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Using Vapour Phase Soldering Process

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Using Vapour Phase Soldering Process | 14 December, 2010

Dear All In future, we will switch our process from Reflow Soldering to Vapour Soldering. Very appreciated if someone can share with me his experince in advantage and disadvantage of using Vapour Machine. Thanks in advance.

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Using Vapour Phase Soldering Process | 15 December, 2010

We evaluated Vapor Phase Reflow in 2010, and in the short time I experienced the machine, I came away with the following.

The advantages you are (hopefully)already aware of, such as overall tranfer of heat to the PCB, no chance of temperature overshoot, no oxidation, etc...

Consumption of the liquid can be expensive, so a choice of machine that is economical is this manner would be wise.

Another consideration is preheating. In order to mimic the reflow requirements of the solder paste, a good preheating system must be included in the Vapor Soldering Process, and should be built into the machine with at least a couple of heated zones avilable before the Vapor Phase. You will also want to incorporate the 'soft vapor' (that slightly less hot area just above the vapor blanket) as a protion of your heating cycle. Transfer from preheating, to soft vapor, to vapor phase must be fast and smooth.

One other item of mention is to watch your liquidus times carefully. Since the vapor is VERY efficient at transferring the heat to the assembly, it is easy to wind up with solder on top of the passive devices (Caps and Reistors) Long enough liquidus for your larger parts (heatsinks) may wind up being a little too long for your passives.

I was certainly impressed by the technology, I would like to have worked with it some more, and to perhaps evaluate some other manufacturers machines. too. We were not ready to introduce the Vapor Reflow, as we are still able to build everything we need to using our ovens. For super heavy assemblies, it does solve a few problems, but like any technology, it comes with its own caveats.

Best of luck. I'm sure many in this forum would like updates as to how your change to Vapor Phase goes.


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Using Vapour Phase Soldering Process | 17 December, 2010

Hi Hege Thanks. Now, we are doing an evaluation of vapour process with Rehm.Their system is injection the hot vapour into the chamber in where the PCB is placed. Rehm system is quite impressive and contrast from others. You can try.

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Using Vapour Phase Soldering Process | 20 December, 2010


We had it for a while, but had to take it out and replace it with normal convection. I mean the soldering quality is absolutely amazing, and the joints looked perfect, however it was a horror for tomb-stoning. We tried all types of stencil apertures and just could not solve the problems. We were running 0402. I think every 3rd board had a tombstone somewhere and it created a hell of a problem on more complex products.

However this was with old lead based solder, and led free solder has less surface tension, so perhaps it would be better in a lead free profess. Not sure, and we cannot really check as we sold off the vapor oven.

It's a shame, as it would be an amazing process if it was not for the problems of tomb-stoning.

Your right about the manual pre heat as well, as sometimes the vapor alone was not enough to solder more complex BGA's and the center balls were not soldered well. Some pre heat might have helped that perhaps.


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