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Gold finger Protectors



Gold finger Protectors | 13 May, 2000


Currently running a very high volume product, with the gold fingers at the edge of the board masked off using Kapton tape to avoid any form of contamination during reflow and wavesoldering. I've heard alot of about the gold finger gloves, my question is how good are these protectors ? the boards are wavesoldered using pallets, will I have to make any modifications to the pallet to accomodate this finger ? will I get any contamination during the print and reflow processes if I don't have any protection at that stage ? what kind of lifespan do these fingers have ? how effective are they ? as we are currently seeing yields around the 98%-99% mark using kapton tape, will changing over over to gold fingers protectors affect my yield ? the reason I would like to change over is from a cost-effective point of view.

Cheers in advance guys. Sal.

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Re: Gold finger Protectors | 15 May, 2000

Hi Sal I've used the Stevens product for about 5 years and have nothing but good to say about them. pallets? can't say. The gloves simply extent the finger length by about 0.04" They come in 15" sticks so the length is up to you. Print/reflow contamination? Short of operator error it mostly depends on the cleanliness of your operation. I don't have any problem. I haven't tried it but since the gloves are more or less the same material as the PC board they should do fine in reflow if desired. Life? Suffice it to say that I'm still using most of the gloves I bought 5 years ago. When held up next to a new one you can see the veterans but they work fine. Effective? I think so. I had more trouble with adhesive transfer from inferior Kapton tape. Yield? If you are saying that you have 1 or 2 contaminated fingers out of 100 with Kapton tape I would hazard a guess that you had better go over your process very carefully. To me this is a huge number but I may have mis-understood you. Cost effective? Absolutely!

Caveats: 1. I use foam fluxing. I think spray would perform similarly with the gloves but testing would be in order. The finer atomization of an ultrasonic spray could be a problem. 2. Any contamination that may get inside the glove can be transferred from board to board. Your operators should be alert to remove a contaminated glove from production and segragate it it for cleaning or disposal. 3. The product is produced to order from standard dies to cover fingers from 1/4" to over 3/4" in length. Specify the length + overlap carefully.

Stevens has samples at the trade shows. I's sure they would be happy to send you some. Searching the net archives will give you more info. John Thorup

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Re: Gold finger Protectors | 16 May, 2000

John's right, Stevens makes a good product which lasts quite a while, they have many variations of products to choose from also.

Another supplier is Dynamic Technologies, they make a titanium cover with a silicone compound jacket, pricey but they work well. However, I have some of their product which have lasted less than 1 year in moderate use, but they are working with me on them, they are trying to find out why they are breaking down so fast, I suspect a bad lot. But it is another source to check out.


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