Will condensing soldering change the EMS market?
The PCB soldering process is very complex and affects the proper operation of the entire system. Very often special solder paste is spread over the surface of the PCB board. However, perfect precision and SPI testing are required. Condensing soldering, also called steam soldering, is an extremely innovative technology. What does this method involve? What are its main advantages and limitations?
How does condensing soldering work?
The process requires apparatus with a chamber in which the expected chemical reactions take place. A special high-density liquid with a constant boiling point is heated here. After reaching the target temperature, a PCB is placed in the chamber. It is placed directly above the liquid brought to the correct temperature at the boiling point. At this moment, steam is released it spreads w up the chamber and settles on the PCB.
The liquid is not brought to a boil, thanks to which there is adequate thermal insulation in the chamber, which protects against damage to delicate elements on the plate. The whole process is carried out under anaerobic conditions and does not require the use of nitrogen. After removing the plate, all the liquid evaporates from the plate, and this is placed in a special cooling section. Thanks to this, solder pastes with different melting points can be used more effectively.
Advantages and disadvantages of condensation soldering
The main advantage is the even distribution of the weld regardless of the colour, shape, size and manner of placing individual elements on the tile. This eliminates the risk of a thin layer of weld or shading by large elements. The steam settles on the entire surface of the plate. In the cooling process, the liquid evaporates and leaves no undesirable traces.
This is a relatively recent method that is gaining more and more interest from producers. Condensing soldering requires specialized equipment. High costs mean that only the largest manufacturers can afford to implement this technology in the mass production of electronic products. In addition, the procedure requires time, and hence, the effectiveness of this method with a huge number of plates may be insufficient. However, the technology is in a continuous development phase and it is possible that current defects will be quickly eliminated.
Will condensing soldering change the electronics market?
One thing is certain, the method itself is extremely effective and precise, thus it minimizes the risk of errors in the PCB assembly process. However, the above description of condensing soldering reveals a basic minus, i.e. high costs. The purchase of apparatus and appropriate liquid is a big expense. However, considering the possibility of eliminating the costs associated with probable errors this method may prove to be very profitable for many manufacturers in the future.