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Fundamentals

Soldering is a thermal process, by which material joints are produced in metallic materials with.
the help of another liquefied metal (solder), whose melting point is lower than that of the
materials being joined. The solder wets the base material without melting it.

PROCESS OF SOLDERING
One distinguishes between soft solders whose melting pornts are below 45 oC and hard solders
whose melting points lie above 450C.

The soldering process takes place in 3 stages.

1. Wetting: Once the material has been heated to the working temperature, the molten solder
begins to wet the surface of the workpiece. The molten solder and the solid base material come
into close contact and form a layer of alloy, whose depth is that of a few crystal diameters.

2. Flowing: Heat Is liberated in alloying, which provides energy lot the solder to spread and
permeate the soldering gap The solder is drawn by a capillary effect into the soldering gap.

Experiment: It a glass tube with a small bore is immersed into water it will be observed that the
water rises to a level above that of the water surface. The same effect applies when water is
soaked up by a sponge or other porous material.

Explanation: The molecules of the liquid adhere to the surrounding walls of the tube.This force of
adhesion is greater than the cohesive forces in the body of the liquid. The molecules are pulled
up the walls. The smaller the distance between the walls. The higher the liquid will rise.

The soldering gap should be as small as possible (005 mm to 0.2 mm). It the gap is too large, the
solder does not penetrate it properly.
Whereas in gap soldering a narrow gap is filled with solder primarily by capillary pressure in joint
soldering a larger gap is filled chiefly by gravitational force.

3. Bonding : The flowing solder permeates the base material along the grain boundaries, in
which process both materials diffuse into each other. The sort of alloy formation, in which one of
the components remains solid. is known as diffusion (Latin-spreading). It involves the migration
of individual atoms in mixed phases.
The strength of the diffused layer is greater than that of the solder itself . Thus seems, in which
the thickness of solder is less. are stronger.

PREREQUISITES FOR GOOD SOLDERING


1. The surface to be soldered must be clean. Grease and oxide layers, inparticular, prevent
contact between the solder and the surface of the metal.

2 Heating encourages oxide formation. Fluxing agents are used to dissolve mental oxides and to
prevent their formation during heating.

3 The workpiece and the solder must attain the required temperature at the soldering point. This
is the lowest surface temperature of the workpiece, at which the solder will wet the soldering
area, spread and diffuse. Soldering is carried out above this temperature (soldering
temperature). The soldering temperature is often attained only at the surface layer of the solder,
so that the main body of the solder is heated to the melting region between liquid and solid
temperatures. The working temperature depends upon the alloying components in the solder.

4. The effective temperature of the fluxing agent and the meeting range of
the solder must match each other.

FLUXING AGENTS
Fluxing agents are non-metallic materials which remove oxides from the soldering surface and
prevent their formation.

Every metal is covered with an oxide layer which prevents the solder from wetting the surfaCe.
Even if this layer is dissolved, it re-forms immediately, particularly if heat is applied. Fluxing
agents, protective gases or vacuum remove oxide layers and prevent their new formation.
Selection of fluxing agents
The following criteria are important:
1. Working temperature of the solder.

2. Soldering process.

3. Materials to be joined.

Fluxes must begin to take effect below the working temperature and carry on doing so above the
soldering temperature. They are spread on the soldering point in liquid or paste form, so that
they can begin to act immediately upon heating. Remnants of flux must be removed after
soldering because they are corrosive.

SOFT SOLDERS
Alloys ot the metals tin (Sn), lead (Pb). antimony(Sb). copper (Cu), silver (Ag). cadmium(Cd). and
zinc (Zn) are used as soft solder for heavy and light metals. These are governed by DIN 1707
norms. and their melting temperatures are below 450C. The methods of soft soldering are flame
soldering (WL-FL), bath soldering '(WL-LO), iron soldering (WL-KO) and induction soldering
(WL-lL).

