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Homebrew vapour phase...?

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Homebrew vapour phase...? | 11 June, 2010

I was wondering how hard it would be to make a homebrew vapour phase oven, to avoid the problems with very cheap conventional batch ovens, in particular uniformity. I've seen a reference here to a pasta cooker VP setup, but the image link is dead now. I can't immediately find much info on the general practicalities of VP setups, in particular : How do they control the level of the vapour blanket? Does this effectively set itself from the applied heating power and losses from the walls, or is there an active cooling zone ? How much fluid gets left on the PCB afterwards - does it re-evaporate once the PCB reaches the vapour temp?

Is there any appreciable evaporation loss at room temperature?

How is the rate of temperature rise typically controlled? Is it as simple as controlling the descent rate of the PCB into the vapour, or is there some additional pre-heating hardware?

Roughly how much does VP fluid cost in the smallest available container?

A deep-fat fryer would appear to be a reasonable candidate in terms of size and temperature.

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Homebrew vapour phase...? | 14 June, 2010

Just been quoted GBP500 for 5kg (2.7L) of Galden LS-230. Don;t know if the lower temp non-leadfree stuff is cheaper If anyone in the UK has a small qty they'd sell me for experimentation, (e.g. old non-leadfree stuff they no longer use) please get in touch!

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Homebrew vapour phase...? | 14 June, 2010

What was the price?

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Homebrew vapour phase...? | 14 June, 2010

500 English Pounds

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Homebrew vapour phase...? | 16 June, 2010

Keep in mind you'll still need to preheat the assembly to properly activate the flux/drive off volatiles in the paste. Perhaps a convection toaster oven... Add some cooling coils and a freeboard/tube to the top of your pasta cooker or turkey fryer to limit vapor loss.

Have fun.

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Homebrew vapour phase...? | 19 June, 2010

I have used the Quick ? from I don't remember what company. But it was a smallish machine ie about the size of a washing machine. The heat/cool cycle was about 30 to 45 minutes. every thing had to be properly sealed or you would loose vapour, this vapour was about 230C so very hot fortunately it is very inert chemically but it was very easy to burn yourself by accident when opening the lid to remove the boards. I modified a small domestic fan oven with fully digital controls for time and temperature. All I had to do was stuff the walls with insulation between the case and the oven cavity and then add a extra layer to the back. This gave me 1 inch thick of insulation on 5 sides. It could then heat to 200C in about 3 minutes which coincidently is a good cycle time for a PCB. Hot air escaping from the front when the door is opened is much less harmful than the flouroinert vapour.

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