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Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design Forum

SMT electronics assembly manufacturing forum.

Kyzen or Zestron?

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Kyzen or Zestron? | 6 June, 2007

Good afternoon... I am pretty new to a lot of things in the electronics manufacturing realm and could use some help on some issues from the big guys...

Our company is a contract manufacturer for many customers. We use multiple paste and flux types (No-Clean, Water Soluble, Lead free no-clean) and run the majority of our washable products through a Trek Triton IV inline washer. Lately a couple of our customers have become very particular about the cosmetics of their boards. As is common, there is some residue on the bottom of our No-Clean boards. We are looking for a cleaner to add to our wash process that will REMOVE the residue. We have contacted Kyzen and Zestron and both end up slinging mud at the others products.

1. Has anyone done an eval between these two companies cleaners? 2. Has anyone found if there are BETTER cleaners?

Any info would be a great help.

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Kyzen or Zestron? | 6 June, 2007

Is your NC flux residue cleanable? What does your flux suppler recommend?

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Kyzen or Zestron? | 7 June, 2007

What type of residue is it. Are you sure its not the solder mask turning white? Odd that it would only be on the bottom...

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Kyzen or Zestron? | 7 June, 2007

I was able to get free samples from both Kyzen and Zestron to compare. I would recommend you do the same since your conditions and expectations are unique.


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Kyzen or Zestron? | 7 June, 2007

Well... Some are worse than others... How can you identify that it is caused by uncured mask and not flux residues? The flux is from indium, 3592. Some research in their tech library revealed that either Kyzen or Zestron would work, which is the reasoning behind choosing one of the companies. The issue that I am having is I have not been successful in finding:

1. A benchtop cleaner that will remove the residue. We tried Kyzens IONOX BC but only were able to remove the residue with GREAT effort.

2. Zestron sent us OVEN CLEANER!!! Some of our customers only allow us to use board cleaners, so the VIGON RC 101 doesn't really fall into that category. We have requested another sample that is non aqueous...We will see what happens.

3. With us using an inline washer and only 1, we dont have the time to run too much extensive testing onsite. We have heard horror stories of "GUNK" building up from using Zestron and Cost and Bath Life for Kyzen are in the ridiculous category.

This is why I had hopes of someone actually comparing the 2 cleaners and be able to provide some valuble input. Other suggestions are great too. I have heard some great things about Petroferms BIOACT SC-10. Has anyone else had problems with indium 3592 and white residues?

Also, our SMT does produce some residue, but it is so much more noticeable after Wave solder.

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Kyzen or Zestron? | 8 June, 2007

Testing for solder mask cure: Search the fine SMTnet Archives, for instance:

Residue after wave: Water in your wave soldering flux may cause your NC flux residue to go white.

Indium Wave Solder Flux #3592: That Indium does not say that its flux IS cleanable make us wonder if it is cleanable. What does Indium say?

Poor performance of 'saponifiers': Not all NC flux residue are cleanable. You should determine what material to us based on what you're trying to clean.

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Kyzen or Zestron? | 8 June, 2007

Thanks for the excellent info on testing uncured solder mask. I just checked with Chris Nash of the Indium Knowledge base and he told me that the Indium 3592 can be cleaned if need be and that I should contact Kyzen or Zestron (they are the 2 companies they work closely with.) Which leaves me to the question - has anyone seen better results from one or the other?

Also, are there any visual clues or textures of the residue that would clue you into wether it is a preheat, wave, wash, or solder mask issue?

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Kyzen or Zestron? | 8 June, 2007

I guess i don't understand: if your are going to wash the boards anyway why not use a water soluble flux?

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Kyzen or Zestron? | 8 June, 2007

Perhaps his processing time is very lengthy which could cause issues with leaving water sol residues on the circuit so long. Thats my reason anyways...

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Kyzen or Zestron? | 11 June, 2007

Dear GR,

I represent Kyzen Corporation and would like to address a couple points in your message.

Both Kyzen and Zestron are global suppliers of engineered cleaning fluids for removing flux residues from electronic assemblies. Aqueous cleaning fluids are concentrated fluid compositions that rapidly dissolve, and in some cases saponify the flux residue. The Trek inline cleaning machine provides dynamic forces that allow the cleaning material to remove, penetrate, and dissolve the flux residue from the surface and under components.

Aqueous cleaning fluids are built with four driving forces: 1. Dissolution, 2. Saponification, 3. Wetting, 4. Minor ingredients to address foaming and compatibility. Aqueous cleaning has been more challenging as electronic assemblies move toward increasingly dense circuit designs, populated with low standoff components, and the move toward Pb-free. To address these challenges, Kyzen works closely with customers, solder material companies, and cleaning equipment companies to design cleaning fluids that address customer needs.

Cleaning fluids are built to support different cleaning equipment designs. For your application, Kyzen offers aqueous cleaning fluids which work at low concentrations in the Trek inline. We would be happy to supply you with samples for testing or you may send your parts to our Application Testing Lab for evaluation. We provide you process recommendations for use in your existing Trek machine.

I would like to address one point additional point in your text message. You noted, "We have contacted Kyzen and Zestron and both end up slinging mud at the others products." If anyone from Kyzen has made inappropriate comments about our competitor's products, I personally apologize. Kyzen's customer centric approach is to offer the merits of our cleaning fluids based on the goal of satisfying customer needs. We respect Zestron as a competitor and have no interest in slinging mud their way.


Mike Bixenman, CTO Kyzen Corporation

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