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Soldering is a method of joining two or more metal components together by melting and flowing filler alloy having a comparatively low melting point, into the connection. It’s mostly used in creating permanent joints between electronic components. The alloy used in soldering is called solder. The solder is heated using a soldering iron and then it’s melted over the desired joint.
While soldering, only the solder melts and not the components of the work-piece. Solder behaves like a metallic glue to connect the components together and let electricity flow through it.
Soldering is a simple process but if not done in the right way the whole connection will be ruined and your work will go waste. For beginners, it’s quite difficult to make a successful connection. To make it easier I have noted down some simple guidelines that you can follow while soldering.
Solder will require a clean surface to adhere to, so, first of all, you must clean the work-piece. Also, clean the iron tip to make sure that the heat is transferred effectively.
- Take a wet sponge or wire wool to clean the tip.
- Furbish the components of the electronic or PC board with steel wool.
- Remove paint, wax, oil etc. if any, on the work-piece using some solvent, fine sandpaper or steel wool.
Heat the connection on the work-piece for a few seconds with the iron tip and then apply the solder.
- Heat only the connection and not the solder directly.
- Hold the iron like a pencil near the base.
- To ensure a good connection, make sure that both the components of the connection are hot enough.
- Don’t overheat the connections. Overheating can damage the electrical components of your work-piece.
- To protect Transistors and other sensitive components from damage due to overheating, use a crocodile clip as a heat sink.
Apply the solder on the connection with the iron tip still attached to the connection.
- Allow the solder to flow in and around the connections.
- Use only a specific amount of solder, which is sufficient enough to make a strong connection. Both Too less and too much of solder will result in the bad solder joint.
Remove the iron tip from the connection as soon as an appropriate amount of solder has melted over the connection.
- Before the tip, first, remove the solder
- It should take only a few seconds to solder connections. If it’s taking more time then the heat of the iron tip could be insufficient for the solder to melt.
- Don’t move the connection until the solder has cooled down. It may cause the joints to fall apart
After the solder joint has cooled, inspect it closely. The connection must look shiny.
- If you have used a solder wire on the PC board, then a volcano shape connection is considered to be good.
- In case the joint looks bad, re-heat it and solder again.
Finally, after you are done with soldering, use a damp sponge to clean the tip. The tip must be smooth and shiny. Unplug the soldering iron once cleaning is done and let the iron tip cool before storing the unit.
At first, you’ll find it a bit tough to form the best connection, but with some practice and time, you’ll be an expert soon. Following the above guidelines will help you do soldering the right way. As you’ll be dealing with extreme heat, I personally suggest you be extra careful. Safety must be your first priority.