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Reflow Soldering – The Basics

Posted on May 20, 2010

Reflow soldering is a thermal process which is designed to melt a solder paste (a mixture of solder alloy powder with a solder flux to form a tacky paste) which has been placed on the exposed conductive pads of a circuit board and the contacts or leads of an electronic device to form a solder joint.

SMT components can be as small as 0.005” x 0.010” (0.13mm x 0.26mm) and as large as 6 square inches (4000 square mm). The components are so small, and require such precision when placing them on the circuit boards, that equipment called pick and place machines must be used to pick up and place them on the circuit boards.

Reflow soldering is the most popular way of melting solder to form good solder joints and can be used to process anywhere from dozens to many thousands of solder joints, all at the same time as the circuit boards progress through a reflow oven, typically on a conveyor belt or side chain conveyor.

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