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Tech Seconds with Phil Zarrow: Considerations for Switching to a VOC-Free Wave Solder Flux

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    Question: What do I need to change in my process when I switch to a VOC-free wave flux?
    Phil Zarrow: Well, it's important to recognize that one of the big differences between VOC and non-VOC fluxes is the base. For example, non-VOC fluxes are alcohol-based, versus VOC-free fluxes, which are water-based. And hence, one of the things we're trying to accomplish in the preheat, is that we have to go above the boiling temperature of the base of the flux. So, as an example, in non-VOC-free, we're talking 90°C whereas for VOC-free, we're typically want to attain about 110°C.
    Question: What happens if I have an insufficient preheat?
    Phil Zarrow: If we don't attain the proper preheat temperature, we're going to get all kinds of undesired side effects. And these could include splattering, solder balls, insufficients, things along those lines. And this applies to both wave soldering and selective soldering.