Through-hole soldering is one of the more popular electronic component mounting schemes used in a wide range of printed circuit boards. The components to be mounted have leads running from both ends. These leads then pass through holes within the circuit boards onto which they are fixed then soldered using any of a wide range of techniques. The most common include manual soldering iron for small-scale tasks and automated soldering for production lines. There are two main types of leads used in through-hole soldering. These include radial and axial leads. Compared to a method such as surface-mount soldering, through-hole soldering has various advantages that include:
Using the method, the components are soldered onto the printed circuit board using leads that pass through the PCB. This makes the bonds in through-hole soldering very effective and strong. However, this additional step of passing leads through the board also makes the method relatively time consuming and limits the methods that can be used with it. For example, the surface mount technique is easily compatible with the wave reflow technology unlike the through-hole technique.
Methods such as the surface mount method required various items to be effectively carried out. These include anti-solder paste and a special kind of adhesive to initially hold the components in place. Through-hole soldering on the other hand only requires the solder and is thus easier to use than the alternatives.
Commonly used and easy to understand
The technique is among the oldest soldering methods in the industry. There are therefore countless guides regarding the method. This makes it relatively easy to understand and implement as compared to other relatively new methods. There are also very many operators out there still using the method. For learners, it becomes very easy to find a trainer for the same.
Welding is one of the widely-used methods of joining metals together. Alternatives include brazing, soldering, quick connections and adhesive gluing. However, as a very common method, welding has several advantages over the other methods. These include:
Welding produces by far the strongest possible joints between two metals. This is due to the basics behind the operations of welding. In soldering for example, a low melting point alloy is heated and flows between two metals or pieces of a metal to form a joint. However, soldering heats the metals themselves causing them to melt and form a joint that fully bonds with the metal. This forms extremely string joints thus making the method more favorable especially for use in plumbing tasks.
Lesser toxic substances
Welding only involves burning of a fuel to produce the heat that then melts the metals. As compared to other methods, welding has by far the least amount of hazardous substances during operation. Soldering for example makes use of solder and flux, both containing several potentially hazardous substances. These expose the operator to lead, fume and rosin ingestions; adhesive gluing on the other hand often has substances not suitable for prolonged use due to their effects on humans’ respiratory systems.
Better for large surfaces
Imagine soldering on a very large surface, say joining two pieces of pipe of five inch radius. Not very enticing, is it? Welding thus becomes one of the most if not the only viable bonding option for very large surfaces. The joints that other methods such as soldering would form on large would be weak and lack any sheer and tensile strength. The higher heat levels produced during soldering also imply that the method can e used over a very wide range of surfaces and metals where other methods would obviously be limited.
Believe it or not, your air compressor could come in handy for desoldering those components you require from the PCB. However, similar to other ‘brutal’ methods such as use of heat guns, using compressed air to desolder is only viable on old and unused printed circuit boards and not those you intend to use later. If you still want your PCB in good form after desoldering, consider more precise equipment such as desoldering tweezers and the good old desoldering braid. However, in those times when you want to use some old school removal techniques, and blow components all over the house, using an air compressor will work beautifully. The method, just like using a heat gun does possess various advantages. These include:
Ever wondered whether your desoldering braid or pump will work? Or whether your desoldering alloys are up to the task? Well, desoldering using compressed air to desolder will work, and most certainly so. This is due to the forceful mechanism through which components or solder is removed from the surface. This makes the method, in addition to using a heat gun, the best and result-focused desoldering method available.
A compressed air gun will probably serve more purposes than simply desoldering and destroying your PCB. This multiple use makes purchasing one of these an enticing option for those learning to solder. However, it is important to note that it will be almost impossible to recover a working component should you happen to use this method on a printed circuit board. This is why air guns and heat guns are considered brutal desoldering methods. For sensitive surfaces and components, it is advisable to use soft methods such as desoldering wicks, braids, tweezers, alloys and pumps.
A soldering iron is in essence a small, often hand-held tool that could be power or gas operated depending on a variety of factors that melts solder from a source of heat to join various elements known as work-pieces. It is generally the go-to tool after the soldering iron. Despite the obvious similarities between the soldering torch and a soldering iron, the differences in their basic operations give the soldering torch an edge over the iron. Some of these include:
Since soldering torches do not have power cords, they allow much more flexibility when it comes to areas and spaces of work unlike soldering irons. This flexibility is a huge advantage and may be preferred by those who travel occasionally to areas without power. The lack of cords also implies that you can work comfortably between different workspaces without having to adjust your setting and look for additional power outlets.
Soldering torches are relatively cheaper than soldering irons. However, this is only in the short run. The costs of running and maintaining a soldering torch will ultimately be higher than that of a soldering iron. If one of their components or catalysts is damaged during operation, then the cost of replacing that in the long run renders the soldering torch much more expensive than the soldering iron. This therefore depends largely on the usage habits of the user.
Soldering torches burn fuel (mostly butane) to produce and intense flame that is then used to melt solder and join work pieces. The heat produced by these soldering torches is relatively higher than that in soldering torches. This makes the tools better and more versatile for working in a wide range on conditions, surfaces and metals. Soldering torches will basically work where soldering irons fail.