Electronic devices work on the principle of conducting electricity internally through the chips and wires of a device to make it function like it is supposed to. In order to achieve a connection between these electrical components that conduct electricity, soldering is performed. Soldering is much like welding, but soldering is a high precision job and creates a highly conductive bond. Creating a good solder bond requires careful selection of all the tools and materials because not all surfaces work well with single solder wire. This article presents information on how to choose the best solder wire for attachment.
Tip #1: Where are you working?
It is common knowledge that while soldering, a considerable number of fumes are generated which can be harmful if inhaled continuously. It is for this reason that you should carefully understand the interiors where you are working. If you do not have ventilators that allow the fumes to escape, it is best to choose a low-fume solder wire.
Tip #2: What are you soldering?
Solder wires come in various sizes. Some maybe thick and some thin – the point is, they are all used for different soldering requirements. It is important to understand which type of soldering you will be performing – whether it is through hole, surface mount or others – and choose the wire accordingly. Typically, for a through-hole project, gauges 18, 20 and 21 works best. If you are working on precision projects with an excellent line soldering requirement, a gauge 22 would be best.
Tip #3: What is the melting point of your materials?
Soldering wires made from different alloys melt at different temperatures. It is essential to understand the melting points of the materials you will be soldering together because you don’t want to melt those components with a piping hot, molten solder. Melting points are mentioned in the package of all solder wires and should be checked before choosing a solder wire.
Tip #4: What are your fluxing requirements?
Fluxing is essential to achieve a good soldering bond. There are solder wires available in the market with a flux core, and there are wires which are pure solder. If you are looking at a general soldering job, a flux cored wire is alright. However, for precision soldering, it is best to clean the surface thoroughly with flux before using solder – in which case, you can use solid wires.
Use the tips above to choose the most suitable solder wire for attachment.