By L. Auslander, R. Tolimieri

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Sample text

It is wave soldering, which is a process used to manufacture many millions of printed circuit boards (PCBs) each year. It is fundamentally different in that molten solder is applied to the faying surfaces. There are many variations of the process, but, in essence, molten solder is pumped continuously over a weir so that there exists a stationary wave whose height is precisely controlled. The circuit board, already populated with electronic components, is fluxed, preheated, and then passed through the very top of the solder wave.

On the whole, solders tend to form interfacial compounds with parent materials, while brazes usually exhibit more extensive alloying between the materials. This can be partly explained by the fact that most solder alloys are based on elements with crystal structures that differ from those of most common parent metals. Consequently, intermetallic compounds tend to form in preference to solid solutions. A reaction that depresses the melting point of the filler metal is desirable for narrow joints, because its fluidity will be enhanced by such a reaction at a constant temperature.

Another application is outlined in Fig. 22. Because this is a fluxless soldering process, the applied load serves a dual function. First, it helps puncture the oxide films on the surfaces of the filler. Second, when thefiller metal melts, the applied force acts against any dewetting capillary force of the liquid to ensure flow. The combination of these two factors leads to improved joint filling. 3. 2 Form of the Filler Metal Filler metals are available in many different forms. These include configurations that normally can be produced from an ingot by mechanical working—for example, wire, rings, and foil.

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