What is soldering?
Soldering in electronics is when two or more metal surfaces are joined together by melting solder, a metal alloy known as, and placing it in the joint.
What are the different soldering tools and materials?
There is a selection of equipment available to use when soldering to ensure effective and safe operation for the best result. As well as help with preparation and cleaning.
- Soldering irons - available with different style tips that vary in size, angle and temperature range dependant on the application you require. Soldering irons are usually used to solder together transistor leads, wires, or pads on printed circuit boards (PCBs).
- Soldering stations - usually comprise a soldering iron with a stand, a power supply and an internal thermometer. Theyre available as small, relatively inexpensive versions that can be used by hobbyists at home to large, heavy-duty models for continuous use.
- Solder - the metal alloy used as the joining material in the soldering process, usually sold as a thin wire. It is available in different shapes, sizes and compositions. Solder flux can be used with solder to allow it to flow more easily.
- Solder fume extractors - solder fumes contain particles that when inhaled can cause breathing difficulties there it's important to use a fume extractor to remove fumes and smoke where required.
- Desoldering wicks and braids - if a mistake has been made, there are tools that can be used to remove the solder. A fine copper wire braid called a desoldering braid or wick is placed over the solder and heated. Once the solder is molten it's then absorbed by the copper braid.