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Author Topic: Recommendations on affordable lead free solder? Confused by all the formulas.  (Read 1206 times)
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Peoples Republic of Cantabrigia
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I switched to Kester lead-free solder paste for my boards because I couldn't discount the possibility of some lead going airborne as part of the reflow process. Lacking very good ventilation to the outdoors or reliable Pb filters, its the better thing to do, IMO. I have found the Kester paste a joy to work, even very fine pitched-components come out fine and no re-work is required (unlike some of the leaded pastes I have used in the past).

I have also switched to the Kester SnAg3.0Cu0.5 formulation for the through-hole work. I agree that it is harder to work with than eutectic solder, especially if you have to remove it later. My recommendation for lead-free repair or disassembly work - use ChipQuick! That stuff really works at getting all the solder out of the hole and into your solder-removing braid. Another problem area for Pb-free solders is soldering large components like 0.25" fast-on tabs - my 50W Weller simply lacks the 'oompf!' to do so cleanly - between my wide copper paths and the thermal radiation from the faston connector itself, lead-free solder (with its higher temperature requirement) has a hard time coming to temperature and flowing nicely.
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Quote
I switched to Kester lead-free solder paste
Which one?
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Peoples Republic of Cantabrigia
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I'm using the NXG33 solder paste, whose metal composition is 96.5% Sn, 3% Ag, and 0.5%Cu, the same as my through-hole solder
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