin solder wire Pure tin solder.JPG
Pure tin solder wire
Soldering copper pipes using a propane torch and lead-free solder Propane torch soldering copper pipe.jpg
Soldering copper pipes using a propane torch and lead-free solder

On July 1, 2006 the European Union Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) and Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) came into effect, restricting the inclusion of lead in most consumer electronics sold in the EU, and having a broad effect on consumer electronics sold worldwide. In the US, manufacturers may receive tax benefits by reducing the use of lead-based solder. Lead-free solders in commercial use may contain tin, copper, silver, bismuth, indium, zinc, antimony, and traces of other metals. Most lead-free replacements for conventional 60/40 and 63/37 Sn-Pb solder have melting points from 5 to 20 °C higher, [6] though there are also solders with much lower melting points.

European Union Economic and poitical union of states located in Europe

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. It has an area of 4,475,757 km2 (1,728,099 sq mi) and an estimated population of about 513 million. The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive directive

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive is the European Community Directive 2012/19/EU on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) which, together with the RoHS Directive 2011/65/EU, became European Law in February 2003. The WEEE Directive set collection, recycling and recovery targets for all types of electrical goods, with a minimum rate of 4 kilograms per head of population per annum recovered for recycling by 2009. The RoHS Directive set restrictions upon European manufacturers as to the material content of new electronic equipment placed on the market.

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive 2002/95/EC, (RoHS 1), short for Directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment, was adopted in February 2003 by the European Union.

It may be desirable to use minor modification of the solder pots (e.g. titanium liners or impellers) used in wave-soldering, to reduce maintenance cost due to increased tin-scavenging of high-tin solder.

Lead-free solder may be less desirable for critical applications, such as aerospace and medical projects, because its properties are less thoroughly known.

Tin-Silver-Copper (Sn-Ag-Cu, or "SAC") solders are used by two-thirds of Japanese manufacturers for reflow and wave soldering, and by about 75% of companies for hand soldering. The widespread use of this popular lead-free solder alloy family is based on the reduced melting point of the Sn-Ag-Cu ternary eutectic behavior (217 ˚C), which is below the 22/78 Sn-Ag (wt.%) eutectic of 221 °C and the 59/41 Sn-Cu eutectic of 227 °C (recently revised by P. Snugovsky to 53/47 Sn-Cu). The ternary eutectic behavior of Sn-Ag-Cu and its application for electronics assembly was discovered (and patented) by a team of researchers from Ames Laboratory, Iowa State University, and from Sandia National Laboratories-Albuquerque.

Much recent research has focused on selection of 4th element additions to Sn-Ag-Cu to provide compatibility for the reduced cooling rate of solder sphere reflow for assembly of ball grid arrays, e.g., 18/64/14/4 Tin-Silver-Copper-Zinc (Sn-Ag-Cu-Zn) (melting range of 217–220 ˚C) and 18/64/16/2 Tin-Silver-Copper-Manganese (Sn-Ag-Cu-Mn) (melting range of 211–215 ˚C).

Tin-based solders readily dissolve gold, forming brittle intermetallics; for Sn-Pb alloys the critical concentration of gold to embrittle the joint is about 4%. Indium-rich solders (usually indium-lead) are more suitable for soldering thicker gold layer as the dissolution rate of gold in indium is much slower. Tin-rich solders also readily dissolve silver; for soldering silver metallization or surfaces, alloys with addition of silvers are suitable; tin-free alloys are also a choice, though their wettability is poorer. If the soldering time is long enough to form the intermetallics, the tin surface of a joint soldered to gold is very dull. [7]

