Flux recommendations

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For years I've been using a toxic liquid flux and equally toxic solvent (cleaner) for my hand-soldered SMD work. It all works fine, but I figure there's something easier/greener out there, so I thought I'd see what all the cool kids are using now. Something that requires no cleaning, or cleaning with just water or alcohol, would be preferred, plus room temperature storage. Please respond with specific product names. Thanks for the tips.

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"Something Greener..."

OT, but gotta laugh.

Had training with a special ops team today. Training was at a closed down school with a campus and multiple buildings, some hills, lots of woods.

Morning was compass work through the woods, and tracking.

This afternoon one of the scenerios was one (hostile) subject held up in the green house behind the school.

One team had trouble making it to the target house through the woods. They were looking for a house painted the color green.

The Greenhouse was a yellow front building attached to a large greenhouse in which one grows plants, with all glass walls and a glass roof.

A tired Team, and a bit of a communications SNAFU... Good thing it was all just training.

OK, enough rambling about Green things, now back on topic.

JC

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Rosin based fluxed are as green as it can get. It's tapped from trees :)

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Don't know about green or not green, but I use Kester 951 (and a small fan on the desk).

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Prolly need something better, but all I have is a little white jar of brown goop (resin) labeled, "For industrial use only."

Perhaps explains my condition

If you don't know my whole story, keep your mouth shut.

If you know my whole story, you're an accomplice. Keep your mouth shut. 

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I tried a VOC-free version a while ago, but I didn't like it.

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Just ordered some Kester 951 in the pen.

If you don't know my whole story, keep your mouth shut.

If you know my whole story, you're an accomplice. Keep your mouth shut. 

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Torby wrote:
Prolly need something better, but all I have is a little white jar of brown goop (resin) labeled, "For industrial use only."

Perhaps explains my condition

I have something similar, which I bought by accident. My impression has always been that it is "for industrial use only" because it is acidic, and will eat away at sensitive metal parts like small traces (not such a concern, I think, when soldering one pipe to another).

Michael

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Torby wrote:
Just ordered some Kester 951 in the pen.

Maybe it's just me, but I hate the pens. Much prefer a little bottle with a long thin metal tube.

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So much better for shooting up

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I used the kester flux pen in the past. Now I use ChipQuik water washable no-clean paste flux in a syringe.

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I like the old kester 44 'core'... It's got a different PN when it's liquid (ie. not in solder).

Think it's pretty much rosin and booze.. and cleans up with booze.

Yeah... looked it up. kester 186. MSDS says it is mostly isopropyl alcohol, with 'modified' rosin and some small amount of benzyl alcohol. Not terribly toxic, but don't drink it either.

I remember my russian friend saying he is just use a hard (straight?) rosin. I suppose most of the sensitizing portion of flux is this part anyway? Hmm. (this is similar to the rosin for instruments, if you know what that is).

I searched a bit more, the other fluxes they make i've used is:

no clean 951 - mostly iso alcohol with some organic acids (listed ones, so must be somewhat issue)

organic 2331 - isopropyl alcohol and unlisted (non-hazardous, then, i guess) organic acids.

I find both of these smell worse than the rosin. The organic one cleans with water, which is nice - but it _must_ be cleaned or it will eat traces. So... curse and a blessing.

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The stuff I use dries up to a sticky goo after a while. That's both an advantage and a disadvantage.

An advantage because it allows me to precisely place a big TQFP with the dried up flux acting as adhesive with nice viscous damping properties.

The disadvantage is that if I don't clean up the board regularly the whole board gets sticky (it's a big board). And I hate sticky stuff.

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Pen was waiting for me when I got back last night.

Hmm, what can I solder...

If you don't know my whole story, keep your mouth shut.

If you know my whole story, you're an accomplice. Keep your mouth shut. 

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steve17 wrote:
I used the kester flux pen in the past. Now I use ChipQuik water washable no-clean paste flux in a syringe.

Why did you switch? Do you clean or not?

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I remove the flux easily under the faucet. No need for flux remover or alcohol.

It also might reduce the tendency for solder bridging. It sometimes seems that way compared to the Kester pen, but I haven't proved that. It might just be that the paste piles up thicker on the board than the liquid flux.

I don't notice any smell from any fluxes and I don't use a fan or other ventilation. Maybe I should.

The flux that came with the ChipQuik solder removal low melting point alloy did stink, but I don't think they use that stuff any more. Just plain flux will do.

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Quote:
toxic liquid flux and equally toxic solvent

What evidence is there that the common fluxes & solvents are toxic? Surely they cant be more dangerous than di-hydrogen oxide!

Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin & Murphy are always lurking about!
Lee -.-
Riddle me this...How did the serpent move around before the fall?

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LDEVRIES wrote:
Surely they cant be more dangerous than di-hydrogen oxide!
Yeah Lee, but you can neutralise the toxicity by mixing with whiskey or common cordial ... any flavour. :lol:

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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Solution to polution is dilution...

di-hydrogen oxide does not have any compatible solvents

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Sounds even scarier if you refer to it as dihydrogen monoxide.

But then there's that industrial solvent that's everywhere in the environment. Dissolves almost everything. It's in our food. Our bodies are full of it. It's Hydrogen Hydroxide.

There ought to be a law...

If you don't know my whole story, keep your mouth shut.

If you know my whole story, you're an accomplice. Keep your mouth shut. 

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Torby wrote:
Sounds even scarier if you refer to it as dihydrogen monoxide.

But then there's that industrial solvent that's everywhere in the environment. Dissolves almost everything. It's in our food. Our bodies are full of it. It's Hydrogen Hydroxide.

There ought to be a law...


When there is it will be our buffoons in California who pass it.

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We buffoons in Calif. don't all love our moonbeam govenator.