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There are all kinds of parameters/variables for solder. Diameter, core material and core diameter, types of metals, ratio of different metals, etc etc. Can we give examples of, for instance, a good leadfree solder for small hobbyist/repair electronics work, a good solder for small copper pipes, etc.? And explain why each aspect is best for that application. - Omegatron 16:33, Feb 11, 2005 (UTC)

Lead-Free Solder[edit]

As a veteran electronics engineer, I think the disadvantages of lead-free solder should be exposed, despite the headlong rush to get lead out of electrical and electronic products. IBM researchers futzed around with lead free solders in the 1960s, and after wasting several years, gave up.

The simple fact is, most electrical and electronic parts are designed to work best with eutectic solder, i.e., the ones with the lowest melting temperature. The epoxies used to encapsulate integrated circuits already soften dangerously at the temperatures needed for reflow soldering of Sn60/Pb40 solder, and the higher temperatures and longer dwell times required for lead-free solders can damage them and cause premature failure. The platings used on component leads are optimised for eutectic solder. It is not enough to just switch solder formulas. The entire industry gets turned on its head in the effort. With higher processing cost and lower reliability, the end users bear the cost. Lower reliability means products will fail earlier, greatly contributing to the waste stream going into landfills.

Policies such as RoHS only be implemented because politicians are ignorant of science and technology. I take consolation in the hope that some of those politicians will meet their maker due to a critical component failure in the car or airplane in which they are riding.

-- Quicksilver 01:29, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I would like to add another potential concern with lead-free solder when used with electronic components. Over time where pure tin exists, the tin can actually grow or form small spurs often called "tin whiskers". These tin whiskers can cause short circuits or cause other problems in electronics equipment. The cause of the growth of the whiskers is not fully understood, but adding lead to the tin seems to help reduce or eliminate the growth. Many electronic components that are meant for use with lead-free solder are plated with pure tin in the factory (instead of tin/lead solder). This means that over time, they may produce whiskers that could cause failures of the electronics equipment. Many good articles are available for further research on the web. NASA has done a lot of reseach on the topic. C. D. Brown

This is completely off topic since wikipedia is not the place to discuss opinions. However it could easily be argued that politicians are simply more willing to believe in science and technology, as well as having their eyes on the future/long term rather then the hear and now, unlike detractors. They believe that we will be able to adapt to a lead free solder environment. Sure there will definitely be many initial problems as the industry is force to adapt and waste due to component failure may very well increase in the short term. But is there any real reason to presume they can't adapt? It seems rather unlikely to me that anyone has tried that hard to develop a lead-free solder industry simple because the costs are too great in the short run to be worth it considering there was never any great advantage to succeeding. Futzing around with an idea for a few years (in the 1960s too let's not forget) is hardly the same thing. By forcing the whole industry to adapt, all areas will have to be examined and improved where necessary so that they can work in this new environment. This surely gives the greatest chance for success for a lead-free solder environment. Who knows, in the long run reliability may be improved. If no solution for lower temperature lead free solder is found, then we can expect that the components will have to be properly adapted for soldering at this temperature. These components may very well fail less often under normal usage for this reason. N.B. Mission critical systems are currently exempt from most plans. Nil Einne 18:32, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Both the solder article and the comments talk about Sn60/Pb40 as the stndard electronics solder. My experience has been that Sn63/Pb37 is preferable, because it has a lower melting point. We cleaned all the 60/40 out of my shop quite some time ago. Now we are working to develop a lead free shop.