Lead solder

Sn60Pb40 solder 60-40 Solder.jpg
Sn60Pb40 solder

Tin-lead (Sn-Pb) solders, also called soft solders, are commercially available with tin concentrations between 5% and 70% by weight. The greater the tin concentration, the greater the solder’s tensile and shear strengths. Historically, lead has been widely believed to mitigate the formation of tin whiskers, though the precise mechanism for this is unknown. [8] Today, many techniques are used to mitigate the problem, including changes to the annealing process (heating and cooling), addition of elements like copper and nickel, and the inclusion of conformal coatings. [9] Alloys commonly used for electrical soldering are 60/40 Sn-Pb, which melts at 188 °C (370 °F), [10] and 63/37 Sn-Pb used principally in electrical/electronic work. 63/37 is a eutectic alloy of these metals, which:

  1. has the lowest melting point (183 °C or 361 °F) of all the tin-lead alloys; and
  2. the melting point is truly a point — not a range.

In the United States, lead is prohibited in solder and flux in plumbing applications for drinking water use, per the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). [11] Historically, a higher proportion of lead was used, commonly 50/50. This had the advantage of making the alloy solidify more slowly. With the pipes being physically fitted together before soldering, the solder could be wiped over the joint to ensure water tightness. Although lead water pipes were displaced by copper when the significance of lead poisoning began to be fully appreciated, lead solder was still used until the 1980s because it was thought that the amount of lead that could leach into water from the solder was negligible from a properly soldered joint. The electrochemical couple of copper and lead promotes corrosion of the lead and tin. Tin, however, is protected by insoluble oxide. Since even small amounts of lead have been found detrimental to health, [12] lead in plumbing solder was replaced by silver (food-grade applications) or antimony, with copper often added, and the proportion of tin was increased (see Lead-free solder.)

The addition of tin—more expensive than lead—improves wetting properties of the alloy; lead itself has poor wetting characteristics. High-tin tin-lead alloys have limited use as the workability range can be provided by a cheaper high-lead alloy. [13]

Before recent requirements for lead-free products, electronic components on printed circuit (printed wiring) boards (PCBs) were connected to the etched-copper-foil circuit, and hence to other components, by soldered joints created either by hand with a soldering iron using flux-core eutectic or near-eutectic (60/40) wire solder, or by a wave soldering machine which applies a flux beforehand. However, boards using the finest-pitch surface mount technology usually use solder paste applied to each location to be soldered before the component is placed on the board.

Lead-tin solders readily dissolve gold plating and form brittle intermetallics. [7] 60/40 Sn-Pb solder oxidizes on the surface, forming a complex 4-layer structure: tin(IV) oxide on the surface, below it a layer of tin(II) oxide with finely dispersed lead, followed by a layer of tin(II) oxide with finely dispersed tin and lead, and the solder alloy itself underneath. [14]

Lead, and to some degree tin, as used in solder contains small but significant amounts of radioisotope impurities. Radioisotopes undergoing alpha decay are a concern due to their tendency to cause soft errors. Polonium-210 is especially problematic; lead-210 beta decays to bismuth-210 which then beta decays to polonium-210, an intense emitter of alpha particles. Uranium-238 and thorium-232 are other significant contaminants of alloys of lead. [15] [16]

Flux

Electrical solder with an integrated rosin core, visible as a dark spot in the cut end of the solder wire. Rosin core electrical solder.JPG
Electrical solder with an integrated rosin core, visible as a dark spot in the cut end of the solder wire.

Flux is a reducing agent designed to help reduce (return oxidized metals to their metallic state) metal oxides at the points of contact to improve the electrical connection and mechanical strength. The two principal types of flux are acid flux (sometimes called "active flux"), containing strong acids, used for metal mending and plumbing, and rosin flux (sometimes called "passive flux"), used in electronics. Rosin flux comes in a variety of "activities", corresponding roughly to the speed and effectiveness of the organic acid components of the rosin in dissolving metallic surface oxides, and consequently the corrosiveness of the flux residue.

Due to concerns over atmospheric pollution and hazardous waste disposal, the electronics industry has been gradually shifting from rosin flux to water-soluble flux, which can be removed with deionized water and detergent, instead of hydrocarbon solvents.

