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No-Clean Desoldering Braid
|Braid #||Color Code||Width (in)||Width (mm)|
Out-of-date solder wick can create a performance issue. As more oxidation builds on the copper braid, it will take longer to activate and draw up solder. It will slow down a little month-to-month until eventually the performance will be unacceptable. We estimate this to be 2-years based on average storage conditions. Wick in storage wrapped up tight can last longer, while a loose bobbin sitting on a benchtop will probably go bad sooner.
An operator will generally have a feel for how wick performs and will have an opinion on when performance is unacceptable. The main risk of using out-of-date wick is thermally stressing the working area, adjacent components, etc. When an operator tries to make due with old wick that is underperforming, they tend to turn up the heat on their iron, or keep the tip in contact with the wick and work for a longer period of time.
So whether or not out-of-date wick is considered good depends on the criticality and conservativeness of your process. An average shop would keep using it until it stops working well. A very conservative process (e.g. for class 3 electronics) could require wick in stock to be discarded at the expiration date, and loose bobbins at workstations replaced periodically (i.e. weekly or monthly).
Techspray uses 2 types of flux: Prowick line is a natural gum rosin. Per J-STD-004 Section 3.2, the Prowick is classified as ROL0. Per British Std. EN 29454-1:1993 and ISO9454-1:1990, Prowick has a classification of 1.1.1.B. No-Clean flux is a synthetic (non-colophony)flux. Per J-STD-004 Section 3.2, it is classified as REL0. Per British Std. EN 29454-1:1993 and ISO9454-1:1990, the No-Clean flux has a classification of 1.2.3.B.
All you need is Techspray desoldering braid (wick) and a soldering iron. Here are the basic instructions:
Yes, all you need is Techspray desoldering braid (wick) and a soldering iron. Here are the basic instructions:
Desoldering braid is available in various flux types depending on your cleaning process and other requirements:
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 shelf life of a product can be found on either the technical data sheet (TDS), available on the product page, or by looking on the certificate on conformance (COC). The COC can be downloaded by going to https://www.techspray.com/coc. Once you have the shelf life, you will need to add it to the manufacture date for a use-by date. The manufacture date can be identified by the batch number. The batch code used on most of our products are manufacture dates in the Julian Date format. The format is YYDDD, where YY = year, DDD = day. For example, 19200 translates to the 200th day of 2019, or July 19, 2019. This webpage explains and provides charts to help interpret our batch numbers: https://www.techspray.com/batch-codes.
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.