At American Hakko, we understand the importance of selecting the right soldering tip or desoldering nozzle for your application. When selecting a soldering iron tip or desoldering nozzle it is important that you find the proper size, diameter, and shape for your application.
The benefits of selecting the proper tip or nozzle are as follows:
Efficient transfer of heat
Lower operating temperatures needed
Lower oxidation rates which lead to longer tip life
Lower operating costs due to the less frequent need to change soldering tips
When selecting a soldering tip or desoldering nozzle you want to consider the size or area of the pad in which the tip or nozzle will be making contact. By maximizing the surface area contact between the pad and the tip or nozzle, you will experience a more efficient heat transfer than you would if you had minimal surface area contact.
We like to use this analogy to better understand the process. Try to picture this situation as a freeway filled with cars, the cars in this scenario represent the heat transferring from one point to another. When the surface area contact is large like a freeway with many lanes, the flow of cars or in this case the heat energy is much higher and more efficient from one point to the next. Now if the freeway was much smaller with very few lanes, or surface-area contact is minimal the flow of cars or again in this case the heat energy is reduced.
Considering the effects that using the wrong sized, shaped, diameter tip has on your soldering process it is best practice to find a tip that most closely matches or relates to the size of the pad you are working with as displayed in the below images
Now you may ask, “What if I have minimal space to fit a soldering tip or desoldering nozzle?” In this case, you will want to find a tip or nozzle that will allow you to work within the limited space you have. Remember you want to maximize surface area contact between the tip or nozzle and the board. By going too small or large you will not efficiently transfer heat into the solder joint which in turn can cause longer dwell times on a solder joint which runs the risk of damaging your PCB or components.
Another aspect to consider when selecting a soldering tip or desoldering nozzle is selecting one with the highest heat capacity. Touching back on the analogy from earlier, consider your soldering iron tip a car and the heat capacity is what is powering the car. The larger the gas tank in the vehicle, or in this case the more mass the tip or nozzle has the more heat energy will be stored. When you contact a soldering joint, you lose heat energy from the tip or nozzle. This loss of energy is regenerated by the heating system used in your soldering iron. Now if your tip has a larger mass, typically it will have enough heat energy remaining to move to the next soldering joint.
Based on this information you should now be able to choose the proper soldering tip or nozzle for your application and by doing so you will increase production, reliability, and performance. While reducing the rate of oxidation, tip replacement, and potential of damaging your PCB or components you are working on.
That’s all for today’s Edition of the HAKKO TIPS
For more information on selecting a soldering tip or nozzle, please visit American Hakko’s Knowledge Base and search for article 10386, or you can contact a HAKKO representative by calling 1-800-88-HAKKO(42556). Thanks for reading and we will see you for next month's edition of the HAKKO TIPS!