Desoldering Braid

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Desoldering Braid

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Desoldering braid or desoldering wick is a pre-fluxed copper braid that is used to remove solder, which allows components to be replaced and excess solder (e.g. bridging) to be removed. The soldering iron is applied to the wick as it sits on the solder joint, and when both are brought up to the solder's melting point, the flux is activated and, through capillary action from the braided design, solder is drawn up the wick. Techspray wick has been a mainstay at PCB rework, repair and prototyping stations for over 30-years.

Available in static dissipative bobbins for static sensitive environments, and in two different flux types and unfluxed:

  • No-Clean desoldering braid - coated with proprietary flux that only leaves a slight clear residue, which does not cause dendritic growth, corrosion, and other service issues. Cleaning after using Techspray No-Clean wick is optional.
  • Pro-Wick desoldering wick - coated with a fast activating rosin flux for lightning fast solder removal.
  • Unfluxed desoldering braid - ideal for customers that use an aqueous flux, or are required to maintain the same flux throughout board assembly and rework.

All Techspray desoldering braids are effective solder removers, and effective on lead and lead-free solders, is compliant with RoHS, and does not contain SVHC as defined by REACH.

Specifications: Meets or Exceeds MIL-F-14256; NASA NHB 5300, 4 (34-1); NASA NPC 200-4; NASA SP5002; 1821:HP 8690-0588; 1823: HP 8690-0577; IPC Standard-J-STD-004

No-Clean Desoldering Braid No-Clean Desoldering Braid
Desoldering braid without any corrosive ionic flux residues, so cleaning is optional
	Pro Wick Desoldering Braid Pro-Wick Desoldering Braid
Pro-Wick desoldering wick enables the fastest solder wicking action
Unfluxed Desoldering Braid Unfluxed Desoldering Braid
Unfluxed desoldering braid allows you to use your own flux -- ideal for aqueous process

FAQ's

How do you remove solder without suction?

All you need is Techspray desoldering braid (wick) and a soldering iron. Here are the basic instructions: 1) Place the braid over unwanted solder, preferably on the greatest solder build up so that it maximizes the contact of the braid to the surface area of the solder. 2) Next, place your iron tip over the wick at 45 degrees and allow heat to transfer to the pad. Molten solder will absorb into the braid. 3) Move the solder tip and braid as needed to remove all of the solder at one time. Careful not to drag the braid over the pads, which can scratch. 4) Once the braid is full of solder, you must trim the spent portion and move to fresh braid in order to pull more solder. Remove the iron and braid simultaneously to avoid soldering the wire to the board.

Can soldering be undone?

Yes, all you need is Techspray desoldering braid (wick) and a soldering iron. Here are the basic instructions: 1) Place the braid over unwanted solder, preferably on the greatest solder build up so that it maximizes the contact of the braid to the surface area of the solder. 2) Next, place your iron tip over the wick at 45 degrees and allow heat to transfer to the pad. Molten solder will absorb into the braid. 3) Move the solder tip and braid as needed to remove all of the solder at one time. Careful not to drag the braid over the pads, which can scratch. 4) Once the braid is full of solder, you must trim the spent portion and move to fresh braid in order to pull more solder. Remove the iron and braid simultaneously to avoid soldering the wire to the board.

What is the best desoldering braid?

Desoldering braid is available in various flux types depending on your cleaning process and other requirements: 1) Rosin – Rosin fluxed braid has the fastest wicking action but does leave behind residues that need to be thoroughly cleaned. 2) No-Clean – No-clean fluxed braid is ideal when cleaning isn’t practical or possible. After desoldering, the only thing that remains is a clear, non-ionic residue. For field work, when a thorough cleaning is more challenging, this is the type of braid to use. 3) Unfluxed – In a production or repair environment where the flux is specified and can’t be changed, or when an aqueous flux is needed, you can add your own flux to this type of braid. Unfluxed wick will not remove solder unless flux is added. Different types of fluxes are available in pen packaging, which is ideal for fluxing braid.

What is desoldering braid used for?

Desoldering braid or “wick” is a pre-fluxed copper braid that is used to remove solder, which allows components to be replaced and excess solder (e.g. bridging) to be removed. The soldering iron is applied to the wick as it sits on the solder joint, and when both are brought up to the solder's melting point, the flux is activated and, through capillary action from the braided design, solder is drawn up the wick.

Do you need to clean no-clean flux?

No, not if your concern is only reliability problems from ionic contamination. No-clean flux contains minimal ionic material that is fully consumed when the flux is activated, or in other words, brought to soldering temperature. If all of the flux isn’t activated, like when you apply a lot of flux but only solder a small area, you still need to clean the PCB. If you are applying conformal coating, you should remove all flux residues, regardless of the type of flux. Most people understand that when painting something, the surface must be prepared so it is absolutely clean. Otherwise, the paint will quickly lift off the surface and peel off. The same logic applies to conformal coating, even when the contamination is from no-clean flux.

Do you need to clean rosin flux?

Yes, rosin flux should be cleaned off of a printed circuit board (PCB) after soldering is completed. The following are the reasons to remove flux residues: Improve Aesthetic Appearance of PCB - If you are a contract manufacturer of PCB’s, the visual appearance of the board reflects on your work. A clear, greasy-looking residue around a solder joint may raise flags for your customer’s incoming QC inspectors. If the flux residue chars and forms spots on the solder joints, it may look like a true defect like a solder joint void or “blow hole”. If the flux residue is from a rework process, it acts as a fault tag in the rework area, calling attention to the work even if there shouldn’t be a concern. Improve Reliability of PCB - Reliability requirements are generally driven by the nature of the final product. For a disposable product like a computer keyboard, nobody loses their life if it stops working. In that case, an EMS supplier may use no-clean flux and forgo the cleaning process. On the other end of the scale, requirements for pacemaker electronics, where board failure could directly lead to death, are going to be much stricter. In that example, cleaning will be required after assembly and any subsequent rework, and the process will be thoroughly tested for effectiveness and repeatability. Long-life durable goods may fall somewhere in-between, with cleaning a requirement, but without the rigid testing and controls. Prevent Corrosion on Components and PCB - Flux residues left on electronic circuit boards are acidic. If they aren’t removed with a cleaning process, the residues can draw in ambient moisture from the air and lead to corrosion of component leads, and PCB contacts. Avoid Adhesion Problems with Conformal Coating - Most people understand that when painting something, the surface must be prepared so it is absolutely clean. Otherwise, the paint will quickly lift off the surface and peel off. The same logic applies to conformal coating, even when the contamination is from no-clean flux. “No-clean” refers to the amount of ionic material left after soldering. It has nothing to do with whether or not coating can stick to it. When there are flux residues left on the PCB before the coating process, it is common to see the coating lift or delaminate from the surface of the board. This is evident when the pockets are isolated around solder joints rather than the overall surface (the exception being the bottom of a wave soldered PCB). To make matters worse, coatings are generally semi-permeable, so breathe to a certain extent. Moisture can enter and soak into the flux residue, and potentially lead to corrosion. Prevent Dendritic Growth from Ionic Contamination - Polar or Ionic particles left from flux residue and other sources, when exposed to moisture from the ambient air and when current is applied, can link into a chain or branch called a dendrite. These dendrites are conductive, so form an unintended trace that cause current leakage or, over a longer period of time, even a short circuit.

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