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soldering questions

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by matt pickel, May 1, 2015.

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  1. matt pickel

    matt pickel

    Apr 17, 2015
    So i ran out of solder, right in the middle of a project. I went to walmart to get some more. The only one they had was a 99.3% tin and .7% copper. I noticed my soldiering iron was wearing on the tip so i changed the tip out last night and now my other tip is worn. Is their a reason why this is happening? Posting pictures because i do not know how to describe whats happening. Sorry i cant get better quality of pictures on my phone.

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  2. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009
    That's weird solder, never heard of that mix before

    normal solder is 60%/40% tin/lead
    get some of that and your tips should last better
  3. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Copper will quite happily dissolve in tin. Best to use a plated tip.
  4. KJ6EAD


    Aug 13, 2011
    You've gotten a lead free solder alloy. They have a stronger flux than that used in leaded alloys which will erode the tin plating from your tip if it's present and once through the plating, quickly leach away the copper underneath.

    If, by error, you got a solder intended for plumbing instead of electronics, the problem is even worse and the flux acids will damage almost every component lead, wire, terminal or PCB trace it touches. Are you soldering electronic materials or something else?
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  5. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    They've been phasing-out lead in solder here in the States for environmental concerns.
    I think the explanations above account for your problems.
    You want to avoid acid-core solder used for pipe soldering, if that's what you accidentally got for your electrical applications.
    And yes, a plated tip is preferrable to a copper (unplated tip), if that's what you've got to make the tip last longer.
    Just things to be aware of.
    We're not exactly sure what solder you picked-up there, nor the type of solder tip you're using.
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