Desoldering braid makes an invaluable service at development or rework.
Everyone who´s ever tried to suck off a solder from a solder pad by means of a solder absorbing braid (wick) will probably confirm, that this tool belongs to a “must have” equipment of every professional or amateur workplace. What´s the charm of a desoldering braid? Above all in the fact, that it´s able to absorb almost all the solder from a given place, thus the most of components can be loosened very easily. Hand (pneumatic) pump surely has its place, mainly when working with bigger components, but at comparison with a desoldering braid it´s similar like if we compared a broom with a vacuum cleaner.
A quality desoldering braid is usually able to absorb a solder so thoroughly, that only a microscopic layer of a solder will remain on a PCB – as if a board was new, unused. It is very advantageous even at a hand rework of SMT components, because it´s desirable the component to lay directly on a board – not askew in a thick solder layer causing a mechanical tension and able to cause even a malfunction of a component (often at SMT capacitors).
To reach a good functionality of a desoldering wick it should be made of a fine gauge copper wires (without oil residues end similar) and it must be treated with a high quality flux. The cheapest braids usually contain only a rosin-based flux, the better ones have a synthetic flux based, which produce less fumes.
A novelty in our portfolio is the novelty from company CRC Industries – braid SOLDABSORB. We keep Soldabsorb in a width of 1.5 and 2.5mm, packed in a blister in 2 pcs (the price is for 2 pcs). Soldabsorb represents a top-level in this segment and is made of a highly pure copper, fine gauge wires and contains a synthetic NO-CLEAN flux. It means, that the flux residues are non-conductive and non-corrosive and they can be left on a PCB. Very fine wires contribute to a high wicking (absorbing) ability.
The usage of the wick is very simple and is based in 4 steps:
- Place the Soldabsorb wick on the solder joint
- place the tip of the solder iron on the wick and hold shortly
- absorbed solder will change a color of a braid, showing that the process was successful
- when a joint contains a big amount of solder, it may be necessary to cut off a used end of a braid (2-5mm) and repeat the process
In praxis it approves well to adjust temperature of a soldering iron to a slightly higher, than we´d normally need for a given pad and eventually also to use a thicker soldering tip. In especially difficult cases (vias at ground planes of a PCB) it helps to put a small amount of a new solder on a soldering tip, which will decrease an absorbing ability of a braid, it will significantly improve a heat transfer from a tip through a braid to a PCB, thus improving and speeding up an absorption. Before another use of a braid, it´s sufficient to cut off only a very end of a braid (a few mm) fully sucked by a solder.
At the end it´s worth to mention, that after desoldering, it´s good to apply a small amount of solder on a soldering tip to protect it from oxidizing.
Detailed information will provide you the Soldabsorb datasheet.
Desolder professionally with NO-CLEAN flux wicks – [Link]