Halide flux on soldering can tarnish the soldering tip!

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by katsogiannis, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. katsogiannis

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 8, 2016
    Hello all.

    New on this forum and i need anyone who has some experience on soldering and the type of flux used.
    Recently i used some solder wire that contains a flux type of an activator called "Halide". My research show me that Halide is the most aggressive of the ingredients of a flux.
    The amount of Halide is part responsible for the rate that a cored solder wire will flow. Due to the Halides aggressive nature certain international and independent specifications have guidelines to corrosion testing of fluxes.
    Some countries (e.g. Japan, USA and Germany) believe that removing the Halide from within a flux (Nitro-Flo HF flux type) will eliminate any possible long term corrosion.
    Certain national, international and military standards prohibit the use of Halides in fluxes and this is because often believe Halide activators to be more corrosive that other activators.
    Can this also cause low performance and tarnish on the soldering tips and cartridges?
    I am still running tests using different tips and also try to find out if tinning the tip for storage with Halide flux solder can corrode and damage the tip.
    Any help would be much appreciated.

    PS. I am using a Metcal MX soldering station.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. dl324

    AAC Fanatic!

    Mar 30, 2015
    Welcome to AAC!

    Proper removal of flux, regardless of type, will avoid corrosion problems for board, components, or iron tips.
  3. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    Halide is very effective at removing oxides but some "non-halide" fluxes can be just as dangerous if not processed properly as they need more activator to achieve similar oxide removal which can lead to corrosion.
    As stated following recommended removal/cleaning post soldering should be followed for any solder/flux..
  4. CampAnth

    New Member

    Jun 11, 2016
    Halide is very aggressive but smaller amounts on your tips will not make the problems, I think. Also halide in flux is adjusted for soldering and it has not same effect like the normal halides. Anyway let us know if it damage your tips.
  5. Kermit2

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 5, 2010
    Have coarse steelwool (dishwashing scouring pad can work if metallic), a damp sponge and use them both, often, while using the iron. ALWAYS add more solder to the tip before using either one. Use extra solder and wipe on the sponge until tip is clean when finished. Iron should be turned off before final cleaning to speed up cool down.
    Have only changed out one tip in twenty plus years.
    The tip requires constant care in use, before use, and after.
    Still a millions times easier than a true copper iron heated with fire.

  6. katsogiannis

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 8, 2016
    Hello all.
    Thanks for your comments. Really appreciated.
  7. andrewmm

    Active Member

    Feb 25, 2011
    would this not rub the iron coating off the copper bit ?
  8. Kermit2

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 5, 2010
    The idea is for the steel wool to stay still in a cup and for the tip to be dragged or swiped across the top of it.
    Do this when it first reaches solder melting temperature to remove oxidized tin and lead. Not like you would use an abrasive on a solid surface. The tip should have a thin melted layer of solder on from the last time you put it away after use. ;)
    Then a quick wipe on the damp sponge (very well wrung) never a wet one. Just "damp". If there is lots of sizzling sounds it's to wet.
    This leaves the tip shiny silver bright. If it is the right temp for soldering it will turn a slightly golden yellow hue after 5 to 10 seconds.
    Use it.
    If black and brown crusty residue appear repeat above.

    If you turn up temp to solder heavy thick copper connections then turn it down when done. Letting irons idle above 650 F for long periods burns them up. Letting them stay at a low working temp for a short time, immediate use is okay, then dial down temp to under 450 to idle them or just switch off if it's gonna be awhile.
    It keeps tips from getting toasted into pencil leads.