Indium Blog

The Difference Between an SMT Reflow Profile and the Oven Settings

  • SMT Solder

  • In my earliest days of researching solder paste reflow profiling, something clicked for me: the difference between the profile and the oven settings. 

    The profile is the temperature excursion that the solder joint experiences during its journey through the reflow oven. The oven settings are the temperatures that you program each oven zone to deliver. As I discuss these concepts with my customers, I realize that some people get them confused.

    Someone once gave me a great analogy that really helped to to understand this better. The analogy involved cooking, which is near and dear to my heart. When we are cooking, say chicken, and we put it in the oven at 350°F and then take it out to check the temperature, what is the temperature of our chicken?  It’s not 350°F, but more like 165°F. Well, in this scenario the chicken is your solder joint and the oven is your reflow oven. It makes sense that your solder joint is not what the oven temperature is set at.

    So, when asking for help on profiling, make sure that you have a copy the profile available and not just the oven zone settings. This will show if your board is being reflowed properly during your process.

    Keep tuned in for more from me about the things I have learned thus far as I continue my journey at Indium Corporation.