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Does your silicone soldering mat bulge up when heated?

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Mine does, and it really doesn't help when dealing with small parts under the scope, everything gets out of focus interrupting work. The blurb when I bought it said 500C, soldering, hot air, blah blah blah, but that was plainly just rubbish. It goes flat again when cool, but that isn't the point.

If yours doesn't bulge or warp, what brand/type do you use and do you have a link for it? I think it's time I got a different one.

All the ones I tried do bulge. This is why I don't like to use them.

The physical thickness might be the key, but they don't make thick mats. I've seen thick sheets of silicone, which might work better, but I have not tried.

I also don't see the point of those mats because they still get as hot as any other surface would and transfer the heat to the bench. So, I use a metal plate on small rubber feet. It isolates the bench from the significant heat. It does get hot itself, but then it also cools down pretty fast. I cover the surface of the plate with capton tape. I don't know if it helps with the heat, I mostly do it to prevent the glare from the shiny metal surface.


--- Quote from: ataradov on October 03, 2023, 05:07:22 pm ---All the ones I tried do bulge. This is why I don't like to use them.

--- End quote ---

Damn, I was hoping it was my terrible choice rather than a general issue.

I have not noticed this with mine. I have an ESD mat covering the bench with a silicone mat on top of that for soldering. I typically don't apply heat directly to the mat though. Maybe some when I'm using the hot air station, but again I've not noticed any bubbling.

(and as soon as I say that, I jynx myself and will have a baseball sized bubble the next time I solder something...)

It only happens with hot air, of course. The silicone has thermal expansion, so it increases in volume, and that volume must go somewhere, so it bulges. If you don't heat it enough or it dissipates fast enough, there would not be an issue.

And it is usually not an issue when working on large boards in the middle of the board. But once you have a small board and some of the hot air has to heat the mat, it becomes an issue.


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