HOW-TO: Remove Excess Solder from SMT Land with Wick - Banner

HOW-TO: Remove Excess Solder from SMT Land with Wick

Note: This guide is based on the IPC 7711 5.7.3, 5.7.4, 5.7.5, and 5.7.6 standard. Purchase the full standard from the IPC organization. The graphics and text have been created to provide easy-to-use instructions. Any content that diverges or supplements the IPC standard with be noted on the graphics, and text will be blue.

This process is used to prepare a surface mount land for a new component after a component has been removed.  Desoldering Braid, also called wick, is used in this process.


Step 1: Clean the work area.

Clean work area with pen or…

with an aerosol with brush attachment.

Clean the work area of any contamination including residual conformal coating.

Step 2: Choose braid width and solder tip.

Select solder wick width.

Select solder tip size.

Choose a width of braid that is approximately the width of the lands where solder will be removed.  Choose a chisel shaped solder tip with approximately the same width as the wick.

Step 3: Prepare iron.

Clean solder tip.

Select a temperature of approximately 315°C (599°F), and adjust as needed.  Clean the solder tip.

Step 4: Melt and Remove the solder.

Remove excess solder from lands.

Remove solder from BGA pads.

Place braid over the solder to be removed.  Place the iron tip on the braid.  Allow heat to conduct through the braid to melt the solder.  The braid will absorb solder using a wicking action.  Use caution holding the braid, as heat will also travel through the braid.  Additional flux may be added to the solder area or to the braid if wicking action is inadequate.

This same process can be used to remove solder from BGA pads. To desolder multiple pads, move tip along the wick instead of dragging the wick along the pads. Dragging the wick can scratch the pad surfaces.

Step 5: Remove the braid.

Lift solder wick and tip.

Remove soldering iron and the braid at the same time when wicking action has ceased.  Trim away used areas of the braid and repeat the process to remove solder from additional lands.

Step 6: Clean.

Remove flux residue.

Clean and inspect area.


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