Author Topic: Lead free solder  (Read 659 times)

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Offline fixit7

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Lead free solder
« on: June 02, 2019, 10:08:02 pm »
After looking up what ROHS meant, I started looking at lead free solders.

How much harder are they to use?

If you use it, what do you recommend?

 

Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: Lead free solder
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2019, 11:40:50 pm »
Lead free needs higher temps to melt.  The flux is also more aggressive, especially to soldering iron tips.  You need dedicated tips because you don't want to cross contaminate tips with leaded solder.  The joints themselves aren't shiny like lead, they are dull looking like they might not be good solder joints.  I have some AIM SN100C with Glow core flux, 2.5% in .020".  I also have a dedicated tip for my Metcal MX-500 that is only for lead free and I keep it in its package to make sure I don't accidentally use it with leaded solder.

I have used it a couple of times to fix things that were commercial products and RoHS compliant.  I don't care for using it myself.  If you aren't fixing or making anything commercial that can be sent across the pond, stick with leaded.
I am of the age that my brain no longer says "maybe I shouldn't say that" but "what the heck, let's see what happens"
 
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Offline fixit7

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Re: Lead free solder
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2019, 02:42:42 am »
Thanks.


 

Online wraper

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Re: Lead free solder
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2019, 02:55:17 am »
Depends, do you mean hand soldering or reflow? If hand soldering it highly depends on thermal mass of a solder joint. The bigger thermal mass, the bigger difficulty. Often you cannot do the job decently without preheating. Also it's highly dependent on alloy, flux and board finish. Although it may seem counter intuitive, ENIG boards are usually easier to solder than HASL. Also with lead free HASL YMMV, some boards solder fine, on some solder just does not want to flow.
 

Offline bostonman

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Re: Lead free solder
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2019, 03:09:32 am »
Quote
cross contaminate tips with leaded solder


Does it cause a problem if the same tip is used? Obviously lead will get into the non-leaded, but is this the only issue?
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Lead free solder
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2019, 03:46:32 am »
For process control with ROHS use different tips.

But for home rework and projects for yourself where super high reliability is not important the same tip can be used. Just clean your tip fully, wet the tinned area on the tip all over with the desired fresh solder and repeat this several times before soldering.

Not trying to teach you bad habits, but for home use you aren't going to wave your hands in the air and throw the tip in the bin if it gets leaded solder on it. The same goes for peoples paranoia in using leaded solder and then they then go buy cheap Chinese lead free which has god knows what chemicals in the flux.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM     >>> Fluke 51/52 Thermometer Parts Required <<<
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 
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Online tooki

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Re: Lead free solder
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2019, 09:37:15 am »
Quote
cross contaminate tips with leaded solder


Does it cause a problem if the same tip is used? Obviously lead will get into the non-leaded, but is this the only issue?
In theory, even just the fact that they're different alloys (regardless of lead) means you've produced a mixed alloy of unknown composition and thus with unknown properties. But this happens even just when reflowing joints too much (since some copper is dissolved from the PCB, for example).

As Shock said, as long as you don't have process control to deal with, it's fine to just rinse the tip thoroughly with solder before switching, if it matters. (It surely doesn't matter, for example, when you're just going to desolder a joint that'll later get resoldered with fresh solder anyway.)
 
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Online radiolistener

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Re: Lead free solder
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2019, 09:58:07 am »
I think lead free ROHS soldering is invented in order to make electronics less reliable, quickly failing and more hard to repair. This is needs in order to make more money. Product will fail very soon and customer will buy new one. Manufacturer will get profit. :)
So, if you're don't have goal to make your circuit unreliable, there is no need to use lead free stuff :)
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 10:00:38 am by radiolistener »
 

Online wraper

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Re: Lead free solder
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2019, 10:31:58 am »
I think lead free ROHS soldering is invented in order to make electronics less reliable, quickly failing and more hard to repair. This is needs in order to make more money. Product will fail very soon and customer will buy new one. Manufacturer will get profit. :)
So, if you're don't have goal to make your circuit unreliable, there is no need to use lead free stuff :)
It hardly matters for reliability of consumer goods unless water gets there, as leaded solder is more resistant against that. Only if you make extremely reliable stuff with over-specified components and design decisions it could make some noticeable difference.
 