In contrast to using traditional bars or coiled wires of all-metal solder and manually applying flux to the parts being joined, much hand soldering since the mid-20th century has used flux-core solder. This is manufactured as a coiled wire of solder, with one or more continuous bodies of inorganic acid or rosin flux embedded lengthwise inside it. As the solder melts onto the joint, it frees the flux and releases that on it as well.

Hard solder

Hard solders are used for brazing, and melt at higher temperatures. Alloys of copper with either zinc or silver are the most common.

In silversmithing or jewelry making, special hard solders are used that will pass assay. They contain a high proportion of the metal being soldered and lead is not used in these alloys. These solders vary in hardness, designated as "enameling", "hard", "medium" and "easy". Enameling solder has a high melting point, close to that of the material itself, to prevent the joint desoldering during firing in the enameling process. The remaining solder types are used in decreasing order of hardness during the process of making an item, to prevent a previously soldered seam or joint desoldering while additional sites are soldered. Easy solder is also often used for repair work for the same reason. Flux is also used to prevent joints from desoldering.

Silver solder is also used in manufacturing to join metal parts that cannot be welded. The alloys used for these purposes contain a high proportion of silver (up to 40%), and may also contain cadmium.


Solidifying

The solidifying behavior depends on the alloy composition. Pure metals solidify at a certain temperature, forming crystals of one phase. Eutectic alloys also solidify at a single temperature, all components precipitating simultaneously in so-called coupled growth. Non-eutectic compositions on cooling start to first precipitate the non-eutectic phase; dendrites when it is a metal, large crystals when it is an intermetallic compound. Such a mixture of solid particles in a molten eutectic is referred to as a mushy state. Even a relatively small proportion of solids in the liquid can dramatically lower its fluidity. [17]

The temperature of total solidification is the solidus of the alloy, the temperature at which all components are molten is the liquidus.

The mushy state is desired where a degree of plasticity is beneficial for creating the joint, allowing filling larger gaps or being wiped over the joint (e.g. when soldering pipes). In hand soldering of electronics it may be detrimental as the joint may appear solidified while it is not yet. Premature handling of such joint then disrupts its internal structure and leads to compromised mechanical integrity.

Alloys

Alloying element roles

Different elements serve different roles in the solder alloy:

Impurities in solders

Impurities usually enter the solder reservoir by dissolving the metals present in the assemblies being soldered. Dissolving of process equipment is not common as the materials are usually chosen to be insoluble in solder. [22]

Intermetallics in solders

Many different intermetallic compounds are formed during solidifying of solders and during their reactions with the soldered surfaces. [22]

The intermetallics form distinct phases, usually as inclusions in a ductile solid solution matrix, but also can form the matrix itself with metal inclusions or form crystalline matter with different intermetallics. Intermetallics are often hard and brittle. Finely distributed intermetallics in a ductile matrix yield a hard alloy while coarse structure gives a softer alloy. A range of intermetallics often forms between the metal and the solder, with increasing proportion of the metal; e.g. forming a structure of Cu-Cu3Sn-Cu6Sn5-Sn.

Layers of intermetallics can form between the solder and the soldered material. These layers may cause mechanical reliability weakening and brittleness, increased electrical resistance, or electromigration and formation of voids. The gold-tin intermetallics layer is responsible for poor mechanical reliability of tin-soldered gold-plated surfaces where the gold plating did not completely dissolve in the solder.

Gold and palladium readily dissolve in solders. Copper and nickel tend to form intermetallic layers during normal soldering profiles. Indium forms intermetallics as well.

