Soldering 101: Solder and Flux
Soldering is a fun hobby and a lucrative trade. When starting out, there are several key components to comprehend before you begin. Once you understand the basics of flux and soldering, you may even want to acquire your IPC-610 training and certification. To get started, you will first want to understand the basics of flux and soldering.
Soldering is a process where metals are joined using an alloy which usually includes a base of tin combined with lead, silver, antimony, bismuth or indium. Alloys are heated from 60°C – 440°C depending on which ally being used. Soldering is a processes where a metal is coated with a soldering iron for electronics, plumbing, wiring, stained glass and a host of other industrial and commercial uses.
Before you begin, you will want to make sure your surfaces are clean. A small wire brush can be used to scrub the surfaces in preparation for soldering. After the surfaces are cleaned, you will want to apply a chemical composition called flux. Flux is a textured paste that chemically cleans metal surfaces, which is critical to the flow of filler metals over base metals. Flux is used in the heat joining methods of soldering, brazing and welding. Flux also provides a protective barrier against re-oxidation and heat scale. Flux will remove surface metal oxides and will also assist in the transfer from the heat source to the metal surface.