SMTA International Conference Proceedings


Author: Chrys Shea
Company: -
Date Published: 9/12/1999   Conference: SMTA International

Abstract: Soldering environments are inerted to improve the soldering process by mitigating the oxygen available near hot, molten solder. Nitrogen is used because it is the least expensive, most available inert gas. Traditionally, high purity nitrogen (5ppm) has been the inerting agent of choice for both equipment manufacturers and end users. The cost and availability of high purity nitrogen varies dramatically throughout the world. Because of this resource constraint, lower purity nitrogen atmospheres are utilized in the reflow process in many regions of the world.

Research is now beginning on the application of lower purity nitrogen in the wave soldering environment. The successful application of lower purity nitrogen can reduce the total cost of ownership of an inerted wave process, and, therefore, make it more affordable and available to a broader base of electronics assemblers. The focus of this study is on the application of membrane-generated nitrogen, with typical residual oxygen levels (ROL’s) of 1000 to 30,000 ppm. Preliminary studies indicate a high degree of compatibility with the wave soldering process, particularly in machines fitted with hot nitrogen knives.

The study described in this paper was performed in a production environment at Siemens Information and Communications Networks in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and originally published at Nepcon West ’99.

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