Detailed Study Of Condensate Residues In The Soldering Process

Rawinski – the specialist in thermal processes and materials analysis at the molecular level- is pleased to announce the presentation of white paper ““Detailed Study Of Condensate Residues In The Soldering Process – Analysis Of The Responsible Reaction Partners As Well As Reasons For Condensate Polymerization And Growth Of Crystalline Structures ” at the SMTA international conference by Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Viktoria Rawinski, founder and CEO of Rawinski GmbH. The presentation will take place as part of the MFX3 – Manufacturing Excellence session on Tuesday, 2. November at 2:30 pm at the Convention Center in Minneapolis.

Condensate is more than just a condensed residue from the flux on the soldering machine surfaces. When condensate is formed, volatile components of the PCB substrate, solder mask, and solder paste flux must be considered. They can all react with each other in the soldering process and thus influence condensate growth, condensate quantity and its composition.

A major part of the condensed deposits in the soldering process results from the high molecular organic compounds which are present in the flux. Another part of the condensate residues results from gaseous components of the PCB substrate as well as the solder resist. This leads to the formation of a highly crosslinked polymer layer on the inner parts of the soldering machines and, in some cases, to the formation of crystalline deposits in the process gas pipes. Also, the metal surface plays a major role in the polymerization of the condensate residues. Specific metals can act as catalysts for the start of polymerization and stimulate the growth of the residue layer.

The investigation of the possible reaction products as well as their specific temperature ranges helps to understand the formation of residues, as well as their crosslinking and growth of crystalline formations. It helps to support the manufacturer in finding a suitable temperature adjustment outside of the soldering process to allow residue to condense at a favorable location. Also, the growth of crystalline formations in the pipes could be minimized by avoiding growth-promoting conditions. This can extend maintenance cycles, reduce the formation of substances that are harmful to health and the environment, and increase the productivity of the soldering machines.