Indium-gold intermetallics are brittle and occupy about 4 times more volume than the original gold. Bonding wires are especially susceptible to indium attack. Such intermetallic growth, together with thermal cycling, can lead to failure of the bonding wires. [24]

Copper plated with nickel and gold is often used. The thin gold layer facilitates good solderability of nickel as it protects the nickel from oxidation; the layer has to be thin enough to rapidly and completely dissolve so bare nickel is exposed to the solder. [16]

Lead-tin solder layers on copper leads can form copper-tin intermetallic layers; the solder alloy is then locally depleted of tin and form a lead-rich layer. The Sn-Cu intermetallics then can get exposed to oxidation, resulting in impaired solderability. [25]

Two processes play a role in a solder joint formation: interaction between the substrate and molten solder, and solid-state growth of intermetallic compounds. The base metal dissolves in the molten solder in an amount depending on its solubility in the solder. The active constituent of the solder reacts with the base metal with a rate dependent on the solubility of the active constituents in the base metal. The solid-state reactions are more complex – the formation of intermetallics can be inhibited by changing the composition of the base metal or the solder alloy, or by using a suitable barrier layer to inhibit diffusion of the metals. [26]

Tin Lead Indium
Copper Cu4Sn, Cu6Sn5, Cu3Sn, Cu3Sn8Cu3In, Cu9In4
Nickel Ni3Sn, Ni3Sn2, Ni3Sn4 NiSn3Ni3In, NiIn Ni2In3, Ni3In7
Iron FeSn, FeSn2
Indium In3Sn, InSn4In3Pb
Antimony SbSn
Bismuth BiPb3
Silver Ag6Sn, Ag3SnAg3In, AgIn2
Gold Au5Sn, AuSn AuSn2, AuSn4Au2Pb, AuPb2AuIn, AuIn2
Palladium Pd3Sn, Pd2Sn, Pd3Sn2, PdSn, PdSn2, PdSn4Pd3In, Pd2In, PdIn Pd2In3
Platinum Pt3Sn, Pt2Sn, PtSn, Pt2Sn3, PtSn2, PtSn4Pt3Pb, PtPb PtPb4Pt2In3, PtIn2, Pt3In7

Glass solder

Glass solders are used to join glasses to other glasses, ceramics, metals, semiconductors, mica, and other materials, in a process called glass frit bonding. The glass solder has to flow and wet the soldered surfaces well below the temperature where deformation or degradation of either of the joined materials or nearby structures (e.g., metallization layers on chips or ceramic substrates) occurs. The usual temperature of achieving flowing and wetting is between 450 and 550 °C (840 and 1,020 °F).

Two types of glass solders are used: vitreous, and devitrifying. Vitreous solders retain their amorphous structure during remelting, can be reworked repeatedly, and are relatively transparent. Devitrifying solders undergo partial crystallization during solidifying, forming a glass-ceramic, a composite of glassy and crystalline phases. Devitrifying solders usually create a stronger mechanical bond, but are more temperature-sensitive and the seal is more likely to be leaky; due to their polycrystalline structure they tend to be translucent or opaque. [27] Devitrifying solders are frequently "thermosetting", as their melting temperature after recrystallization becomes significantly higher; this allows soldering the parts together at lower temperature than the subsequent bake-out without remelting the joint afterwards. Devitrifying solders frequently contain up to 25% zinc oxide. In production of cathode ray tubes, devitrifying solders based on PbO-B2O3-ZnO are used.

Very low temperature melting glasses, fluid at 200–400 °C (390–750 °F), were developed for sealing applications for electronics. They can consist of binary or ternary mixtures of thallium, arsenic and sulfur. [28] Zinc-silicoborate glasses can also be used for passivation of electronics; their coefficient of thermal expansion must match silicon (or the other semiconductors used) and they must not contain alkaline metals as those would migrate to the semiconductor and cause failures. [29]

The bonding between the glass or ceramics and the glass solder can be either covalent, or, more often, van der Waals. [30] The seal can be leak-tight; glass soldering is frequently used in vacuum technology. Glass solders can be also used as sealants; a vitreous enamel coating on iron lowered its permeability to hydrogen 10 times. [31] Glass solders are frequently used for glass-to-metal seals and glass-ceramic-to-metal seals.

