Great Soldering Iron Tip replacements / Solder

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Lineout, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. Lineout

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 20, 2013
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    0
    Hi ,

    I understand heat destroys the tips, sadly I'm not able to do much about that.

    I've been trying sanding and scraping , but is there a tip that lasts longer, something I can buy a pak of ?


    Also what is a great solder for adhering to wire, terminals, resistors etc...
    I seem to like the fairly thin solder over the thick , but not sure of best type or type and brand.


    Thanks....
     
  2. TheComet

    Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    88
    12
    In order to assure a long life of your tip, you need to operate your soldering iron at the lowest temperature possible. For instance, I solder all SMDs with 350°C, and THDs with 380°C. You also need to keep the tip covered in solder whenever you're not using it - even for short periods of time.

    If you do it correctly, a tip will last for at least 6 months, given you solder every day of the week.

    There are a lot of "brands" of solder, but I'm no expert on what's good for what. It depends what composition you're using. "Thick" and "thin" doesn't have any meaning.
     
  3. Lineout

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 20, 2013
    64
    0
    Thanks.....
     
  4. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
    8,754
    760
    For electronics use Alloy 60/40 solder with a rosin flux core. Use 0.8mm to 0.4mm diameter depending on application. 50/50 or 40/60 solder requires more heat to melt and make it flowing..! They are mainly used for electrical connections.
    There are a better solder. as I recall it's eutectic type. They are 67/37 Alloy. They require even lesser heat to melt. The solder type also is responsible for a clean polish finish soldering. This you have to try and see.

    Sanding will destroy the tip as sanding scrapes off the tinned surface of the tip. Once sanded a tip is useless for electronic soldering. Too much heat will also destroy the tip.
     
  5. PackratKing

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    850
    215
    One main demon for ruining tips, is leaving the iron idling for hours when not actually using... or forgetting and running them overnight... It doesn't take all that long to fire them up for a few connects, and then turn them off. !!!
     
  6. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,346
    6,835
    Haven't you heard of, "ironclad" tips? They never need sanding or filing and I have only ruined 2 of them in 40 years. Weller Brand, and Rifaa already talked about solder.
     
  7. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    5,435
    1,305
    Are you sure about those temps?

    I run my workshop temp-controlled irons on about 280-295'C, in my experience using 350-380'C sounds like abuse! The melt point of lead tin solder is about 185'C.

    [​IMG]

    Re the type of solder, lead solder (good old 60/40) reduces corrosion and protects tips and components much better than any of the lead-free solders, which are iffy quality solder at best. I use lead-free whan I have to, but it's really nasty stuff to use.
     
  8. TheComet

    Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    88
    12
    Those temperatures in the diagram you provided are for reflow soldering, not for hand soldering.

    A higher temperature is required for hand soldering because the PCB and components you solder will absorb and dissipate a lot of the heat, especially if the pad you are heating is connected to a power plain or ground plain. Consequences of this can be "cold solder connections" (i.e. they look good but will corrode in short time and possibly won't conduct correctly), or simply not being able to melt the solder. I don't know where you learnt to solder with such low temperatures, but at the company I work at, 350°C is standard for all SMDs and 380°C for all THDs.

    With reflow soldering, you can easily permit a lower temperature because you're heating the entire board rather than a single area.
     
    Metalmann likes this.
  9. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,451
    3,370
    Do not sand or scrape an ironclad soldering tip. That is a sure way to destroy the tip.
     
  10. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
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    I know that! Not only do I have multiple temperature controlled irons but I do some work as overseer advisor for small manufacturing including SMD ovens and rework. :)

    Yes and no. The chart shows 60/40 tin lead composition solder melts fine at 180-220'C.

    We are talking about tempertaure controlled irons, so more wattage is applied by the element as you try to solder a pad or ground plane etc. You don't need much more temperature overhead, only enough to cover some heat drop between the element/sensor and the pad. I said my irons are set to about 280-295'C which is plenty of overhead over the melt temp of 185'C to get good melt at the pad even with a very fine tip.

    There have been some times soldering on some rough stuff where I crank the temp up to about 320'C, but that is rough nasty stuff, on very old brittle solder of unknown composition etc, not the modern SMD work that you were talking about.

    To me, a temp controlled iron at 350'C for SMD work just sounds like someone does not know what they are doing.
     
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