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Solder Wire Expiry Dates

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Solder Wire Expiry Dates | 26 August, 2009


We have recently noticed that our lead free solder wire is being supplied with expiry dates (typically 2-3 years after manufacture). I have seen "date of manufacture" information on wire before but I was not aware that a cored solder wire could expire.

I would be interested to hear if you also have expiry dates on the solder wire you use or if it is only this manufacturer?

Also has anyone used wire that has exceeded its expiry date and has any degradation in soldering performance been observed as a result?

Many thanks

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Solder Wire Expiry Dates | 26 August, 2009

Many solder wire suppliers put a on rolls of solder wire either a: * "Date of manufacture" stamp and then specify a shelf life in their product documentation ... OR * "Date of expiration."

J-STD-005, 6.2, 6.3, and Table 4, where it states "If the stated shelf life on a product is expired, but it meets the performance test, it may be used. If the material is requalified, the new shelf life shall be considered to be half the stated shelf life." Also, this section recommends shelf life extension testing methods.

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Solder Wire Expiry Dates | 26 August, 2009

Some print expiry date on reels and some specify a shelf life on data sheets. Two main reasons are that the flux in the wire is a mix of chemicals and over time in storage these can react so soldering performance can be changed. Although I have to say all flux chemistries are different so will react different. Secondly, some solder manufactures have Product Liability Insurance whereby they guarantee the performance of their materials and within these policies there has to be a guaranteed time period for each product covered. In most cases you are very unlikely to notice any difference in the soldering performance of a wire that has passed its shelf life.

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Solder Wire Expiry Dates | 1 September, 2009

We started to use wire from Metallic Resources because they have no expiration date for "properly stored" product.

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Solder Wire Expiry Dates | 9 September, 2009

Hi Dave,

J-STD-005 is the standard for solder paste requirements. I checked J-STD-006 for solder alloys fluxed and non fluxed and could not find any information on expired wire and how to requalify. Is there some other place that I should be looking?

Any help would be greatly appriciated.


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Solder Wire Expiry Dates | 10 September, 2009

Solder wire is so cheap that unless you have tons of expired spools just throw it away and buy new. You are prob costing the company more money spending hours of time researching this and not something more important.

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