Common electronic components repairs and hand soldering techniques

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Soldering (process)
Soldering is a process in which two or more metal items are joined together by melting a filler metal into the joint.

Solder

Solder is metal alloy usually made of tin and lead which is melted using a hot iron. The iron is heated to temperatures above 600 degrees Fahrenheit which then cools to create a strong electrical bond.

On July 1, 2006, a directive was adopted restricting the inclusion of lead in most consumer electronics sold in the EU, and having a broad effect on consumer electronics sold worldwide. In the US, manufacturers may receive tax benefits by reducing the use of lead-based solder. Lead-free solders in commercial use may contain tin, copper, silver, bismuth, indium, zinc, antimony, and traces of other metals.

Solder paste works as an adhesive, connecting surface components to pads on the board. It also provides electrical and thermal connection.

Flux

Flux is used in both manual hand soldering as well as the different automated processes used by PCB contract manufacturers. The main purpose of the flux is to prepare the metal surfaces for soldering by cleaning and removing any oxides and impurities.

Soldering iron tips

At the end of most soldering irons is an interchangeable part known as a soldering tip. There are many variations of this tip and they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Each tip is used for a specific purpose and offers a distinct advantage over another. The most common tips you will use in electronics projects are the conical tip and the chisel tip.

Soldering iron
A soldering iron is used to heat the connections to be soldered.

Soldering station

A soldering station is a multipurpose power soldering device designed for electronic components soldering. This type of equipment is mostly used in electronics and electrical engineering. Soldering station consists of one or more soldering tools connected to the main unit, which includes the controls (temperature adjustment), means of indication, and may be equipped with an electric transformer.

DeSoldering station

Desoldering stations are great for removing solder to make repairs to components. Most have in-built vacuums to draw the melted solder away and keep the circuit board clean as you work.

Solder tweezers
Solder tweezers combine the squeezing action of mechanical tweezers with a heating action. This allows you to grip small electronic devices while simultaneously heating them for desoldering. They provide a fast and efficient method for desoldering electronic components such as fixed resistors.


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