Why do we use nitrogen in wave soldering?
Wave soldering with using hot nitrogen is a relatively young process that was introduced about 20 years ago. Initially, manufacturers rarely used this method. Today, when the benefits of nitrogen are known, this brazing technology is gaining ground. We decided to check what wave soldering technology is and what the advantages of using hot nitrogen are?
What does wave soldering look like?
Soldering is the third step in the PCB assembly process. The first is, of course, the application of solder paste and the arrangement of individual electronic components. At this point, it's time to solder. With wave technology, a flux is applied to the soldering side, which is heated and guided by a single or double solder wave. When using lead-free alloys, the brazing temperature reaches 260 degrees.
Unlike selective soldering, wave soldering covers the entire circumference, not just selected areas of the board. This is a more efficient process and reduces assembly time. Wave soldering can be used in both THT and SMD surface mounting.
The use of nitrogen in the soldering process
It is worth noting that manufacturers are increasingly opting for wave soldering using hot nitrogen. It is a kind of protective layer that increases heat transfer and protects delicate elements against moisture and air. Hot nitrogen brazing also reduces the problem of scuffing and mechanical defects on the plate surface. Thanks to this, the process becomes much safer and more effective.
Wave soldering technology has been in development for two decades. The introduction of hot nitrogen significantly increased the effectiveness of this method. Although its use requires additional investments in the necessary equipment, savings generated due to lower production costs allow you to quickly amortize the costs of purchasing the machines. Therefore, many manufacturers choose to take advantage of wave soldering. Of course, this applies to products where the use of this type of soldering is necessary for technological reasons.
What are the advantages of wave soldering in a nitrogen blanket?
The use of hot nitrogen improves heat transfer on the PCB between two waves, which is especially important when using lead-free eco-friendly alloys. Longer contact time with the weld increases transport speed and streamlines the assembly process on an automated production line. Protection against oxidation and moisture reduces the formation of scuff marks, short circuits and other mechanical defects by up to 90%.
In summary, the improved soldering process significantly reduces the production costs and the amount of time needed to produce ready-made elements. The soldering process itself is also cheaper. Consequently, mass producers are willing to equip their factory with a wave soldering production line.