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February 22, 2020, 05:14:45 PM

Author Topic: ROHS Solder (aka Lead-free), Has Anyone Actually Done It?  (Read 825 times)

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Offline bombay317

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ROHS Solder (aka Lead-free), Has Anyone Actually Done It?
« on: January 01, 2018, 10:29:33 AM »
I know what everyone is going to say.  Stay away from Pb-free solder.  It's difficult.  It's less reliable.  However, I philosophically agree with converting over to Pb-free processes where it is possible, though the NASA tech paper attached say some things about that.

Has anyone successfully done a build using a fully lead-free process? 

I know that there will be a lot of considerations for it that will make it difficult.  Probably one of the major ones that I would anticipate is the higher temp for the soldering iron, in the 700-800F range, being a threat to the components.  Are there components in the system that are a non-starter for these working temps?

Other things to consider/read:

"NASA and other Aerospace enterprises can afford to wait to go Pb-free for solders" from a 2010 NASA talk https://nepp.nasa.gov/workshops/etw2010/talks/09_Sampson_NEPP_ETW2010%20Lead%20free.pdf
NASA seems to think the environmental impact from Pb electronics is minimal, scarce in comparison to car batteries...
https://nepp.nasa.gov/whisker/reference/tech_papers/2011-kostic-pb-free.pdf
https://www.kester.com/Portals/0/Documents/Knowledge%20Base/Lead-free-Handsoldering.Final_.4.19.06.pdf
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Offline Paul Birkeland

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Re: ROHS Solder (aka Lead-free), Has Anyone Actually Done It?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 11:14:46 AM »
However, I philosophically agree with converting over to Pb-free processes where it is possible.
The philosophy is to keep lead out of landfills by removing it from disposable electronics.  If you don't plan to throw your kits away in 3-6 years, then you may want to reexamine your philosophy a bit.

Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline Doc B.

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Re: ROHS Solder (aka Lead-free), Has Anyone Actually Done It?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2018, 01:52:59 PM »
Sure, I have built stuff with lead free solder many times. It's much harder to work with because it doesn't solidify as gracefully, and it does require a higher temp. Consequently I do not use lead free solder for much of anything these days.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
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Offline bombay317

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Re: ROHS Solder (aka Lead-free), Has Anyone Actually Done It?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2018, 04:20:53 PM »
I'll probably just use Pb.  It is fun to read about the information surrounding this.
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Offline ALL212

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Re: ROHS Solder (aka Lead-free), Has Anyone Actually Done It?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2018, 05:51:54 AM »
Use PB, honest.  That lead free stuff is horrid.
Aaron Luebke

Offline bombay317

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Re: ROHS Solder (aka Lead-free), Has Anyone Actually Done It?
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2018, 09:15:17 AM »
I have heard the "it's horrible" a lot, but I wanted to post reasons as to exactly why.  In the absence of actual information, I generally go out and try it for myself.  Even just in reading up on some other documents and the rationale behind it, such as the NASA articles, it has informed me better about why/why not it should be done. 

To me, a "trust me its horrible" is not directly convincing.  I believe people, but I believe good documentation too.
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Offline ALL212

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Re: ROHS Solder (aka Lead-free), Has Anyone Actually Done It?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2018, 09:45:29 AM »
You should try it yourself and post your experience here.  Then you can document here what you've found.

It could be that you disagree and like to use it. 
Aaron Luebke