Solder: 60/40 vs 63/37

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KR2D, Dec 10, 2011.

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  1. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    The 63 / 37 is the Eutectic (lowest melting point) for Tin / Lead alloy.
    With the Tin?Lead eutectic there is NO plastic state/phase between solid and liquid.
    SO, cold solder joints are less likely for the begineer.

    The 60/40 is standard formulation used for decades (strength versus melting temperature),
    has a slightly shiny solid state -- when compared to 63/37 alloy.
    It does have a "Plastic state" range of about 10 degrees -- if joint is moved during this phase - a cold solder joint results.

    There are advantages to some solder alloys (Tin, Lead, Silver, etc.) for higher melting temperatures, strengths, etc.

    IF you are using QUALITY soldering stations (Weller EC, TECP, WS series; Hakko 936 or new 888) you will likely not see
    many differences in usage.
    However, IF you are using bargain bin stick irons (NO temeprature control of tip) -- then soldering is very depedent on your skills and experience.
    This is where the novices and apprentices in electronics fail in the repair work that I have examined / reviewed.
    The R/C hobby; audiophiles/guitar amplifier hobby were full of bad examples and techniques -- however the Internet is slowly educating those markets
    and they are moving to crimp connectors to avoid the education / "learn skills" time.

  2. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you do a lot of surface mount stuff, you probably want to use the eutectic, but I generally use whatever happens to be in the shack.

    Have you ever thought about how they get the flux inside rosin core solder? It must be harder than getting striped toothpaste inside the tube!

  3. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very long thin drill? (I know how it is done)

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  4. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Care to share?
  5. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm sure this is how it must be done, by conventional wire-drawing techniques.

    They make a solid solder billet, guessing maybe 6" dia by a foot long. Drill (or cast) the holes and fill with paste. Draw down in the machine, which runs the billet thru progressively smaller dies or rollers, squeezing th solder ever smaller and longer.

    The holes and paste just go along with the process.

    Check WIKI enter "wire drawing"

    Unless someone has a better explanation. (Hey, mine might not be right, but it is cheap)

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  6. KR2D

    KR2D Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the opinions! Pretty much what I thought, there isn't a compelling reason to choose one over the other. I'll just go with the 60/40 - I've been using it for decades myself.

    My son (age 22) has good soldering skills, I taught him when he was 9 years old, and he does some soldering for part of his job (60/40 there, too). Biggest problem is he keeps taking my stuff and not putting it back right away. That's why he got is own Hakko 936 last year, and will get his own solder this year. A DMM is also on the list. God knows where my Phillips screwdrivers have all gone. The kid has his own, but still takes mine when he can't find his.
  7. KL7SG

    KL7SG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Regarding the lead free solder, if a person gets bored, he should google "tin whiskers".

    There are many good articles on tin whisker growth.

    We don't use it on aircraft as it is the cause of many radio failures.
  8. KD4HNC

    KD4HNC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ron, as far as I know about this alloy variation is in how the solder cools back into a solid. various alloys of tin/lead go through what is referred to as a plastic stage as it solidifies. Cold solder joints happen as a result of vibration while the solder set up into a solid. Only the alloy 63/37 does not have a plastic stage. It therefore goes directly from a liquid to a solid in the cooling process. It is more brittle, & it suffers less from cold solder joint when used in mass soldering machines. Other than that, the solder is the same. The other last thing to consider is buy new solder. Older solder contained high concentrations of Lead isotope that was very poisonous. Bill kd4hnc
  9. W8JI

    W8JI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Id ben usen lead sodder awl mi liff, en iet hath knot effected mi.
  10. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tin Whiskers are easy to deal with.
    Conformal coat all circuit boards.
    Use silver solder in RF circuits and use an inert gas to purge modules that are to be sealed.
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