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Difficulties of PCB selective soldering technology

 In the soldering process of PCB board electronics industry, more and more manufacturers have begun to focus on selective soldering. Selective soldering can complete all solder joints at the same time, reducing production costs and overcoming the temperature of reflow soldering. The problem of the influence caused by sensitive components, selective soldering can also be compatible with future lead-free soldering, these advantages make the application of selective soldering wider and wider.


      Process characteristics of selective soldering

      The process characteristics of selective soldering can be understood by comparing with wave soldering. The obvious difference between the two is that in wave soldering, the lower part of the PCB is completely immersed in liquid solder, while in selective soldering, only part of the specific area is in contact with the solder wave. Since the PCB itself is a poor heat conduction medium, it will not heat and melt the solder joints of adjacent components and the PCB area during soldering. Flux must also be pre-applied before soldering. Compared with wave soldering, the flux is only applied to the lower part of the PCB to be soldered, rather than the entire PCB. In addition, selective soldering is only suitable for the soldering of plug-in components. Selective welding is a completely new method. A thorough understanding of selective welding processes and equipment is necessary for successful welding.

      Selective soldering process

      The typical selective soldering process includes: flux spraying, PCB preheating, dip soldering and drag soldering.

      Flux coating process

      In selective soldering, the flux coating process plays an important role. When the soldering heating and soldering ends, the flux should have sufficient activity to prevent bridging and prevent the PCB from oxidizing. Flux spraying is carried by the X/Y manipulator to carry the PCB through the flux nozzle, and the flux is sprayed onto the PCB to be soldered. Flux has multiple methods such as single nozzle spray type, micro-hole spray type, synchronous multi-point/pattern spray. For microwave peak selective soldering after the reflow soldering process, it is important that the flux is accurately sprayed. The micro-hole jet will never contaminate the area outside the solder joints. The diameter of the small flux spot pattern of micro-point spraying is greater than 2mm, so the position accuracy of the flux deposited on the PCB is ±0.5mm. PCB mesh city can ensure that the flux is always covered on the welded part. The tolerance of the sprayed flux is provided by the supplier. The instructions should specify the amount of flux to be used, and a 100% safety tolerance range is usually recommended.

      Preheating process

      The main purpose of preheating in the selective soldering process is not to reduce thermal stress, but to remove the solvent and pre-dry the flux, so that the flux has the correct viscosity before entering the solder wave. During soldering, the influence of the heat from preheating on soldering quality is not a key factor. PCB material thickness, device package specifications and flux type determine the setting of preheating temperature. In selective soldering, there are different theoretical explanations for preheating: some process engineers believe that the PCB should be preheated before the flux is sprayed; another view is that the preheating is not required and the soldering should be performed directly. The user can arrange the selective welding process according to the specific situation.

      Welding process

      There are two different processes for selective soldering: drag soldering and dip soldering.

      The selective drag soldering process is completed on a single small soldering tip solder wave. The drag soldering process is suitable for soldering in very tight spaces on the PCB. For example: individual solder joints or pins, single-row pins can be drag soldered. The PCB moves on the solder wave of the soldering tip at different speeds and angles to achieve good soldering quality. In order to ensure the stability of the welding process, the inner diameter of the welding tip is less than 6mm. After the flow direction of the solder solution is determined, the soldering tips are installed and optimized in different directions for different soldering needs. The manipulator can approach the solder wave from different directions, that is, from 0° to 12° at different angles between PCB meshes, so users can solder various devices on electronic components. For most devices, the recommended tilt angle is 10°.

      Compared with the dip soldering process, the solder solution of the drag soldering process and the movement of the PCB board make the heat conversion efficiency during soldering better than that of the dip soldering process. However, the heat required to form the weld connection is transferred by the solder wave, but the solder wave quality of a single solder tip is small. Only the relatively high temperature of the solder wave can meet the requirements of the drag soldering process. Example: The solder temperature is 275℃~300℃, and the pulling speed is 10mm/s~25mm/s usually acceptable. Nitrogen is supplied in the welding area to prevent the solder wave from oxidizing. The solder wave eliminates the oxidation, so that the drag soldering process avoids the occurrence of bridging defects. This advantage increases the stability and reliability of the drag soldering process.

      The machine has the characteristics of high precision and high flexibility. The modular structure design system can be fully customized according to the customer's special production requirements, and can be upgraded to meet the needs of future production development. The movement radius of the robot can cover the flux nozzle, preheating and soldering nozzle, so the same equipment can complete different welding processes. The machine's unique synchronization process can greatly shorten the single board process cycle. The capabilities of the manipulator make this selective welding have the characteristics of high-precision and high-quality welding. The first is the highly stable and precise positioning ability of the robot (±0.05mm), which ensures the highly repeated and consistent parameters of each board; secondly, the 5-dimensional movement of the robot enables the PCB to contact the tin surface at any optimized angle and orientation to obtain good results. Welding quality. The tin wave height stylus installed on the manipulator splint device is made of titanium alloy. The tin wave height can be measured regularly under program control. The tin wave height can be controlled by adjusting the tin pump speed to ensure process stability.

      Despite all the above advantages, the single-nozzle solder wave drag soldering process also has the disadvantage of PCB  board net city: the soldering time is long in the three processes of flux spraying, preheating and soldering. And because the solder joints are dragged one by one, as the number of solder joints increases, the soldering time will increase significantly, and the welding efficiency cannot be compared with the traditional wave soldering process. However, the situation is changing. The design of multiple nozzles can greatly increase the output. For example, the use of dual welding nozzles can double the output, and the flux can also be designed as double nozzles.

The above is an introduction to the difficulties of PCB selective soldering technology. Ipcb is also provided to PCB manufacturers and PCB manufacturing technology