enamelled wire and wiring pens

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Robin Mitchell, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. Robin Mitchell

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2009
    Hi everyone,

    does the enamle on copper wire melt when in contact with solering iron or inside a blob of hot solder???
  2. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    There are many different types of "enamel" insulation used. Here is a nice resource: http://www.mwswire.com/pdf_files/mws_tech_book/insulation_guide.pdf

    Some are solderable and some are not (look in left column). Those that aren't solderable can be removed by much higher heat -- often done with a salt bath containing melted KOH or NaOH and a little NaNO3 -- or by mechanical means. I am not aware of any simple solvent that works at room temperature to remove them.


    Edit: Here's another neat way to strip them: http://jap.aip.org/resource/1/japiau/v70/i7/p3881_s1?isAuthorized=no

    Eraser alternatives:


    Note that the fine wire method (id=104) is relatively mild. I have not tried using propylene glycol and KOH. I have used the KOH/NaNO3 method.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  3. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    Generally, no.
  4. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    For some sizes, a brief pass through a flame will take off the enamel. Too fine a wire will also burn.

    I usually use an Xacto knife blade and pull the wire over it to scrape off the enamel. Steel wool can be used, as can fine sandpaper (400 - 600 grit wet or dry used wet works pretty well).
  5. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    I tend to use the Xacto blade myself. Not the best, but it works. Never tried the chemical techniques myself. They sound interesting.
  6. soda

    Active Member

    Dec 7, 2008

    If it's the enamel on the magnet wire, you can use brake flute to remove it. This is what i use and it work.
    Just take care for it doesn't get onto your clothes.

    Use a small brush to apply it
  7. BillO

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2008
    Mitch, there are some very thin enamelled wires made specifically for wiring prototype circuits. I got a big spool of it on eBay last year so it's available. Works pretty good too as you can easily daisy chain connections. It really needs the 'pen' tool though to dispense and wrap the wire properly. That I’ve not been able to find, but someone told me there was a company in your neck of the woods selling this stuff.
  8. Robin Mitchell

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2009
    vero, its the company that inveted stripboard.
    Just type into google UK wiring pen :p
  9. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
    For enamel/magnet wire, I just use a green Scotch Brite pad and a swipe ro two.

    The rest of my breadboard wiring comes from Cat5, stripped to the right lengths.

    Wire Wrap stuff has teflon insulation, and most wire wrap tools come with a nifty stipper. It's a fast and easy way to do a prototype without solder or a breadboard (logic stuff).

    If you want to keep it, it's also good, as the bond of the copper around the square pins doesn't allow oxygen in. IIRC, the space shuttle has wire wrap connections to the magnetic core memory.