Glass solders are available as frit powder with grain size below 60 micrometers. They can be mixed with water or alcohol to form a paste for easy application, or with dissolved nitrocellulose or other suitable binder for adhering to the surfaces until being melted. [32] The eventual binder has to be burned off before melting proceeds, requiring careful firing regime. The solder glass can be also applied from molten state to the area of the future joint during manufacture of the part. Due to their low viscosity in molten state, lead glasses with high PbO content (often 70–85%) are frequently used. The most common compositions are based on lead borates (leaded borate glass or borosilicate glass). Smaller amount of zinc oxide or aluminium oxide can be added for increasing chemical stability. Phosphate glasses can be also employed. Zinc oxide, bismuth trioxide, and copper(II) oxide can be added for influencing the thermal expansion; unlike the alkali oxides, these lower the softening point without increasing of thermal expansion.

Glass solders are frequently used in electronic packaging. CERDIP packagings are an example. Outgassing of water from the glass solder during encapsulation was a cause of high failure rates of early CERDIP integrated circuits. Removal of glass-soldered ceramic covers, e.g., for gaining access to the chip for failure analysis or reverse engineering, is best done by shearing; if this is too risky, the cover is polished away instead. [33]

As the seals can be performed at much lower temperature than with direct joining of glass parts and without use of flame (using a temperature-controlled kiln or oven), glass solders are useful in applications like subminiature vacuum tubes or for joining mica windows to vacuum tubes and instruments (e.g., Geiger tube). Thermal expansion coefficient has to be matched to the materials being joined and often is chosen in between the coefficients of expansion of the materials. In case of having to compromise, subjecting the joint to compression stresses is more desirable than to tensile stresses. The expansion matching is not critical in applications where thin layers are used on small areas, e.g., fireable inks, or where the joint will be subjected to a permanent compression (e.g., by an external steel shell) offsetting the thermally introduced tensile stresses. [28]

Glass solder can be used as an intermediate layer when joining materials (glasses, ceramics) with significantly different coefficient of thermal expansion; such materials cannot be directly joined by diffusion welding. [34] Evacuated glazing windows are made of glass panels soldered together. [35]

A glass solder is used, e.g., for joining together parts of cathode ray tubes and plasma display panels. Newer compositions lowered the usage temperature from 450 to 390 °C (840 to 730 °F) by reducing the lead(II) oxide content down from 70%, increasing the zinc oxide content, adding titanium dioxide and bismuth(III) oxide and some other components. The high thermal expansion of such glass can be reduced by a suitable ceramic filler. Lead-free solder glasses with soldering temperature of 450 °C (842 °F) were also developed.

Phosphate glasses with low melting temperature were developed. One of such compositions is phosphorus pentoxide, lead(II) oxide, and zinc oxide, with addition of lithium and some other oxides. [36]

Conductive glass solders can be also prepared.

Preform

A preform is a pre-made shape of solder specially designed for the application where it is to be used. [37] Many methods are used to manufacture the solder preform, stamping being the most common. The solder preform may include the solder flux needed for the soldering process. This can be an internal flux, inside the solder preform, or external, with the solder preform coated. [38]

See also

Related Research Articles

Galinstan is a brand-name and a common name for a liquid metal alloy whose composition is part of a family of eutectic alloys mainly consisting of gallium, indium, and tin. Such eutectic alloys are liquids at room temperature, typically melting at +11 °C (52 °F), while commercial Galinstan melts at −19 °C (−2 °F).

Wave soldering

Wave soldering is a bulk soldering process used in the manufacture of printed circuit boards. The circuit board is passed over a pan of molten solder in which a pump produces an upwelling of solder that looks like a standing wave. As the circuit board makes contact with this wave, the components become soldered to the board. Wave soldering is used for both through-hole printed circuit assemblies, and surface mount. In the latter case, the components are glued onto the surface of a printed circuit board (PCB) by placement equipment, before being run through the molten solder wave. Wave soldering is mainly used in soldering of through hole components.

