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Solder - Lead vs Lead Free
#74819 09/01/20 4:51 PM
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What are peoples thoughts on using traditional Tin/Lead solder for repairs?
The fact that lead-based solder is still available to purchase, and that it requires a lower temperature to work (meaning a 'normal' soldering iron will suffice) makes me think that it is still very popular.

Thoughts...... (legal/safety/ROHS/medical etc)?

Regards,
Andrew.

Philips
Re: Solder - Lead vs Lead Free
Andrew Stallard #74820 09/01/20 5:28 PM
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Although I don't do much soldering these days, it's the only one I would ever consider using, Andrew. As I have mentioned before, I have tried lead-free and could never get a decent joint with it. So some years ago I bought a load of 60/40 - in sufficient quantity to "last a lifetime", as it were.

Regarding "thoughts" ... no doubt using the stuff is against the rules / causes "offence" / is killing off the polar bears / whatever. frown


If you don't inspect ... don't expect.
Re: Solder - Lead vs Lead Free
Andrew Stallard #74832 21/01/20 3:34 PM
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I havent seen any specific rules outlawing lead solder, I think it is more about making sure the fumes are extracted. The fumes are quite toxic in an enclosed space.


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Re: Solder - Lead vs Lead Free
John Sandham #74834 21/01/20 8:01 PM
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For starters try ... Directive 2011/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2011 on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS Directive), amended by Directive (EU) 2015/863.

Translation:- yet another diktat by non-practical demagogues forced upon us "for our own good". frown

By the way, "hobbyists" are apparently not required to go lead-free, and lead-containing solder may still be used by "amateurs" (so that's me OK, then).

To be honest, my own belief is that the whole issue of lead-free solder is just another example of an over-zealous application (misreading) of EU directives by the HSE (that is, bureaucrats - jobsworths - rather than engineers, scientists or other practical "real world" people).

References:-

RoHS
Discussion about REACH

REACH is a European Union regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals. See also COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health).


If you don't inspect ... don't expect.
Re: Solder - Lead vs Lead Free
Andrew Stallard #74836 21/01/20 9:58 PM
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Geoff, have you ever been in/worked in a factory that uses large scale flow solder baths? No? If you had, and even with good extraction in place, you might be more understanding of the need for lead free solder!
Nasty stuff when in large volumes!


Thoughts and information provided on this forum are mine and mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the policy of NSW Health. They may also be complete bollocks!!
Re: Solder - Lead vs Lead Free
DaveC in Oz #74837 21/01/20 10:06 PM
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Almost all industrial processes are unhealthy in some regard.

In fact, off the top of my head, I can't at the moment think of one that isn't! frown

PS: I don't think that's what Andrew had in mind with his opening post.


If you don't inspect ... don't expect.
Re: Solder - Lead vs Lead Free
Andrew Stallard #74838 21/01/20 10:25 PM
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No, not really in response to Andrew's initial comment more in relation to;
"Translation:- yet another diktat by non-practical demagogues forced upon us "for our own good".


Thoughts and information provided on this forum are mine and mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the policy of NSW Health. They may also be complete bollocks!!
Re: Solder - Lead vs Lead Free
DaveC in Oz #74839 21/01/20 10:40 PM
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Yes; perhaps I was being a bit too kind there. whistle


If you don't inspect ... don't expect.
Re: Solder - Lead vs Lead Free
Andrew Stallard #74843 22/01/20 4:43 PM
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Lead free can be easier to use if you have a Brillo pad type solder ( Looks like brass steel wool in an ashtray). Instead of the traditional wet sponge.

Here is a link to a picture of the material...….

https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/soldering-station-accessories/6124146/

Preheat the board a heat gun will do but watch you don't have all the components fall off by overheating.

Use lead free flux (Dispensing pen) RS. CW8400

All these tips should make using lead free solder easier.

Re: Solder - Lead vs Lead Free
ari-malk #74844 22/01/20 6:56 PM
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... or better yet, if you want reliable soldered joints (and who doesn't) carry on using 60/40. smile

I've done the Risk Assessment (many years ago), and can assure anyone interested that the risks due to poor quality joints (dry, whiskered, and what-have-you) far out-weigh any minuscule risks either to yourself or to the planet (whether real or imagined).

Meanwhile, I agree that keeping your iron clean and bright is good practice. Use the right amount of flux where necessary, and keep the iron at the right temperature. When removing components, always use solder braid, and be wary about jumping straight in with "solder suckers" - as they have been known to rip up circuit tracks with apparent ease! frown

There are lots of nice "how to solder" videos on YouTube, as well as others that offer good advice about not using lead-free (together with handy tips such as:- "don't lick the circuit board")! And lastly, always remove flux residue after soldering (that is, clean the board); isopropyl alcohol is good (but try to resist drinking it). And surely I don't need to remind a biomed audience to:- "wash your hands" (often).


If you don't inspect ... don't expect.
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