Author Topic: Which lead-free solder  (Read 13627 times)

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Offline Medo

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Which lead-free solder
« on: April 29, 2011, 08:36:52 am »
I am switching from lead soldering to lead-free and first step is selecting a solder.
I narrowed my choice between 99C and 96SC lead-free solder:

Which one, in your experience, would be better and easier to solder with?
 

Offline flolic

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2011, 08:50:47 am »
I am switching from lead soldering to lead-free and first step is selecting a solder.

Why, why, why!? But really?  ???
stvarno me zanima  ;D
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2011, 08:51:00 am »
If you really must used leadfree, use the stuff with  2% silver. But if possible stick to leaded.
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Offline Medo

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2011, 10:53:07 am »
Why, why, why!? But really?  ???
stvarno me zanima  ;D
Why not? :)

There are two reasons really:

1. Health. Lead is not that good on hands and sometime I even hold wire with my mouth as I solder. It was either changing wire or my weird soldering style.

2. Lot of other components (if not all) are lead-free.  Why not switch all the way?

nadam se da je ovo dobar odgovor ;D
 

Offline flolic

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2011, 12:04:32 pm »

There are two reasons really:

1. Health. Lead is not that good on hands and sometime I even hold wire with my mouth as I solder. It was either changing wire or my weird soldering style.

2. Lot of other components (if not all) are lead-free.  Why not switch all the way?

nadam se da je ovo dobar odgovor ;D

1. I agree that lead is not the best thing to put into you mouth, but you overreacting. Try to avoid chewing solder wire and you will be fine  :) Touching solder wire with your hands will have no ill effect on your health if you wash your hands after soldering.

2. Lead-free components solder just fine with lead based solder  ;)

You can try lead free if you want, but I'm quite sure that you'll be back to "poisonous" stuff soon  ;D

 

Offline tecman

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2011, 01:39:25 pm »
One reason is that lead solder is still preferred/required in high reliability applications.  Although the world is moving to lead free, none of the available compounds are without problems.  The most significant is aging.  Non-lead solders can deteriorate, cause dendritic shorts, crystallize and have  other breakdown issues that have an impact on joint reliability. 

As for the health issues, don't chew on the solder, vent the fumes, and keep away from children.  In its solid form, lead in the solder is rather inert.

paul
 

Offline sacherjj

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2011, 02:38:16 pm »
As for the health issues, don't chew on the solder, vent the fumes, and keep away from children.  In its solid form, lead in the solder is rather inert.

Even in the temperatures used for soldering, Lead is rather inert.  The "fumes" are all vaporized rosin flux.

"Simple lead-tin soldering operations at controlled working temperatures typically do not generate significant lead fume concentrations." Burgess WA. Recognition of Health Hazards in Industry, 2nd Ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1995.
 

Offline Medo

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2011, 05:09:35 pm »
1. I agree that lead is not the best thing to put into you mouth, but you overreacting. Try to avoid chewing solder wire and you will be fine  :) Touching solder wire with your hands will have no ill effect on your health if you wash your hands after soldering.
I know. I've been soldering with lead for quite a few years now. However, I tried lead-free solder and it is not that problematic to use so my thoughts immediately went to switching completely. :)

2. Lead-free components solder just fine with lead based solder  ;)
True. :)
 

Offline orbiter

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2011, 11:15:34 am »
I started my electronics hobby off again on the right foot by using lead free solder (2% silver,) however after using it for almost six months I decided (no reason) to just switch to leaded. Only then did I realize what everyone meant when they where saying that lead free was a PITA. Lead free is actually ok to work with and I do still have loads of it and use it sometimes, but compared to the way leaded flows and seems to adhere much easier, I'm staying with it.

To be quite honest whilst I don't sit there and sniff the fumes like a drug addict, I am partial to the smell of the Rosin fumes :D

Offline tekfan

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2011, 03:29:26 pm »
Anybody remember this?


They're called tin whiskers. There's a reason why they put lead in solder.
I guess you can expect every single piece of test equipment with ROHS standard to fail in the next 10 years.
This is the primary reason I don't use lead free solder. I want the stuff I build and repair to last.
I too sometimes hold the solder in my mouth. I don't worry about it because you absorb much more lead and even mercury by simply drinking tap water or eating fish.

Fauliure of a transistor in a tin plated package. You can see the whiskers actually grew trough the silicone paste.


For more information on how electronic equipment built today will fail in the next couple of years visit:
http://nepp.nasa.gov/whisker/anecdote/index.html

One can never have enough oscilloscopes.
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2011, 03:47:01 pm »
my kid just chew a good bunch of solder few days ago, luckily he didnt swallow it. i only notice when i tried to find it and deformed badly, still reusable though. yea, that whisker, the nasty extraterrestial microb i think.
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Online Zero999

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2011, 05:54:27 pm »
Even swallowing a piece of lead solder is unlikely to do much harm, just chewing it is probably more dangerous though.

Solid metallic lead is pretty inert and will just pass though the body and be expelled in feces. Lead salts are much more toxic because they will be absorbed into the body tissue and enter the blood. When solder is chewed it will be broken down to small pieces, the thin oxide will be removed and tiny fragments will break off and be swallowed. Swallowing small pieces of lead is definitely more harmful than one large piece because tiny pieces have a larger surface area so more will be absorbed.

If you son has been chewing solder take him to a doctor for a blood test. Lead is more harmful to children than adults and has been linked to brain damage and mental retardation, so if he has lead poisoning, the quicker he's treated, the better.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2011, 08:52:52 pm by Hero999 »
 

Offline tecman

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2011, 06:00:06 pm »
Anybody remember this?

