Desoldering braid makes an invaluable service at development or rework.
This is an archive article published 21.05.2015. Some information may no longer be up to date and in line with the current state. Please contact us in case of interest.
Everyone who´s ever tried to suck off a solder from a solder pad by means of a solder absorbing braid (wick) will probably confirm, that this tool belongs to a “must have” equipment of every professional or amateur workplace. What´s the charm of a desoldering braid? Above all in the fact, that it´s able to absorb almost all the solder from a given place, thus the most of components can be loosened very easily. Hand (pneumatic) pump surely has its place, mainly when working with bigger components, but at comparison with a desoldering braid it´s similar like if we compared a broom with a vacuum cleaner.
A quality desoldering braid is usually able to absorb a solder so thoroughly, that only a microscopic layer of a solder will remain on a PCB - as if a board was new, unused. It is very advantageous even at a hand rework of SMT components, because it´s desirable the component to lay directly on a board - not askew in a thick solder layer causing a mechanical tension and able to cause even a malfunction of a component (often at SMT capacitors).
To reach a good functionality of a desoldering wick it should be made of a fine gauge copper wires (without oil residues end similar) and it must be treated with a high quality flux. The cheapest braids usually contain only a rosin-based flux, the better ones have a synthetic flux based, which produce less fumes.
A novelty in our portfolio is the novelty from company CRC Industries - braid SOLDABSORB. We keep Soldabsorb in a width of 1.5 and 2.5mm, packed in a blister in 2 pcs (the price is for 2 pcs). Soldabsorb represents a top-level in this segment and is made of a highly pure copper, fine gauge wires and contains a synthetic NO-CLEAN flux. It means, that the flux residues are non-conductive and non-corrosive and they can be left on a PCB. Very fine wires contribute to a high wicking (absorbing) ability.
The usage of the wick is very simple and is based in 4 steps:
● Place the Soldabsorb wick on the solder joint
● place the tip of the solder iron on the wick and hold shortly
● absorbed solder will change a color of a braid, showing that the process was successful
● when a joint contains a big amount of solder, it may be necessary to cut off a used end of a braid (2-5mm) and repeat the process
In praxis it approves well to adjust temperature of a soldering iron to a slightly higher, than we´d normally need for a given pad and eventually also to use a thicker soldering tip. In especially difficult cases (vias at ground planes of a PCB) it helps to put a small amount of a new solder on a soldering tip, which will decrease an absorbing ability of a braid, it will significantly improve a heat transfer from a tip through a braid to a PCB, thus improving and speeding up an absorption. Before another use of a braid, it´s sufficient to cut off only a very end of a braid (a few mm) fully sucked by a solder.
At the end it´s worth to mention, that after desoldering, it´s good to apply a small amount of solder on a soldering tip to protect it from oxidizing.
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Date of publishing 21.05.2015 When you issue article on your website, please give its source: http://www.soselectronic.com/articles/kontakt-chemie/kontakt-chemie-desolder-professionally-with-no-clean-flux-wicks-1473