 -Allison Sibert, Engineering Assistant, High Energy Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana,

With an electrical engineering degree and much experience with hobby electronics, lead-free solder is not the standard, considering it is highly more expensive (almost 5 times as much as lead solder) and most companies prefer to use lead solder. It's very unfair to make lead-free solder sound like an equivalent to lead solder, when in reality the two are far apart (talk) 01:31, 6 April 2011 (UTC)


I'm gonna move it into the first paragraph area. If that's not acceptable, move it back. Or something. --CCFreak2K 01:21, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Done. The sentence doesn't look quite right grammatically though, so someone else should check it. --CCFreak2K 01:24, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

the etymology is from pretty 'old' words; so, Im interested, when was soldering invented? -- 22:06, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

The invention is probably prehistoric, but the OED has a quote from 1374 concerning the soldering of lead roofs on cathedrals. --Heron 20:05, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Silver solder[edit]

Does anyone have any information to add about "silver soldering"? What makes it different? Is it purely the make-up of the solder being used or is the equipment/process itself fundamentally different?


It contains silver (Ag) instead of lead (Pb). If you look under "Lead-free solder" you'll see several different alloys containing silver. 00:42, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

I honestly think that "silver solder" or "silver soldering" is of significant importance as to warrant a section unto itself. In support of this statement I point out that hardware store attendance, jewelers, industrial and home hobbyists are all familiar with the term "silver solder". My concern is that this article has adopted (perhaps too enthusiastically) the subject matter and vocabulary of metallurgists. Whereas I personally suspect that that is not the primary subject matter of which the average Wikipedia user is seeking. Perhaps thought should be given to splitting this article into, say, two separate articals. One delving into "the chemistry of soldiering", and the other addressing "Soldering - the craft". - Stan — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:22, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Measuring the tin content in solder[edit]

Does anybody know how they measure the tin content in solder? Or anything about cone cutters? Rfwoolf 18:27, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Does anybody know of a way to remove the lead from the circuit board besides using a soldering iron?

Short answer: No. Longer answer: You would need to rework every solder joint on the PCB with a solder-sucker or solder-wick, replacing each joint with a leadfree solder. In the real world, it'd be cheaper, faster & easier to throw out the device & replace it with a new one that complied with RoHS standards. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:52, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Misuse of "fusible"?[edit]

"A solder is a fusible metal alloy"? Surely a Fusible alloy is one with a melting point below the usual boiling point of water? Contrariwise, any alloy will fuse, i.e. melt, at some temperature. P.M.Lawrence.
—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:55, 6 July 2007

  • And why water? A fusible link, that article says, uses a fusible alloy, whose melting point obviously depends on the temperature, above or below boiling, that its application calls for it to activate at.
    --Jerzyt 02:33, 17 October 2009 (UTC)


this article does not discuss about health hazard of soldering ... as a electronic hobbyist i do a lot of soldering ... and I'm worried about the fumes is it lead that I'm inhaling or simply the flux ? 03:26, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Quite a bit of it is hydrocarbons. The lead/solder does contain a lot of impurities. I'm not sure how many of them are volatile, but the flux and cleaner are traditionally both very toxic. Newer fluxes can be cleaned with water-based-detergent solutions instead of nasty hydrocarbons. This is covered in the article now under ROHS section, I believe. Less lead, less carcinogens, etc. (talk) 16:28, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
As of lead in the solder, don't eat the solder and you will be fine. The flux fumes are a concern for daily exposure (rosin can lead to asthma), however there should be no concerns for hobby use patterns. As for solvents, alcohol (whether ethanol or isopropanol) is fairly harmless, methanol is toxic (avoid), chlorinated solvents aren't exactly healthy, benzene is outright carcinogenic and advised against, toluene and xylene works well and is only somewhat toxic, acetone works well and isn't that much toxic as well, same for aliphatic hydrocarbons. Many paint thinners are useful here (check their composition, often they are a mix of hydrocarbons and ketones or ethers). Don't drink the solvents, avoid vapor buildup into explosive concentrations, don't work in too small enclosed spaces with too volatile materials, and you will be fine. Generations of electronics technicians did not succumb to the toxicity hysteria of today and lived long happy lives. Please, let's reserve "very toxic" for things that really deserve it, like dimethylmercury or politics. --Shaddack (talk)