Online tooki

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Re: Lead free solder
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2019, 10:49:34 am »
I think lead free ROHS soldering is invented in order to make electronics less reliable, quickly failing and more hard to repair. This is needs in order to make more money. Product will fail very soon and customer will buy new one. Manufacturer will get profit. :)
So, if you're don't have goal to make your circuit unreliable, there is no need to use lead free stuff :)
Yeah, um, no. Take off the tinfoil hat.

I've encountered no evidence of increased failure rates in newer electronics, and certainly no evidence of this specifically due to solder failure. Indeed, planned obsolescence in general isn't nearly as widespread as people think it is. (People confuse planned obsolescence with designing down to a price, which is a closely related but nonetheless different effect.) And people have falsely rosy memories of how reliable old stuff was. Like... there's a reason we don't have cozy relationships with our TV repairmen any more, and it's not just that repairs cost as much as a new unit these days...
 
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Online radiolistener

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Re: Lead free solder
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2019, 11:04:27 am »
Repair of ROHC electronics is a bad dream. It's better to buy something new...  :)
There are two things that is used for planned obsolescence:
1) low quality electrolyte capacitors
2) lead free soldering

Actually all these things that have green color logo are doing business which is very harmful to the environment.

For example, these fluorescent light bulbs which are advertised as energy savings and save environment with green logo, actually contains mercury. The same thing with these ROHS, which is designed for cheap low quality electronics intended for short period of usage. After that it will turns into trash and pollutes the environment with harmful substances.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 11:24:55 am by radiolistener »
 

Online tooki

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Re: Lead free solder
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2019, 11:21:29 am »
Ugh... no, dude.

Designing down to a price is NOT planned obsolescence. Nobody is out there saying "we need to choose things that definitely won't last longer than 3 years" or whatever. They do, however, say "we need this thing cheap, and it only needs to last 3 years, so we don't need more expensive parts that last longer", which is designing down to a price.

Nobody wanted the crappy caps. They often failed while the devices were still under warranty, which cost companies millions to fix. (Not to mention that it's really bad for reputation.)


So yeah, take off the tinfoil hat. There's no conspiracy to design things to fail prematurely.

P.S. I didn't say modern devices were easy to repair. They're not. But they are actually quite reliable.
 
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Online radiolistener

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Re: Lead free solder
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2019, 11:29:04 am »
dude, there is no tin foil hat. They just doing it to get more money. But this is very bad for buyers and for environment, because all these cheap trash will pollute environment with harmful garbage. And the goal of this business is to produce much more trash and get more money for that, instead of production good quality and long use things which will save environment and make peoples more happy.
 

Online tooki

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Re: Lead free solder
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2019, 11:35:31 am »
It's absolutely a tinfoil hat.

What's the point in designing a cellphone to last for 10 years and be super-durable, when a) that'll make it so thick nobody will buy it anyway, and b) consumers replace their phones after ~2.5y on average anyway? (The vast majority of phones are replaced long before they fail.) Same with computers. It's not planned obsolescence, it's just plain ordinary obsolescence. The only way to stop that would be to stop progress.

And besides, the markets have spoken: most consumers don't want quality. They want cheap. And so that's what manufacturers make, because that's what sells.
 
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Online radiolistener

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Re: Lead free solder
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2019, 11:40:15 am »
What's the point in designing a cellphone to last for 10 years and be super-durable

The point to design such cellphones is to save environment. It will not turns into trash after 1-2 years, so you can continue to use it or just sell it and buy something new if you don't like to use the same thing for a long time. But such cellphones will not give much money for manufacturers. And this is why they design cellphone which will fails after 1-2 years and repair will be impossible.
 

