Electronic assembly is a procedure that involves soldering, getting together, and integrating electronic components into circuits that can perform a single or various functions. In this assembly process, we require joining different components, achieving contact between them, and facilitating the conduction of electric current. We can apply a process we refer to as soldering to establish this contact. In engineering literature, we refer to this process as electronic assembly soldering. The process is important since we apply it to manufacturing electrical appliances and other electric equipment such as engines, remotes, phones, etc. Therefore, we will dig deep into electronic assembly and understand what this process entails.
What is the origin of electronic assembly soldering?
Before introducing electronic soldering irons, technicians used a copper block with an appropriate shape point and an iron rod with a wooden handle. Before using this tool, the user would heat the iron rod over burning flames. In the soldering process, they would heat the tool again if it cooled down. Coppersmiths and tinsmiths used this tool while working on thin metal sheets. The process was expensive since they used a large block of copper as a heat storage facility. They would then use it to provide enough heat after removing it from the fire.
Due to that reason, there was the introduction and development of the soldering irons, which had a small amount of copper and a less expensive cast-iron block. Some of these irons had some copper tips that the technician would remove and replace. In electric iron, soldering technicians used a tool with a soft tip. They would then allow a current to flow through it and heat the tip in the process. In 1889, they developed these soldering irons by fixing a resistance wire around the back-end side of the copper head and closing it in a protective shell. They first carried out this procedure in Mesopotamia in the year 1905.
What is electronic soldering?
In electronics, we can define soldering as joining different categories of metals through melting a solder. Alternatively, we can define it as a procedure where we unite two or more metals by melting and placing a filler metal in a particular joint. The filler metal should have a lower melting point than the connecting metal. Moreover, we can define soldering as a procedure that we follow to ensure a lasting form of connection among any electronic component.
Soldering does not involve melting the workpieces but uses solder instead. Solder is a metal alloy that is a combination of lead and tin. Technicians melt it using a hot iron, which they heat to temperatures of more than 600 degrees. The soldering process is necessary to provide an electric connection and facilitate the flow of electric current.
What are the tools that we use in the soldering process?
We use different tools in soldering to ensure that the process is efficient. The tools include; accessories, hand tools, soldering supplies, measurement equipment, and many others. In addition, we require accessories such as stands, circuit board holders, disordering pumps, and a working platform in the soldering process.
To ensure an easy and comfortable soldering process, we employ the iron stand, a tool for raising the item we intend to solder. When choosing this type of stand, electricians should consider the weight factor and the dimensions of the soldering iron. Alternatively, they can use an iron pros kit that matches any soldering iron well. The iron pros kit has good weight and dimensions, making it user-friendly. Moreover, it holds the iron at different angles, allowing flexibility during soldering.
In the soldering process, we also use a circuit board holder. It is a helping hand in the soldering process and a perfect requirement in any operating soldering station. We mostly use the circuit board holder while soldering fine components. The holder has clips that can hold the components in any position and angle.
In addition, we can use the disordering pump, a device that collects the remaining solder by easily sucking them up and down. Finally, a working platform is another tool that we can use to enhance a grip on the circuit board and reduce the damage risk during soldering.
Why do we use soldering in electronics industries?
In electronics, we often need to apply the soldering process. For example, we may require to bring different components together and form one or more electronics connections. We will therefore use solder. Soldering has proven to be the most effective and more reliable method of establishing strong connections in electronics. We can also solder two or more metal gutters and make one long gutter with a strong, permanent, and reliable connection.
It is also easy to connect cables to the inner terminals of the panel in any electrical device. For example, we can apply soldering in auto repairing while tightening the corners and smoothening the surfaces. In plumbing, we apply soldering while joining copper plumbing pipes. In this case, we use soldering guns and roofers that rapidly raise the temperature, creating strong airtight joints.
What are the various types of electronic assembly soldering?
There are various types of soldering that require different ranges of temperature. These types include; soft soldering, hard soldering, and brazing. We apply soft soldering in the electronic field to create electrical connections and join electronic components on circuit boards. Lower temperatures create a strong joint, unlike high temperatures that create weaker joints that we can easily break. Hard soldering will result in a strong connection, unlike soft soldering, which will give a weaker connection. Brazing is also a type of soldering that requires high temperatures due to the high melting points of the materials it involves. To get the best outcome, we must heat the materials enough.
In the field of electronics, electronic assembly is a necessary procedure. It is the process behind the existence of printed circuit boards (PCBs), which are the heart of electronic devices. However, the process will be incomplete without joining the various electronic components that make up the PCB. We, therefore, require a special joining technique to establish a strong connection between the components during the assembly process. Therefore, we have looked at soldering, a process that we apply in joining different components in the assembly process.
We now understand the origin of electronic soldering and how the technicians have developed it to what we have today. With the knowledge in this article, we have all we need to understand about the phenomenon of soldering, as we apply it in electronic assembly.