All over the world, for over 40 years, thousands of service people have counted on Techspray cleaners and Plato soldering tips and tools for their electronic repair needs.
Desoldering braid (wick) is an essential electronic repair tool that allows components to be replaced and excess solder (e.g. bridging) to be removed. Techspray offers desoldering wick that has faster wicking action, and no-clean wick that is the cleanest in the industry, making post-repair cleaning optional.
TraceTech PCB repair system allows any level of technician to quickly perform quality board repairs in-house without the use of expensive equipment or time-consuming and unsightly jumpers.
If cleaning is needed after repairing electronics, Techspray flux removers (defluxers) effectively clean off flux residues and other contaminants from printed circuit boards. Residues from higher, lead-free temperatures are more baked on and harder to clean. PWR-4™, G3®, E-LINE™ and Precision-V™ flux removers have been proven very effective at removing fluxes baked on at lead-free temperatures.
Plato is one of the largest manufacturers of solder tips in the world, producing tips to fit all of the most popular solder stations. The long life and fast heat recovery of a Plato solder tip provide the most efficient electronic repair operation possible.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The most common way to clean flux residues from a repair area is to saturate a cotton or foam swab with isopropyl alcohol or another cleaning solvent, and rub it around the repair area. While this may be adequate for no-clean flux, where the goal is a visually clean PCB, this may not be clean enough when more heavily activated fluxes are involved, like RA or aqueous. The dirty little secret is that flux residues will not evaporate along with the solvent. You may dissolve the flux, and some of the residues will soak into the swab, but most of the residues will settle back onto the board surface. Many times these white residues are more difficult to remove than the original flux. One quick and easy improvement to this process is to rinse the board after swabbing around the repair area. While the solvent is still wet, spray over the entire board with an aerosol flux cleaner. Hold the PCB at an angle to allow the solvent to flow over the board and run off, along with any residues that are picked up. The straw attachment that comes with aerosol flux removers is a good way to increase the spray force and penetrate under the components. Some aerosol flux removers come with a brush attachment. The cleaning solvent sprays through the brush, so agitation can be increased by scrubbing while spraying. To absorb the flux residues, a lint-free poly-cellulose wiper can be placed over the repair area, and the spraying and scrubbing can occur over the material. Then remove the wipe and brush attachment, and spray over the board for the final rinse.
There is no way to give a definite answer for all circumstances, because safety is highly dependent on the amount voltage and amperage as well as environmental factors such as the equipment, working environment, etc. On the other hand, choosing a contact cleaner with high dielectric strength or breakdown (also called withstand) voltage increases safety when you do have to clean energized equipment. BEFORE you start spraying, we strongly recommend you shut down power to avoid the potential of sparks, electrical shorts or discharges, and other safety hazards. If, for whatever reason, you don’t have the option of disconnecting the power, look for electrical contact cleaners with a dielectric strength above 30 kV (30,000 volts). Choosing a nonflammable cleaner would also add a layer of safety in case there is a spark.
Whether or not conformal coating is required depends on the environment the electronic device will operate in, the reliability requirement of the device, and the cost of failure, whether in dollars or human lives. Typical consumer devices are generally not coated because cost is one of the top driving factors, and a coating step certainly adds to that. Devices operating in harsh environments may require coating, and the type of stresses and contamination will point to the best option, whether that is acrylic resin (AR), silicone resin (SR), urethane resin (UR), or some other type of protection. Aviation, aerospace, and medical devices often require coating because of the mission critical nature of these applications.