As board assemblies become increasingly complex and difficult to solder, board manufacturers are looking for wave solder machines that can provide closed-loop process control and automatic features.
Of the many flux products developed for soldering applications, most electronics assemblers prefer to use no-clean, low solids formulations, in part because they eliminate the post-reflow cleaning or defluxing process step.
In the demanding environment of lead-free soldering, it is important to understand the different characteristics of lead-free materials. Wetting times for lead-free alloys are slower than those of tin/lead, and flow characteristic are more viscous.
As PCB designs become more complex, thicker, and denser, through-hole soldering is becoming more difficult. The introduction of lead-free alloys compounds these problems because lead-free alloys don’t wet as well as lead-bearing alloys, and deeper holes (due to PCB thickness) make thorough hole-filling less certain in many cases.
As the complexity of PCB assemblies continues to increase, many electronics assemblers are seeking a solution in a wave soldering machine.
Even though most SMT soldering is achieved through reflow, some assemblies require that some of the Surface Mounted Devices (SMDs) on a board, such as chip components, must be wave soldered.