Why the heck is it pronounced 'sodder'? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:37, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

  • A fair question, and one that for many years has been much on my mind .... I do know that it appears, among English speakers, that only in the USA is the 'L' silent. Eregli bob 23:34, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
    I know the article introduction currently states the difference between North America and other countries, but I've heard it pronounced both ways in Canada - probably due to the British/American English split. Perhaps it should be edited to make a distinction between the two dialects. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:25, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
    It's not stated any more. I was watching an American TV program, thought I had misheard "soddering iron", but then it was said again. Hadn't come across this before. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:16, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
    • I'm American, have known the word since grade school, and heard the L pronounced fewer times than a half dozen.
      --Jerzyt 00:39, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
    • Of my household's 3 authoritative American dictionaries, only one mentions pronouncing the L, and ir precedes that one with "Brit. also", i.e., the British use both, and i think it implies even they use mostly silent-L versions. But i would guess class and region there could make a big difference.
      --Jerzyt 00:39, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
      • I am British and have never ever heard it pronounced without the L by anyone other than Americans. Certainly in the UK and all other countries where English is the primary or a major language (e.g. Australia, India) the L is pronounced. Actually to us "soddering" sounds like buggery. (talk) 21:53, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
  • No one has addressed why. My guess is that it's like the S in "island". I can't remember which lexicographer or stylist was responsible, but IIRC you'd recognize the name. He inferred the etymology to be Latin, and introduced the silent-S spelling in place of "iland", i think to give the mind the hint that it is related to "isolate" & "insulate". (It turns out -- tho it's irrelevant here -- that it came into English via a Germanic compound where the first syllable meant "river" and the second, uh, "land".)
    Solder is descended from Latin "solidare", to make solid, and the L probably is there to evoke that. The pronunciation presumably reflects the fact that the proximate sources of the word are French words that begin "soud...": i infer that the silent L is a restoration of the Latin word's L, and that any tendency to pronounce it in Britain reflects the role of accent in signaling class identity. And/or the fact of the British Isles being the only font of (duh) English speech whose universities go back to (or even anywhere near) the Middle Ages, when you literally could not be an educated person without speaking Latin -- so that trying to evoke Latin roots is, or has more recently been, more practical among those who've had a British-Isles university education.
    --Jerzyt 00:39, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Fixed, I added the British pronunciation as per the OED. Bob Sheep (talk) 18:53, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Pronouncing the L is correct. "Sodder" is something only stupid Americans say. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:57, 18 July 2015 (UTC)


The intro paragraph says that lead free solder is more common. My experience, at least in Australia, is that lead free solder is very hard to find. I work at an electronics repair workshop and we refuse to use lead free solder and I believe most other workshops do as well. Hobby stores here do not stock lead-free solder. Only a small percentage of new appliances I see contain lead-free solder and it's a pain in the ass to work with. --Spuzzdawg (talk) 03:49, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Yes mate, makes you wonder if it's just an exercise in political correctness to solve a 'problem' that may not exist. Keeps the greenies off the pollies backs. Example, How many fillings in your teeth (if any) have amalgam in them? Wiki Quote "dental amalgams are composed of 43% to 54% mercury"!! I have em and I feel ok. I think, Who am I?, What?, Oh sorry, drifted for moment. I've used lead /antimony solder. That's as close as I've got to this issue. -- (talk) 07:41, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Inconsistent paragraph[edit]

The last paragraph in the Lead Solder section states:

Solder is made up of tin (30%) and lead (70%). It can bond metals together as it has a fairly low melting point of 183 Degrees Celcius.

Which contradicts the preceding text, and seems rather simplistic while adding nothing useful. The melting point is not the reason it can bond metals together, but that seems to be what this text claims - ice has a low melting point, but I would not use it to join metals! . Also the phrase "fairly low" is both subjective and unnecessary - the melting point is what it is, and requires no judgement as to whether it is low or high, other than perhaps that it is lower than the materials being joined. Also that is not the accepted English spelling of Celsius.