They're called tin whiskers. There's a reason why they put lead in solder.
I guess you can expect every single piece of test equipment with ROHS standard to fail in the next 10 years.
This is the primary reason I don't use lead free solder. I want the stuff I build and repair to last.
I too sometimes hold the solder in my mouth. I don't worry about it because you absorb much more lead and even mercury by simply drinking tap water or eating fish.

Fauliure of a transistor in a tin plated package. You can see the whiskers actually grew trough the silicone paste.


For more information on how electronic equipment built today will fail in the next couple of years visit:
http://nepp.nasa.gov/whisker/anecdote/index.html



The whiskers are technically known as dendrites, and they grow with time !

Be warned.

paul
 

Offline jahonen

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2011, 06:19:40 pm »
The whiskers are technically known as dendrites, and they grow with time !

Be warned.

paul


Whiskers are quite different from dendrites, dendrites need a surface to grow along, but whiskers can and do grow across air, as they are extruded from the surface upwards.

Regards,
Janne
 

Offline Leo Bodnar

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2011, 07:26:13 pm »
Just to let you guys know - it is illegal to distribute non RoHS compliant electrical stuff on the EU market. 

It's OK to use Pb containing stuff for "internal use" but as soon as you put it on eBay or sell your design to a friend you are potentially in trouble.

As far as I know the US market does not have such restrictions.  Thank you Eurocrats for making our life so much better!

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2011, 02:25:34 am »
Just to let you guys know - it is illegal to distribute non RoHS compliant electrical stuff on the EU market. 
Assuming it's in one of the categories as specified by the WEEE directive. And not covered by one of the exceptions (eg. monitoring & control, industrial, aerospace, military). And it's not for repairing equipment build before the directive became effective.

I'm not sure if hand soldering with lead-free solder is actually safer, I'd consider the aggressive flux a larger risk than the lead. Flux evaporates during soldering, unlike lead.
 

Offline Medo

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2011, 12:38:14 pm »
They're called tin whiskers. There's a reason why they put lead in solder.
I guess you can expect every single piece of test equipment with ROHS standard to fail in the next 10 years.
This is the primary reason I don't use lead free solder. I want the stuff I build and repair to last.

You are damned anyhow since almost all connectors and components have tin finish.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2011, 12:46:08 pm »
Just to let you guys know - it is illegal to distribute non RoHS compliant electrical stuff on the EU market. 

It's OK to use Pb containing stuff for "internal use" but as soon as you put it on eBay or sell your design to a friend you are potentially in trouble.

As far as I know the US market does not have such restrictions.  Thank you Eurocrats for making our life so much better!
Technically yes, but in practice nobody is ever going to find out or care, just like a whole load of other product legislation that is widely ignored.
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Offline tekfan

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2011, 01:11:23 pm »
They're called tin whiskers. There's a reason why they put lead in solder.
I guess you can expect every single piece of test equipment with ROHS standard to fail in the next 10 years.
This is the primary reason I don't use lead free solder. I want the stuff I build and repair to last.

You are damned anyhow since almost all connectors and components have tin finish.

As much as only 3% of lead content in the solder completely eliminates tin whiskers. Imagine how little lead there is in a circuit board and how many car batteries are improperly disposed (lead + acid + other very nasty stuff)

One can never have enough oscilloscopes.
 

Offline sacherjj

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2011, 02:37:02 pm »
As much as only 3% of lead content in the solder completely eliminates tin whiskers. Imagine how little lead there is in a circuit board and how many car batteries are improperly disposed (lead + acid + other very nasty stuff)

Come on, you aren't allowed to bring logic when talking about legislation.  That requires thinking and when dealing with government types makes it an unfair fight.  Because they come unarmed.  ;)
 

Offline TheWelly888

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2011, 07:12:30 pm »
Medical equipment is also exempt from the lead free directive. Sadly some have lead free boards now... I know because I had to replace a water damaged PCB with a new one supplied by the manufacturer that has the lead free joints!  :(

I had to throw away a digital radio receiver after it was used for only 3 years because the facking thing just failed and the boards were all over the place which made fault finding too bladdy difficult! The joints appeared to be lead free!
You can do anything with the right attitude and a hammer.
 

Offline nukie

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2011, 01:54:45 am »
Let me help you out since all these 'experienced' fellas has their head stuck in the mud for too long.  :P :P :P

Lead free solder has come a long way and taken the industry by storm. You heard of RoHS? that's lead free for you. Most parts today come in RoHS spec.  If you have tin whisker on your board, you have a problem with your manufacturing process. Simple as that.

Your answer to lead free is SN100C by Nihon Superior. Tin whisker you say?! Things of the pass. You might not know this brand very well but it's widely used in Asian assembly plants. For you guys in the States... Kester has a SN100C clone, it's the K100. AIM makes them too. Yes they all do different sizes solder wire with flux.

Having said that, lead free solder has high melting temperature making them a pain to work with.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2011, 02:09:28 am by nukie »
 
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Offline Rufus

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2011, 02:55:39 am »
If you have tin whisker on your board, you have a problem with your manufacturing process. Simple as that.

Do you even know what a tin whisker is?
 

Offline bilko

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2011, 10:17:04 am »
I wouldn't use lead free on anything except cheap throw away electronics with short life span such as most consumer goods. Its Ok to use lead free on cell phones e.t.c. because very few people have phones more than 5 years old. All our repairs are done with lead solder.
 

Offline Psi

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Re: Which lead-free solder
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2011, 12:07:05 pm »
The best lead-free solder to get is the cheapest, dodgiest lead-free solder you can find out of china.
Since it's most likely lead solder with a lead-free label  ;D
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