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Flux application is an integral part of the overall soldering process. It is necessary because it ensures that oxidation and contamination of PCB surfaces and components don’t end up hampering the creation of a good solid solder bond.
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Flux application is an integral part of the overall soldering process. It is necessary because it ensures
that oxidation and contamination of PCB surfaces and components don’t end up hampering the
creation of a good solid solder bond. Soldering with flux is, therefore, a necessity; but one must also
make sure that the flux itself doesn’t become a contaminating factor for the circuit board. Different
flux varieties behave differently on the circuit board surface and can even turn corrosive when
activated with heat and chemicals or can create bridging defects and ruin the circuitry. To prevent
such occurrences, the liquid flux is usually scoured off the surface using different cleaning methods
like rubbing the surface with isopropyl alcohol or isopropanol or rinsing it with water. Here are a
few precautions that you must bear in mind when cleaning liquid soldering flux from PCB surfaces:
Remember to wear proper protective gear/clothing when handling the flux cleaning
process. Neoprene gloves and chemical splash goggles are important if you will be cleaning
the surfaces manually.
Use lint free absorbent materials for wiping off surfaces that have been rubbed with
alcohol. Once used, these should be disposed of rather than be used again.
Isopropyl alcohol or isopropanol is flammable. Make sure there are no ignition hazards
present near the work station where soldering with flux and cleaning processes is being
Cleaning of liquid soldering flux should be carried out with extreme care and delicate
handling. You do not want to damage the solder bonds because you rubbed the surface
with alcohol a little too hard.
Flux cleaning also involves a certain degree of inspection and observation. You will need to
carefully check out the PCB surface to unearth all flux residue that might lead to bridging
defects and corrosion.
Make use of the above listed precautions to maintain circuit board integrity and performance while
cleaning off liquid soldering flux.