Integrated Preforms®, like separate solder preforms, are available in all of the common shapes. Since not all applications are alike, these connected preforms will vary, not only in the alloy, but also in the size and shape of the solder preform required to deliver the correct amount of solder to the joint.
Some Integrated Preforms are made into discs, squares and rectangles for surface mount applications. Generally, the most common shape is that of a washer - for attaching through-hole components to a printed circuit board. Regardless of the shape, each is designed with specific dimensions that will fit the application. The spacing between the washers also varies because the pins on through-hole components can have different pitches.
Integrated Preforms are manufactured in 5” x 9” sheets with the designed shapes positioned within the borders. In preparation for shipment, they are stacked with lint-free paper and backing board and placed in a vacuum-sealed bag for delivery to the customer.
The customer can easily cut the shapes from the sheets with scissors or an X-Acto® blade. Care must be taken to handle the solder preforms with gloves so as not to contaminate the sheets with unwanted surface organics which could lead to voiding.
The next blog in this series will address the actual use of the Integrated Preforms and the many ways they can be modified to fit any application.