Hard solders
Hard solders for heavy metals are alloys comprised of the metals copper (Cu), tin (Sn), silver
(Ag), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd). and of phosphorus (P). Their melting range begins (Solid state)
between 550C and 960C and ends (liquid state) between 600C and 970C . The working
temperature is at the liquid line or about 10 K below it.

CLASSIFICATION OF SOLDERING PROCESSES


As per DIN 8505. soldering processes are classified according to:

1. The liquefaction temperatures of the solders: soft soldering (up to 450C), hard soldering
(above 450C), high-temperature soldering (above 900C).

2. The nature of the soldering point: coat soldering, gap soldering (narrow gap), joint soldering
(broad gap).

3. The energy carriers.

4. The method of oxide removal: with the help of fluxes, with a reducing gas envelope under an
inert protective gas, in vacuum.

5. The method of introduction of solder: with held solder, with inserted solder, with solder depot,
in a solder bath.

6 The method of production: hand soldering, mechanised soldering, automatic soldering.

In the workshop, manual soldering is most commonly employed with the oxide layer being
removed by flux. The soldering iron is generally heated by electric current for small jobs and
liquid gas for larger jobs. Gas soldering is used nearly exclusively in pipe installations. As far as
possible, inserted solder is used in industry (bicycle frames).

SOLDERING JOINTS
Working sequence for soft soldering with a soldering iron
Make the workpieces to be soldered clean and coat with a fluxing agent

Clean the soldering iron on a sal ammoniac stone after it has been heated above the working
temperature, to remove the oxide layer. Using the rion, melt some solder and spread it on the
soldering point. Distribute the soldering tin along the seam. Clean the soldering point off flux and
wipe with a moist cloth. Because a high strength is obtained only if the soldering gap is small,
the workpieces are pressed together with soldering tongs , soldering sears, or with the soldering
iron during the process of soldering.

Working sequence for flame soldering with the solder held against the workpiece
The process depends upon whether gap (capillary) soldering or joint soldering is being carried
out. The preparation of the seam is important.Soldering joints should always be V shaped so that
the solder flows down to the root. In gap soldering, it is important that the parts to be soldered
are matched correctly in dimensions (gap 0.02 mm to 0.5 mm). The solder must fill the gap
between the workpieces. This takes place by a capillary effect and the narrower the gap is, the
higher the solder will rise against the force of gravity. If the gap breadth b = 0.2 mm, the solder
will rise about 7 mm.
First remove the layer of impurities from the soldering point with emery paper or steel wool. The
flux used to remove the oxide layer is spread out in large operations and applied with the solder
for smaller soldering jobs. The soldering point is heated as unilormly as possible. When the
working temperature is reached, the solder is melted on the workpiece itself. It is important that
the solder is not held in the flame, but melted by the heated workpiece itself. Once the solder
begins to flow, the flame must be removed.

After soldering, the workpiece is allowed to cool in the air. In hard soldering, it can also be cooled
inwater from 400C downwards. Provided the base material permits this. The remnants of flux on
the workpiece dissolve in warm water or can be removed with a brush.

Other soldering processes


In induction soldering, the inserted solder is heated with the help of an induction coil. Example:
hard metal carbide cutting bits on to a lathe tool shank.

In dip soldering the parts to be joined are brought to the soldering temperature by dipping them
in melted solder only soft soldering possible. Example: circuit boards in electronics.

in furnace soldering soft or hard soldering can be carried out. Several parts are generally joined
together.The solder is inserted into the soldering points, the parts are combined, held together
and brought to the soldering temperature in the furnace. This process can be used for soldering
in vacuum. with protective gas, or with fluxing agents. Example: soldering together the frame of
a bicycle.

In block soldering, the parts to be soldered are provided with a soft solder ring containing flux,
and loaded on a heated metal block. Examples: jewellery, electronic parts.

Clean the soldering seam before soldering, align the workpieces properly, select a soldering
temperature which is not significantly higher than the melting point of the solder.
Remove the remnants of the remaining after soldering. Keep soldering liquid and hydrochloric
acid bottles closed (rust formation).