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Bar Solder for Electronic Assembly

Solder bar is an alloy of Solder cast or extruded into bar form for melting into Solder Pots. The most common electronics solder alloy 63/37 contains 63% Tin, 37% Lead and has a melting point of just 361°F.  Other leaded alloys used for assembling electronic components include 60/40, Sn62/36/2Ag alloy containing 2% Silver, and the high temperature solder 10/90 containing 90% lead.

Solder bar melted into solder pots can be a faster, more automated method of soldering than hand-soldering with solder wire.  Solder pots that have a pump creating a wave are called wave solder machines, solder fountains or selective solder machines.  Static solder pots have no pump so you simply dip your part right into the surface of the solder.  

WHICH SOLDER ALLOY SHOULD I USE ?

Lead-bearing (leaded) solder alloys contain mostly Tin with the exception of high temp solder which is a high lead alloy.  

For soldering printed circuit boards and most electronic components the best solder alloy is 63/37, also known as Sn63/37Pb alloy.  63/37 is a eutectic alloy with no pasty range and the lowest melting point of any tin-lead alloy, so able to solder at the lowest possible temperature to prevent heat damage.

For the assembly of some electronic components such as transformers and coils it is preferable to use 60/40 solder simply due to the lower cost of 3% less Tin content.  Components needing a higher melting point solder for high heat applications should consider using 10/90 high temp alloy.

WAYS to REDUCE SOLDER COSTS when WAVE SOLDERING

Reducing drossing (scrap oxide skimmings) is the best way to lower your solder consumption rates.  You can effectively reduce solder consumption by doing these 3 things:   1) Run your pot at the lowest temperature possible - the higher the temperature the faster it will create dross.  63/37 wave pots should be run at 475°-500°F (246°-260°C).  Use a thermometer or non-contact infrared thermometer to check the pot temperature.  2) Perform a major maintenance on your machine to clean the sump and pump - a dirty sump creates excess dross.  3) Consider using a Dross Reducing Powder like our Super Deox to reduce dross by 60-80%  (note - this only works on the surface - you still need to clean your sump and pump).

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