Assuming the preceding text is accurate (and therefore this is not), should it not simply deleted? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:01, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Flux core[edit]

Under Solder#Flux_core_solder appeared the wording

manufactured as a hollow tube and filled with flux.

That's almost certainly misleading bcz it suggests, perhaps implies, that the tube (that implies hollow) is formed and then filled, which is unlikely in light of the issue of inducing even hot flux to fill a narrow interior.
I'm no expert, but i'm pretty sure most long cylindrical products, hollow or solid, (e.g. pipes, tubes, fiber-optic-cable strands, wires, and mono-filament fishing line) are made by stretching (probably "drawing" thru multiple dies that progressively decrease the diameter) material ("blanks"?) of much higher diameter. In this case, the roughly millimeter-diameter flux-core solder is almost certainly manufactured by first producing a large diameter two-material intermediate, and i am replacing with the less ambiguous description:

manufactured as a coiled cylindrical material with one or more continuous bodies of flux embedded lengthwise inside it.

As with the Cheez-Its, i'm not sure how they get all that flux inside, even assuming i'm right about drawing down the diameter. But at least some flux-core solders are soft enuf that the drawing might fuse the solder-to-solder interface left when solder already drawn thru a rectangular die is either folded lengthwise, or spiral-wrapped, around a chilled cylinder of flux; if that is feasible, it would presumably explain the Ersin 5-core solder as the result of another stage of drawing that could fuse 5 strands of single-core solder into a single strand with 5 cores. I suppose much of this depends on the ratio of the changes of ductility and tensile strength as temperature increases, since the harder you squeeze it against the die to shape and fuse, the harder you have to pull it to get it thru the die. Sure be a good thing if someone who knows what they're talking about weighed in!
--Jerzyt 05:51, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

SAFETY: Flux Fumes etc.[edit]

Quoting the current text under heading Flux-core solder; "rosin flux used in electronics, where the corrosiveness of acid flux and vapours released when solder is heated would risk damaging delicate circuitry."

Surely the danger is also to people exposed to fumes when hand soldering, or 'reworking' joints after wave/ reflow soldering. For which reason fume extractors/ fans with filters are/ should always be used. Perhaps a section on safety for both Solder and Soldering articles??

I come from an extensive background of through hole, high reliability, hand soldering, before SMD and reflow soldering was common. The Solder/Soldering articles seem to be written by younger technical types with a natural bias towards the newer soldering technologies. As noted above re fumes. I will put my 2 cents worth in to balance it a little. -- (talk) 07:10, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Eutectic Point[edit]

In my materials science class we studied phase diagrams of various alloys, including tin/lead. On the phase diagram for sn/pb it shows the eutectic point at 61.9% tin. Why then, is eutectic solder 63/37 and not 62/38? (talk) 17:10, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

I found the answer. From DKLMetals ( "Purists will point out that the true tin-lead eutectic is actually at 61.9% tin but given the tendency to lose tin by oxidation and reaction with substrates a little more quickly than lead it was found worthwhile erring a little on the high tin side."

The page says that 62/38 is near eutectic and that 63/37 is eutectic. 62% SN is actually closer to the true eutectic point. I'd say we should put that in the page. (talk) 17:29, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Hard solder section[edit]

Seeing how the hard solder section is about filler metals used for brazing shouldn't this be moved to the brazing article? As the brazing article, subsection "silver brazing", points out "silver solder"/"silver soldering" is a misnomer, because it's actually a brazing process. Wizard191 (talk) 15:20, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Traditional electronics use[edit]

I've edited out some unusual claims about this.

> In electronics, the traditional use of solder was to fortify > mechanically made electrical contacts, e.g. two solid copper > wires twisted together.

Simply not true

> This was in part due to the higher electrical resistance of > solder versus copper.

