Soldering is one of the most important processes in the electronic industry. It is one of the basic things that one working in the said industry must know. The process helps attach different electronic components to the printed circuit board (PCB), thus forming an electrical connection. However, different types of soldering methods are being used depending upon the application and requirements. The various types of soldering include selective, robotic, hand, and wave soldering technique. In this post, we will discuss wave soldering in detail. It is one of the most widely used soldering techniques in the electronics industry. Also, covered in the post are some applications of wave soldering process, which will help you understand the process as a whole.
What are the Steps involved in the Wave Soldering Process?
Wave soldering is an in-line process in which the underside of the printed circuit board is treated with flux, then preheated, and immersed in liquid solder. In the next step, the board is cooled. This is the gist of the entire wave soldering process. A machine is used to carry out this process. Here is a step-by-step explanation of the working of the wave soldering machine:
Step 1 – Melting the Solder
This is the very first step in the entire wave soldering process. It is the basic requirement of the process to melt the solder. The wave soldering machine has solder contained in a tank. The tank is heated to melt the solder. Appropriate temperature is reached to meet the right consistency, so that the process of soldering can be carried out further.
Step 2 – Cleaning the Components
This is a very crucial step to be carried out. The components to be soldered are cleaning thoroughly in this step. If any oxide layers are formed on the components, then they are removed. This is done by the process called fluxing. There are two main types of fluxing – corrosive (high acidity) and noncorrosive (high acidity).
Step 3 – Placement of the PCB
After melting the solder and cleaning the components to be soldered, the printed circuit board is placed on the melted solder. The board is held with the metal clasps of the machine, which ensure the firm positioning and placement of the PCB.
Step 4 – Application of Solder
Now that the PCB is placed properly, molten solder is applied, and is allowed to settle. Sufficient time is given to this step to allow the solder to settle into the joints completely, and ensure no bumps are formed.
Step 5 – Cleaning
This is the final step in the wave soldering process. Any flux residues formed during the process are cleaned in this step. The circuit board is washed and cleaned with the help of deionized water and solvents.
Hope the above post helped you in gaining some important and valuable knowledge about wave soldering. All this explains what makes wave soldering so important in the electronics industry. Wave soldering or any other type of soldering technique for that matter requires a lot of expertise. One cannot afford to make mistakes in soldering, as it can lead to spoiling the PCB design. Therefore, it is always a good idea to leave the job to the experts. One such expert, who is known to provide quality wave soldering services is Accelerated Assemblies. The company has a vast experience in manufacturing PCBs of different specifications and capabilities.