Online radiolistener

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Re: Lead free solder
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2019, 11:45:22 am »
And besides, the markets have spoken: most consumers don't want quality. They want cheap.

Yeah thats true, because they don't want to think more deep. This is why so many peoples eat harmful and dangerous food. So, there is need for government policy to prohibit the production or import of low-quality products.

Thats so easy to understand - with no quality control you will get a lot of trash and entire world will turns into large waste dump. Just see on the China products, most of which doesn't pass quality control, and you get a piece of cheap garbage.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 11:48:53 am by radiolistener »
 

Online wraper

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Re: Lead free solder
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2019, 11:45:59 am »
What's the point in designing a cellphone to last for 10 years and be super-durable

The point to design such cellphones is to save environment. It will not turns into trash after 1-2 years, so you can continue to use it or just sell it and buy something new if you don't like to use the same thing for a long time. But such cellphones will not give much money for manufacturers. And this is why they design cellphone which will fails after 1-2 years and repair will be impossible.
They don't fail that often unless it's mechanical or liquid damage, or worn battery. Broken display or battery are completely fixable. People generally change phones not because they failed but because they are no more fancy enough for them after a year or two.
 
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Online tooki

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Re: Lead free solder
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2019, 11:54:37 am »
What's the point in designing a cellphone to last for 10 years and be super-durable

The point to design such cellphones is to save environment. It will not turns into trash after 1-2 years, so you can continue to use it or just sell it and buy something new if you don't like to use the same thing for a long time. But such cellphones will not give much money for manufacturers. And this is why they design cellphone which will fails after 1-2 years and repair will be impossible.
Except they don't fail after 1-2 years. We all have drawers full of old, fully working smartphones that are simply too slow for modern apps.

Your entire argument is based on premises that are absolutely false.
 

Offline Shock

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Re: Lead free solder
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2019, 12:23:26 pm »
The point to design such cellphones is to save environment. It will not turns into trash after 1-2 years, so you can continue to use it or just sell it and buy something new if you don't like to use the same thing for a long time. But such cellphones will not give much money for manufacturers. And this is why they design cellphone which will fails after 1-2 years and repair will be impossible.

Cheap junk fails fast, most people can't tell the difference. There are quality brands but in most cases they are more expensive so not everyone can afford them and the average joe thinks they are getting the same for less.

Just look at all the people buying from Aliexpress etc here, sure there might be some good products but a lot of it is cheap shit that people go crazy over. Never brought anything off Aliexpress, in fact I think I've purchased under 10 made for China products total (I'm by no means a troglodyte though).

All a government needs to say is warranties should be lasting with no faults and the whole problem is fixed.

Oh shit! Looks like Australia already does this, must be living in the right place.
https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/consumer-rights-guarantees/consumer-guarantees

Actually through their own ignorance many people aren't even aware this law exists here. Who would have thought if you want long lasting buy Australian. :)
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 12:28:49 pm by Shock »
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM     >>> Fluke 51/52 Thermometer Parts Required <<<
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065
 
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Offline ptricks

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Re: Lead free solder
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2019, 01:35:01 pm »
I worked in the consumer electronics industry. It isn't about planned obsolescence, the idea never came up, instead it was about cutting every penny possible without incurring new expense from returns in the warranty time.  The warranty time was all about the no income side of the product, the millions in cost from customers after the sale.
The thing consumers forget is that for things to keep running when they do need repair you need parts and someone has to stock those parts. Try to figure out the cost on making a product, then storing, maintaining and selling those parts for everything you make for years and years, nobody can stay in business unless you have very few products.  Instead you estimate what most likely will fail and stock those for what amount time is economically feasible, usually the warranty period.   The less likely a part is to fail the less of that part that is stored, things like the actual tv case, the frame of an appliance, etc.

If you buy a product you really like and want to keep it for years I suggest you buy the replacement parts before it breaks as they probably will not be sold when you need them.


 
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