We all know that solder wicking is a crucial process in the field of PCB and electronics. We use solder wicking to exclude the extra and unwanted solder from the PCBs. It is a crucial step and needs undivided attention to avoid complications on all counts. Desoldering with this method is much easier and prevents chances of complications at the same time. For reworking, repairing, and maintenance of electronic devices, we need to focus on the crucial aspects of solder wicking for better understanding.
Understanding Solder Wicking
We use a twisted copper wire to remove the molten solder from the PCBs. Now this wick works equally well on the components and intricate joints present on these boards. We can also consider this method when we don’t want to damage the PCBs due to heat and easily replace them when needed. A steady hand is important to perform solder wicking so that it can give the desired output.
Introducing Chemtronics Solder Wick
Chemotronics has been a flagship solder wick brand for usage. Over the years, this brand has been unbeatable in meeting the commercial needs of solder-wicking on all counts. There are some prominent reasons behind the fame of this brand in the market. Let’s find them out below!
Features of Chemtronics Solder Wick:
- Quality Materials: There is the inclusion of oxygen-free copper, which makes this solder wick highly reliable for specific applications.
- Flux Formulation: The solder wick is considerable for the flux formulation, which greatly helps with desoldering. Due to this reason, flux formulation is an important feature of this brand.
- Variety of Sizes: From small to big wicks, you will be able to find a wide range of solder wicks at Chemotronics solder wick. The feature of a variety of sizes is important to give the users freedom in selection.
- User-Friendly: Chemtronics solder wick is impressive because it is user-friendly. You don’t have to struggle with it all because of its nature. Therefore for complex applications, this wick is helpful.
Characteristics Of Solder Wicks.
Desoldering wick or solder wick is beneficial for commercial purposes because of its exceptional features. Without these features, we can never rely on a wick for the intricate process of desoldering at all. Therefore, to better understand the significance of these wicks, we should take a look at their benefits as well.
Benefits of Solder Wicks:
- These wicks are useful because they are not time-consuming in terms of desoldering and removing extra solder, even on complex PCBs.
- We can ensure complete component protection with the help of these wicks during reworking and repairing.
- Thorough solder removal is possible by relying on such solder wicks as well. It also does not take much time for this to happen.
- Pre-soldered components are also easier to remove with solder wicks plus, these keep the boards tidy and never mess them up at all.
- Soldering wicks always come in different sizes so that we can use them as per our needs and requirements easily.
- We can rely on the pre-cut strands along with solder wicks to better enhance the efficiency and performance as well.
- Solder wicks are also affordable and never disturb the budget of a producer when it comes to desoldering at all.
How To Choose The Correct Desoldering Wick?
Desoldering wicks are readily available in different sizes that can go up to 10 ft; however, in some special cases, when desoldering is important for large PCBs, we can rely on solder wicks of size 500 ft as well. The size of the solder wicks mainly depends on the usage. You need to determine the application and the amount of solder you need to remove before choosing a solder wick. Using a small wick can be too time-consuming for a large PCB. Also, a big solder wick used on a small PCB can not only make the board untidy but also might damage the surrounding components. This can compromise the board, and the need to rework this PCB can arise as well. There are also chances of delamination if we will not use suitable solder wicks in this regard.
How To Use Soldering Wick?
You already know that using a solder wick is a challenging step. You need to perform desoldering without damaging the surrounding components. Due to this reason, you have to be careful while using the solder wick on all counts. The first thing is to choose the right size of solder wick. For this, you need to determine the solder amount and size of the PCB. Also, the size of the solder wick’s tip matters a lot. Inapprioate solder wick’s tip can ruin the process and might damage the PCB at the same time. Make sure to rely on the suitable flux type of the solder wick to ensure great results as well.
- Correct Temperature: You cannot perform desoldering without temperature regulation. The temperature of the soldering iron has to be accurate for this purpose. Inappropriate temperature cannot only melt down the joints and components but also damage the heat-sensitive components of PCBs. Keeping the temperature within 300 degrees and 350 degrees Celcius proves to be effective in this regard.
- Soldering Iron Tip Tinned: This is a crucial recommendation to ensure perfect desoldering using a solder wick. The purpose of using a tinned tip is to allow seamless heat transfer between the solder and the braid. If the tip is rightly positioned, there will be a better heat flow which will help in better desoldering on all counts. It is important to note the direction of heat while heating the copper because it will travel upwards. If your hand is in this direction, you might end up burning yourself!
- Applying Flux: The next thing to do is work on the flux. In the case of an un-fluxed braid, we have to use additional flux for the joints and components. Also, the extra flux will prove to be helpful for the desoldering purpose. Using extra flux is always feasible and speeds up the process when it comes to removing tight joints and components. All of this mainly depends on the type of wick you are using in this regard.
- Positioning the Wick: Now it’s time to position the wick over the components that we need to desolder. The temperature of the wick at this point of the process is extremely hot. Therefore it is not recommendable to use bare hands to hold the wick. Use a spool to grab the wick, and if not, then tweezers can also prove to be useful.
- Adding the Soldering Iron: We do this by squeezing the soldering iron on the wick. Keep the tip always tilted so that a better connection between the soldering iron and the wick can take place. This step is important because, with this, we can ensure better thermal linkage on the whole. This method is also considerable because desoldering takes place quickly, and also there will be no damage to the PCB and its components at all.
- Waiting and lifting off: When you are heating the desoldering braid, it is important to note the color change. It will shift from copper to silver and won’t take time for it all. This shows that the braid has completely absorbed the solder. Now the trick is to lift off the soldering iron and the wick together. Not doing this can stick the wick to the board, which can damage the components. Make sure to lift both at the same time to avoid complications.
- Cutting Off the Utilized Section of Braid: Once a part of the braid is fully absorbed with the solder, you cannot use it further. You need to remove this part with the help of flush cutters. After doing this, you can easily continue with the desoldering as well. This cutting allows you much freedom to resume the desoldering so that there will be no complications and problems at this point at all.
- Cleaning: It’s time to discard the used braid and clean the PCB as well. It is because any debris and solder buildup can damage the PCBs and might hamper their performance at the same time. You can use a soft fabric for this purpose to gently remove the solder from the work area.
There is no doubt that soldering wicks have proved to be highly effective in the PCB domain. Producers can remove unwanted solder through these wicks without struggling a bit. However, this is not always handy, and skilled workers are crucial to make this happen easily. Different factors come together to make a good quality soldering wick. Therefore these solder wicks are specific in their purpose.
Soldering wicks are crucial for the sustenance of the PCB domain. The reason is that without these, it would be highly difficult to remove extra solder from PCBs. In this post, you were able to identify crucial aspects of soldering wicks. From their characteristics to the entire process, you now have a better knowledge of these as well. Hopefully, you can now better avail the feature and benefits of soldering wick for your future projects!