Stuff flies off while soldering

by majordecibel on Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:26 am

Hi,

I consider myself to be well experienced with soldering techniques. Recently, however, I have noticed something occurring with greater frequency. 1 in every 15 solder joints a tiny smoking piece of particulate goes whizzing by at great speed, usually several feet from the joint. I'm using lead free solder and a 25W weller iron.
1. Is this common?
2. What is it? Flux? Solder? There is a smoke trail when I see it shoot out - that's how I identify it.
3. What can I do to minimize or prevent this? I wear glasses for eye protection, but it would be nice if there was something (tools, technique, materials) that I could identify as the culprit.

Thanks!
majordecibel
 
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Re: Stuff flies off while soldering

by john444 on Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:43 pm

Majord,

I have seen this happen when I had some old, low quality solder.
In my case it was the flux that sizzled, throwing out little balls of solder.
Sometimes they made little smoke rings.
Also, this solder would not 'wet' components readily without fresh flux.
Ended up disposing of the stuff and using a new roll of name brand solder.

There was also a time when I (foolishly) attempted to use solder (with rosin flux)
on some parts previously tinned with 50/50 & acid-flux.
Same thing, smoking projectiles from crevices and cavities where the old flux lived.

Try some Ersin Multi-Core or Kester 44 and see if it still happens.
That would narrow your focus to either your solder or the part you are soldering on.

Good Luck
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Re: Stuff flies off while soldering

by majordecibel on Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:38 am

Thanks for the tips and insight. i was using one of those sparkfun pocket vials of solder - its no more than 2 years old; im going to try the adafruit solder (maybe its from the same supplier) because i tend to trust the products here - otherwise i will take a look at the products you suggested.

thanks!
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Re: Stuff flies off while soldering

by Agent_24 on Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:49 pm

I don't think there's much you can do except change your solder. I've had it happen before but I didn't really care. If the joints come out OK and you have eye protection, why worry?
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