Plating is a surface covering in which a metal is deposited on a conductive surface. Plating has been done for hundreds of years; it is also critical for modern technology. Plating is used to decorate objects, for corrosion inhibition, to improve solderability, to harden, to improve wearability, to reduce friction, to improve paint adhesion, to alter conductivity, to improve IR reflectivity, for radiation shielding, and for other purposes. Jewelry typically uses plating to give a silver or gold finish.

Intermetallic solid-state compound exhibiting metallic bonding, defined stoichiometry and ordered crystal structure

An intermetallic is a type of metallic alloy that forms a solid-state compound exhibiting defined stoichiometry and ordered crystal structure.

Gold plating

Gold plating is a method of depositing a thin layer of gold onto the surface of another metal, most often copper or silver, by chemical or electrochemical plating. This article covers plating methods used in the modern electronics industry; for more traditional methods, often used for much larger objects, see gilding.

Reflow soldering

Reflow soldering is a process in which a solder paste is used to temporarily attach one or thousands of tiny electrical components to their contact pads, after which the entire assembly is subjected to controlled heat. The solder paste reflows in a molten state, creating permanent solder joints. Heating may be accomplished by passing the assembly through a reflow oven or under an infrared lamp or by soldering individual joints [unconventionally] with a desoldering hot air pencil.

The solderability of a substrate is a measure of the ease with which a soldered joint can be made to that material. Good solderability requires wetting of the substrate by the solder.

A filler metal is a metal added in the making of a joint through welding, brazing, or soldering.

Dip soldering

Dip soldering is a small-scale soldering process by which electronic components are soldered to a printed circuit board (PCB) to form an electronic assembly. The solder wets to the exposed metallic areas of the board, creating a reliable mechanical and electrical connection.

Glass-to-metal seal

Glass-to-metal seals are a very important element of the construction of vacuum tubes, electric discharge tubes, incandescent light bulbs, glass encapsulated semiconductor diodes, reed switches, pressure tight glass windows in metal cases, and metal or ceramic packages of electronic components.

Colored gold various colours of gold obtained by alloying gold with other elements

Pure gold is slightly reddish yellow in color, but colored gold in various other colors can be produced.

Liquid metal consists of alloys with very low melting points which form a eutectic that is liquid at room temperature. The standard metal used to be mercury, but gallium-based alloys, which are lower both in their vapor pressure at room temperature and toxicity, are being used as a replacement in various applications.

Tin-silver-copper, is a lead-free (Pb-free) alloy commonly used for electronic solder. The tin-silver-copper alloy has been the prevailing alloy system used to replace tin-lead because it is near eutectic, with adequate thermal fatigue properties, strength, and wettability. Lead-free solder is gaining much attention as the environmental effects of lead in industrial products is recognized, and as a result of Europe’s RoHS legislation to remove lead and other hazardous materials from electronics. Japanese electronics companies have also looked at Pb-free solder for its industrial advantages.

Materials for use in vacuum

Materials for use in vacuum are materials showing very low rate of outgassing in vacuum, and, where applicable, tolerant to the bake-out temperatures. The requirements grow increasingly stringent with the desired degree of vacuum achievable in the vacuum chamber. The materials can produce gas by several mechanisms. Molecules of gases and water can be adsorbed on the material surface. Materials may sublimate in vacuum. Or the gases can be released from porous materials or from cracks and crevices. Traces of lubricants, residues from machining, can be present on the surfaces. A specific risk is outgassing of solvents absorbed in plastics after cleaning.

The elements bismuth and indium have relatively low melting points when compared to other metals, and their alloy Bismuth Indium is classified as a fusible alloy. It has a melting point lower than the eutectic point of the tin lead alloy. The most common application of the alloy is as a low temperature solder, which can also contain, besides Bismuth and Indium, lead, cadmium and tin.

Wiped joint

A wiped joint is a form of soldered joint used to join lead pipework.

References

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Bibliography