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How Small Can Your Solder Go?

George Will once said, "The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being proven right or pleasantly surprised."

Well, at Indium Corporation,  the same may be said about being an optimist.  I have had two requests this week for smaller-than-standard products (indium solder wire and indium solder paste).  Both requests were for 97In 3Ag.  And when I asked the product manufacturing engineers about trying them, they both independently said, "Sure let's give it a try".

The indium solder wire request was for a .008" diameter solder wire.  Pure indium wire is difficult to make less than .010" because it is very soft.  But add enough silver and it gives it the additional tensile strength it needs to go through the wire manufacturing process.

The other request was for Type 5 indium solder paste.  One of indium's unique physical properties is its ability to cold weld to itself, a great feature when you are bonding non-metallics plated with indium together, but not so great when you are trying to make tiny spherical shapes (powder) that are intended to remain suspended in flux vehicle to work properly.

As the electronics we crave get smaller and smaller and require non-standard solder solutions, I am sure we will be getting more and more requests for these "let's give it a try" projects.  Stay tuned to find out how we make out!