The resistance of solder in soldered twisted wire joints is a complete non issue in all but a tiny niche of applications. The reference given for this is an entire book, which as a reference is not much use. If the provider of this ref would ilke to give a specific place in the book we could discuss it meaningfully. (talk) 20:23, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Actually I think the first point was completely true (unless I'm missing something about the now-missing text). The 'old school teaching' was that solder must never be used structurally in electronics, ie wires must be twisted before soldering (eg western union splice), looped through terminals etc. The thinking was (as far as I know) that because solder is much weaker than the metals being soldered it makes no sense to rely on it for mechanical strength. Apart from being a blind assumption (rather like the removal of lead from solder...), it is obviously false because twisted or looped conductors are rarely put under mechanical load before soldering, so they 'float' in the solder anyway. Through-hole component legs had to be crimped or bent on PCBs for the same reason (it also aids in manual assembly). One advantage of that approach is that joints don't come apart when they melt, with SMT an overheated component will stick on the board due to surface tension but come off if the assembly is flicked (a problem if it is a safety component, eg a sacrificial zener clamp). There was probably a similar industry-wide myth about resistance as you have pointed out, but I don't know much about its history. Adx (talk) 02:43, 4 October 2011 (UTC)


I made a table before I saw that there allready was one here; however solders in this table are not specific for use in electronics, and also include hard solders

Soldering method[1] Type of solder Melting temperature
Soft soldering 50% tin-30% lead-cadmium 145°C
Soft soldering 70% tin-cadmium-zinc 160°C
Soft soldering 3,5% gold-60% tin-lead 170°C-180°C
Soft soldering Silver-tin (4% gold) 221°C
Soft soldering Tin-antimony (95% tin) 223°C-240°C
Soft soldering Cadmium-zinc (82,5% cadmium) 266°C
Soft soldering Silver-cadmium-zinc (2% gold) 280°C-370°C
Soft soldering Silver-cadmium-zinc (10% gold) 280°C-375°C
Soft soldering Silver-lead (3% gold) 305°C
Soft soldering Silver-cadmium (5% gold) 340°C-395°C
Hard soldering Aluminium-13% silicium 577°C
Hard soldering Aluminium-5% silicium 577°C-620°C
Hard soldering Silver-cupper-zinc-tin-nickel 630°C-680°C
Hard soldering Silver-cupper-zinc-cadmium-nickel 630°C-680°C
Hard soldering Silver-cupper-zinc-tin 610°C-720°C
Hard soldering Silver-cupper-zinc-cadmium 600°C-720°C
Hard soldering Silver-cupper-phosphorus 625°C-780°C
Hard soldering Silver-cupper-zinc 680°C-850°C
Hard soldering Silver-cupper 780°C
Hard soldering Cupper-phosphorus 714°C - 900°C
Hard soldering Cupper-zinc-silicon-nickel 865°C - 950°C
Hard soldering Cupper-zinc-silicon 865°C - 900°C
Hard soldering Cupper-zinc 865°C - 900°C
Hard soldering Silver 961°C
Hard soldering Gold 1060°C
Hard soldering Cupper 1080°C

Perhaps a additional column would be "Flux" (talk) 09:21, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Another pointless factoid dump. This isn't a table of solders, it's a table of alloys (partly described) and their melting points. As such it is useless because it is missing two crucial pieces of information. Firstly the purpose of these solders. Soldering is a process, used to join two metals. It's about the need for joining, not just about the alloy. Secondly there are some large (200 degrees) temperature ranges quoted here. Is this a variation with alloy, or a wide eutectic range? This stuff matters. Juist chewing up a book and spewing out numbers is not the same thing as writing an encyclopedia. Andy Dingley (talk) 12:09, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Some missing Bismuth solders?

