7 Striking Differences Between Wave Soldering & Reflow Soldering

Nowadays, newer technologies are being developed every day. The advancements are also seen in the manufacturing of printed circuit boards (PCBs). The design phase of a PCB involves several steps, and phases. Among these many steps, soldering plays a crucial role in deciding the quality of board designed. Soldering ensures that your circuits stay in place on the board. If not for soldering, printed circuit boards wouldn’t have been the same as today. There are various soldering techniques in use today. These techniques are employed based on the type of PCB to be designed or manufactured. The two most talked about soldering techniques are wave soldering and reflow soldering. There are many differences between these two soldering techniques. Eager to know what these differences are? Read the following post, which explains how these soldering techniques differ from each other.

How Does Wave Soldering Differ from Reflow Soldering?

Wave soldering and reflow soldering are two soldering techniques that are totally different from each other.

Wave Soldering
Reflow Soldering
In wave soldering, the components are soldered, with the help of wave crest, which is formed by a melted solder.
Reflow soldering is soldering the components, with the help of reflow, which is formed by hot air.
As compared to the reflow soldering, the wave soldering technique is more complex.
Reflow soldering is a less complex technique.
Careful monitoring of issues, such as the temperature of the board, and time that it spends in the solder is necessary. If the wave soldering environment is not maintained properly, then it can lead to defects in the board design.
It requires no specific controlled environment, thus offers lots of flexibility, while designing or manufacturing printed circuit boards.
Wave soldering method takes lesser time for soldering PCBs, and is cheaper compared to other techniques, too.
As compared to wave soldering, this soldering technique is slower, and also more expensive.
You are required to take into account different factors, including pad shapes, and sizes, layout, heat sinking, and placement for effective soldering and better results.
It is not mandatory to consider factors, such as board orientation, pad shape, and sizes, and shadowing, as that in wave soldering.
This method is mainly used if bulk soldering is required. It helps manufacture a number of printed circuit boards in a less amount of time.
Unlike wave soldering, this soldering method is implemented, when less number of circuit boards are required to be manufactured.
If through-hole components are to be soldered, then wave soldering is the best suited technique to opt for.
Reflow soldering is ideal for soldering surface mount devices on the printed circuit board.

Each type of soldering has its own pros and cons. The selection of the right soldering method will depend upon the design of the printed circuit boards, and the requirements specified by a company. Are you still confused about which method would be suitable for your designing your PCB? If so, then talking to an expert can clear the cloud of confusion. You can consider talking to the professionals at Accelerated Assemblies. The company has a vast experience in designing and manufacturing custom PCB, and has the capability to employ both wave, as well as reflow soldering techniques.