Soldering grease vs flux

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Hi

I searched to find the answer but did not find anything. Are those both the same?

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Last Edited: Wed. Aug 30, 2017 - 05:13 PM
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I've not heard of 'soldering grease'! It might be a literal translation into another language. I'd guess it was flux. But there's a few kinds of flux - water soluble, liquid,gel and so on.

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Don't use Bakers Flux (unless you are a plumber). It is corrosive. How do I know? Well... that is a long, sad story.

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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Kartman wrote:
I've not heard of 'soldering grease'!

 

This:

 

 

"He used to carry his guitar in a gunny sack, or sit beneath the tree by the railroad track. Oh the engineers would see him sitting in the shade, Strumming with the rhythm that the drivers made. People passing by, they would stop and say, "Oh, my, what that little country boy could play!" [Chuck Berry]

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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Which then leads to...

 

http://www.felder.de/produktausg...

 

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thank you dear clawson and thanks other buddies

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valusoft wrote:

Don't use Bakers Flux (unless you are a plumber). It is corrosive. How do I know? Well... that is a long, sad story.

 

 

Well, looking at the MSDS, it's not surprising. It's made mostly of zinc chloride, which is quite corrosive to metals, it's like letting salt water dry on your circuit. In fact I think modern fluxes are supposed to be halide free, so no chlorides.

 

As a chemist and hobbyist, I use my homemade recipe composed of glycerol, citric acid and boric acid, it may not be the best flux in the world, but it's surely better than rosin and can be cleaned with water.

 

 

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The web page suggests it's used in the auto body industry, so I would NOT use this on electronic circuits!

 

 

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Tallow was good enough for wiping lead plumbing joints.

 

Quebracho seems to be the hardest wood.

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If I have my facts right -- and I sometimes don't --acid core solder (acid type flux -- similar to pluming flux) was used with water based cleanup. At least one of our vendors used a water cleanup system on their wave solder machine.  Avoided the nasty flux cleaners required for rosin core solders. Apparently worked pretty well.  You probably want to get right to that flux cleanup step.

 

hj

 

 

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In 1978 I was building 60 instrumented drifting buoys as part of a world wide weather data gathering exercise called F.G.G.E. My design required a battery pack comprising 7 strings of 24 D size alkaline batteries in series and then diode mixed to achieve the design target of 12 months endurance. To minimise risk, I split the contract for these battery packs between the two major battery makers of the day; both world wide suppliers. One of them had production facilities in Sydney and was already a major supplier of batteries for our radiosondes.

 

Delivery proceeded as contracted. Assembly and teesting with my electronics and then deployment at sea all around Australia (Indian, Southern and Pacific Oceans and the Tasman Sea) went ahead without any hiccups. Then some months later we started to see some sudden failures and some intermittent operating periods from individual buoys. When one of these buoys washed up on the coast near Cooktown (3200 kms north of Melbourne, I  was sent to investigate insitu. I carried a portable satellite receiver with me and found that the initially dead buoy came to life when I rolled it on its side. I could repeat this on/off switching action by rolling the buoy from side to side. I opened it up. It was completely dry inside so water ingress was not the cause. Eventually I traced it down to the battery pack and decided to hacksaw the top off the heavy gauge tin-plate battery housing. I was met with a corrosive smell and could see the tell tale green coloured corrosion on the wires connecting each series string to the diode mixer assembly. The positive wire leading from the OR'ed output was corroded through but would reconnect when the battery was rolled 90 degrees. Baker's flux was still visible. Later, the Sydney based manufacturer confirmed that is what their "production" team had used. The longest performing buoy, using the other maker's battery pack (from the US), lasted 999 days... not bad for a 12 months design life.

 

Moral of the story: don't use Bakers Flux anywhere near electronics equipment.

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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Well, they should have cleaned the flux residue, water soluble fluxes are usually corrosive, especially halide rich ones like Bakers Flux.

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Those tins of flux look like the stuff hardware stores sell for soldering copper tubing.  I've never heard of it used for electronic soldering so I wouldn't use it.  It does have a use though.  Sometimes the tip of my iron doesn't clean nicely.  No matter how much I wipe it, usually with a paper towel with at least 4 folds, and gingerly too, there is some black stuff where it should be shiny solder.   So heat the tip and stick into the tin of flux for a second.  When I wipe it off, the tip looks like new.

 

The can I have on hand is called Oatey tinning flux.

 

For soldering boards, I use ChipQuik tacky, water washable, no-clean flux.  I think it's not corrosive.  I've been using it for years with no problem.  The board cleans in seconds under a running faucet.  I use a tooth brush to aid cleaning.  Don't use a brush that has been used for cleaning teeth or if you look closely at the board you will find a bunch of very small white particles on the board.

 

The tack flux makes placing parts on the board much easier.  Especially my QFN chips with 0.5 mm pitch pads.  With the tack flux, I can pick the board up and move it around gently, and the parts stay where I put them.

 

http://www.chipquik.com/store/pr...

 

http://www.chipquik.com/datashee...

Last Edited: Mon. Sep 4, 2017 - 12:14 AM
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Don't forget to check the MSDS for safety information on chemicals that make up the flux. This is mandatory information, in the case of ChipQuik it's located here:

https://www.chipquik.com/store/m...

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I think soldering grease is a term for flux. Earlier I also didn’t heard about soldering grease and flux at the same time. A flux is usually used in soldering. Its purpose is to clean surface oxides from the area being heated so the solder can form a good joint.