Here's a good list with applications: I didn't see any Bi18 combinations, but those also exist. Sn50Pb32Bi18 is one. Sadly, I can't find too many references to it so it must be rarely used. We really need the more common types listed anyways to start the table, which we already have. The problem is trying to find more kinds of bismuth solders which we have a very limited list of. They're very useful for low-temperature work so someone will want to see them! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:42, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Table question[edit]

Would it be realistic in wiki-editing terms, to put comments under each solder, rather than far off to the side? I literally had no idea why the spacing was so large, the comments go right off the browser page size. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:51, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Sortable component columns moved to the far right side, for improved readability. Hope that helps. --Shaddack (talk)

Cold solder joint[edit]

Needs a ref.

Comments on Solder - Issues[edit]

1. Reflow is not a method developed for Lead-free solder. It was used to change the patchwork of Lead and Tin crystals that was generated by Tin-Lead plating of circuit boards into a uniform surface to place components on. "Wave soldering" was literally a wave of liquid solder projected above the surface of the remaining solder that touched the bottom of the circuit board as in went by on a conveyor. Occasionally Peanut Oil (@ 450 F) was used. This has made way to use of InfraRed as a means to fuse the solder paste on these boards. And generally double-sided (components to be soldered place on both top and bottom of board) are fused from only one side (although the board may be preheated on both sides.) 2. Re using solder to electrically connect electrical components. Copper wire is no longer used to make printed circuit boards. Some companies, e.g. Hitachi, use full build electroless Copper deposition to create conductive paths on their circuit boards. The higher resistance Oxygen containing Copper is excused by the very low currents used by today's microelectronics. I'd note that uneven heating during the component soldering would result in "tombstoning" where chips, e.g. rectangular surface mount chip capacitors, would have the surface tension of the first melting side detach them from the other terminal and look like a tombstone in a graveyard. 3. Solder plating as etch resist and to protect surface from oxidation. An important purpose of solder in printed circuit board usage is ignored in this article. After the Copper metal has been plated into the vias (holes, connecting to layers within multilayer boards), a layer of solder is plated over the circuit paths. Tin alloys (and Lead) are resistant to oxidation by typical etchants (Ammoniacal Copper Chloride or Ammonium Persulfate used industrially) used to remove excess Copper. Other etch resist plating can be by Gold or Palladium. Occasionally the etch resist metal is stripped and the bare copper protected by treatments such as 2-Thiobenzimidazole. 4. The legendary Tin Whisker problem. First Lead does not exist in a solid solution in Tin. Solid solder exists as myriads of individual Tin and Lead Crystals. The as plated solder (grey matte appearance) consists of large individual Tin and Lead crystals. There are large stresses in the as-plated Tin crystals, but the reduction in Tin whiskers is exactly related to the surface area reduction by the Lead crystals. Due to the higher melting point etc the solder plating is melted or "Reflowed" to give it a shiny uniform surface for parts mounting and also relieved the stresses in the aforementioned Tin crystals. "Bright Tin" plating is not reflowed. Note other electronics metals are known for whisker formation Silver, Aluminum, Zinc to name a few. Tin is less affected by potential induced whisker growth than other metals (potentials in microcircuits can be many KV/cm). 5. In making Chemistry glassware, we used Potassium HexachloroPlatinate to create a metallic (Platinum) coating on glassware to solder it to other glassware or to metal parts (e.g. metal bellows). It was a common procedure for us; it was mentioned in the 1939 edition of Chemical Rubber Handbook. 6. Tin Cry is a soldering issue? Really? 2001:4898:80E8:5:0:0:0:4FA (talk) 16:02, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

Not a compound[edit]

The first column of the table is written in the form of a chemical compound. I suppose that isn't so bad even though they aren't compounds, but chemistry tradition is that compounds are written in terms of atoms or moles, and not weight. It seems that solder ratios are weight ratios. Would it be possible to write the first column differently so it doesn't look like a compound, or molar ratio? Gah4 (talk) 00:54, 28 June 2016 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Technologie van het lassen by Gilbert Declerck, Hugo Thoen